Fitting Wood Flooring Over Existing Wooden Floors

In order to provide maximum strength and stability, hardwood flooring boards should run perpendicular to the existing wooden floor boards.

It is important to check that the existing boards of the wooden floor are flat, level, and dry before installing a hardwood floor.

In the home, solid wood flooring is a popular choice because it transforms the look of every room. It is durable, long-lasting, and provides a timeless, classic look that will last for many years to come. It is easy to maintain and matures well over time because the wood is natural, resulting in subtle changes in shade that will only enhance its beauty.

In order to avoid future problems, it’s absolutely vital to do thorough and careful preparation before you install solid wood flooring. To determine if your subfloor is suitable, especially when it comes to moisture content, it’s crucial. Because solid wood flooring moves a little more than laminate or engineered wood flooring, solid wood flooring usually needs a stronger fix. Solid wood flooring is usually fixed directly to a subfloor rather than floating on it.

Almost all solid wood flooring fits through tongue and groove, but some designs may require a different fitting method – check the manufacturer’s instructions. This guide discusses tongue and groove flooring installation.

A flat, level, and dry floor must be ensured

If the existing floor boards are not level or flat, they can be lined with plywood (8mm minimum thickness) to smooth out any unevenness. You can use a straight edge or spirit level to check their levelness and flatness. Alternatively, fibre boards can be used to even out small undulations, but only if engineered wood flooring is installed. Underlay shouldn’t be used to level a floor.

It is important to check the moisture content of the existing wooden floor boards before installing hardwood flooring. A moisture content of 16% MC (Moisture Content) or less should be given.

Is underlay necessary for solid wood flooring?

Unlike a damp-proof membrane, which you probably will need, underlay is essential for damp-proofing and insulating solid wood floors.


What is the best way to lay solid wood flooring on concrete?

You will need to check the moisture level of concrete before laying your floor because it is porous. For example, you can place 1m2 of polythene on the concrete and secure it with duct tape overnight, allowing it to collect water drops on the underside if your concrete is damp.

For a more accurate reading, you can use a professional moisture meter. Concrete sub-floors should have a moisture content of 12% or less on a prong test, or 3% or less on a moisture meter. For more information, see the manufacturer’s instructions. You will need to investigate and resolve the cause of too damp concrete before you can lay any flooring.

A damp-proof membrane can be applied to your concrete in the future to ensure that no moisture gets through. A good surface primer should be able to form a strong bond with the flooring adhesive.

Solid Wood Floor Inspection

 You should check a few pieces of your new hardwood floor before doing anything else once it arrives. Take out a few planks from one box and look over the grade, finish, and quality to make sure it meets your expectations. Before acclimatizing and installing your new hardwood flooring, it is important to make sure that you are satisfied with the natural wood flooring you have purchased. Natural wood can vary greatly from batch to batch, especially in rustic grade wood flooring. Prior to installing a real wood floor, most reputable wood flooring companies will require the customer to inspect their products. Unless a defect develops after installation, it would be very difficult to change or refund the floor once permission has been granted to the installer to fit it.


Solid wood flooring: how do I lay it?

If existing floorboards are clean, dry and level, it is possible to lay solid wood flooring directly on them. The best way to fix solid wood flooring to existing timber is to nail – using secret nails – the new boards to the original boards at 90o angles.

Solid wood flooring should not be laid directly onto chipboard, which is not robust or damp-proof enough. You would need to lay down a half-inch plywood subfloor if the floorboards aren’t level.

The installation of solid wood flooring on concrete

With a 3mm toothed trowel, spread over 2 board widths of flexible wood to concrete adhesive along the starting wall subfloor of the room starting in one corner. Once the adhesive is applied, place the first row of flooring in the glued area with the tongue facing away from the wall. If the wall is uneven, use spacers of 10mm against it to maintain the proper expansion gap. Be sure to space the joints between rows 150mm apart when laying the second row.

In order to begin a new row with staggered joints when installing long plank boards, often pre-cut smaller boards are included. Spread the glue two board widths wide and install the boards, keeping an expansion gap around the perimeter while doing so.

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