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Install a Glue-Down Engineered Hardwood Floor

Install a Glue-Down Engineered Hardwood Floor

Hardwood flooring adds warmth and beauty to any room. It's also a great way to increase the value of your home. Engineered flooring can be installed on any level of the home, but different installation methods are necessary for different types of subfloors. These instructions will show you how to glue down an engineered floor to a concrete subfloor.


Planning Your Installation


Step 1

Plan on this project taking at least two days for the actual installation. You can't walk on the floor for 24 hours after it's been glued down, so make sure you leave yourself a way to leave the room without walking on the boards. You’ll have to finish the last few rows the following day.


Step 2

Bring the flooring into the room so the wood planks can acclimate to the room’s temperature and humidity for at least 72 hours before installation. This reduces problems associated with moisture, such as warping and fit. Stack the flooring in a flat position in the room or rooms where it's to be installed and allow it to acclimate.


Step 3

Check the moisture level of the subfloor to make sure the floor is within the manufacturer’s recommendations. If your moisture level isn't within manufacturer’s recommendations, stop the installation and call a Lowe’s associate for help.


Step 4

Once you have prepped the subfloor, carefully sweep and vacuum the surface on which the flooring will be installed.


Step 5

There are many types of glue on the market. Since moisture can be an issue for wood flooring, it's best to use a glue that has some type of moisture resistance. Many glue systems have two parts: a moisture barrier that's applied before installation and a glue that works with the moisture barrier to secure the floor. A great example is the Bostik glue system which uses Bostik MVP as the moisture barrier and Bostik Best as the glue.


Step 6

Check the planks for warping and defects, which typically affect around 5% of the product. These boards are unusable and should be discarded. If more than 5% of the product is defective, stop the installation and call a Lowe’s associate for help.



Installing the First Rows

Installing the First Rows of the Hardwood Floor

Step 1

Put on your safety glasses and latex gloves.


Step 2

Place spacers between the flooring and the wall for the expansion gap.

  • Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate expansion gap.

Step 3

Trowel out enough glue for two to three rows at a time since you can't walk on the glue.

  • Make sure you have the correct trowel for the type of glue you're using.
  • Pour glue out of the bucket by tipping the bucket on its side allowing a small amount of glue to pour out.
  • Use the trowel to cut the glue off.
  • Trowel the glue by holding the trowel at a 45-degree angle and using enough pressure to make sure the teeth are in contact with the concrete.

Step 4

Using the straightest boards, lay the first row of flooring along the guideline, with the tongue side facing the room.

  • This will serve as a guide for the rest of the room or house.
  • Press the wood firmly into the glue to ensure proper adhesive transfer.
    • The ridges of the glue from troweling should be in contact with the subfloor and also the back of the plank.
  • Use the dead blow hammer and gently tap the tapping block against the flooring to ensure a tight fit.
    • It's important to use a tapping block so you don't damage the tongue and groove system.

Step 5

For the second row, fit the groove on the tongue of the first row.

  • Once again, use the dead blow hammer and gently tap the tapping block against the flooring to ensure a tight fit.

Step 6

Place the second row so that the ends are at least 6 inches apart in each row.

  • This will help strengthen the floor.
  • This will also give the floor a staggered look, so you may need to cut the first plank.
  • To cut the flooring, lay the plank on its face and cut with a circular saw.
    • Make sure you’re using the correct blade to cut the flooring.
    • Make sure you allow for the appropriate expansion gap.


Installing the Rest of the Floor


Step 1

When installing the rest of the floor, mix planks of different colors and grain to give the floor a more random pattern.

  • You'll need to work out of multiple cartons at a time.
Dry-fit a few rows together before you install them to see how they look and speed up the installation.

Step 2

Repeat the process of spreading the glue and setting planks in the glue two to three rows at a time.

  • Continue to stagger the ends at least 6 inches.
  • Continue to maintain the expansion gap around the perimeter of the floor.
  • Occasionally, remove a board and check the back to make sure proper adhesive transfer is occurring.

Step 3

If you have entry areas or columns, cut the planks to fit.


Step 4

Make sure you clean off excess glue on the planks with hardwood flooring cleaner.

  • Some flooring adhesives require special wipes to clean up the glue.

Step 5

When you near the end of the room, stop and leave enough space so that you can leave the project without walking on the boards.

  • Wait 24 hours before finishing the installation.
  • Make sure to put the lid back on the glue.

Step 6

Finish the last few rows by spreading the glue and setting the planks.

  • Continue to stagger the ends at least 6 inches.
  • Continue to maintain the expansion gap around the perimeter of the floor.

Step 7

For the last row, you might have to cut the pieces to fit.

  • Measure the distance to the wall from the last laid row. Don't measure from the tongue.
  • Subtract the manufacturer’s expansion gap and cut the last row.
  • If the width of the last row is less than 1 inch, glue it to the previous row by placing glue on the tongue.
  • To fit the last row, place a piece of scrap wood against the finish wall, and fit the boards together by gently using the pry bar.

Step 8

Wait 24 hours before walking on the last few rows.



Finishing Up Your Hardwood Floor


Step 1

Once the last row is attached, install the transition pieces according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Step 2

When your transitions are in place, remove the spacers and install the baseboards and shoe moulding.

  • Attach the trim and shoe moulding to the walls, not the floor.

Step 3

Keep one to two cartons of your hardwood flooring so you can fix any potential problems in the future, like a damaged board.

You can now enjoy your new hardwood floor, its warmth, beauty and ease of cleaning for decades to come.


Project Information

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
    Beginner
    Intermediate
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*Time and Cost are estimated.

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