Gluing Down Of The Hardwood Floor

Facing Glue Down Hardwood Floor Problems? Check Out Our Insight

July 20, 2022
 |  By: 
Improvix Hardwood Flooring

When putting a hardwood floor over a subfloor, glue is the best way to keep it in place. If your engineered hardwood floors look cleaner and more modern, you can put an underlay on top of them. Depending on what you prefer, you can glue your hardwood floor to the concrete subfloor with flexible flooring adhesive or nail it to the subfloor with hidden nails.

The subfloor is the essential thing to consider when choosing a method. Concrete subfloors require that hardwood flooring be glued down. On the other hand, wood subfloors give you more options for how to install a solid wood floor.

Before heading to how to manage engineered flooring by gluing down the engineered hardwood floor, we will let you know about the problems you can face with glue-down wood flooring:

5 Common Problems With Hardwood Floors Which Can Be Solved By Gluing Down The Floors:


Cupping takes place when the middle of a piece of hardwood flooring is lower than its edges. Planks glued down might curl inward with more moisture in the air, wet mops, or steam cleaners on engineered hardwood flooring.

For example, if you steam clean the floor, the glue that holds the planks together could become weak and fall apart. If you put carpet over a hardwood floor with cupped boards, your house will look run-down and be less stable.


"Buckling" could cause the wood planks to separate from the subfloor. This problem can be caused by a lack of acclimatization or too much moisture in the subfloor. Most buckling in hardwood floors is caused by wrong installation or damage from water.

The following things cause a hardwood floor to buckle:

  • Adhesive not enough
  • The glue was put on unevenly.
  • Water or moisture-related damage
  • The subfloor was messed up (e.g., dirt particles under the wood planks)

Make sure to look for buckles on the subfloor, as this shows that the problem comes from there. The boards start to bend when weight is put on the wood from below.


Crowning, on the other hand, is a way to decorate. The individual floors will have a curved shape. The outside edges of the boards curve down, making it look like the middle is lower.

If you put glue on the planks unevenly before putting them on the base, you might get crowning if you put them on at different heights. This problem can be caused by a lack of moisture control systems, wood that naturally shrinks, and poor drainage throughout the building.

Getting Flaky Or Peeling

Using polish on a dirty floor or too much high-grit sandpaper will flake or peel off.

A warped or peeling hardwood floor could also be caused by too much moisture in the subfloor, which could have messed with the glue used to put the planks down.

It must be carefully spread out to ensure the glue used to install hardwood floors looks clean and even. If you don't have the right tools, it's easy to end up with high spots where there is too much glue. So, the wood floor that was glued down will be uneven.

The Unusual Expansion Gaps

Wood flooring is known to be prone to shifting. During the rainy season, properly installed flooring will keep the boards close together; nevertheless, gaps may appear between the sets of a new floor during the dry season.

Firstly, gaps can be caused by flooring that is laid incorrectly or by flooring in areas that are too wet.

Because of the dry interior climate of wood stoves, I've seen flooring with strange gaps where the floors were installed over the heating ducts. This resulted from the foundations being put directly over the vents.

When attempting to fix a floor gap, it is more necessary to analyze how the gap adds to the area's overall appearance than how wide the hole itself is. During the rainiest months of the year, repairs should be made when strange gaps are at their smallest.

Patching floor gaps when they're at their most minor can help keep the floor from buckling when it expands, so it's a good idea now.

In addition, the wood filler should never be used to patch up a hole. An approach is to use slivers of wood glued to the flooring's edges to construct a repair.

If only one side is glued, there will be no way of attaching any of the other boards after cutting the sliver.

How To Install Glue Down Hardwood Flooring Properly?

Here's how you can install glue-down hardwood properly:

Initialization Step:

Before the installation process can start, the job site must be looked at carefully. If the room is used, you need to ensure that the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) are working and that the hardwood is used for the temperature and humidity levels of the engineered floors. The floor will be stuck to the subfloor with an adhesive for hardwood floors. Due to the high moisture content, the subfloor is essential for glue-down construction.

For glue-down projects, the subfloor needs to be prepared well. You can sand, scrape, level, fill in low spots, or put down a new subfloor as part of the prep work. A good rule for leveling your flooring is not to let the height change by more than 3/16" across a 10-foot circle. Before gluing over a concrete slab, it needs to be dry enough.

Under the concrete slab, there needs to be protection from moisture vapor and good drainage away from the building. Once the subfloor is ready and the floor is level within the engineered wood floors, it's time to choose an adhesive.

Attaching the Adhesives

No glue works for everything. It's important to remember that glue for hardwood floors is made to work with hardwood. Hardwood, a natural material, can grow or shrink when the air's moisture changes. Engineered wood floor adhesives are different from other glue because they are made to work with the natural properties of wood, making them more flexible.

Putting In The Adhesive On Hardwood Flooring

Because hardwood flooring glue is flexible, it won't crack or come apart even if the wood grows or shrinks. A flooring failure could be caused by using the wrong glue, too much, or not preparing the floor properly.

Several types of cement for the hardwood also stop moisture from getting in and cut down on noise. When choosing an adhesive, you should think about all of these things. After that, we'll set up the room.

Depending on the hardwood you choose, leave enough space between the wall and the floor for the wood to contract and expand. This is especially important if you are using the glue-down method.

The glue is spread on the subfloor, where the boards will be bonded using a special trowel. When installing, make sure to only work on a small area at a time. If you spread the glue all over first, it will dry out before getting to the last spot.

Also, lift a board after putting it down to ensure that the glue has fully stuck to the back of the flooring product on the plywood subfloor. Because of this, you can ensure that your floor and subfloor will stay attached for many years. After installing new flooring, you should wait 24 hours before walking on it. The amount of glue you use can be changed based on the size of the teeth on your trowel on the parquet flooring.

The boards in the first two rows should be the longest and straightest. Give the left and right walls parallel to the starting line a 34-inch extension space. As you lay down the first row of boards, put the tongue of each board against the holding block to help it stick to the subfloor. A longboard is the best way to end in the case of parquet floors. Cut down on waste by starting the next row with the part of the last board cut off from the wooden subfloor.

Use the first board for the second row. It should be at least 6 inches longer or shorter than before. Changing the distance between the floor's joints makes the floor look better. Slide the tongue end of the second-row board into the groove of the first-row board, and then use a nut and bolt to hold it in place. Press the board into the subfloor to ensure the two stay together within the concrete floor.

Again, make sure that at least 6 inches between the end joints. If you walk on a floor that has just been laid, you could scratch the surface and hurt yourself. Tape the seams between rows next to each other with blue painter's tape to keep them from moving apart. The best way to get rid of any glue on the floor is to use clean, damp cloths and dry the surface immediately. In this case, the towels used for cleaning should be changed often for effective cleaning. But this is a tough job to do on the floating floor.

You should leave 34" between the row and the end wall when you put it up. After putting up the last row of walls:

  1. Go back to the area between the first wall and the chalk line.
  2. Don't forget that your first wall measurement should have already included a 3/8" space for growth in oak flooring. After the installation, you should wait 24 hours before walking on the floor or moving furniture or other things onto it.

The Benefits of Using Glue Down Engineered Flooring

Gluing Down Of The Hardwood Floor

Most people use glue to put down engineered wood flooring, and we always recommend this method because it is more stable than floating wood floors.

If you know that your subfloors will be uneven, it's safer to glue the boards down. Glued-down wood flooring can be used on any subfloor surface, but floating floors can't.

There is no need for a vapor barrier when installing hardwood flooring with glue because it acts as a barrier. This may be a good choice if you don't mind spending a little more money on bonds and putting in more work to install it, which is better than floating hardwood floors.

Call Improvix Hardwood Flooring For The Best Flooring Services In Chicago

We. at Improvix Hardwood Flooring are the best flooring service providers within the Chicago area. By providing services such as custom wood flooring and restoration, we have highlighted the beauty of wood.

As a result of their extensive training and experience working with wood, our team of designers and craftsmen will build a gorgeous floor tailored to your specific tastes and needs. Our services give you a limitless number of style, color, and texture options.

Our address:

3745 W Montrose Ave #1 Chicago IL 60618

Our Contact Number: (773) 345-9719

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Mon – Fri: 7:30am – 6:30pm

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