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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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  1.  
    I have some lovely T&G floorboards from an old building. I'd like to glue the joints to make a floating floor on a cork underlay, mainly for sound. But I'd like to be able to recover them at some point in the future without ruining the tongues. Is there a glue that is sufficiently strong, but not insanely strong that it will be impossible to remove them without breaking them?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018
     
    Ah-ha a strong but weak glue?
    By glueing the joints you are fighting the inevitable, often irregular, seasonal movement that occurs with solid wood floors.
    It seems you are trying to get a close, gap free but floating, effect; how do you propose to cramp the joints tight until the glue, any glue, sets?
    Ratchet cramps and wedging against the opposite wall may be solutions but not without difficulty.
    • CommentAuthormike7
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018
     
    How about laying strips of fabric on the cork at rt angles to the intended run of the boards and glueing the boards down with just a minimum dab of glue where they cross the tapes? No glue on the T&G area at all.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018
     
    Secret nail the boards to a ply underlayer.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018
     
    You're exactly right Tom, nailing boards to a wood subfloor using a flooring nailer is arguably the traditional and the best method for fixing solid flooring as it allows seasonal movement. The barbed nails are unforgiving when it comes to removal however, and they will pull straight through the tongues.
    Floating floors using engineered flooring is fine as the boards are straight and true. Re-cycled flooring may be difficult to start with in that respect. If they're less than perfect you'll be fighting all the imperfections inherent in them, trying to pull the joints tight, let alone glue them as C.o.P suggests. With such floorboards nailing is again the best option as the action of using the nailer drives the boards tight, and also less bounce/squeaking than "iffy" floating floors can often be.
    C.o.P Didn't say what the sub floor was.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018
     
    My engineered wood floor only squeaks where it looks like we didn't put enough glue on the T&G. Was secret nailed to "joists".
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018
     
    That can happen where the joists are out of alignment either; slightly up/down, or; slightly tilted in relation to it's neighbour, or; a joist which may have worked a bit loose, creating bounce.
  2.  
    Posted By: owlmanThe barbed nails are unforgiving when it comes to removal however, and they will pull straight through the tongues.

    As a point about secret nailing, should you nail into the inside of the groves or through the top of the tongue?

    With respect to removing the floor later (moving house??:bigsmile:) if some damage was done to the tongues, providing it was not extensive and it was just nails pulling through and not great shards of tongue pulled off then it probably wouldn't matter too much.

    Oh I've just re-read the OP. there is a proposal for a cork underlay so any nailing would have to go through the cork as well - and what is under the cork?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018
     
    Hi Peter, I use a a Porta nailer, the shoe fits over the tongue and drives the nail @ 45 degrees right into the corner, so part of the nail goes through the body of the board itself, if removed, it can tear off large chunks of the board. The nails are long triangular with barbs on the sides, a bit like cut brads only longer and they grip like a solicitor onto your wallet.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2018 edited
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_Hungarythere is a proposal for a cork underlay so any nailing would have to go through the cork as well
    The cork cd go under the ply.
  3.  
    Posted By: owlmanHi Peter, I use a a Porta nailer, the shoe fits over the tongue and drives the nail @ 45 degrees right into the corner, so part of the nail goes through the body of the board itself, if removed, it can tear off large chunks of the board. The nails are long triangular with barbs on the sides, a bit like cut brads only longer and they grip like a solicitor onto your wallet.

    If there really is a need to remove the boards in the future then perhaps less aggressive nails could be used. (with an attendant risk of some movement).
    • CommentAuthorBeau
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2018
     
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2018
     
    I also use my 16ga. and occasionally 18Ga air nailer for difficult spots wax filling afterwards where necessary. I sometimes surface fix with counter-bored screws with plugs.
    Yes the nails are aggressive and tight fixing which is exactly what they are designed for, they are also designed not to split the tongue. The anvil in the nailer drives them below the surface, and the action of striking the board edge with the hefty hammer first on an offcut, an then on the nailer striker, closes the boards beautifully.
    There are many ways to fix wood flooring but I do like using the nailer, I find it quick, with no messy adhesives and creative cramping and good end results. The last 2 jobs I did however was engineered flooring glued onto a concrete sub floor and I'm really pleased with the results, but quite a bit of prep work to do the job right.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2018
     
    Brilliant Beau.

    owlman, isn't the problem with nails at removal time, in this special case?
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2018
     
    Yup; I believe that's what I said. In short yer pays yer money...etc................ If you float the floor with anything but good flat straight boards to start with you'll more than likely end up with problems, IMO. I've no idea what the re-cycled boards are like, or even what the wood species they are, so it's all a bit hypothetical..

    Beau:
    I've used those lost head type screws on decking. With softwood the wood to some extent closes over the smaller screw head when its driven just below the surface, but the driver head does kind of create a csk which spoils the effect. There are other alternatives I've used for similar effect.
    • CommentAuthorBeau
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2018
     
    If your sold on glue hide glue is reversible with water. The point of T & G though is to allow expansion and shrinkage of the individual boards but keeping continuous cover and alignment. Glueing negates this so your whole floor will expand and shrink as one which could mean a lot of movement on a wide floor as you can get seasonal movement in excess of 1% across a boards width.
  4.  
    Thanks everyone, this is very helpful. I was thinking of weak glue so that the floor would float (for sound) and so that the timber can be recovered. I feel its wasteful to put beautiful materials into a house in a way that they cannot be recovered / recycled later.

    Beau's tongue screws sound excellent, though I wonder whether they allow footsteps etc to be conducted to the floors below?
  5.  
    something like this would do ,
    its sticks well but once you get an edge up up can pull them up easy and it scraps of quite well as it sort of rolls up , but would be time consuming cleaning
    https://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/accessories/lumberjack-650-floor-adhesive-14kg
  6.  
    Thanks a lot @jamesingram. It sounds like you have a bit of experience with this? Sound promising, and the sound deadening is an additional bonus.
  7.  
    Posted By: ComeOnPilgrim

    Beau's tongue screws sound excellent


    We used them for oak floorboards in the cottage renovation about 6 or so years ago. Very pleased with the results as they pulled the boards tight due to the 45degree angle. Looks like they could be removed easily for reuse. I can’t recall if we had to remove any during the process but we probably did.
    They were recommended by (and sold by) the supplier of the floorboards and so we bought them at the same time.
  8.  
    Thanks @Dominic! Was this on the ground floor or upper floors? If the latter, was it noisy below when people walked on it? And do the boards squeak together at all?
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