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Installing hickory 4" floors- glue or nail?

Hi, I hope I can find the answer for this here because this is the first time the internet has failed me!

We are installing 1200 sq ft of 4" prefinished hickory solid 3/4in hardwood (Mullican).  It will be going on the first level of our home, which is above grade.  We currently have tile floors over a plywood subfloor.  The tile and backerboard will be demoed tomorrow. 

We contacted the manufacturer and they recommended gluing and nailing the floor, using a liquid nails type glue in a serpentine pattern on the boards. If we glue down the floor am I correct in assuming we can't use a vapor barrier? 

If we can't use a vapor barrier, will that cause more issues/movement in the floor?

Would it be a bad idea to just nail the floor?

I'm not sure if they recommended this because its a 4" board or because its hickory, but its a little frustrating because on the product page on the manufacturer's website it says nail.  Nothing about glue.


Thank you for any insight/expertise you can offer!


Re: Installing hickory 4" floors- glue or nail?


Are you sure that the manufacture understood that you were talking about the flooring and not the subfloor. I have never heard of gluing solid wood floor to the subfloor. Nailing the wood floor will be more than enough to keep it down. I have heard of gluing down the subfloor to the joists, but not the wood floor to the subfloor.

No, the job of the vapor barrier has nothing to do with the amount of movement that a floor may/will have. It merely keeps a small amount of space between the flooring and subfloor. This allowes for the flooring to not come in direct contact with the subfloor, possibly cauing noise. But if you use a 9 or 11 ply plywood, you will not have noise either. Only particle board causes noise as you walk over the floor. That is due to the fact that particle boards cannot possibly remain straight.

I would call the manufacture and verify with an engineer or someone high up that you both understand what you are trying to ask.


Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

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