Hardwood On Concrete
The installation of hardwood floors on concrete offers several types of applications. Over the last twenty years newer forms have all but replaced the older, more dated sleeper on slab system. Now with advancements in adhesive and manufacturing technology, floating floors and engineered hardwood floors glued direct to concrete (right) have become viable alternatives.
For those seeking to install solid hardwood flooring on concrete without a wood sub floor system, changes are slowly taking place when considering gluing directly. Upon closer examination, thinner solid hardwoods, shorter length products, and parquet patterns have been successfully used for years. Unfortunately the explosion of hardwood manufacturers in recent years trying to stimulate sales of solid hardwood on concrete created a plethora of problems, namely by inexperienced installers and salespeople
Glue Down Floors
Gluing of hardwood floors represents a sizeable part of the hardwood flooring business with most of it installed on concrete in homes that are generally on grade (no basement).
Not For The Timid Do It Yourself
These types of installations are more prone to failure over all others. Some of the more common reasons include; improper or no floor preparation, wrong adhesives or incorrect amounts applied resulting in de-bonding of the material from the subfloor. This is why any glue down installation should be performed by someone that has the experience and know how. Adding to the difficulty is the mess involved.
Nail Down Installations
Installing hardwood floors by traditional nailing methods has changed considerably over the years with the advent of pneumatic fasteners. Now the choices have included stapling. We're often asked which one is better. The consensus points to the use of staples but some professionals go the other direction; more below.
Hardwood Floor Installation Tool Types - Manual
Installers have their preferences on what tool is used to fasten solid hardwood floors. In the good 'ole days, prior to the sixties nearly all floors were actually nailed by hand using nails similar to concrete cut nails. Painstakingly and back breaking work by any means, the 60's brought on the manual cleat nailer shown below. This tool made installing solid floors much easier and quicker. Not to mention adios to the days of all those bloody thumbs when nails were missed when pounding in with a hammer.
Site Finished Floors
Unlike prefinished hardwood floor installations, site finished refers to the actual installation of unfinished hardwood, then it is finished on site; hence the name site finished. This kind of procedure is more commonplace with higher end homes or those seeking a near flawless appearance on completion
Floating hardwood floors are those that are not secured to any subfloor. They are suspended above the floor while resting on a cushioned underlayment. Originally there was only one type called the glue together. A bead of glue, much similar to common wood workers glue is squeezed into the grooves of each plank. Not all manufacturers use the groove glue method the same as they have their variations such as apply glue to the top of the tongue. After application, the original floating floor was then tapped into place with hammer and tapping block.
Lock and Fold
Only very recent have we seen the lock and fold. No glue or tapping is required. Boards are placed on a cushioned underlayment connected one by one with adjoining pieces actually folding over to create a secured connection or fit.
Floating Solid Hardwoods
Due to the growing popularity of floating hardwood floors, some get the feeling anything can be floated. Over the years we've fielded a few calls by those wanting to know where to get a floating solid Brazilian Cherry for example. These types cannot be glued together, nor are there click or lock and fold solid hardwood products.