Floor Installation Methods

Our wood flooring products can be fitted using a number of installation methods. On this page, you will find detailed descriptions of several different plank fixing methods. 

(Note: We recommend that parquet flooring is only installed by an experienced professional. Please contact our technical team with any queries before attempting any of these installation methods.) 

Suitable plank fixing methods will depend on both the product selected and the subfloor to which it is being fixed. See the flooring selector page for guidance.

Floating

This plank fixing method involves laying the floor over the subfloor rather than fixing to it and should only be used for laying our Strata boards over a structural subfloor. 

To do this, first lay fibreboard underlay over the subfloor. Then fit the acclimatised boards together over this, gluing the tongue & groove joints with Bonakemi Glueclic and using a rubber mallet with an offcut of the flooring as a knocking block to protect the tongues as you knock the boards together. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the application of the adhesive.

Secret Nailing

As the name suggests, this method of nailing is not visible once the floor is installed, making it one of the more attractive installation methods. Nails are driven at an angle through the tongue of one board and covered by the next. 

Do this with a Portanailer gun that clamps boards together at the right tension and protects the tongue from damage as it nails. These are available from Broadleaf showrooms and good tool hire stores. If you are fixing planks to a timber subfloor which is less than 25mm thick, and has services or concrete beneath, you will need to use 38mm portanails to avoid exceeding the depth of the subfloor and possibly damaging pipes or wires. Otherwise use standard 50mm portanails. 

When utilising this installation method, fit the acclimatised boards together and nail at every joist/batten or every 400mm. Use a rubber mallet with an offcut of the flooring as a knocking block to protect the tongues as you knock the boards together. 

One minor issue with this plank fixing method: you will not be able to secret nail the first and last board(s) as the wall will block the Portanailer. Face-fix these rows (see below) using screws and plugs at every joist/batten or every 400mm. On the first and last row do this at the edge of the board nearest the wall. Plug any fixings that are not covered by skirting/beading with timber plugs set to run with the grain of the board for minimum visibility.

Face Fixing

This plank fixing process involves fixing boards through the face and covering the fixings with discreet timber plugs. To face-fix, drill pilot holes through the face of the boards approx 25mm from each edge, over every other joist/batten or approx every 800mm. Offset adjacent rows so that adjacent boards do not have adjacent fixings. Countersink screws into the holes and then cover with timber plugs. Fix these using wood glue and bang in firmly with a hammer. Set the grain of the plugs to run with the grain of the board for minimum visibility and cut flush using a sharp chisel.

Glue Fixing

The glue-fixing installation method involves applying suitable adhesive to the surface of the subfloor and then fixing the flooring to it. Check our flooring selector for recommended adhesives. 

Making sure that the groove side of the board is facing the wall, select, cut and fit together the first 3 rows before applying any glue to the floor. Use a rubber mallet with an offcut of the flooring as a knocking block to protect the tongues as you knock the boards together. 

Apply the adhesive to the subfloor as per the instructions using the recommended comb size to ensure that correct amount is applied. Never apply adhesive to the boards. Leave these rows to bond before continuing to fit the rest of the room. If you get any adhesive on the top face of the boards, wipe it off immediately. Dried adhesive can be chipped/sanded from the surface of unfinished boards, but removing it is likely to damage the surface of pre-sealed ones.

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Technical questions?

Can I fit a wooden floor over underfloor heating? Read More > Does a wooden floor need a lot of maintenance? Read More > Can my floor be fitted the day it is delivered? Read More > Will a wooden floor be thicker than a carpet? Read More >

Just a note to tell you how pleased we are with our new Cottage Oak floor, and with your excellent service and advice. As for most people, a new oak floor is an expensive project for us and we gave much thought to the alternative materials available on the market at present. So, we are pleased to report that we are absolutely delighted with our choice!
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