Engineered hardwood flooring has become a popular choice among homeowners and builders due to its versatility, aesthetic appeal, and suitability for various room conditions. This type of flooring offers an array of benefits, including a wide range of colors, size options, and its thinner profile compared to traditional hardwood. While nailing is a common method for installing engineered hardwood, it’s important to understand why glue assist is often needed to ensure a successful and squeak-free installation (what good flooring contractors do!).

Installation of Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Before delving into the significance of glue assist in nailing engineered hardwood flooring, let’s briefly review the typical installation process:

  1. Subfloor Preparation: The success of any hardwood flooring installation begins with proper subfloor preparation. It is crucial to ensure the subfloor is clean, dry, and level. Manufacturers often recommend a flatness tolerance of around 1/8 inch over a 10-foot span.
  2. Nailing: Traditionally, many people choose to nail down their engineered hardwood flooring. Following the flooring manufacturer’s guidelines, installers use nails to secure the flooring planks to the subfloor.

Why Engineered Hardwood Squeaks

Engineered hardwood, with its thinner profile and multiple layers, is designed to withstand changes in humidity and moisture better than solid hardwood. However, it is susceptible to squeaking if not installed correctly. Here are some reasons why engineered hardwood may squeak:

  1. Nail Imperfections: The thinner nature of engineered hardwood makes it more vulnerable to nail-related issues. If the nails are not set perfectly or if they don’t grip the subfloor adequately, the flooring may squeak over time.
  2. Thinner Construction: Engineered hardwood’s thin layers can transmit movement from the subfloor more easily, potentially leading to cracks or squeaks when the wood flexes.

Why Glue Assist is Beneficial with Engineered Hardwood

Utilizing glue assist in conjunction with nailing engineered hardwood flooring offers several advantages:

  1. Improved Fastener Set: When engineered hardwood is thinner, nails may not always set perfectly. Glue assist helps eliminate the risk of improper nail sets, ensuring a secure and silent installation.
  2. Enhanced Stability for Wide Planks: Wide planks are particularly prone to movement, especially on the backside. Glue assist helps keep the backside in place, preventing unwanted movement, noise, and broken tongues.
  3. Minimized Deflection: Engineered hardwood flooring, even when the subfloor is within the specified flatness tolerance, can still experience slight deflection. Glue assist provides additional stability, reducing the potential for boards to move.

What is Glue Assist?

Glue assist is a method that involves applying adhesive strips or a wave pattern of glue every 12 inches or as recommended by the manufacturer before nailing down engineered hardwood planks. The glue assists in securing the planks to the subfloor and compensates for any imperfections in nail sets or subfloor deflection. This technique is especially valuable when working with thinner engineered hardwood.

Final Wrap-Up of Engineered Flooring Glue Assist

While nailing remains a popular choice for installing engineered hardwood flooring, incorporating glue assist into the installation process is essential for ensuring a squeak-free and stable result. Engineered hardwood’s thinner profile and susceptibility to movement make glue assist a valuable tool in guaranteeing the longevity and performance of your beautiful hardwood floor. By following manufacturer guidelines and considering glue assist, homeowners and builders can enjoy the many benefits of engineered hardwood with confidence and peace of mind. If you need more help feel free to call our local flooring stores in Atlanta, Boise & Spokane.