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What Are the Best Tips for Gluing Hardwood Floors?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2016
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One of the best tips for gluing hardwood floors is to use the glue sparingly. Another tip is to always keep a damp cloth and water or solvent nearby when gluing hardwood floors. Other tips are related to the preparation of the sub-flooring prior to installing a hardwood floor. While a urethane glue is recommended for most applications, if installing flooring over concrete with an unknown level of moisture, a good tip is to use only those glues that act as a vapor barrier as well as an adhesive.

One of the most important things to remember when gluing hardwood floors is to not spread out more glue than you can cover before it dries. The most common mistake made by novice floor installers is applying too much glue to the sub-floor in anticipation of laying down a large area of wood flooring. The glue will dry or cure very fast, leaving the installer with a difficult task of removing the glue to apply a fresh coat. Care should be taken to use the appropriate trowel and the recommended notch size to place the adhesive on the floor when gluing hardwood floors. When gluing hardwood floors, the floor should be clean and free of dust, dirt and debris in order to achieve the best results.

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A valuable tip for the first-time installer is to always make certain that the wood flooring is running at a 90-degree angle to the floor joists. This will aid in the elimination of squeaks, dips and bows in the new flooring. When gluing hardwood floors, it is not necessary to place glue into the tongue-and-groove area of the flooring strips. Placing glue in this area will prevent the flooring strips from seating tightly together. Glue should only be applied to the area of the flooring that will come into contact with the sub-flooring.

Once the flooring is in place, a roller should be used to remove any trapped air bubbles, spread out any large glue spots and make certain that the flooring is making contact with the sub-floor. The weight of the roller used in this process is dependent on the glue or flooring manufacturer's recommendations. A tip to avoid scratching the hardwood flooring when rolling is to apply felt or soft, foam rubber over the roller drum prior to placing it on the flooring. By paying attention to all of the tips and manufacturers' directions, gluing hardwood floors can be an easy method of adding visual appeal to a home or office.

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Ocelot60
Post 3

@spotiche5- I installed hardwood floors in the winter several years ago, and some of the planks lifted up and required re-gluing a few months later. The salesperson at my local home improvement store told me that hardwood flooring glue often doesn't bond well in cold temperatures. This must be true because I also installed hardwood flooring in the summer. On this project, I didn't have any trouble with the glue developing a strong bond on all of the hardwood flooring planks.

Rundocuri
Post 2

@spotiche5- I recommend that you do not attempt to glue hardwood flooring during humid or moisture-rich months. Moisture in the air might cause various types of flooring glue to get tacky, which may cause them not to dry properly. This could result in a bond that doesn't form and the need to remove the glue and start all over.

If you live in a humid climate, you don't have to give up on installing hardwood floors. Running your air conditioner or using a dehumidifier will help to ensure that your hardwood flooring bonds well with the type of glue that you use to install it.

Spotiche5
Post 1

When it comes to gluing hardwood floors, is there a better time of year to do this project? I have heard that weather conditions may affect the bonding process of the hardwood glue, so I don't want to attempt this project during a period of weather that may negatively affect the outcome.

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