Installing a plank floor is not an easy task. This is especially true if you want a quality result. However, work can be simplified if you use not an ordinary board, but a grooved one. On its side edges there are grooves and spikes that allow you to connect products to each other according to the principle of the designer. As a result, it is possible to obtain a flat floor without gaps, on the surface of which there is no visual presence of fasteners.
Before starting work, you should ask how to choose the material, lay it, and also replace the failed floorboards if necessary. For example, one of the nuances is the two-stage installation of the board. It lies in the fact that initially you fix only every fourth product. After six months or a year, the floor should be completely tightened, because cracks may form between its elements over time.
What is a tongue and groove board
The grooved floor board is a coveringmaterial, on one edge of which there is a longitudinal groove, and on the other - a tongue. It is also called a crest or spike. When installing the floor, a spike of another is inserted into the groove of one product. The connection is tight and has almost no gaps.
If compared with edged, the grooved front side has a smooth polished surface and does not need additional processing and alignment, during which a planer is usually used in other cases. Looking at the wrong side of the tongue and groove board, you can see that it is unfinished. But special slots for ventilation are provided there. They provide air circulation in the space under the floor and prevent the material from rotting.
If you carry out competent laying and connect the boards to each other, then the gaps will be completely absent. This will prevent squeaks and early wear of the coating. Grooved products have one drawback, which is expressed in a tendency to deformation, or rather swelling and warping. When the humidity constantly changes during operation, the floor can be negatively affected. Deformation should also be expected in the case when an under-dried board was used during the installation process.
Before you purchase a grooved board, you should familiarize yourself with the features of its choice. There will be no problems with the floor if you choose the right wood. The main material can be:
The first two options are the cheapest. The main advantage in this case is the opportunity to save money. Pine and spruce have excellent heat capacity, so floors always feel warm. But if there is a lot of traffic in the room, it is better not to use these breeds. Furniture legs and hard shoes, as well as mechanical impact, can leave noticeable dents on the surface. After laying the floor, it still needs to be varnished.
The grooved board can be made of larch. This material is quite hard and is durable, as well as moisture resistant. The material is very beautiful, has a rich color and has a clear structure. The stage of applying varnish and stain in the case of larch can be abandoned. The hardest and most durable are ash and oak. Wood has a pronounced structure and an attractive shade. Boards from these species are the most durable and reliable, but they are also more expensive than others.
Before you buy lumber, you should pay attention to its dimensions. The length of the boards should ideally match the length of the wall along which the laying will be carried out. Not only the cost, but also the reliability of the coating depends on the thickness.
The grooved board is sold in standard sizes. The length can reach 6 m, and the minimum value is a meter. Width varies from 70 to 200 mm. As for the thickness, it varies from 18 to 45 mm.
Choice of material by quality class
If you want your floor to last as long as possible, then you need to choose boards for it according to the quality class. There are only four of them. The highest class is extra, and the material related to it is also called euro sheet pile. It is more expensive than the rest, has no cracks, knots, has a uniform shade and structure.
If you want to purchase a material that does not have knots and cracks, but allows for some heterogeneity in shade, then you should pay attention to class A, which will be cheaper. There may be single cracks and spots on the surface of the boards if they belong to class B. The grooved floor board may belong to class C. In this case, the material may have multiple knots, single cracks and through holes. Usually boards of this class are used for subflooring.
Material selection by moisture content
The grooved floor board should also be selected taking into account humidity. The ideal indicator is a figure ranging from 12 to 16%. If the boards are poorly dried, then after a while they will certainly deform. The material in this case will be covered with cracks and warp. There will be gaps between the elements, so the floor will have to be re-paved.
Before you start installing the tongue and groove board, you should check its moisture content. For this, a moisture meter is used. If it is not available, then simple evaluation methods can be dispensed with.To do this, tap on the product with your knuckles. If the wood makes a loud, well-audible sound, then it is suitable for the floor, as it is dry enough.
Wet board will sound barely audible, muffled. If you touch such a product, you can feel the dampness. But on a dry board there is no feeling of moisture. When comparing a dry board with a wet one, you will also see a difference in color. If the material has passed high-quality industrial drying, then after such processing it acquires a noticeable shine, but wet products remain matte. There must be no condensation inside the packaging film. Moisture indicates excessive moisture.
Which base is better to use as a draft
When you have measured the room and decided which dimensions of the grooved board are best to choose, you can start work. But first you need to familiarize yourself with the features of the technology, which say which rough base is better to use for installation. Perfect for this:
- concrete floors;
- wooden joists;
- old wooden floor;
- moisture resistant plywood;
- Low grade tongue and groove boards.
If we are talking about logs, then they are fixed on top of any coating, it can be a wooden floor, plywood or screed. Sometimes logs are laid on brick supports. An excellent foundation can be concrete floors, arranged according to the principle of pouring a screed. If we are talking about plywood, it is better to choose its moisture resistant variety.
Insteadlow-grade tongue and groove products, other lumber can be used. The ideal option would be to lay a tongue-and-groove larch board on pre-fixed logs. They allow you to achieve high-quality screed products during installation and eliminate deformation.
What will be required for the work
To assemble the grooved floor, you need to prepare:
- self-tapping screws;
The example uses fixed lags as the basis. Self-tapping screws can be replaced with nails. When choosing staples, you can purchase stops or wedges. A screw jack will also work.
Leg mounting technology
Laying should be carried out in two stages. First, the boards are partially fastened, for this only four boards are fixed in each row. After 6 months or a year, the floor should be re-layed, when each product is fixed thoroughly. These measures are necessary, as the boards shrink, as a result of which small gaps appear between them.
Laying the grooved board should start from the wall. The first row is mounted in such a way that the spike faces the wall and is 15 mm away from it. A self-tapping screw is used as a fastener. Subsequent boards are connected according to the tenon-groove principle. Every 4th or 5th board is riveted and fixed to the logs using self-tapping screws or nails. They are installed at an angle of 45˚. The last row is attached from the side of the wall, like the first. screw headmust be covered with a skirting board.
Installation of the first board
The first board should be perfectly flat. Its length should be equal to the length of the wall. The plank is spiked against the wall, allowing the wood to expand with moisture and temperature. The gap is further covered with a plinth.
The first dry tongue-and-groove board is fixed as tightly as possible. To do this, you need a self-tapping screw, which is screwed vertically. It must pass through the entire thickness into each lag. Instead of self-tapping screws, you can use nails that are hammered into the log and the board. The following products are located next to the previous one.
Through the bar, which will act as a gasket, it is necessary to put a groove on the tongue with a hammer blow. The following three boards are mounted according to the same principle, there is no need to strengthen them. At the bottom of the groove of the fourth board, you need to make a hole at an angle of 45˚. Self-tapping screws are screwed into the holes. Such fastening is temporary and involves re-laying the floor.
Collection of subsequent products
To tightly rally the boards during fastening, you can use one of several methods, among them:
- staples and wedges;
- emphasis and wedges;
- wedge clamp;
- screw jack.
In the first case, stepping back from the board 15 cm, it is necessary to hammer a bracket into the log. A wooden spacer is applied to the board, which is a piece of board. Its length should be 60 cm. Wedges are knocked down between the bracket and the gasket. They will be opposite each other.friend and will be turned with sharp ends. By hitting the free ends of the wedges, you can pull the boards together. The tongues will fit tightly into the grooves, and there will be no gaps left. After that, self-tapping screws are installed.
If you want to use wedges and an emphasis for rallying, then the work will be similar to the previous method. The only difference is that wooden stops will be used instead of staples. They are ordinary bars or a board, which is fixed to the logs with screws or nails. The step from the top of the stop to the board should be equal to the total thickness of the narrow parts of the two wedges.
If you want to use a screw jack, a support board must be nailed at some distance from the floorboards to be laid. The heel of the jack rests on it, which is located along the log. The floorboard is pulled together without cutting the board, which acts as a spacer.
Installing the last row
The thickness of the grooved board was discussed above. The cost and quality of the result depends on this value. This also applies to technology compliance. At the final stage, it is necessary to lay the last row. The board in it is located in its place, and then a wedge is hammered between the wall and the product.
Fixing the board
Once the board is strengthened, it can be pulled together with a self-tapping screw through the entire thickness. The wedge is then removed. If the grooved floor board is not suitable in size, or rather, has a large width, then it must be cut along with a circular saw. Leave a gap of 15 mm between the board and the wall.
Although tongue-and-groove floors are quite reliable, damage to one or more boards may occur during their operation. Products can be removed from the common monolith and replaced with new ones. To do this, the ridges are cut with a circular saw, which is equipped with a blade with a rounded end. An alternative may be an electric jigsaw or a hacksaw with a narrow blade.
Groove flooring is very popular due to its resistance to external damage, attractive appearance and easy installation process. A non-grooved product is almost never used, because the fragments are joined end-to-end, and during operation they are quickly deformed. Gaps appear between products.
The main difference between the described material is the presence of a longitudinal protrusion, which is located on the edge. The tongue is called that, and its configuration and dimensions allow it to fit tightly into the grooves located on the edge of the 2nd board.