How Can Oak Flooring Be Fitted?
When choosing oak flooring, the method in which you plan to fit the floor can influence what type of board you go for. Your environment, and the method of fitting chosen, can decide whether you choose solid or engineered oak flooring and thinner or wider boards. So what can and can't you do when fitting oak flooring?
Traditionally a solid oak floor was not tongue and grooved, so was fitted by sending a nail though the top surface, at even spacing into floor joists below.
The more common way now of fitting solid oak flooring over a wooden sub-floor or joists is to use the secret nailing or screwing method. This method involves using a nail gun or power driver to drive the nail or screw though the tongue of each board, into the sub-floor or joists. These tongues are hidden by the groove of the next board, ensuring the fixings are not seen. For boards that are 180mm wide and over, we do however recommend a form of surface fixing. This is because wider solid oak boards are much more prone to movement than thinner width boards, so therefore additional fixing is required.
Further to these methods, it is also possible to glue down a solid oak floor. For this however, we do not recommend glueing a board which is over 120mm in width. This is again due to the increased risk in which wider solid oak flooring brings. When glueing oak flooring we always recommend using an MS Polymer flexible floor adhesive. These glues have been specifically designed to be extremely strong, yet flexible enough to allow for some natural movement in the wood.
An engineered oak floor can be fitted using many of the same methods as a solid oak floor and more.
Again the secret screwing or nailing method can be used to fix the engineered flooring to the sub-floor or joists. For the more traditional look, engineered oak flooring can also be surface fixed.
As engineered oak flooring is much less prone to movement, it gives you further options when laying the floor. Rather than being unable to glue 120mm wide or less, it is possible to glue down an engineered oak board in any width. For the glueing, we again only recommend the use of an MS Polymer flexible flooring adhesive.
A further method which can be used with an engineered oak floor, but not a solid oak floor, is the floating floor method. This method involves laying your engineered oak boards over the top of your sub-floor, without any direct fixings. For this, the tongue and grooves of each board are glued together. We do not recommend ever floating a solid oak floor.
When fitting your own floor every situation is different, so if you would like to discuss your project directly with us, please give us a call on 01538 304584. We also have a guide which shows the fitting of our engineered oak flooring using the glueing method. This can be seen by clicking here.