Wooden Flooring Installation Methods and Step-by-Step Advice

There are dozens of ways and types of materials at the disposal of owners who want to install new one or change the old flooring. Each of them has priority qualities and disadvantages. Despite the tangible technological and technical advantages for progressive floor plans, many owners are attracted by the laying of the floorboard as a practical, environmentally friendly, and durable material. We will review the main pros and cons of wooden flooring installation methods and step-by-step advice.

The wood created by nature is a rather “capricious” material, but it largely contributes to the optimization of the housing microclimate. A number of difficulties are caused by its installation, however, when abide the technological rules, floors equipped with the help of solid wood boards faithfully serve and do not cause complaints.

Wooden Flooring Installation Methods and Step-by-Step Advice. Warm natural flooring in the open layout apartment

Table of Contents

  1. Types of bases suitable for installation of the floorboard
  2. Insulation and waterproofing of such a floor
  3. Which wood is better to use?
  4. Installation technology of tongue-and-groove boards
  5. In conclusion


Base Types Suitable for Flooring Installation

The wooden floor can be laid over any type of flooring and above the supporting pillars with lags. The following ones can be used as the basis for the installation of the floorboard:

  • concrete floors with leveling polymer or concrete screed;
  • Lags installed on top of any overlap with or without a leveling layer or laid on brick supports;
  • moisture resistant plywood;
  • old wooden floor or rough roll forward of the 2nd-3rd grade lumber.

The installation of a wooden floor most often completes the whole complex of works on the room arrangement. It is carried out in a room equipped with windows and door structures only. The floorboard reacts sharply to excess humidity. Laying is not permissible if the moisture level of the finished walls and the leveling screed is more than 12%. Wood will also be deformed if the humidity of the air in the finished room is more than 60%, the boards will shrink and crack when the humidity is less than 40%.

Cinstruction of the wooden floor at the concrete slab

Tip: Timber for the floor must be removed from the packaging for three days before attaching the boards. Boards can be laid without nailing them to the rough surface, or be simply left in the room to “get used to” the surrounding atmosphere.

The Wooden Floor from Boards on Logs

The most common scheme of flooring is with a coating of boards. Lags (wooden bars with a rectangular cross-section) can be fixed to the rough base with glue mastics or self-tapping screws. They are laid perpendicular to the direction of the floorboard.

After installation, the system constructed of the timber is leveled, obstructing the excesses and placing chips under the understated areas. It is possible to lay logs using the innovative speed method, using a bar, equipped with devices for height adjustment.

Wooden Flooring Installation Methods and Step-by-Step Advice. Boards on logs method

The wooden floor on logs


Subfloor from Moisture Resistant Plywood

You can lay plywood with hydrophobic impregnation on any type of rough base, including logs, if additional reinforcement of a multi-layer floor construction is required. Standard installation of flooring on top of plywood precedes the alignment of the rough base. Sheets of plywood, cut into longitudinal segments, are set in a diagonal direction with the laying of the board. Fastening is made with dowels or screws. Technological seams are left between the plywood sheets and the perimeter of the room to be equipped.

Plywood underlaying

Plywood board installation scheme: 1. draft basis; 2. insulating substrate; 3. waterproof plywood; 4. flooring – boards


Note. Plywood can simply be glued to the screed, to a leveled cement or wooden floor prepared for installation. Those who prefer adhesive technology, it is necessary to choose a binder that is compatible with the type of roughing substrate and with insulating materials.

After completing the work on laying the plywood sheets, its surface is polished. Then the dust and dirt generated during polishing are completely removed. Before mounting the boards, a primer is applied, after which the floorboard is fixed. Then again: grinding, processing with varnish, paint or oil.

Mounting the Board Over the Existing Floor

Check the reliability of fastening elements of the old flooring before laying, duplicate non-reliable fasteners, if necessary, remove the worn boards, instead of which you can lay cheap pine lumber.

Important! When installing boards on top of the old plank floor, they should be laid perpendicular to the direction of the worn coating.


Wooden Flooring Installation Methods and Step-by-Step Advice. The nailing method

Mounting the floor board with glue

Finishers strongly recommend dismantling the old boards and making the screed. However, if the reliability of the base is beyond doubt, you can do without it, but go with pre-grinding. There is another way: mounting plywood sheets on old boards.


Insulation and Waterproofing of such a Floor

Floor in the rooms of the first floors should be warmed unconditionally. You can refuse the routine only in cases where there is a heated basement. As a heat-insulating material, vapor-permeable insulation is preferable: fiberglass, basalt wool. Insulating material is placed between the bars, lags, covered with a layer of vapor-permeable waterproofing.

Important. Between the bottom plane of the plank floor with lags and the surface of the layer, arranged for the purpose of waterproofing and insulation, it is required to set aside a 2-4 cm high ventilation gap.

The wooden floring proper installation with insulation

The warming insulation of first-level floors is neccesary

It is desirable to protect the multilayered floor structure with the floor covering from the moisture coming up from the basement or contained in the overlapping materials. To do this, use a waterproofing membrane with high vapor permeability (not less than 800 g / m2). The free circulation of evaporation will protect the wood from rot. Therefore for the installation of floors from natural organic material the polyethylene film which is not passing steam is not recommended.


What Wood is Better to Use?

Siberian larch and oak are considered the most durable wood for flooring. They steadfastly hold the defense in front of all the adversities that have hoisted on their surface. Boards of softer aspen or alder are placed in rooms with a slight load: in the nursery, in the rest rooms. Lumber from pine, fir, spruce are rarely used for flooring. Most often they are used for the construction of the deck, the rough base for the finishing material.

The geometrical parameters of sawn timber are chosen according to the personal preferences of the future owners. Being guided by criteria of durability, people quite often prefer a board with a thickness of 40 mm. However, it should be remembered that buying thick, rather expensive boards should not be saved on, reducing costs through the purchase of raw material. A thick flooring board that has not passed through chamber drying can be so warped that the self-tapping screws will “fly out”.

Cracking and twisting the wooden floor of thelow humidity

Sawn timber of the 2nd grade – boards with knots and bright structural pattern

The choice of timber of a certain grade depends on the purpose of the premises, the goals of the owners and the intended methods of subsequent finishing. Top-class products are distinguished by a smooth surface with a beautiful structural pattern, which after assembly are sufficient to be varnished. There are lovers of the natural beauty of wood with a pattern of knots. They will like 1 or 2 grade. It is pointless to buy material above the 3rd grade for painting.

Wooden Flooring Installation Methods and Step-by-Step Advice. Spike and groove Board

Wooden flooring is preferred to be made of tongue-and-groove material — boards with grooved-ridge fixtures for tight joining and with longitudinal vents.

Unpunted material is rarely used now. Boards with straight butt jointed edges will disappoint the owners with curvature of the surface and slots after a short period of operating time.

The Technology of Mounting Tongue-and-Groove Boards

The orientation of wooden covering directed parallel to the flow of light from windows is considered a successful in residential premises. Boards are directed along the vector of movement in the corridors and vestibules. Boards can be laid without displacement of elements or in a run-up.

Wooden run-up floor

The run-up wooden boards laying method

For installation of a floorboard at a run-up option it is necessary to cut elements ideally. To maintain a perfect angle without experience is quite difficult. For lovers of arranging the floor in this way, it is desirable to stock up on a pattern to indicate the line of sawing. Along the perimeter of the room technological indent must be maintained. You need to leave a distance of 1-2 cm to ensure longitudinal movements between the floor covering and the walls. Upon completion of installation, expansion joints are closed with a baseboard.

So, the order of work again:

  • The first tongue-and-groove board is laid to the wall with a spike (this is a mounting ledge), so it is more convenient and safer to unite elements.
  • The second board is connected with the first one, combining the groove and spike. Fastening the boards is not desirable to perform nails. Their caps can subsequently “crawl out”, and the nails will rust. It is better to fix the boards with screws (60 or 70 mm), the optimum diameter is 4-4.5 mm.
  • Fastening boards can be done in two ways. The first method with tilting screws at 45º, the second without a tilt from above, followed by sealing the caps with sealant. The second option is safer, but the first one is more aesthetic.
  • Along the perimeter, all elements of the floor are fastened with self-tapping screws, on top of which a baseboard will be installed.

The final stage of board installation is preparation for coating. Flat boards can be sanded with 180 grit sandpaper. If necessary, that is, if there are significant irregularities, sanding is performed.

Wooden Flooring Installation Methods and Step-by-Step Advice. Intermediary board

In the process of fitting, a hammer is used, but hits are made not on the second board, but on the additional intermediate element with a spike.

The wooden floor fixation at 45 degrees

The method with mounting screws at an angle of 45 degrees.

The wooden floor fixation at 90 degrees

Laying boards with mounting screws at an angle of 90 degrees. It is necessary to seal the caps of screws with sealant

In Conclusion

Labor-intensive arrangements for the construction of the board floor are often ordered from specialized organizations offering the services of experienced pros. However, you can lay the cover yourself. Patience, the abiding of technological requirements will help to install the wooden floor nicely and firmly, saving a considerable amount of money and time.


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