Articles: Oak Flooring Fixing Guide

Oak hardwood flooring has always been a highly sought after product in the timber market due to its impressive durability and unique aesthetic.

Whilst a premium product, you don’t need a builder to install it for you. We supply our Oak flooring with an easy fix tongue and groove to allow for simple installation.

Oak being a natural product does come with its fair share of potential issues. The key to minimizing these issues is planning and preparation.

Planning and preperation

After receipt of the boards, you’ll want to acclimate them to the environment they will be housed in. Ideally laying them flat on the floor for 5 -7 days, we do not recommend standing them upright against a wall as this could lead to bowing.

Once acclimated you have a few options with fitting depending on what surface you’ll be fitting the flooring onto. If a subfloor hasn’t been laid for your flooring you would normally opt for a “floating” installation which allows for installation directly onto carpet and the like.

Floating installation

This method is probably the most user friendly, it will simply be pushed together and laid with no fixings. Put plainly, the laying process involves butting the boards up together to cover your area requirements whilst leaving a small gap around the edges where the outer pieces meet the wall. This is to help manage the moisture movement of the oak.

Securing with Fixings or Adhesives

Another option you have is securing the boards to the concrete foundation using an adhesive or fixing them onto plywood or joists using stainless steel nails. Its recommended if using adhesive, to work on two rows at a time.

If affixing to joists or a plywood subfloor you must use stainless steel nails through the oak, other metals are unsuitable as they are prone to corrosion from the tannins in the oak. The most ideal fixing technique is achieved by hammering the nail through the tongue of each board into the subfloor or joist, this hides the nail once the next row is butted up over the tongue.

Top Tips

To ensure the final row isn’t too thin you can work out the amount of rows your flooring will be made up of by dividing the width of the room by the face of the flooring panel, remembering to deduct the gaps along the edges.

Once you know how many rows you’ll have, if the final row is less than 60mm wide you can cut the first row panel down the length so that both the first row and the last row come out to an equal finished face.

A very useful bit of kit to invest in if you plan on nailing your boards through the tongue is a porta-nailer which offers a simple solution to diagonal nailing.