How to Glue Oak Flooring

Gluing down oak flooring is easier than other methods of installation. The glue down method can be used on almost any sub floor. This method of installation is only recommended for engineered hardwood flooring, and not solid hardwoods because the glue limits the expansion and contraction of solid hardwoods.

Store flooring in the house at least 72 hours before installation to allow the humidity in the floor to equalise with the house.

Clean the floor to remove any oil, grease, dirt, sealer, wax or old adhesives.

Check the sub floor to make sure it is level. The maximum variation in the sub floor is 1/8-of an inch in 10 feet. If it is greater than that you need to level the sub floor with a self levelling compound per labels instructions.

Use a exterior wall, that is running in the same direction you will lay the flooring, to mark on the sub floor in several places the width of two rows of flooring plus 1/8-inch. Use a chalk line on the subfloor's marks to set the flooring's reference line. This insures that the flooring is running straight and parallel to the exterior wall.

Cut and dry fit the first two rows of engineered hardwood oak flooring. Work from the reference line to the wall this will leave a 1/8-inch gap between the wall and the flooring for expansion.

Carefully slide the two rows of flooring away from the wall and trowel the adhesive on the sub floor. Use a notched trowel as specified on the adhesive container to spread a even layer of adhesive up to the reference line.

Install the first two rows of the flooring on the trowelled adhesive. Let the adhesive set before proceeding with the next step. Most adhesives require 30 minutes to set up.

Lay out four rows of flooring staggering the ends of the individual flooring planks so that no two rows are in line with each other. Make all cuts in the flooring planks to notch around obstacles. Dry fit the pieces in place without adhesive to make sure of the fit.

Carefully slide the flooring planks that you have dry fitted together toward the centre of the room. Now trowel the adhesive where the planks were and reassemble them in order while connecting them to the previously set rows of flooring.

Use the tapping block and rubber mallet to tap the flooring plank into the previously installed row of flooring. Make sure all joints are tight using this method.

Apply painters tape every 12-inches to tie two rows of flooring together. Apply the tape perpendicular to the flooring and stagger the tape ever other row.

Repeat steps 8 through 10 until finished.


Wipe up adhesive that gets on the flooring as you work. Check adhesive for directions on cleanup. Use scrap flooring as a tapping block to tap the flooring joints together. This will protect the flooring edges. Do not apply more adhesive than you can install in 1 hour at a time. Use painters tape to tie two rows of flooring together, run it perpendicular to the hardwood flooring to keep it tight while adhesive sets. Apply tape every 24-inches and then stagger the next row tape.


Read the adhesive warnings about ventilation and skin contact.

Things You'll Need

  • Chalk line
  • Floor glue
  • Adhesive trowel
  • Painters tape
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tapping block (a piece of scrap flooring about 6-inches long)
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About the Author

Jim Wildman served in the United States Marine Corps as a Communication Chief for 10 years. After his tour of duty in Desert Storm he attended Oklahoma State University receiving his Bachelor of Architecture. He worked as an architect for 10 years before starting his own design/build company. He began writing in 2009 for Demand Studios and published on eHow.