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How to fit wood flooring onto existing wooden floor boards

Hardwood flooring boards (either solid wood flooring or engineered wood flooring) can be fitted onto existing wooden floor boards. The hardwood flooring should run perpendicular to the existing floor boards to provide maximum strength and stability.

Before installing a hardwood floor, ensure that the existing wooden floor boards are flat, level and dry.

How to fit wood flooring onto existing wooden floor boards

Ensuring the existing floor boards are flat, level and dry

The level and flatness of the existing floor boards can be checked with a straight edge or spirit level.  If they are not level, they can be lined with plywood (8mm minimum thickness) to smooth out any unevenness.  Fibre boards can also be used to even out small undulations but only if engineered wood flooring is being installed. Underlay should not be used to level a floor.

To ensure the existing wooden floor boards are dry, the moisture content should be checked using a moisture meter. A reading of 16% MC (Moisture Content) or below should be given before installing any hardwood flooring.

How to fit wood flooring onto chipboard - moisture meter Moisture meter. Image: instrumentationtechnology.co.uk

Using solid wood flooring

When installing a solid wood floor, each plank should be fixed down directly onto the existing wooden floor boards by either secret nailing or secret screwing.  The nails or screws should be approximately 300mm apart to offer optimum stability.   

If secret nailing, a toothed nail, should be used (approximately 50mm long) to fix the flooring plank to the floor boards.  Do not use a brad nailer or a finish nailer, as they have smooth nails which may easily pull out from the floor boards.

If secret screwing, then use screws designed especially for securing flooring down, such as Tongue Tites.

How to fit wood flooring onto existing wooden floor boards - secret nailing Secret nailer. Image: hss.com

Using engineered wood flooring

If the engineered wood flooring planks are at least 18mm thick they can be secret nailed or secret screwed directly onto the existing wooden floor boards.  Specially designed nails or screws should be used (see above) and they should be approximately 300mm apart to provide firmness and strength.

With wooden floor boards as a subfloor, engineered wood flooring can also be floated, or loose laid over an underlay. The planks of engineered wood flooring would be glued or clicked together.

When secret nailing or secret screwing any hardwood flooring down, please ensure that there are no service pipes (gas, electricity or water) underneath.

For questions relating to any Ambience Hardwood Flooring products, telephone 0116 2741050 or email mail@ambiencehardwoodflooring.com. Thanks for reading.

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