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how to lay install engineered wood flooring glue down guide 2

The suitable fitting methods for our engineered tongue and groove wood flooring are as follows:

Glue Down / Fully Bonded - by far the best method of installing our engineered wood flooring is to glue / bond it directly to the floor screed using MS Polymer floor adhesive.

Secret-Nail - this can be over any wooden subfloor using a tool called a Porta-Nailer.  This is a manual tool that fires a specially designed nail through the tongue of the flooring at a 45 degree angle for invisible fixing.  This tool can be hired at tool hire outlets from as little as £10 per day.

Float - if bonding or nailing the floor is impossible or impractical, our engineered wood flooring can be floated. Floating however is not a method that we would recommend particularly for wide-plank flooring. Floating a floor is generally associated with thin laminate floors and involves gluing the tongue and grooves of every board. In effect making the floor one solid piece.


Please refer to and download our complete installation guides at the bottom of this page, these cover :

  • Environmental Conditions * Sub-Floor Preparation * Acclimatisation * Installation Methods * Expansion Gap * Floor Transitions * Underfloor Heating Systems *Floor Protection


How To Fit Engineered Wood Flooring

Floorboard or plank flooring is installed in randomly staggered lengths. The off-cut from the end of the last row is used to start the next row.

Choose the starting wall for the floorboards to run parallel. The starting wall is usually  the longest unbroken wall in the room.

Take into consideration fireplaces, doors, cabinets and floor transitions as well as the symmetry / aesthetics of the room.

Bowing can sometimes occur in engineered wood floorboards due to the balancing of moisture between the two layers of the floorboard. Bowing within a floorboard can be up to 25mm, so it is important that the first few rows are fitted with the floorboards interlocked to around half of their respective lengths. This will ensure that the floorboards lie flat and permit installation.         Bowing is not regarded as a product fault and will flatten as the floor is fitted.


Tonal Variation

Wood being a natural material denotes that each floor and every floorboard is as inherently unique as nature intended. Floorboards should be mixed according to their variation in tone during the installation. This creates a beautiful blend of tones and character throughout the whole floor, from the natural variation in the timber. Embrace the intrinsic variation in colour and character as this is part of the natural beauty of a real wooden floor and delivers an organic quality & warmth.


Glue Down Installation

how to lay install engineered wood flooring glue down guide 1


Engineered wood flooring should be fully-bonded to the prepared sub-floor using a suitable MS Polymer Flexible Wood Flooring Adhesive. We recommend & supply Bona RS48. This should be applied using a notched trowel (please follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions for trowel notch size).

The floorboards must be fitted into wet adhesive. Divide the installation into working areas that can be fitted within the open working time of the adhesive.

Create a working line - parallel to the starting wall; allowing for the width of the floorboard including the tongue, and a 12mm / 15mm expansion gap. Spread the MS Polymer adhesive using the notched trowel along the working line. 

Place the first floorboard along the edge of the working line and start the installation.

During the installation, push or gently tap the floorboards flush to the previous row.  Tap against the tongue; tapping the groove may damage the edge. 

If the floorboards do not fit together easily, you may need a rubber mallet  / lever / knocking block to assist.

  • how to install engineered wood flooring diy guide glue down

    Periodically lift a floorboard to make sure there is at least 80% coverage of adhesive to the back of the floorboard, if not - increase the notch size of the trowel.

    If the adhesive begins to dry and skin-over before fitting the floorboards, it must be scraped off the sub-floor and fresh adhesive laid.

    Do not use the flooring adhesive to level a sub-floor.

how to fit engineered wood flooring 1

Whilst the adhesive cures; avoid standing or kneeling on the newly fitted floorboards as they can move, and result in unwanted gaps within the finished floor.

Make sure that there is at least half a floorboard (width) at each opposite wall. Smaller width floorboards are not only hard to fit but do not give a great finish, moreso if the wall in question is not straight.

Use tensioners to maintain a tight floor and fit - ensure the floorboards are strapped and clamped while the glue is left to cure.

Weigh down the last few rows to stop them lifting off the adhesive.

Nail Down Installation

how to lay install engineered wood flooring secret nail down guide 1

  • A nail down installation can be over any wooden subfloor - existing floorboards, direct to joists, plywood etc.

  • Our 19 / 20mm engineered wood flooring is End-Matched (tongue and groove on all 4 x sides of the floorboard). Please note: the tongue and groove at the ends of each floorboard are purely locators.

  • For normal domestic installations when installing over joists at 450mm centres, there is no requirement to support head joints on a joist.

  • If a heavier point loading is expected, all header joints must be supported.

  • If installing over an existing solid plank subfloor, the new floorboards must be laid at 45 / 90 degrees to existing planks.

  • Alternatively add a layer of flooring grade plywood underlayment in either the same or greater thickness to the new enginnered wood floorboards..

  • Create a working line parallel to the starting wall, allowing for a 12mm / 15mm expansion gap.

  • Lay one row of floorboards along the entire length of the working line. Secret-Nail the first row using appropriate fasteners.

  • During the installation of flooring, push or gently tap boards flush to the previous row. 

  • For joists subfloors: Secret-Nail in each joist.

  • For plank or panelled subfloors: Secret-Nail every 200 – 300mm.

Floating Installation

how to fit float engineered wood flooring DIY floating method

  • Do not install fixed items over floated engineered floors i.e. kitchen units or islands.

  • Do not float engineered floors where the room dimensions exceed 6m in width.

  • Create a working line- parallel to the starting wall allowing the width of the board plus the tongue and a 12 / 15mm expansion gap.

  • Install a starter board along the edge of the working line and start the installation.

  • Sparingly apply PVA wood glue to the top of the tongue on the lengths of the floorboards & head joints only. Using excess will cause hours of remedial sanding work to the floor surface.

  • During the installation of flooring, push or gently tap the floorboards flush to the previous row. 

  • Tap against the tongue; tapping the groove may damage the edge. 

  • To prevent damage to the floor finish, avoid tapping the face of the board with the rubber mallet.

  • Use tensioners to maintain a tight floor & fit - ensure the boards are clamped while the glue is left to cure.

  • Installions Over Under Floor Heating Systems

  • If you are fitting an engineered wood floor with underfloor heating, always check and follow the relevant underfloor heating manufacturer’s instructions.

  • We recommend:
  • EZY-Warm UFH system for an easy, stress-free installation - many of the points below do not apply.
  • A water pipe UFH system set within a screed.
  • An electric UFH system within a smoothing compound.
  • As a rule of thumb installing engineered wood flooring over under floor heating systems requires the flooring to be acclimatised to the ambient room temperature, this should take around 4-5 days.

  • After installation the heating system should be gradually raised in temperature to a maximum of 27 degree Celsius, this should be done over a period of 2-3 days.

  • UFH Systems Embedded within A Screed

    Prior to delivery of the flooring, the underfloor heating must be commissioned and fully working for at least three weeks. Gradually build up the UFH temperature to its maximum for the first 5 days, run the heating for at least 3 - 5 days. Let the heating gradually cool down and then switch it off.

    Carry out at least two full heating cycles like this, to ensure any moisture is released. Then switch off the heating and dehumidifiers – allow four days before testing humidity levels.

  • Never take humidity tests while underfloor heating systems or dehumidifiers are running.

  • Expansion gaps around the perimeter of the floor area should be 12 /15 mm.

  • Prior to any installation, moisture readings of the screed should be taken.

  • Cement Screed – the screed must have a moisture content less than 3% and a relative humidity (ErH) less than 75% when tested with a BS 8203 hygrometer. Anhydrite screed must have a moisture content less than 0.3%.

  • Measurement can only be undertaken 48 hours after heating systems and dehumidifiers have been switched off.

  • If using the glue down method, bond the flooring directly to the screed using MS Polymer floor adhesive.

Electric cable systems need to have a minimum of 8mm coverage of reinforced smoothing compound above the cables.

Do not over-dry the floorboards. Heating pipes / cables should never be in direct contact with the underside of the floorboard or the underlay as direct heat can over-dry the engineered wood flooring.

Electric mats or water pipes in routed panels on the top of the screed need a distribution board (layer of plywood / particleboard / dry-screed panels) fitted above them. This is to make sure that heat is evenly distributed across the underside of the engineered wood floor.

Aluminium spreader plates are located below heating pipes and therefore do not separate the heating pipes from the underside of the floorboards.

Some UFH systems can create hot spots which can affect the stability of the engineered wood flooring. Hot spots are caused when rugs or furniture not on feet are placed directly onto the engineered wood floor.

Thermostats installed more than 500 mm above the floor can allow higher temperatures at floor level.

To make sure the surface of the engineered wood flooring does not exceed 27°C (81°F), temperature probes should be installed within the subfloor of every room to monitor and regulate surface temperature.


Installation Tips

inset coir doormat best maintenance product for wooden floors

The singlemost effective way to protect and maintain your wooden floor is with an inset doormat. Install preferably a large coir mat - ideally to allow two large steps across - which will force feet-wiping thereby trapping dust, dirt and grit.

An inset coir doormat not only looks lovely, but one of the very best ways of looking after your wooden floor and a very important consideration for any installation.

Grit acts like sandpaper to any wood floor and floor finish. Doormats placed at external entrances are highly effective at extending the appearance and life of the floor, thereby reducing the frequency of refurbishment.

Floor Transitions

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Threshold and reducer strips, stained and matched to your luxury wooden floor, finish off an installation perfectly. We produce these  to match your engineered wood flooring perfectly and in lengths a little longer than specified to allow for a perfect fit on site. Finishing touches and floor transitions are incredibly important for a professional seamless finish and very often an afterthought post-installation....

Reducer Strips  are used to bridge the gap between differing height floor level transitions e.g. engineered wooden floor to carpet.


how to fit solid oak t section floor transitions engineered wood flooring

T-Sections are used for the flooring transition from engineered wooden floor to engineered wooden floor in doorways and to change the floor direction. We produce our flooring transitions as bespoke orders so it is very wise to pre-plan and order these along with your flooring, rather than wait a frustrating few weeks after installation for their production, delivery and fit.

Click here to download our glue down installation guide


Please note that the information provided on this page should be used as a guide only. No warranty or guarantee is offered or implied to the suitability of any system, installation and/or flooring products for any specific purpose.


Contact Info

Woodflooring Engineered Ltd

The Old Basket Works

Lyng Road

Burrow Bridge



01823 698533

Email Us Here