This page provides a basic guide for installing all floors. Please see our other Education Centre pages that cover specific product and installation types for more detailed instructions. Please note that all installations are unique and if you are uncertain about anything you should refer to manufacturer instructions or a professional floor fitter.
1. Under cuttin door frames
To provide your new floor with the very best professional appearance, the new floor should run underneath the architrave and door lining.
To cut the architrave and door lining, first place an offcut of flooring adjacent to the door frame. Lay your handsaw horizontally on the offcut of flooring and carefully cut away the architrave. The architrave should be cut through totally and the door frame cut away sufficiently to allow the flooring underneath.
Any areas that do not immediately fall away can be finished with a sharp chisel. As the saw will be 3-4mm in thickness there is no need to use any additional thickness under the piece of offcut to replicate an underlay.
2. Sweep and clean floor
In order to provide your new floor with the very best conditions, your preparation should include a thorough cleaning of the subfloor. Concrete, unless sealed, will always have small particles of loose grit that will need to be swept and vacuumed to provide a clean surface to lay your flooring. Failure to do this can lead to an annoying crunching noise once fitted.
If you find that you are still getting quite a bit of dust and grit, an application of PVA can be applied to seal the floor. Use 1 part PVA mixed to 5 parts water. Make sure the PVA is given a few days to fully dry.
3. DPM Sheet/DPM Liquid (if required)
Apply a damp proof membrane to your subfloor if you are concerned about moisture. If you have a concrete floor it is a necessary part of the installation. The damp proof membrane will stop residual moisture in you subfloor penetrating the underside of your new wood floor.
There are two types recommended for this:
A polyurethane sheet – Simply lay this over your subfloor
A liquid roll on barrier – Pour and spread evenly over your subfloor and allow to dry.
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the best result.
Please Note: Don’t be fooled into thinking that the DPM your builder used in your concrete subfloor will stop moisture getting to your wood flooring, as there is always residual moisture at ground level that can seep into the wood from below.
4. Install Underlay (if required)
There are numerous types of underlay that can be used with your flooring. From basic 2mm foam to 5mm insulating and sound reducing foam to sticky backed sheets and fibreboard. The one appropriate to your project will depend on your subfloor and your chosen product.
An underlay has many benefits. It helps to alleviate unevenness in your subfloor, gives warmth, underfoot comfort and reduces noise.
5. Spread adhesive (if required)
Spreading an adhesive does not have to be a messy process. Using a trowel with a good solid handle, similar to those used by plasterers, you can spread adhesive as you need it, reducing the likelihood of getting it all over the place. Remember you will need a trowel with notches cut to suit your subfloor and the manufactures guides on the tin.
Spread one square metre at a time, this will give you a good working time and reduce wastage.
Once spread, place your selected board in place and tap it into the proceeding tongue.
There are also gun applied adhesives available for even cleaner glue application.