Glued Down Hardwood Floor Problems? [Extensive Guide]

This page contains affiliate links and we earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of the links, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Gluing down a hardwood floor to the subfloor is the preferred method of installation. An underlay can be laid over the top of engineered hardwood floors for a more streamlined look.

If you decide to install your hardwood floor, you may either use flexible flooring glue to achieve a full surface bond or covertly nail your floor straight to the subfloor if you decide to fix it into place.

The subfloor is the most important consideration when deciding on a method. Hardwood should be glued down on a concrete subfloor; on a wooden subfloor, you have a choice in how it is installed.

In order to secure the hardwood floor to the joists, you will need to use secret nails. A 12mm expansion gap around the perimeter of the room is always a good rule of thumb when installing hardwood flooring, regardless of how it is laid.

Here we will discuss the problems with glued hardwood so that you can make up your mind about whether you should use it or not.

class=”gb-headline gb-headline-273a0c2a gb-headline-text”>Reasons For Glueing Hardwood Floor

You can consider gluing hardwood flooring because it allows the wood to expand and compress without cracking throughout the installation process.

In order to avoid lifting, your flooring must be able to adjust without any hassle, even if it is made of hardwood. Bad prep and poor installation are two of the most common causes of cracked and rising hardwood flooring.

The majority of the time, floor glue is simple to apply and sets in a day or two.

Type Of Glue To Be Used For Hardwood Floors

Urethane adhesive is the glue of choice for installing hardwood floors. When you use urethane glue, your hardwood can contract and expand easily since it has elastomeric qualities.

As previously indicated, once the glue on your floor has dried, it must be allowed to move and settle. In addition, urethane adhesives are easy to clean and get rid of if you make a mistake with your flooring.

Process Of Gluing Down Hardwood Flooring

This is a reasonably simple method for individuals who want to glue down their own hardwood flooring. To begin, here are a few things:

  • Smooth, clean, and dry subfloors are a must.
  • Wipe out your hardwood before putting it in its final location.
  • Before applying any glue or adhesive, make sure your flooring is taped or held in place.
  • To avoid mistakes and harm to the subfloor, only glue down the wood at a time.
  • For 30 to 60 seconds, press and hold down on your glued wood floor.
  • Prior to using your newly glued hardwood flooring, allow it to dry.

Glued Down Hardwood Floor Problems

Wood flooring planks can be glued down rather than nailed, making it a preferred technique of installation. You can easily stagger the boards on the underlayment of flooring, such as tile, because of its difficulties leveling.

In some cases, nailing down the boards instead of gluing them down may be preferable to prevent some of the difficulties of the hardwood floor. Glued-down hardwood flooring is plagued by the following issues:

Unusual Gaps

It’s common for wood flooring to shift. Properly installed flooring will hold together tightly during the rainy season and may show gaps during the dry season.

Flooring that is too moist when it is laid might cause abnormal gaps, but they can also be caused by laying flooring in regions that are too dry.

Working in homes heated by woodstoves, which produce a dry indoor climate, I’ve encountered flooring with anomalous gaps caused by floorboards being laid right overheating ducts.

To fix a gap in a floor, you need to look at how it affects the overall appearance of the room rather than how wide it is. During the wettest months of the year, when atypical gaps are at their lowest, perform repairs.

To prevent a floor from buckling when it expands, it’s best to patch gaps while they’re narrowest to avoid leaving too little space between planks.

In addition, never repair a gap using wood filler. Instead, Use slivers of wood that is glued to the floorboards’ edges to create a repair.

Applying glue solely to a single side of the sliver prevents you from gluing any other boards together.


Wetter bottom boards have more cupped edges than dry ones. Wide plank flooring is more cupping-prone, but it occurs on strip flooring.

The most common cause of cupping is a moist basement or crawlspace. This can be done by installing a vapor retarder in between the floors and the subfloor, but it should not be depended on as a long-term solution to moisture issues.

As long as the moisture problem is fixed, cupped flooring may often be leveled In other cases, the floor may deform permanently.

It is necessary to sand a floor that doesn’t lie flat if the moisture at the bottom and top boards is more than 1%. Use a moisture meter to examine the board’s bottom on the sub-floor.

As soon as the edges of the cupped floor dry, the boards may have crowned.


The hardwood planks might detach from the subfloor due to a process known as buckling. When the hardwood planks are not adequately acclimated or the subfloor is saturated, this issue will arise.

The most common causes of hardwood floor buckling are incorrect installation and damage from water. Buckling can be attributed to the following:

  • Inadequate adhesive
  • Water damage
  • Improper glue distribution
  • Subfloor contamination

Make sure to inspect the subfloor for buckling as well, as this indicates that the problem is transmitted from there. Your wood planks begin to buckle under the weight of the pressure exerted on them.


To put it another way, “crowning” is not cupping. Convex floorboards will be visible on each individual board. There is a noticeable difference in height between the boards’ edges and the middle.

If you apply glue improperly prior to placing the planks on the base, you may end up with crowning. Moisture imbalance, natural shrinkage on the wood, poor drainage, and inadequate humidity control system throughout the building can all cause it.


As the floor was polluted or insufficiently treated before the application of the finish, the finish peels. If you use a lot of high-grit sandpaper, you risk burnishing the wood and making it too smooth to stay adhered to.

It is possible to produce peeling by abrading between finish applications, using an incompatible finish, or by applying a top coat to a floor that is still wet or damp.

However, the most typical reason for flaking is the residue of stain that hasn’t been removed from the floor prior to putting the final coat of finish.

Remove excess stain within three minutes of application and allow the floor to dry completely before putting the finish. If you want to darken the wood, don’t use repeated applications of stain.

An old peeling floor can be revived by sanding it down completely and starting over with new finishing. The problem may not be solved by abrading the floor and then putting a new topcoat.

Because they soak into the pores of the surface, cleaning products like wax, oil, and furniture polish might prevent the new coat from adhering properly.


The glue used to install hardwood flooring must be meticulously evened out to ensure a clean and level appearance. Even when using the proper tools, high spots might form at the place where too much glue has accumulated. As a result, the glued-down wood floor will be uneven.

Final Verdict

Glue is a need whether you perform the installation of hardwood flooring on a daily basis or are just getting started. One of the best solutions for hardwood flooring is urethane glue, which lasts between ten and twenty years.

If you’re using glue, ensure sure it has enough time to harden and dry before using it. If you have a lot of traffic or a lot of furniture, we recommend using traditional glue for tongue and groove flooring.

Regardless of your degree of ability, sand down the subfloor and allow your glue to dry before moving on to the next step.

Leave a Comment

Explore Us

Follow Us On:

About Us

House Whirl Logo White has a team of professional industry experts to help you find guides on painting, finishing, flooring, bathroom & kitchen to make your home look stunning. We have tested, researched & written hundreds of buying guides to help you select the top-notch & affordable products out there!

Disclosure is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to