Helpful Tips Before Doing a Glue Down Flooring Installation


Bob, our in-house installer (who I will be introducing soon), gave me this helpful guide if you are planning to glue down your floor.  These tips are designed to be a helpful guide but aren’t meant to be all inclusive or take the place of your installer.  It’s really best to consult with a professional flooring installer for their advice as they can see all the issues with your specific installation.

Flooring Selection– Lumber Liquidators recommends engineered flooring for glue-down application or the more stable species of solid wood.  Select sizes under 3/4" thick. 

Acclimation– Wood and cork flooring will need to acclimate in the installation area.  The room should be conditioned between 65-85 F and 35-55% relative humidity, these levels need to be maintained.  The HVAC system should be function an wet trades complete prior to installation (aka, new cement).  Don’t lay your floor until the correction are made.  Poor acclimation can result in excessive board squeaking and gaps and is not manufacturer related.

Concrete Sub-floor– Prior to installation, concrete should preferably be 60-90 days old, the moisture content of concrete must be measured with a meter specifically designed for concrete moisture measurements.  The moisture vapor measurement must not exceed 3 lbs per 1,000 sq ft, in 24 hours using the calcium chloride test.  This is the only quantitative test available at this time and must be performed to determine the extent of moisture passing through the slab.  Calcium chloride test kids are available at most flooring supply distributors.  Moisture testing only determines the presence of moisture at the time of measurement.  Of greater concern is future moisture passing up through the slab to the surface, therefore, the use of a moisture barrier is necessary.


1. The installer is the final quality inspector.

2. “Racking out”? the floor or laying out each piece allows the installer to visually inspect the flooring for imperfections that can be cut out or adjustments made before installing.

 3.  Defective boards if used should be set aside or relocated to hidden places (such as a closet) by the installer.  If a board has an unacceptable defect (hole, split, crack, etc.) the installer should cut it out or set it aside.

4. Generally, a minimum of 5% should be added to the actual square footage needed as an allowance for cutting waste in domestic woods and 8-10% for exotics. Some species like Australian Cypress may have a larger expected “scrap”? ratio due to the characteristics of the species.  Replace these boards using the added 5 – 10% of material ordered for the job. If you have a higher than average scrap rate and are unable to complete your installation, take samples to the store nearest you. Bellawood liability is limited to replacement of defective material only in excess of 5% (excluding the cutting allowance).

6. The use of stain, touch-up pen or filler stick for correction during installation is accepted as normal procedure.

7. ”Repairs”? – Always keep a partial box from your initial installation for any future repairs or board replacement.

8. ”Touch-up markers”? or color filler sticks used for correcting nicks or chips during and after pre-finished wood installation is a normal procedure.

9. Do not allow adhesives to dry out or skin-over before placing boards.

10. Lumber Liquidators recommends moisture testing, the use of moisture barriers and 100% urethane wood flooring adhesives

11. To ensure glue transfer, glue manufactures recommend rolling the flooring throughout installation using a 100 lb roller

12.  For the best result, do not mix adhesive products. Use moisture barriers and adhesives from the same manufacturer’s product line.

13.  Use the trowel size recommended by the adhesive company to get required spread rate and ridging height. Typically, trowel size is determined by board type, size and surface texture. (Ensure a 95% min glue-to-board glue transfer).

14.  During constant use trowel teeth will wear down. For best glue coverage use a new trowel with each new container of adhesive.

15. Follow glue manufacturer’s labeling instructions regarding adhesive set time, correct trowel size, removal of surface sealers or contaminates and use of moisture barriers.

16. Intermix product from several cartons as you install the floor to insure color, grain and shade mix.

17. Install the flooring parallel to the longest wall in the room. Keep the flooring straight using a chalk line.

18. Blue painter tape #2080 can be used to keep rows or sections of floor boards together until the adhesive has cured (incorrect tape can harm the finish.) During installation tape together 4 or 5 board rows at 18″? intervals.

19. Discard twisted or warped boards.

20. [CAUTION]: Many installers choose to use straps or clamps in an effort to force board rows tighter together during installation. Be aware that over-strapping may adversely affect the floor and can result in glue-bond failure, seam peaking, twisted boards, or out-of-square flooring board alignment. 

 Cured adhesive can cloud, chemically damage or etch the floor’s finish. Clean fresh adhesive from the surface of the floor frequently with mineral spirits or manufacturer-recommended remover. Use clean towels changing frequently to prevent haze and adhesive residue.



Leave A Reply