Installation Guidelines and Recommended Maintenance Procedures
Owner/Installer should carefully inspect material prior to installation. Wood is a natural product and as such will contain variations in grain, color and individual characteristics from board to board. Materials installed with visible defects are not covered by warranty. Any unacceptable material should be returned in full to the vendor. Rejection of material must be done on the full shipment of product, not box-by-box or piece-by-piece. Our flooring is manufactured within accepted industry standards, which allow grading deficiencies not to exceed 5%. It is recommended to add 5% – 10% to order quantities to allow for grading deficiencies and installation waste .II. Acceptable Jobsite Conditions
Wood flooring is one of the last jobs of any construction project. Prior to delivery of the wood flooring a site evaluation should be done. Check for and ensure the following:
-The building should be completely enclosed.
-All outside doors and windows must be in place and have latching mechanisms
-Surface drainage should direct water away from the building.
-All concrete, masonry, plastering, painting drywall, and other wet work should be completed and thoroughly dry.
-All texturing and painting primer coats should be completed.
In warm months, the building must be well ventilated each day. Be sure the flooring will not be exposed to extremes of humidity, heat or moisture. Interior humidity should be between 35% and 55% and maintained to prohibit product being exposed to extreme conditions Basements must be dry. Crawl spaces must be dry. Crawl space must be a minimum of 18” (400 MM) from ground to underside of joists. The crawl space earth (or thin “rat slab”) must be covered 100% by a vapor retarder of 6 mil black polyethylene.Where a proper ground covering is in place, the crawl space should have perimeter venting equal to a minimum of .1600 of the crawl space square footage.
Vents should be properly located to foster cross ventilation.The grade level should be noted so that the correct flooring can be specified for the job. Subfloor (wood or concrete) should be checked by an appropriate method for establishing moisture content. For concrete slabs moisture should not exceed 3lbs/1000sqft per 24 hours on a calcium chloride test or 85% on an RH test. Plywood or wood subfloors should be tested with a pin meter and should be within 4% of the flooring moisture content prior to install. Where the minimum jobsite conditions are present, the flooring can be delivered and stored in the rooms in which it will be installed.Upon delivery check wood flooring moisture content to establish a baseline for required acclimation.
Acclimation can be facilitated by breaking the floor units into small lots and opening packaging. Acclimation of multiply flooring products should be monitored to avoid bowing of planks prior to installation. Where building codes allow, operating permanent HVAC systems at least five days preceding installation promotes proper acclimation. Where building codes do not allow operation of the permanent system, acclimation of the flooring must be completed with the temperature and humidity maintained at or near normal living conditions between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and at the average yearly relative humidity for the area.Interior environmental conditions and moisture content of interior wood materials must be maintained between 35% and 55% relative humidity.
Extra caution should be used installing flooring in dry environments and regions. Please note that our flooring products while more stable than traditional wood flooring cannot withstand exposure to extremely dry moisture conditions. For this reason please note that monitored acclimation must take place in a controlled and maintained environment within certain temperature and humidity ranges (see section II. Acceptable Jobsite Conditions). HVAC should be in place and operating to facilitate this control. In new construction, humidity may need to be added with the careful use of humidifiers to simulate normal living conditions. Failure to follow these instructions will void all warranties.
Certain species do not perform well over radiant heat. Denser species such as hickory, maple, Brazilian cherry (Jatoba), Tigerwood, and Santos mahogany do not perform well and are not warranted over radiant heat. Species such as red oak,
walnut, and rift & quartered white oak are more stable and will perform better over radiant. However, be aware, this dry heat can shrink any flooring during drier months and gaps may be seen in between planks. All interiors, regardless of heating system, must be maintained within our recommended interior relative humidity range of 35% – 55% for successful installation. For warranty information specific to radiant heat installations please contact Flooring Supply Outlet
-Sanding, cutting and machining wood products can produce wood dust. Airborne dust particles can cause respiratory, eye and skin irritation. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies wood dust as a nasal carcinogen in humans.
-Power tools should be equipped with a dust collector. If high dust levels are unavoidable and appropriate NIOSH-approved dust mask should be used. Avoid contact with eye and skin.
-First Aid- In case of irritation, flush eyes or skin with water for at least 15 minutes.
Please ensure proper maintenance procedures and products are used. Some flooring lines require natural oil care and some will require urethane-friendly cleaners. Use of inappropriate cleaners could damage finish and void warranty. WARNING: Not all products marketed as wood floor cleaner are appropriate for your specific floor finish.
DO NOT SAND
Any existing resilient tile, sheet vinyl flooring, or flooring felt as they may contain asbestos fibers that are not readily identifiable. Inhalation of asbestos dust can cause serious bodily harm. Check local, state, and federal laws for handling hazardous material before attempting the removal of these floors.
Inspect the Flooring
Inspect material for color, finish, milling, and grade. Hold out pieces that may not be acceptable once installed.
Undercut Door Casings
Undercut all door casings 1/16″ higher than the thickness of the flooring being installed. To do this, use a scrap piece of flooring as a guide. Lay it on the substrate and cut the casing with a handsaw or use a power jamb saw set at the correct height.
Blending of Cartons
To achieve a uniform appearance across the entire floor, we highly recommend that you open and work from several cartons at a time and dry-lay the flooring, mixing the planks from several cartons. This will allow you to blend the planks for maximum aesthetic appearance. Make certain the room is well lit to ensure color is consistent and that any visual defects can be seen and removed.
Match Transition Moldings
For best appearance blend all transitions and moldings to planks that have similar color and graining. Set them aside for use as needed.
Layout of Flooring
“Racking the Floor” is essential to achieve a random appearance. Start by either using random-length planks found in the carton or by cutting four or five planks in random lengths, differing by at least six inches. As you continue working
across the floor try to maintain a six-inch minimum between end joints. Randomly install different lengths to avoid a patterned appearance. Never waste materials; the end cuts from starter rows should be used at the opposite side of the room to complete rows or used to start the next row.
Expansion space around the perimeter is required and should be equal to the thickness of the flooring material.
For floating installation the minimum is ½” regardless of the thickness of the material. For commercial installations use a minimum of ½” expansion.
- Concrete Subfloors
- Wood Subfloors
- Ceramic Tile and Terrazzo
- Resilient Tiles, Sheet Vinyl
- Nail/ Staple Down Only
- Glue Down Only
Subfloor must be flat, meeting a minimum of 3/16” within 10’ or 1/8” in 6’.
Concrete subfloors – Grind high spots or use a cement based leveling material (minimum compressive strength 3000 psi) to fill all low spots. Follow the leveling compound manufacturer’s instruction. Leveling compounds must be allowed to thoroughly cure and dry prior to installation of wood flooring.
Wood subfloors – For staple down application use layers of 15lb. felt or wooden shims to fill low spots. Staples must be able to penetrate for holding power.
Concrete slabs should be of high compressive strength and constructed to prevent groundwater from permeating the concrete. Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed on, above, or below-grade. In addition, it can be installed over above-ground, suspended concrete floors. The suspended concrete must be a minimum of 1 1/2 inches thick and must be structurally sound. The exception to this is lightweight concrete (which usually contains high amounts of gypsum) having a density of 100 pounds or less per cubic foot. Test for lightweight concrete by using a nail to scratch the surface of the concrete. If the concrete crumbles or turns to powder, it is not sound and you should NOT install the hardwood flooring. If there is any question about concrete porosity or strength it is recommended to glue down one plank, let adhesive set for 24 hours and then pry the plank loose. If any concrete comes up with the plank, do not install.
Preferred Subflooring: ¾” (23/32”, 18.3 mm) CDX grade Plywood subfloor/ underlayment (Exposure 1), 4’x8’ sheets or ¾” (23/32”, 18.3mm) OSB subfloor/ underlayment grade, PS2 rated, sealed side down, with joist spacing of 19.2” (475) on center or less.
Minimum Subflooring: 5/8” (19/32, 15.1mm) CDX Plywood subfloor/ underlayment (Exposure 1), 4’x8’ sheets, maximum 16” on center joist construction. Follow panel manufacturer’s recommendations for spacing and fastening.
Typical panel spacing and fastening for joist systems, 1/8” (3.2mm) around perimeter and fastened every 6” (150mm) on bearing edges and every 12”(300mm) along intermediate supports.
Installation of flooring should not be made over joists spacing greater than 19.2 on center or parallel to the joists unless the subfloor has been properly strengthened, applying a second layer of underlayment may be necessary to bring the overall subfloor thickness to 1-1/8”.
-Test the moisture content of the wood subfloor and wood flooring with a pin type moisture meter. Wood subfloors must not exceed 13% and the wood flooring should be within 4% of the wood subfloor.
-If using existing wood floor as subfloor, install new flooring at right angles to the existing flooring.
-Do not glue, staple, or nail down hardwood flooring over particle board.
-Do not install over existing glue down hardwood floors.
All wax and sealers must be removed with an appropriate cleaner/stripper. Ceramic tile and terrazzo should be abraded to allow for proper adhesion. Check for loose tiles by tapping and re-adhere. Fill grout lines with a cementitious latex fortified leveling compound.
Material must be full spread and secured to the subfloor. Do not install over perimeter glued floors. Do not install over more than one layer that exceeds 1/8” in thickness.
If old flooring is unsuitable to install new flooring then overlay with new underlayment. Test to conclude that the staples/ cleats are able to properly penetrate and secure the flooring to the subfloor.
Do not install over more than one layer that exceeds 1/8” in thickness. Clean flooring with an appropriate cleaner and allow to thoroughly dry. If necessary degloss the floor using an abrasive pad to enhance the bonding of the adhesive, if wax or other coatings are present, completely remove the material with a quality stripper, rinse the floor and allow to dry. Always check for proper adhesion bond prior to installing.