How to Install 19mm Solid Hardwood Strip Flooring


Prepare the subfloor

AS 1684.2 requires 180mm boards to be face nailed. Subfloor preparation described as above should be followed.

Plywood or battens

The use of battens can compensate for any concrete level fluctuations if they are minor.

19mm battens can be used for secret nailing, while 35mm battens should be used for top nailing.

Lay each batten 450mm apart from each other atop a plastic membrane at a 90 degree angle to the new floor’s direction.

Use masonite packing or plywood to adjust levels, and employ masonry anchors to attach the battens to the slab.

Kiln-dried hardwood battens are recommended. This provides a high nail hold. Alternatively, you can fix 15mm minimum thickness plywood sheeting to your concrete slab. Ensure a minimum 200-micro plastic membrane has been applied first.

Top nailing is not applicable for this application. Additionally, AS/NZS 22569 – Part 0-compliant plywood must be used for this method.

Joists and bearers

Existing joints need to be subject to inspection to ensure they are structurally sound before attempting to install new timber floor materials.

Your subfloor must be sufficiently vented and clearance between flooring and ground must meet minimum requirements set out by the BCA. Air circulation should encompass all four sides of the dwelling. The floor frame level needs to be appropriate for strip flooring installation. 

Your builder or floor contractor needs to verify this before installation. However, there are alternative methods you can employ, with the most commonly used being to place a 3-meter minimum straight edge on the top of the joists for assessing any high and low members. If too low, these joists can be packed; if too high, they can be planed down.

However, these joists must not be reduced in size below standards set out in AS1684. This also applies to so-called crippled joints that have been cut through over a support to reduce bowing in timber.

Existing Hardwood Flooring

When laying 19mm strip flooring material over an existing timber floor, ensure that the existing boards aren’t cupped or warped and they are otherwise sound. Sanding to even the surface is recommended when necessary.

Uneven existing boards may require removal of these boards completely, laying new boards on the joists instead. 19mm solid strip floorboards can be used with a polyurethane adhesive and then fixed at right angles to the existing flooring. 

If running new floorboards along the same direction of the existing floor, place a plywood layer between the two. This plywood must be in compliance with AS/NZS 2269 – Part 0.