Solid Wood Flooring Installation: How To Install Solid Wood Floors

When it comes to your flooring, there’s nothing quite like the real thing. Solid wood flooring is a great option to add a stylish and luxurious finish to your kitchen, dining room or bedroom, if installed correctly. After finally deciding on a shade and a thickness and even waiting out the delivery period, the process of installation by yourself may seem a bit daunting. However, this guide allows even flooring novices to achieve a perfect finish. Here’s a DIY guide for how to install solid wood floors.

See more of our solid wood flooring topics here.

Acclimatise your New Floor

For a solid wood flooring installation, your new floors need to acclimatise and get used to their environment beforehand. This is because moisture in the air will cause the wood to expand or contract slightly. So take your floor out of its packaging and leave for roughly one week to fully acclimatise.

During this time prepare your subfloor by removing any existing flooring and ensuring that the concrete is level. If not, use a floor levelling compound, or screw in a level of chipboard or plywood to ensure an even surface.

Read More: The Cost of Solid Wood

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Remove Skirting Board

Removing your current skirting board with a crow bar allows an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room which lets the new wood expand in different climates. An expansion gap of around 15mm is recommended, to maintain this gap throughout installation, plastic spacers can help you. After removing skirting, make sure your floor is completely clean and ready for the new solid wood panels.

Gather your Materials

Solid wood flooring installation is tricky because it depends on the type of subfloor you have. If you have a concrete subfloor, your best option is to install solid wood floors using a solid wood adhesive. However, if you have a timber subfloor, nailing the panels down is recommended. If nailing directly onto existing joists, lay the new floor at a 90-degree angle to the subfloor. Underlay is not usually used here, but a polyfoam underlay will add extra sound proofing if you’d like it.

Related: How to Measure your Floor


If you're wondering how to install solid wood floors, start from the left hand corner, fixing the first row of boards. Just remember to leave enough space for expansion. If your chosen boards have tongue and groove edges, ensure the groove is facing the wall and then nail or glue down depending on your subfloor.

Image of a man fitting a floor

If gluing, apply the glue to the subfloor and the not panels, then spread evenly using a notched trowel. Press down each board firmly as you go along, make sure that the sides are always pressed tightly together and wipe away excess adhesive before it dries.

If nailing, it’s best to use a nail gun at a 30-degree angle through the tongue of the board and into the subfloor. With both methods, gently use a rubber mallet to knock the boards together for a tight fit.

Cut the Boards

When you reach the end of a row, you’ll likely need to cut the board to fit. Remember to leave enough space for your 15mm expansion gap and then carefully cut with a circular saw. Use what is left over from this board to start the next row and ensure an equal number of boards.

Add Skirting

After you’ve laid all your panels, you’ll need to add skirting to fill in the expansion gap. You can either replace your previous skirting board or use this opportunity to get new skirting boards to complement your new wooden floor. At Factory Direct Flooring, we offer either solid wood skirting or beading in our Accessories section. Fix these into position by using a hammer and a nail. Finally to complete you solid wood flooring installation, polish your new floors to complete your look!

Related: How to Install Engineered Wood Flooring

Finally, enjoy your new solid wood floors! Let us know if you have any tips for installing solid wood flooring in the comments.

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