Solid Wood Floors Laying Instructions
The flooring boards should keep in their original packaging until ready to be laid. This will prevent the product from humidity and damage before installation. Each board should be carefully examined before installation in order to make sure that it is in acceptable condition as no claims relating to surface defects can be accepted after installation.
Before commencing work, ensure that the floor will fit under doors, as well as the skirting board.
Remember, it is the most important steps for the successful installation and performance of solid wood floor to modify and maintain the site conditions. Check if the heating or cooling is set within the usual temperature range. Material should be on the job site for more than 48 hours before being installed. The flooring is acclimatized and ready for installation when it has reached a moisture level consistent with the job site and normal living conditions. Open the cartons, but do not take the product out of the cartons. The installation of solid wood flooring should be postponed until all moisture producing trades such as pouring basement concrete floors, drywall and plaster work, plumbing, etc. are complete and their work is thoroughly dry.
Two kinds of sub-floor are recommended; Plywood or concrete.
Underlayment should be a minimum 15mm thick plywood glued and securely fastened to wood framing or glued or shot to a thoroughly dry concrete slab. If plywood is being laid on joists, make sure to leave at least 3mm to 5mm gap between each sheet to allow for expansion.
Cement Sub-floors should be level within 2mm in each 2m. High area should be sanded flat. Low areas should be filled with leveling compound. Concrete must be no more than 3% moisture content. Be sure to use free of water adhesives when gluing solid hardwood floor to a concrete.
During the installation, maintain the appropriate temperature of 18-20C° and 40-60% of humidity
Concrete must be prepared as mentioned above. This is the only option to install wood flooring directly over concrete slab. Depending on adhesive specification basement priming may be required. Remember to use only free of water adhesive when gluing wood floor over concrete slab. Correct installation may vary depending on adhesive used. Please check the adhesive manual before installation.
- Using a chalk line, draw a guide line parallel 1.5 – 2 cm plus plank width of the starting wall considering the ~1.3 cm minimum expansion space between the wall and the first strip, and another ~6mm for the tongue. This guide line must be at a 90 degree angle to the adjacent wall. It is very important to start straight and square.
- Select the planks, for the first 3 rows, and lay them out on the floor in the general pattern in which they will be installed. The straightest planks should be used for these first three rows of floor.
- Always select your planks with care. Those with flaws must be recut.
- Lay the tongue edge of the plank on the guide line, leaving a 1.3cm minimum space for expansion between the groove edge and the starting wall. This expansion space will allow the wood to expand freely. The baseboard or molding, nailed to the wall, should cover the expansion space, once the job is done.
- The first row must be secured to the floor using woodscrew. Drill holes at 45 degree of the plank at the tongue top edge deep through plywood at every 20-25 cm apart. These holes will make it easier to screw the nails and to avoid damaging the strip. Next, secure the plank in place using a drill.
- Measure and cut the strip the required length to finish the first row. The remaining section should be used to start the second row, in order to minimize cutting waste. The plank selected for completing the first row must be long enough to yield a remaining section of adequate length. Leave 10 mm between the wall and the end of each strip in each row.
- Start the second row with a plank of at least 15 cm shorter or longer than the plank used in the first row. This will avoid aligning or clustering the end joints. Set the plank in place, drill a hole on the tongue edge at a 45 degree angle at every 20 to 25 cm apart, then using drill, secure it in place.
- Continue the laying process until the room is complete. Do not forget to carefully cut the last row to leave a 1,5-2 cm expansion gap between the wall and the last plank.
- Leave planks for at least 4-5 days before applying preferable finish. Protect unfinished planks from dust and dirt during this time.
- Do not install this product below ground level.
- Lay out several cartons to make sure of quality and grading.
- lay flooring perpendicular to the direction of floor joists.
- Using shorter pieces at undercut door jams will help when fitting flooring into place.