How To Install Engineered Wood Flooring
Glue Down Wood Floor Installation

For installation of a glue down engineered hardwood floor it is most important to prepare the subfloor correctly first, so before considering moving on read:

Glue Down Wood Floor Installation: site preparation

This article presumes that your floor is flat and ready to accept glue, and if concrete, is dry as discussed.

Please read carefully all the information included with your flooring purchase, and follow the manufacturers recommendations! This is not meant to replace a professional installer or the manufacturer's advice.

Step 1. Preparation for installing a glue down wood floor

Before you go too far be sure to read the information about acclimatizing hardwood floors.

What kind of glue should I use?

Mirage recommends Bostic Best or BST Urethane... or Franklin 811 or 711 Plus. This does not mean that other products are not suitable, but rather these are the companies, that Mirage could get a secure warranty from the glue manufacturer to say that: "Yes, these companies will warranty their product to hold down to concrete or a plywood subfloor, a Mirage engineered wood floor."

Most installers have their own product preferences, and will probably use what they are used to, but again check with BOTH the flooring manufacturer AND the installer for warranty issues etc.

If you are doing it yourself....and particularly, if you are at all doubtful about the moisture content of your cement slab, we suggest using a glue that will act as a vapor barrier as well as a glue. It is typically more expensive, but can eliminate problems down the road..

Must I remove baseboards, casing & doors?

You must remove all your baseboard, since it is rarely the right height to allow the flooring to slide underneath..and trim the base of the casings (door trim), to allow the new floor to be installed underneath as well. Some individuals will also trim the door jambs, for the same reason.

Now is the time to check your doors as well. Open them their full turning circle, and make sure they have enough clearance the entire way round... trim if necessary.

Step #2. Installing the wood floor.

Where do I start laying my flooring?

Unlike its 3/4" solid wood flooring cousin, engineered flooring can typically be installed with the tongue, OR the groove facing you. That means that you can lay starting in any position in the room, even in the middle, if you so chose. Just make sure that the line you are using as your starting point, is in fact, lined up with the most important wall, hall or visual line of sight. That's what you are going to notice when all is said and done.

Often it is started against a railing or stairs, so one does not have to rip a strip of flooring to meet up correctly with a nosing. (see installing hardwood floor nosings)

As with the Classic flooring, it should be installed in the opposite direction to your floor joists. On concrete, your flooring is usually installled parallel to the longest wall.

How do I start?

Chalk a line on the floor 31" from your guide wall. Why 31"?... This is the width of 12 boards of 2 9/16" floor plus 1/4" expansion space against the wall. (you'll have to do the math if your floor is not 2 9/16" wide) This is the last part of the floor you will install.

Lay down a straight edge (aluminum bar, piece of plywood, whatever as long as it is straight) and nail, hilti or screw this into place along the straight chalk line, chalked as above. The guide will be on the 31" side of the line.

Spreading the Glue?

Read directions on the glue can and trowel out the appropriate amount of glue for about a 20" strip. Use the correct V notched size trowel as specified on the can. Note the "open time" of the glue, adjusting this time for current humidity and temperature conditions. You do not want to spread more glue than you can cover, within that time period, or you may have trouble getting a good bond.

Glueing your fingers?

Its going to happen...... have appropriate solvent available!. Clean fingers and floor immediately or you'll find it later and not be able to get it off... you or the wood!

Again be very carefull as you lay each piece of flooring into place that you are not forcing glue into the tongue and grooves. The floor will not fit tight if the groove is filled will glue. The glue only belongs on the bottom of the flooring pieces.

Installing the wood strips?

Using the 31" area to kneel in, line up the tongue of the boards against the straight edge of the guide and press into the adhesive, working from left to right. Inspect each piece before installation, and discard or use in closets, any boards that you are not happy with. Tap into place if necesary.

All the guidelines discussed for installing solid 3/4" hardwood flooring, apply here as well. Don't line up two end splices at the same place (should be 6" apart). When you hit the end wall, and must trim a board, leave at least 6" of wood to cut off, so this piece of flooring can be used to start the next row at the other end. Presort for colour and flaws according to your own likes.

With all brands of flooring, the manufacturer makes the customer, the last inspector, so.... you the customer must assure that any wood that is unsatisfactory is NOT installed (ie.not up to the grade you purchased). I've dealt with lots of manufacturers and none of them will cover installation costs, if you dispute product qualitiy AFTER the flooring has been installed.

Do I need to roll the floor?

Most installers, and glue manufacturers recommend rolling your floor, although there seems to be some debate as to how heavy it should be. This is where I would go by the glue manufacturers recommendations.... it is usually around 100lbs.

Depending on your speed of installation, just make sure that you are not letting the glue get too dry, before you get a chance to roll. The rolling is to assure that the wood is in fact seated firmly into the glue and squeaze out any blobs that you may have missed on the way through. If the glue has already dried, you'll will be unable to achieve either of these activities.

Usually they cover the rollers with foam or tape to prevent damage to the good surface of the wood.

How about the original 31"?

Once you have finished the main section, it is the time to remove your original straight edge and install the same engineered hardwood flooring in the same manner to fill the original 31". The only difference is that now you will be fitting the groove into the tongue, rather than the other way round, and be working in the opposite direction.

This should give you a basic understanding of installing engineered hardwood flooring over concrete.


Further Information:
Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood Floor Installation