How To Lay Oak Flooring On Concrete

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oak flooring3Laying oak flooring on concrete can be a challenge, however experience shows that most of the common problems can be prevented through proper preparation of the sub-floor prior to installation.

Always read the instructions supplied with the flooring you purchase, however this basic guide will give you a general understanding of the process.

Ensure that the sub-floor is dry and moisture free

One of the most common issues with flooring either buckling, crowning, or cupping is that the sub-floor is damp prior to laying.

Moisture will cause the oak to expand with heat and damp. Ensure that the sub-floor has at least 48 hours to acclimatize to the room before you commence laying.

As a guide, ensure that the moisture reading of the sub-floor is 4% or lower before continuing. If the moisture level is higher, allow the sub-floor longer to dry. If the concrete is new, allow at least 60 days for it to dry sufficiently.

Glue-Down Installation

Ensure that the concrete sub-floor is dry, free of any cracks or defects, and it is smooth and level. If the floor is not level, use a self-levelling compound to ensure that the surface is completely level before you continue.

The concrete should also be free of any paint, oil, glue, wax, grease, dirt and any curing compounds. If any of these are present they should be removed either using chemicals or mechanically – but not using solvents as these could effect the adhesive.

Using a trowel, apply the adhesive and sealer – ensuring that you even it out thoroughly. I would recommend that you seek professional advice about which type of adhesive to use, as using the wrong one could effect the warranty.

Install the flooring

Always start with the longest wall. Press the wood directly onto the adhesive so that it bonds well. Continue laying the oak down, pressing the sides together tightly, and wipe away any excess adhesive before it has chance to dry.

Leave a 10mm expansion around the edge of the room. Often there are spaces included in the flooring pack for this purpose.

You can cover this gap using skirting boards or scotia after installation. The same applies to doorways, and you can use specially designed door profiles to cover these gaps.

Test out the floor

Once the flooring is installed, walk around the room to check that all the flooring has meshed to the adhesive. Then you should allow the flooring at least 12 hours to dry without any foot traffic.

For other type of oak flooring installation, such as nailed down installation, please refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

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