Laying down solid wood flooring: a guide

Installing wood flooring is a simpler task than you might think, but it’s essential to carry out prep work carefully. Read on to find out more about how to install solid wood flooring and get it right at the first attempt. Read on for our Laying down solid wood flooring guide.

Which items will I need to install a solid wood floor?

The items you will need to install a solid wood floor include a hand saw, a pencil and measuring tape. If you are working on a concrete sub-floor, you’ll need wood-to-concrete glue. Those installing timber sub-floors will need a flooring nailer.

Conditions required before you install solid wood flooring

Make sure the air humidity is around 45 – 65% before you start installing a solid wood floor. A timber sub-floor must have a maximum moisture content of 12%. Concrete sub-floors must
have no more than 12% on a prong test or below 3% if you’re using a concrete moisture meter. Make sure your subfloor is level before you begin. If the floor is uneven, you can use plywood or a self-levelling compound to rectify this. You also need to check the planks for faults before the process gets underway.

Acclimating the floor

Once you are happy the conditions are correct, you can start acclimatising the floor. This will balance the moisture levels of the floor with the levels in the room and help you prevent or at least minimise issues with shrinkage and expansion. Allow at least seven days for the wood to acclimate. The purpose of this is to ensure the wood is expanding or contracting before you install it to ensure it moves less once it has been installed.

Installing your flooring

You will need to remove all your underlay and floor coverings so the new flooring has a strong, level base. You will need to create a gap for expansion around the perimeter. Make sure this is between 10 – 12mm. The floor should not be permitted to touch anything which is along the edges including walls, pipes and skirting boards.

About Ability

Many people install new flooring before or after upgrading the heating systems in their homes. If you are ready to install new heating solutions in your property, Ability can help. At Ability, we have many years of experience when it comes to providing home heating solutions and can help you benefit from the latest in innovative, energy-efficient technology. We offer some of the best prices for plumbing, electrical, heating and gas services in the South East of England, yet this never means making compromises when it comes to quality or efficiency.

Contact us

We are ready to hear from you right now if you need help with a home heating installation, repairs or servicing in the South East. You can reach us today by completing the form on our website, by giving us a call on 01892 514495 or by sending an email to We will get back to you as quickly as we possibly can.

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