Installing engineered floors

General instructions for installing engineered hardwood flooring.

1. Read carefully the manufacturers and wood4floors laying instructions. These are available from our website or please contact our office for copies. Make sure you have all fitting instructions and fully understand them or seek professional advice before installation. As a natural product floors are manufactured in accordance with accepted industry standards which permit a grading tolerance of 5%. Due to this being a natural product, 5% – 10% wastage may be produced during the fitting process and still remain within specification. The product should be acclimatised for at least 2days in its expected environment prior to installing. Do not open packs until immediately before installation. If you require to inspect the goods before fitting, completely reseal the packaging immediately afterwards to retain the flexibility of the boards. Some boards may exhibit minor bowing due to the lamination process however this disappears during the installation procedure.

Do not install any obvious faulty pieces; we can exchange them before fitting if they are outside the normally allowed 5% – 10% wastage. All products should be installed to the British Standard BS 8201 1987. The code includes recommendations relating to the work in laying hardwood flooring.

Once installed products are considered accepted by owner / installer. These products are not normally suitable for bathrooms because of high humidity in these areas.

2. Timber is a living material. Due to its hygroscopic properties it either absorbs or releases moisture. For that reason, a minimum gap of 10 mm must be left between the boards and the walls of a room and also around fixtures like pipes. This allows the floor to shrink and expand. For floors that are longer or wider than 6 m, this tolerance gap should be increased by 1.5 mm per extra metre. For floors that are longer or wider than 12 m, a movement joint should be incorporated.

3. Packages must be stored in a dry place and only opened immediately prior to fitting. This is required to prevent possible short-term humidity changes from affecting the boards. Never store the product on its side or end. When removing parquet boards from packing, the boards must not be bent or the varnish may crack. Take special care.

4. A concrete sub floor can be levelled with self-levelling compound or screed. A wooden sub floor can be levelled using a sander. If the sub floor is an existing wood floor, ensure prior to installing that there is adequate support and, if necessary, use 12-18mm plywood preferably with tongue and groove joints to provide extra rigidity between the parquet and the wooden sub floor.

5. The monitoring of humidity in newly constructed premises is vital. To avoid damage and to achieve the best possible end result, the relative humidity of the ambient air must be 40 – 60 % and the temperature 18 – 24 ° C, both during installation and thereafter. Measuring the relative humidity of the sub floor prior to laying the boards is of great importance. When the floor is laid in newly constructed premises and the sub floor is recently cast concrete, it is essential to use a moisture barrier (e.g. 0.2 mm thick plastic membrane with joints overlapping 200 mm or with joints taped). When laying Wood4floors wood flooring, the maximum allowable relative humidity for a concrete sub floor must be ascertained. If flooring with a moisture content of 9% is to be fixed directly to concrete without a DPM, the RH of the slab must be about 35-40% (or 2% moisture content) and not 75% RH as suggested by BS8201. In practice it is very difficult to achieve 35% RH in the slab within a workable time frame and an appropriate DPM must be used. The moisture content of a wooden sub floor should be 8±1 %. If accurate equipment for measuring the humidity content of concrete sub floor is not available, the humidity can be checked by taping a 1 m2 piece of plastic membrane on top of the concrete for 4-5 days. If during this time condensed water appears underneath the membrane or the colour of the concrete turns darker, the humidity of the concrete sub floor is too high for laying the parquet.

6. Always use an appropriate underlay designed for this type of flooring unless you are fully bonding to the sub floor – we recommend Timbermate excel or Woodtex with the appropriate joint tape, which incorporates a moisture barrier. If the flooring is to be permanently glued to the sub floor, use a professional installer.

7. Where there is under floor heating, use only appropriate wood flooring detailed by the manufacturer.

8. A sound insulation layer can be laid under the parquet – such as Timbermate excel or Woodtex

9. It is advisable to measure the width of the room prior to starting the installation in order to identify the width of the last row to be installed. If the last row seems too narrow, adjust by making the first row narrower, to achieve a professional-looking finish.

10. Glue has to be spread evenly on the top edge, not on the bottom, of the female groove. Some manufacturers may vary always check.

11. End joints of adjoining rows have to be at least 500 mm apart.

12. When tapping parquet boards together, a piece of parquet must never be used as a tapping block because this or other inappropriate methods may damage the edge of the top layer lamina or lacquer. We only recommend a professional proprietary tapping block such as a Unika Professional Push Block  and Unika Professional Pull Bar. Always use professional straps to draw the boards tightly together for a final fit. Cut out pieces with glaring defects and it is normal practice to use stain putty or filler stick for small defect correction or minor dimension differences.

13. Glue squeezed out from the joints when tapping the boards together must be wiped away immediately with a damp cloth.

14. If thresholds are installed by screwing them directly through the parquet boards, a gap of 10 mm has to be allowed between the screws and board edges (see installation instructions).

15. Skirting boards installed after laying the wood flooring have to be nailed onto the wall only, not onto the installed parquet.

16. Laying wood flooring should be the final phase in any premises where several jobs are being carried out. However if after laying the parquet other work remains to be done, carefully protect the installed parquet with porous material such as fibreboard or corrugated cardboard.

Installation instructions – 14-15 mm engineered wood flooring

14 mm engineered flooring is laid either as a floating floor or is glued permanently to the sub floor using glue with a high solid matter content such as Rewmar MS Polymer flexible wood flooring adhesive. It is recommended that you use a professional installer if you are gluing to the sub floor.

The installation surface must be dry, solid and level, e.g. concrete, plywood or an existing wooden floor are suitable sub floors. Parquet can be installed also on vinyl floor covering. The laying surface has to be thoroughly cleaned before installation.

Humidity of the installation surface must be suitable as detailed above. The relative humidity of the ambient air has to be 40 – 60 % and the temperature 18-24 ° C.

Preparation (floating floor)

1. Clean the sub floor and check that it is even – a length of parquet is ideal for this purpose (+/-2 mm within 2 meters distance allowed).

 

2. If the unevenness exceeds the limits given in figure 1, use a self-levelling compound or screed, or for wooden floors use a sander.

 

3. Saw the bottom of the doorframe to allow for the parquet board and insulation to fit under it.

 

4. On the concrete sub floors spread a plastic membrane and soundproofing insulation if required. Always use an underlay we recommend Timbermate excel or Woodtex with the appropriate joint tape.

Installation (floating floor)

5. Lay the boards to face the incoming daylight. If the sub floor is an existing wooden plank floor, lay the parquet crosswise to the planks. Lay the first row of boards with female grooves against the wall and keep the board from the wall approx. 10 mm with the help of the wooden spacers provided.

6. Attach the final board of the first row with the help of the laying jemmy. Tap the professional jemmy to close the final header joint and create a 10 mm space at the narrow end of the board to set the wooden spacers in the same way as you have already done along the long edge.

7. Squeeze some glue on the end joints and all the way along the joint lengthwise.

8. Squeeze some glue on the top edge of the female groove. Tap the boards together using a hammer and professional tapping block. Professional compression straps should be used to complete the joint.

9. Start the next row with the leftover piece from the previous row. Always ensure that the end joints of adjoining rows are at least 500 mm apart.

10. Tap the boards together with the help of the tapping block. In order to avoid gaps between the end joints, fit the next board from the open side as shown. I.e. fit header joint tightly: working from open end. Tap down the length working toward the header joint. Tongues and grooves must be tightly fitted and interlocking using pva glue to all adjacent flooring boards use compression straps to complete the joint and avoid damage.

 

11. Drill holes to accommodate pipes and cut the piece off with a saw as shown. When the board is in position, glue the sawn-out section back in its place and cover with pipe ferrules.

 

12. Install the last row using a piece of parquet as a guide

 

13. When the glue has dried, remove the spacers and fix the skirting boards or scotia. Do not set them too tightly against the floor that is being fitted.

Leave overnight for the glue to dry.

We recommend that floors, especially engineered flooring laid in kitchen or high traffic areas, are re-coated with a further coat or coats of lacquer or oil before general use. Further advice on click fit flooring is usually included in the manufacturers packs or information can be obtained from the office.

mafkildea wood4floors.co.uk