Dec 10 2008

Laying the floor at last

At last, with the floor leveled with latex and marked out to show where the underfloor pipes are, it is time to lay the floor. 

floor-wood-acclimatising.jpg The wood is acclimatised in the house for a fortnight, preferably in the room it is going to be used in. With the underfloor heating on, this enables the pre dried floor to get used to the envirionment it will be in. Two days prior to laying the floor, the underfloor heating is turned off, and after the flooring is done, is very gradually warmed up again over 2-3 weeks so that the wood warms up very slowly.

With our 18mm solid oak “budget price” flooring, we are generally “secret nailing” and where this cannot be done because we are too close to a wall or passing over an underfloor heating water pipe, special glue is used.

floor-nailing-tool-and-hammer.jpg The nailing “machine” is rather like a giant stapler. It puts nails in at an angle of 45 degreees on the “tongue” side of the “tongue and groove” interlocking flooring. By putting the nails in here, you just push the next piece of flooring on to the tongue and the nail you have just put in becomes invisible, or as they say, “secret”.

floor-nailing-nails.jpg The nailing machine uses barbed nails which are feed into the machine on a strip. This strip is made by gluing the nails together with a flexible glue. They are sliced off the strip like stapes in a stapler.

floor-glueing.jpg Where we cannot nail, a special flexible glue is used.

floor-glueing-gun-and-sausage-refill.jpg This comes in a fat sausage and needs a special gun to apply it. How much glue you use depends on whether you have any uneveness in the floor, as the glue is also used to take up any gaps. Just like the tiled areas, the wood floor must be protected using a cardboard underlay and hardboard on top, held together with rolls and rolls of duct tape. It is certainly one of those moments when the house seems to be progressing as the site of the floor having been laid is encouraging for flagging enthusiasm.

One Response to “Laying the floor at last”

  1. David Ballinger wrote

    March 29th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Can you confirm where you got the data from to confirm underfloor heating of wooden boards is practical and will heat the room? I have a lot of conflicting information.

    Hi David, we got our flooring from UK Wood Floors in Farnborough, Hampshire. We fitted their cheapest 125mm oak flooring in the main throughout the house. There are a series of pictures on the blog showing this being done. We have had no problems getting the house toasty warm. In fact we find anything over 20 degrees C is far to warm to live in. The only problem is lag in the underfloor heating because of changes in outside temperature but that seems to be common to underfloor systems compared to radiators. We have no calculations as such, 125-150mm is the maximum width flooring companies recommend with underfloor heating. If this is not answering your question, let me know.