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Installation methods

To ensure that you get the best out of your floor, it is important that it is correctly fitted, finished and maintained.

Russwood Oak Flooring installation

Note: Parquet and Chevron flooring should be fitted with the fully bonded method.

What is the best installation method for your subfloor?

Fully bondedSemi-floatingBonded acousticSecret nail
Screed with UFH
Screed without UFH
Joists / Battens
Existing timber floor

Fully bonded method

Tovcol MS Wood Floor Adhesive can be used to affix flooring directly to screed, plywood or existing wooden floors, giving a secure bond to the subfloor and a solid feel underfoot whilst enabling natural seasonal movement. 

Coverage: 15m2 per tub when applied with the supplied trowel.

Key advantages

  • Suitable for use with underfloor heating allowing maximum heat transfer
  • Solid feel underfoot – no bounce
  • High performance bond remains flexible, in order to enable seasonal expansion and contraction of the boards
  • Early quick grab allows working on the newly installed floor, without boards slipping or the need for tape
  • Excellent workability & very easy to extrude
  • Compliant to stringent environmental standards
  • 100% Solvent-free formula
  • Moisture resistant
  • Easy surface clean up
  • Virtually odourless

Tover Sigil MS gives the same high performance, flexible bond as Tover Tovcol MS Wood Floor Adhesive and is useable with a mastic applicator.

This makes it ideal for bonding stairs, profiles and skirting boards.

Tover Sigil MS

Tover Primer PU100 is a low viscosity polyurethane resin-based primer, solvent free and odourless. It can be used as waterproofi­ng (up to 5% R.H.) and consolidating agent or to obtain synthetic mortars if mixed with sand. Suitable also on underfloor heating systems.

1 coat system – Primes screed and promotes adhesion. Coverage 80m2

2 coat system – DPM. Coverage 30m2

Flooring should be fitted within 24 hours of application of Tover Primer PU100.

Key advantages

  • Consolidating and water-proofing action (max.5% Rex.H.)
  • Odourless and hypoallergenic
  • Ready to use
  • Solvent free
  • Suitable on any absorbent subfloor
  • Suitable for use on underfloor heating

Secret nail method

Nailing is the traditional form of laying a wooden floor, and is more cost-effective and potentially less messy than using a flexible adhesive. However, once the floor has been laid there is no flexibility in it, and this can mean that there can be occasional squeak in the boards (this is unlikely when using flexible adhesive).

Acoustalay 250 is a high quality, physically cross-linked polyolefin foam underlay which provides a barrier between the flooring and the subfloor. It can be used on top of a solid subfloor to level any small variations in height and also to reduce contact sound.

Key advantages

  • Shock insulation
  • Takes out unevenness in the subfloor
  • Increases the serviceable life of your real wood floor
  • Dust free
  • Lightweight, therefore easy to lift and manoeuvre
  • Quick and easy to cut and install

For laying solid boards up to 180mm in width we would recommend secret nailing at 400mm centres through the tongue of the board using a flooring nail gun and serrated flooring nails. T- shaped serrated flooring nails are compatible with Porta-Nailer Hardwood Floor Nailer. Please contact us to find out more about hiring a Portanailer Nail Gun.

When fixing into joists or battens fixed to the surface of the subfloor using screws or nails, the guidance on span centres for domestic and residential use is given in BS8201.

The span table (see below) is suitable for domestic or residential use. Spans for commercial environments will be smaller depending on the severity and type of trafficking regime the floor will be subjected to in service.

Maximum batten spans for sports halls and gymnasiums etc should be no greater than 300mm.

Finished board thickness (mm)Maximum span (centre to centre, mm)

Semi floating method

Acoustalay 300 Adhesive is a high quality, cross-linked polyolefin foam underlay which represents a versatile solution designed for use on any smooth subfloor. The floor is adhered to the underlay, rather than the subfloor, and renders the use of screws, nails, glue or clips as unnecessary during the laying process. If laid on a concrete subfloor a separate vapour barrier should be used.

Key advantages

  • No permanent bond or damage to subfloor
  • Good compression recovery
  • Suitable for use with subfloor embedded underfloor heating
  • Thermal insulation
  • Impact and airborne sound insulation
  • No odour
  • Mess free  

Bonded acoustic method

Acoustalay 250 Slatted underlay is a high quality, fire retardant, cross-linked polyolefin foam underlay enables floor to be glued directly to the subfloor using Tover Sigil MS. The pre-cut slots ensure minimum adhesive is used, while Acoustalay provides for perfect spot levelling.

Key advantages

  • Sound dampening effect against footfall, useful for apartments
  • Permanently elastic
  • Quick application
  • Low adhesive consumption
  • Good compression recovery
  • Suitable for use with embedded underfloor heating systems
  • Fire retardant foam
  • Thermal insulation

We recommend that double sided tape is used to ensure the correct positioning of the underlay. If laid on a concrete subfloor a separate vapour barrier should be used.

A note on floating floors

A floating floor is a floor which is not fixed to the subfloor. In our experience, floating flooring leaves the floor susceptible to movement and creates a bouncy, hollow feel underfoot.

Flooring should not be floated over underfloor heating systems.

As an alternative, Acoustalay 250 Adhesive can be used to ‘semi-float’ the floor.

General advice