October 11, 2021 2 min read

Glue-down flooring installation is a popular DIY method for vinyl flooring and hardwood flooringalike. It makes planks unlikely to shift around, leading to a stable feeling underfoot, and who doesn’t like getting a little messy with adhesives? Installing flooring this way can make you feel like you’re back in grade school!

But this project is definitely not for grade-schoolers. Though glue-down flooring is for sure simple enough to accomplish in a weekend and by the novice DIYer, it needs to be done correctly if you want your flooring to last. Luckily, E Hardwoods & Flooring, where you can buy hardwood flooring online, has a step-by-step guide below.

Prepare the Subfloor and Underlayment

Before you install any flooring type, you’ll need to make sure the stuff beneath it—the subfloor and the underlayment—are all set to go.

Your subfloor is a part of your home and is usually made out of plywood or concrete. It’s what’s left when you tear up every last bit of old flooring. To be made ready anew, you’ll need to level it if needed with a sander and patch up any cracks or holes. Check moisture levels before installation to prevent engineered hardwood flooring or prefinished hardwood flooring from cupping in the future.

As far as the underlayment goes, make sure it’s compatible with both your subfloor and floor. A concrete subfloor, for example, tends to need an underlayment that acts as a moisture barrier, and solid hardwood flooring can also benefit from one. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to selection.

Underlayments are a whole kettle of fish on their own, so check out this article by Hunker to learn more about them.

Plan the Planks

To minimize your cuts and probability for error, locate the rough center of the room and work out from there. “Cutting off” any strange-shaped nooks and crannies, determine otherwise where the centerpoint of the resulting rectangle will be. This rectangle is where you will lay your first board and start to lay the glue.

You can also start in the corner of the room, but this is the most DIY-friendly option as it often minimizes the cuts required.

For the alcoves you left off of this estimate, you can use grid paper and a bit of math to figure out what sorts of cuts you’ll need to make and where the boards will fall. Two golden rules:

  1. Leave space for expansion with solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring, and laminate
  2. Measure twice, cut once

Get to Work

Using a trowel and the recommended adhesive, coat a small area of flooring that you’re confident you can lay before the drying time—then follow your plan and lay it! Be careful to not let any adhesive dry on top of the flooring, as it’s nearly impossible to get off (that’s sort of the point).

With any product you use, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and be careful to keep things ventilated, acclimated, and full of variation in pattern.

Get Your Glue-Down Vinyl Flooring and More from E Hardwoods & Flooring

No matter what you need for your upcoming project, we’ve got the flooring you need to make it amazing. Shop our huge selection of waterproof flooring and more today!