How to Install Solid Wood Flooring

There are many different methods and techniques for installing pre-finished solid wood flooring but the following ways are the most common and effective:-

Nailing down to wooden sub-floors

The most effective way of 'secret nailing' solid wood flooring is by using a tool called a Porta-Nailer.  This is a manual tool that works by firing a specially designed nail through the tongue of the flooring at a 45 degree angle when struck with a mallet.  This tool however is very expensive to purchase but all good flooring retail outlets hire these out for as little as £10 a day.

1) It is always best to ply-line the subfloor using 6mm plyboard and then seal using a liquid damp proofing or even PVA glue.  This will give you a flat and dry subfloor to install the solid wood flooring on.  It is not really recommended to install the boards directley onto joists as most solid wood floor coverings are only 16-19mm thick which will not really be strong enough to withstand this.  However if you are using 22mm + boards this will be fine but be sure to check the board lengths as most solid wood flooring is sold in random lengths and some of your boards may not be long enough to reach between the 400mm spaced joists (in most cases).

2) Face nail by hand or using the Porta-Nailer with the face nailing shoe for the first two rows with the tongue of the flooring facing the opposite wall.

3) Tap the nail heads in and then conseal using a suitable solid wood repair putty to match the flooring.

4) Swap the shoes on the Porta-Nailer so you now have the angled shoe on and the start 'secret' nailing the flooring down by gentley stricking the rubber head on the porta nailer.  You will need to have a nail every 8-10 inches and a minimum of 2 nails per board.  Only nail the length of the board as it is not nessasary to nail the ends.  Remember to stagger all joints (as descibed in 'how to install laminate flooring' page) as this will give a better effect when the flooring has been laid.

5) When you have got to the opposite side of the room you will need to change the shoes of the Porta-Nailer again and face pin the last few rows and conceal the nail heads.


Gluing solid wood flooring to a concrete subfloor