Installation of timber or bamboo flooring

Please, read the entire installation instructions before proceeding with the installation

  • Prior to installation of any flooring, examine the job site, measure level of moisture in the subfloor. You should have an advice from an experienced flooring installer regarding existing and proposed type of subfloor and its conditions.
  • Floor boards need to be carefully examined for color, quality and finish. Reasonably select material and hold out or cut off pieces with defects incompatible with your vision of the perfect floor. On the other hand, you should always remember that timber or bamboo flooring is made from natural material with all advantages and disadvantages which Mother Nature created for us. Some designers use timber flooring with lots of visible defects to create a special “old looking” style. If the flooring is not acceptable, contact the seller of the flooring immediately. Probably you chose the wrong color, grade or even the type of flooring.
  • You should add at least 5% off -cuts, depending on layout, to the actual square meter amount needed. For diagonal installations and/or board width of 5” and over up to a 10% off-cuts may be required.
  • Please, do not install timber or bamboo flooring in bathrooms.

 

Job site inspection and acclimation of timber flooring

  • Timber flooring should be one of the last items installed during the construction or renovation works. Complete all works involving water or moisture (plumbing, acoustical ceilings, dry wall taping, etc.) before beginning of timber flooring installation as water and timber cannot be mixed together.
  • Make sure that all cement works, painting, plastering and other material are completely dry. Concrete and plaster should be cured and at least 60 days old. Moisture from basement and under floor space can cause timber flooring damage in the future (expanding, cupping, swelling and other unpleasant defects).
  • Handle with care. Do not stand on ends. Store flooring in a dry place being sure to provide at least a 10sm space under and around unopened cartons.
  • Do not store directly on concrete or under outside walls. Cartons should be placed in the installation area 1-3 days before commencement of installation works in unopened boxes. In this case timber is able to adjust to humidity level and temperature of the room.

Subfloor conditions

  • DRY, STIFF, STRUCTURALLY SOUND AND FLAT
  • CLEAN – Scrapped or sanded, swept, free of wax, grease, paint, oil and other debris.
  • HORIZONTAL/FLAT –maximum tolerance of 5mm over 3m (3/16” over 10”) or 3mm over 2m (1/8” over 6”).
  • Sand high areas or joints. If the floor is glued, fill the fill low areas with a latex additive cement surfacing product with a minimum resistance to compression of 20 000 kPa.
  • Concrete Slabs (regardless of existing floor covering): Use an approved calibrated concrete Moisture Meter as a preliminary measurement for moisture. Concrete subfloors must be finished at least 30 days before performing a test. Acceptable verification methods: Perform a polyfilm test. Tape down 2f x 2f polyfilm squares (a clear garbage bag or plastic drop cloth will do) in several places on the floor. Wait 24-48 hours, and then check for the appearance of condensation on the inside of the bag or plastic for a darkening on the concrete subfloor. Either occurrence signals the likely presence of excess moisture, which needs other measures with the concrete moisture meter Tramex. The measure must not climb over 4,5 on the superior graduation. The floor can be glued directly on concrete with a compression resistance of at least 20 000 kPa (3 000 lb/in2).
  • Wood Substrates: Test the moisture of the wood substrate using a calibrated moisture meter approved for testing wood moisture according to the meter manufacturer. The reading should not exceed 12%, or read more than a 4% difference than moisture content of products being installed.

Required tools for proper installation

  • Power Tools - Table Saw, Electric Miter Saw, Band Saw, Chop Saw, Power Jamb Saw, or Jig Saw
  • Hand Tools - Broom and dust pan or Vacuum, Tape Measure, Moisture meter (wood, concrete or both), Chalk line & chalk, 3M Blue Tape, Hand saw, Hammer, Rubber mallet, Tapping block, Pry bar, Filler stick and Touch‐up marker, Hardwood Floor Cleaner
  • Additional Tools for Glue‐Down - Recommended Adhesive & Adhesive Remover, Trowel (Follow adhesive manufacturer’s instruction)
  • Additional Tools for Staple‐Down Installation - Pneumatic Stapler/Nailer, Staples/Flooring Cleats, Drill
  • Additional Tools for Floating Installation - 6 mil Polyethylene Vapor Barrier,  Foam Underlayment, Floating Floor Glue

 

Step by step instruction for glued down flooring installation

  • Establish a starting line

For best visual effect, it is recommended that flooring be installed parallel to the longest wall in the room. Using a chalk line the area between the wall and the chalk line becomes your working area for starting installation, and your last installation area for completing the installation.

  • Spread the adhesive

Apply the recommended adhesive with a trowel according to the manufacturer installation instructions (found on the adhesive pail) for the specific adhesive that is being used.

  • Install the strips

Always select your strips with care. The more deeply colored strips should be installed where they are less visible. Pieces with flaws should be recut. Using the working area to install your flooring, line up the first strip with the tongue facing the wall, then press the strip into the adhesive and against the holding block. Leave 1/4‐inch (6 mm) between the wall and the end of each strip in each row. Start the second row with a strip of at least 6‐inches (15 cm) shorter or longer than the strip used in the first row. This will avoid aligning or clustering the end joints. Continue with the subsequent rows in the same manner. To avoid shifting or gaping of the strips during installation, use 3M blue tape to hold them together. Remove the tape within 24 hours. Avoid use of masking tape, which leaves an adhesive residue and may damage the finish. When you get to the final row you will likely find it necessary to rip‐saw the strips to fit against the wall. Install using the pry bar and leave 1/4 ‐inch (6mm) minimum expansion spaces.

  • Install the transition pieces

Install any transition piece that may be needed, such as stair nosing, and reducers. These products are available prefinished to blend with your flooring. Please install these first so that you can match the next board easier, color match on mouldings cannot be guaranteed due to the natural characteristics of wood flooring. Reinstall your baseboards and/or quarter round mouldings. Be certain to nail the mouldings into the wall, not the floor. Always keep a few spare strips from your initial installation for possible repairs in a sealed carton and properly stored. Wait 24 hours before moving furniture and appliances back into the area where flooring was installed.

 

Step by step instruction for nailed/stapled down flooring installation

  • Set‐up and Use of Pneumatic Staplers and Nailers

Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for complete set‐up and operation of equipment. Make sure the adapter size for the pneumatic stapler or nailer matches the thickness of the flooring being installed and that the tool’s adapter seats properly in the tongue of the flooring. Pneumatic nailer: Air pressure should be adjusted adequately for each species of hardwood floor installed and checked regularly (always try it before using).

  • Establish a starting line

Using a chalk line, draw a guideline. It is very important to start straight and square.

  • Install the floor

Always select your strips with care. The more deeply colored strips should be installed where they are less visible (i.e. in a closet or under the refrigerator). Pieces with flaws should be recut. Use the longest, straightest strips available for the first row. Install the first row of flooring with groove facing starter wall. The first few rows must be nailed down by hand rather than with the nailing machine because of the vertical wall obstruction. Nailing interval should be at 6 inches. Leave 1/4‐inch (6 mm) between the wall and the end of each strip in each row. Start the second row with a strip of a least 6‐inch (15 cm) shorter or longer than the strip used in the first row. This will avoid aligning or clustering the end joints. When the area is free from wall obstruction, you can repeat the installation using a pneumatic stapler. It is also likely that you may have to ripsaw the strips to fit the final row against the wall. Leave 1/4 ‐inch (6 mm) minimum expansion spaces. Finally, install the transition pieces, baseboards and/or, quarter round mouldings.

 

Step by step instruction for floating floor installation

  •  Install underlayment

Install 6 mil Polyethylene vapor barrier over entire flooring surface. Overlap sheets of Polyethylene 16 inches and tape together creating airtight seal. Run the vapor barrier 1 to 1.5 inches up the walls and secure in place with tape. Using underlayment, roll out one roll at a time over the vapor barrier. There are many types of underlayments available today. The use of acoustical underlayment will improve the feel and sound transmission of your flooring.

  • Preparing the starter rows

It is very important that enough expansion gaps are kept between the flooring and all the walls. This is done by placing 12-18 mm spacers every 20sm apart around all vertical walls. Measure the width of the room – perpendicular to the direction you intend to install the flooring. The last row of flooring should be no less than 40mm wide. If it is less, you should rip‐saw the starter row narrower. Leave 12 mm between the wall and the end of each strip in each row. Start the second row with a strip of at least 15 cm shorter or longer than the strip used in the first row. This will avoid aligning or clustering the end joints.

  • Gluing the floor

In a floating floor installation, the flooring is not glued or nailed to the underlayment, but is glued in the board’s side and end grooves only. This is achieved by applying a bead of glue on the upper side of the groove along the entire length and on the end of each plank with silicone‐based T & G glue. Turn the board upside down when applying the adhesive to achieve proper application, when the board is turned again for installation with the finish side up, this will allow the adhesive to flow down and give better coverage. Do not apply adhesive on the top of the tongue. Install the first row of flooring with groove facing starter wall. Use a tapping block and a mallet to gently push or tap the glued strips together until no gaps are seen and making sure that end joints are square. At the end wall use a pry bar, if needed, to pull the ends of the boards tight. Continue laying the floor on top of the underlayment, working left to right, tapping the strips tight together. Make sure to continue using ¼ inch spacers along the wall throughout the installation. To avoid shifting or gapping of the flooring during installation, lay perpendicular strips of 3M blue tape to hold the strips together. Remove the tape within 24 hours. Avoid use of masking tape, which leaves an adhesive residue and may cause damage to the finish. The last row will most likely require cutting to width but it should be no less than 1 ½ inch wide. To do this, place a full row of strips on top of the last row installed. Insert a ¼ inch spacer against the wall, and using a full width strip, trace distance from wall onto final row. Cut strips for final row to designated width. Apply glue and pull into place with a pry bar. Allow floor to dry for a minimum of 12 hours before removing all the spacers and allowing foot traffic. Finally, install the transition pieces, baseboards and/or, quarter round mouldings.

 

Completing the job for all types of installation

  • Clean the floor with an appropriate hardwood floor cleaner. Please ensure that any adhesive on the finish is cleaned before leaving. Dried or cured adhesive cannot be removed.
  • Install transition pieces.
  • Inspect final floor for nicks or minor gaps and fill with appropriate color wood putty.
  • Use plywood or hardboard when moving heavy appliances or furniture across floor.

 

Care guide for your new flooring

  • Your new floor will add warmth and beauty to your home for many years to come. Following a few simple maintenance steps, will help protect your investment and keep your floor like new.

Cleaning of lacquered floors

  • For oiled floors use appropriate oil
  • Use a damp cloth to blot up spills and spots as soon as they happen. For tough spots such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink, tar or cigarette marks, use acetone/nail polish remover then wipe with a damp cloth. Always avoid allowing liquids to stand on your floor.
  • Regularly vacuum, (using the hard floor attachment not the beater bar), dust mop or sweep the floor to prevent sand or abrasive dust from accumulating and scratching the finish.
  • Periodically clean the floor with approved hardwood floor cleaner, which are specially formulated for the finish.
  • Do not use oil based, wax, polish, or strong ammoniated or abrasive cleaners, steel wool or scouring powder to clean the floor.
  • Do not wash or wet‐mop the floor with soap, water, oil soap detergent or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling warping, delaminating and joint‐line separation, and void the warranty.
  • DO NOT use any type of polisher.

 

Protection of your new floor

  • Use quality area rugs and doormats by outdoor entrance areas to prevent dirt, sand, grit and other substances such as oil, asphalt or driveway sealer from being tracked onto your floor.
  • Sweep, dust or vacuum the floor regularly to prevent accumulation of dirt or grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
  • Use floor protectors and wide bearing leg bases/rollers to minimize indentations and scratches from heavy objects. As a rule of thumb, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector should be.
  • Do not use rubber or foam backed plastic mats as they may discolor the floor. To prevent slippage use an approved vinyl rug underlayment.
  • Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 40% and 55% throughout the year, to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of wood. Failure to provide adequate relative humidity in the home by the use of a humidifier or a dehumidifier will void the warranty.
  • Avoid gouges or cuts in your floor from sharp objects. While your floor is one of the most wear resistant floors on the market, sharp or pointed objects can nevertheless damage it.
  •  Don’t walk on your floor with stiletto‐style heels, spiked golf shoes or cleats; they may cause indentations in your floor.
  • Rearrange area rugs and furniture periodically so the floor ages evenly. UV sunlight will soften or darken the tone of different species of hardwood to varying degrees
  • Use a dolly when moving heavy furniture or appliances. But first, put down a sheet of quarter inch plywood or Masonite to protect the floor. Never try to slide or roll heavy objects across the floor.
  • Keep pet’s nails trimmed, or consider “booties” available at pet stores.

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