1. SITE ASSESSMENT
Although technically “deceased” timber floor is in a sense a “living thing” that requires consideration with respect to the environment in which it is to exist. Care should be taken to provide adequate protection from direct sunlight that may cause discoloration and/or shrinkage, in areas of constant and/or strong sunlight, and avoid constant direct contact with water and/or water sources such as portable evaporative coolers. Climate control and ventilation are very important, especially with new timber floors. Where humidity controls are available, maintain relative humidity between 50-70% otherwise, ensure good ventilation and air flow. Failure to do this can seriously damage your floor and void any warranty. As with all timber flooring, Heka flooring is not suitable for use in bathrooms, WC’s or where radiant concrete floor heating has been installed. As should be the case with other suppliers of timber flooring.
Installer / Owner Responsibility
Defects in hardwood flooring can occur in the manufacturing process or naturally as a characteristic of the wood. Heka hardwood floors are manufactured within accepted industry standards, allowing for up to 5% defective product based on the original hardwood flooring purchase order. Prior to installation, the installer assumes all responsibility for final inspection and quality of the product. Flooring should be carefully examines for finish, and quality. Do not install hardwood flooring that is unacceptable; contact seller immediately. The installer must determine that the job site environment and sub-floor surfaces meet applicable construction and material industry standards. The installer must hold out or cut off defective flooring material during installation. Filler or putty stick may be used to correct minor flooring defects during installation and is considered a normal procedure. Order 5% additional flooring product, above actual area requirements, to allow for cutting and grading of material.
2. BASIC TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES
4d-6d flooring nails
Jamb saw or hand saw
Table saw or band saw
Leading brand of hardwood flooring cleaner
A quality secret nailer designed or adapted specifically to 1819mm hardwood flooring
Quality moisture meter with manufacturer’s relevant exotic species calibration figures
3. HANDLING AND STORAGE
When unloading material at job-site, handle with care. Precautions should be taken when delivering during extreme weather conditions to protect wood from getting wet or picking up moisture. Flooring should not be delivered to job-site unless building has been closed in with outside windows and doors. From the time flooring is delivered, temperature and humidity should be maintained at or near occupancy levels. Prior to installation, flooring should be acclimated to job-site conditions for approximately 4 to 5 days in small lots and stored in rooms where the installation will take place. Make sure that moisture contents between flooring and installation site is stabilised within 1%. The difference between subfloors and hardwood floors cannot exceed 4%.
4. PREPARING THE SUBFLOOR
Remove all moulding around walls and undercut the door architraves and door jambs if required to allow flooring the transition underneath jambs or other objects, you may use a piece of the wood flooring to set the height of the cut.
Solid 18mm flooring is meant for nail down installation only. Approved subfloor should be constructed of plywood (minimum 15mm DC Ply) over wooden joist or secured to the concrete with anchors. When installing over particle board/chipboard it is necessary to apply a minimum of 300g per square meter of the urethane adhesive, given these products don’t have the same structural characteristic of plywood the additional adhesive is required to achieve maximum adhesion. To achieve a successful installtion, the subfloor must be clean and sound before installation begins. Time spent on proper subfloor preparations will be regarded later with trouble-free floors. Subfloor should be level within 3mm over 1.5m in length high areas or joints can be sanded flat. Low spots can be lifted to flat using levelling compounds according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wood subfloors should be dry. Do not install wood flooring over wet or damp surfaces. Screw or nail down any loose spots or places that squeak. Sand and level any high joints. The subfloor must be clean and sound; remove any plaster or products that may created an uneven surface. Sweep and vacuum to remove all dust.
We recommend solid 18mm flooring be installed over a plywood base
Preferred – (18mm) CD Grade Plywood
Minimum – (15mm) CD Grade Plywood, Existing Wood Flooring
5. MOISTURE BARRIER SYSTEM
Sub-Floor Type: Wood/Concrete
A suitable moisture barrier/retardant must be installed over concrete if the concrete is in contact with the ground. If the recommended dryness level cannot be achieved and guaranteed, then installation of quality underlay material is necessary and mandatory. An ideal water vapour barrier, builders’ polythene sheeting 0.2mm thickness (22um) could be laid over the concrete surface. Overlap each sheet by 200m and tape all edges with duct tape. Fold the barrier up the walls. After Heka flooring is laid, trim polythene sheeting to the height of the floor and conceal. Moisture barrier is followed by installation of minimum 15mm CD grade plywood sub-flooring. Allow minimum 0mm expansion space around all vertical objects and 5mm between all plywood panels. Using nylon encased or metal concrete fasteners or anchors. Attach the plywood sub-flooring to concrete with a minimum of one fastener per 30mm. Suspended concrete floors such as in multilevel buildings are considered a suitable substrate for Heka flooring if their moisture content does not exceed 5.5% (relative humidity of 70% is equivalent). As a rule of thumb, a 100mm concrete slab will take approximately 4 months to dry from the time that it is covered (i.e. 25mm per month) however, moisture reading should be taken. Where moisture content measurements are required see AS 1884-1985 for test procedure.
6. LAYOUT AND INSTALLATIONS
An exterior wall is usually the straightest and best reference line to start the installation. Direction of finished flooring should be at right angles to the floor joists whenever possible. Generally, running the flooring in the direction of the longest dimension of the room or building and gives the best appearance. Be sure to rack the floor by laying out four or five rows of flooring end to end in a staggered pattern with end joints at least 100mm apart. Proper placement of the first row of flooring is important. Using a snap-line, establish the working line for a parallel installation by measuring an equal distance from the staring wall at both ends. On the first row of flooring use 6d or 8d flooring nails to top nail=surface to strips and countersink (pre-drilling nail holes will prevent splits). To ensure proper alignment of flooring, make sure the flooring along the working line is straight. Work from several cartons at a time to maximise colour and shade mixture. Allowing for a 12mm-15mm expansion gap is critical. (Depending on the size of the job, a 12mm expansion gap is allowable on areas up to 25 sqm. Wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity and will buckle if an inadequate expansion space is not provided. Always allow for expansion when making end or side cuts around vertical objects. CAUTIONS: it’s extremely important to sue a quality nailer with the appropriate fasteners for installation. Make sure to properly space nails every 250mm – 300mm along the length of the board with a minimum of 2 fasteners per piece. Set the compressor pressure to between 80 to 100 PSI according to the harness of the timber and adjust accordingly using a “practice” board. Check for surface and approximately 200g per square metre of the urethane adhesive.
Secret nails at a 45 degree angle down through the nailing pocket on top of the tongue. If using a secret nailer without an angle adjustment, pieces of felt can be used on the underside of the nailer to raise or lower the angle to the correct position. To minimise damage and glue marks on the surface of the timber during installation, empty cardboard boxes can be laid over the areas already installed.
7. COMPLETING THE JOB
Clean floor with a leading brand of floor cleaner. If floor is to be temporarily covered, use a breathable material such as cardboard or rosin paper. Do not cover with plastic. Finally mop the floor with methylated spirits and warm water, ensuring there is no excess water left on the floor. After cleaning, if the floor shows sign of cloudiness, a smearing of adhesive over the surface may be the cause. An application of fresh methylated spirits may be required.