One of the most popular topics of customers, floor installers and contractors is installing hardwood on a cement subfloor.
All of the builder’s work and building materials are always tested for full safety. Installation of concrete slabs in homes is becoming more popular as the cement floor is stronger than a wooden floor. Although builders dictate new terms and methods for installing on a cement floor, you can still lay material with nails or staples if the cement slab contains wooden joists and they are clearly visible.
But more attention should be given two other methods for installing hardwood – glue down and floating. You might already know these techniques from installing hardwood on wooden subfloor.
What is the difference between floating and glue down techniques? Sometimes people mistakenly call laminate a floating floor, but this is far from the truth. Floating floor is a method of installation and it is not attached to any subfloor with glue, nails, or staples and is constantly in motion. You can use this method of installation for any type of hardwood, even if it is a solid wood. However in this case, the material should be very smooth and have a high quality.
To install the floating floor on cement or wooden floor and to make a sound barrier, you should use one of the underlayments. If the sound barrier needs to be strengthened, you can use a cork underlayment. In order to float floors and have them “breathe” and move freely, a floating floor shouldn’t touch the wall. To let it “float” freely, leave a small gap between the floor and walls. This floatation method is used most often when installing hardwood in high traffic areas, as well as in dance halls.
If you have an opportunity to learn the glue down technique to perfection, you will greatly expand your range of clients and increase your wages. Fees for this method of installation are very high.
When you see a professional install a floor using the glue down method, everything looks so simple that have no doubt that you could easily have coped with this project. You’ll never see how the master puts the glue on each piece of hardwood. Typically, glue spreads on small areas of cement or wooden subfloor and then you can place the floor pieces. Compared with the nail down technique, where you have to use a lot of physical strength, glue down looks like an easy job.
Therefore, the glue down technique is simple only when you see how it is applied. But if you try it once, you immediately realize that it is not as simple as it seems from the outside. You will have to learn a lot before you became a master.
To learn from experience how to install hardwood on cement or wooden subfloor by the glue down technique, find a master who does it perfectly. Look at his installation, offer him free assistance, and get more practice. Believe me; having gained experience with the glue down method, you’ll make a good living. It will be a great reward that you deserve for your job.