UFH and wooden flooring: it's all in the preparation!
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Do you like the taste of a bargain?

This week we had the following conversation (by email, through our "Ask Personal Advice" system).

Question: I am a DIY-er who has laid a solid wood floor onto timber batons successfully (secret nailing 15 years ago and no problems). I have also laid a couple of floating laminated floors successfully.

However, I have been asked to lay a solid oak floor onto a concrete base. The boards are of variable lengths from 400mm to 1000mm. I have only seen one pack opened and it contained 17 @ 400mm, 4 @ 500, 4 @ 800, 4 @ 900 and 6 @ 1000mm. What would be the best method of laying the floor. Would Elastilon self adhesive underlay be OK.

I am concerned that there are a lot of small pieces. What is the minimum overlap of the boards? Thank you.

Our answer:

You are absolutely right, this type of product (cheap offer?) should not be installed floating. Due to the many short lengths it will have many too close together joints (300mm apart is the minimum when dealing with a "normal floor that has all long length, but a lot of 400mm long boards does not make it better)
You're best bet is indeed Elastilon, giving it the best support. You have to install a DPM first (sheet) because the Elastilon does not contain one.

On which we received the following reply:

Hi Karin,
Thanks for the advice you gave. The floor is for my brother-in-law and I have told him that I am not happy doing the job, because of all the small pieces. I don't think it would look very good, even if Elastilon solves the problem of it being unstable.

I would prefer him to take it back and buy engineered wood with a real oak surface and all of the same length. His problem is buying this for the same bargain price he paid for the oak.

Thanks again.

We know it is the best advice he can give his brother-in-law and these stories always remind us of one of our favourite quotes:

“The bitter taste of poor quality remains much longer than the sweet taste of a low price.”

Buyer beware, cheap offers are often just that: cheap with 9 times out of 10 an awful end-result.
Good quality wooden floors will give you value for money for a very long time and will be your trusted assistant during the installation.

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