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hardwood_flooring_for_basements

Basement Hardwood Flooring Installation

There are two types of hardwood floor systems that can be installed in a basement. The first is called Glue-Down and the second is Free Floating. Whichever system you decide on using, remember to be sure that your basement floor is dry and free of moisture before you begin. Also make sure that water and moisture will not rise through the basement slab and damage the hardwood floor.


Glue-Down Hardwood Flooring

Just as the name implies, the engineered hardwood flooring is glued to the basement slab. The hardwood flooring must be an engineered hardwood flooring product.

The glue down installation method makes for a very stable and quiet floor. This quietness comes from the fact that the glue tightly bonds the engineered hardwood flooring to the concrete slab. Therefore, the wood can not move like in a traditional above grade nail down application onto a plywood subfloor.

Special care must be used that the basement slab to be covered must be flat. If the basement floor is not flat, a special self leveling grout may be used. Use special care in using a self leveling grout that is recommended by the engineered hardwood floor manufacturer.

Make sure the basement slab is clean and free of loose dust. If the dust is not removed, it will prevent the glue from bonding to the concrete.

Start by chalking a straight line in the middle of a room. This will ensure a perfectly straight floor. Next, attach pieces of flooring along this line to the concrete slab using a suitable screw. This will keep all of you flooring pieces in a straight line as you lay them on the floor and tap them together.

Trowel out the glue that is specified for your engineered flooring system with the recommended trowel notch size. Be sure to only spread as much glue as you can cover in the manufacture's recommended working time frame.

Be sure to tap tongue and groove sections tightly together. It will be necessary to have a scrap piece of flooring and a hammer. Lightly tap the flooring pieces together until there is no gap in the groove section between boards.

As you work your way to the end of a run, do not fit the flooring tightly to the wall. Allow a " gap between the end of the flooring and the wall. This gap will later be covered by the baseboard.

Once complete, roll over the installed engineered hardwood flooring with a 20 lb weight. This will push the engineered hardwood flooring into the glue.


Free Floating Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Free floating engineered hardwood floors are relatively new to the market and are designed to be installed by do it yourselfers. These flooring systems are more forgiving in that the yare not physically attached to the basement floor.

First a foam underlayment is laid onto the basement slab. This foam underlayment takes some of the vagaries of an uneven floor out. It also cushions the engineered strips and reduces noise. Its main purpose though is to allow the hardwood floor to freely slide over the concrete slab. This is because as the floor expands and contracts from temperature changes, it will move as one whole piece.

The pieces of engineered hardwood flooring snap together. Some manufacturers use glue along the tongue and groove to secure the pieces together. Others just snap together.

As with the glue down method, leave a gap around the perimeter of the floor to allow for the expansion and contraction.


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