Pre-Finished Engineered Hardwood Installation Instructions
Please read and Review the entire installation instructions before proceeding with the actual installation.
You will need to determine which of the methods will apply to your specific flooring product. Not all methods will be applicable for all products.
OWNER / INSTALLER RESPONSIBILITY
Hardwood flooring is a beautiful and unique product of nature, which is characterized by distinctive variations in grain and color. These natural variations in color and grain are not flaws, but are a part of the natural beauty and uniqueness of hardwood flooring. (These inherent variations should be expected and serve to enhance the natural beauty and enduring charm.).
• Inspection of all flooring should be done before installation. Carefully examine the flooring for color, finish and quality before installing it. Use reasonable selectivity and cull out or cut off pieces with glaring defects. If material is not acceptable, contact your dealer immediately.
• Before beginning the installation of any hardwood flooring product, the installer must determine that the environment of the job site and the condition and type of the subfloor involved is acceptable, insuring that it meets or exceeds all requirements which should stipulated in the Hardwood Flooring installation instructions.
• The use of stain, filler or putty stick for the correction of defects during installation should be accepted as normal procedure.
• When Hardwood Flooring is ordered, a 5 – 10% waste factor, depending on layout, must be added to the actual square footage amount needed. (Diagonal Installations may require more.)
JOB SITE INSPECTION & ACCLIMATION
• In new construction, Hardwood Flooring should be one of the last items installed. All work involving water or moisture (plumbing, plaster /drywall ceilings or wall finishes, painting, etc.) should be finished with ample time allowed for complete drying prior to wood flooring being installed. Heating and air systems should be fully operating maintaining a consistent room temperature at 60-80o F and a constant relative humidity range of 35%-65%, 5 days prior to wood acclimation
• Flooring should not be delivered until the above guidelines are completed. Concrete and plaster should be cured and at least 60 to 90 days old. Check basements and under floor crawl space to be sure that they are dry and well ventilated to avoid damage caused by moisture. a minimum of 6 mil vapor barrier placed on 100% of the surface of the ground in crawl spaces not finished with cement are recommended.
• Flooring should be at the job site at least 48 hours prior to installation. Do not open until ready to install.
• Handle with care. Do not stand on ends or sides. Store Hardwood flooring flat with proper support on the ends and center sections in a dry place being sure to provide at least a four-inch air space under and around cartons. Stack the cartons 3-4 high to insure efficient acclimation.
• Do not store directly upon on grade concrete or next to outside walls. Cartons should be placed as close to the center of the installation area as possible, away from exterior walls, windows, and doors. Keep out of direct sunlight and away from air vents.
• The installation site should have consistent room temperature of 60o – 80o F., and a constant relative humidity level of 35% – 65% for a minimum of 5 days prior to acclimation and installation of any Hardwood Flooring product.
REQUIRED TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES
• Hand Saw or Electric Saw (Carbide Tip Blade Recommend) • Carpenter’s Square • Utility Knife • Tapping Block • Spacers (3/8″ to 9/16″ ) • Safety Equipment (Goggles & Mask) • Tape Measure • Soft Rubber Mallet • Broom • Hammer • Pull Bar
FOR FLOATING INSTALLATIONS YOU WILL ALSO NEED
• Hardwood Tongue and Groove Flooring Adhesive or equivalent
• Adhesive Remover or equivalent
• Damp and Dry Towels
FOR GLUE DOWN INSTALLATION ONLY YOU WILL ALSO NEED
• 100 or 150 lb. Roller
• Approved Hardwood Flooring Adhesive or equivalent
• Adhesive Remover or equivalent
• Notch Trowel – ¼” square notch (planks 5″ or wider),3/16″square notch (planks less than 5″ wide)
• Damp and Dry Towels
FOR NAIL/ STAPLE DOWN INSTALLATION ONLY
For 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″ thick engineered/cross-ply hardwoods – planks less than 5″ wide
|Power Nailer Model 200 (Pneumatic)
|E-Cleat nail/1 ¼”-1 ½” long
|Power Nailer Model 250 (Manual)
|E-Cleat nail/1 ¼”-1 ½” long
|Primatec #R- 610 (Manual)
|“T” Cleat nail / 1″ long
|Porta Nailer #461 (Pneumatic)
|Staple ¼” Crown /1 ¼” long
|Stanley Bostitch Floor Runner #S3297-LHF (Pneumatic)
|Staple 3/16″ Crown/ 1”” ong
For 7/16”, 1/2”, 9/16”, 5/8”thick engineered/cross-ply hardwoods- planks that are 5”or wider
|Power Nailer Model 200 (Pneumatic)
|E-Cleat Nail/1 ½” long
|Power Nailer Model 250 (Manual)
|E-Cleat Nail/1 ½” long
|Stanley MIIIFS (pneumatic) use adapter plate
|½” Crown x1 ½”-2″ long staple
|Power Nailer #445 (pneumatic) use adapter plate
|2″ Cleat Nail
|Power Nailer #45 (manual) use adapter plate
|2″ Cleat Nail
Note: Use only a flooring nailer that engages the top profile over the tongue at the appropriate angle. Make sure that the flooring nailer is in good working condition and seats properly against the board to prevent top edge and surface damage.
Important: Set air compressor to 70-80 PSI (or follow manufacturer’s suggested PSI setting). Adjust the air pressure to insure proper setting of staples. If tongue damage occurs, lower the air pressure.
Important: If you need to remove a side nailed staple, do not pull straight up from the tongue. This will damage the surface of the board. Instead, pull out the staple from the tongue at the front of the board with all pressure from the hammerhead directed into the subfloor.
NOTE: As flooring manufacturers and wholesalers, we are unable to specifically evaluate each engineered subflooring system. Spacing and span lengths, as well as their engineering methods, are the responsibility of the builder, engineer, architect or consumer, who are better able to evaluate their expected results, based on site-related conditions and performance requirements. The general information provided below describes common, non-engineered joists and subfloor decking systems. Engineered subflooring systems may allow for wider spacing of engineered beam support systems; and alternative subfloor decking materials, while also providing equal performance characteristics to the systems discussed below.
Approved Subfloor Types:
1. APA approved 5/8” minimum thickness, preferred 3/4” or thicker exterior grade plywood, on 16”center 2”x10”joists.
NOTE: When installing and fastening approved plywood, please refer to specific structural panel manufacturer’s instructions.
2. 3/4” (23/32”) OSB on 16” center, 2”x10” floor joists properly nailed. When installing hardwood over engineered joists and truss systems that are spaced wider than 16” on center, it may be necessary to add an additional layer of sub flooring or use additional cross bracing to stiffen the system, reducing excessive deflection.
3. Concrete slab Engineered Hardwood Flooring Products can be installed on all grade levels. Concrete slabs must be clean and dry- less than 3 lbs. /1000 sf. / 24 hr.- per CCTM.
4. Existing Hardwood wood floors (installed at right angle, only over existing wood sub floors).
5. Resilient tile and sheet vinyl only over an above mentioned and approved subfloor.
Subfloor must be:
• CLEAN – Scraped or sanded, swept, free of wax, grease, paint, oil and other debris
• SMOOTH/FLAT – Within 1/8” in a 6’span. Sand high areas or fill low areas with cement base leveling compound- no less than 3000 p.s.i. rating.
• STRUCTURALLY SOUND – Nail or screw any loose areas that squeak or reveal movement. Replace any damaged subflooring or underlayment’s.
• DRY – Moisture content of wood subfloor must not exceed 14% prior to installation of wood flooring.
Remember: All moisture testing must be performed before and after, the wood has been acclimated 48 hours and all job site requirements have been met.
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 14%, or read more than a 5% difference than moisture content of products being installed.
Concrete Slabs: All concrete sub floors must be tested for moisture content prior to installation of the hardwood flooring The moisture content of the concrete sub floor must register dry, according to whichever test method is used to determine the slab condition.
Note: Pre-existing, wood panels or strips must be removed from the concrete slab before installing new hardwood.
Below are methods to test to indicate moisture is present in the concrete subfloor:
1) Use an approved calibrated concrete Moisture Meter as a preliminary measurement for moisture such as: Delmhorst Moisture Meter Model G
Tramex Concrete Encounter Follow manufacturer’s specific calibration requirements.
2) Perform a polyfilm mat test. Tape down 3’ x 3’ polyfilm squares, in several places on the floor- (one every 200 sf.).
3) Wait 24-48 hours, remove and check for the appearance of condensation or a darkening of the concrete slab.
4) Either occurrence signals the likely presence of excess moisture, requiring a mandatory Calcium Chloride Test.
If you have determined that the slab has excessive moisture, then Calcium Chloride and PH alkalinity tests must be performed to determine the moisture content, vapor emissions, and alkalinity levels in the concrete floor. Test evaluations will determine what corrective measures need to be taken.
• Perform a Calcium Chloride test according to the manufacturers’ instructions. The maximum acceptable reading is 3-lbs. /1000 sq. ft /24 hours for moisture emissions.
• Perform a PH Alkalinity Test according to the manufacturers’ instructions. A pH reading of 6-9 on a pH number scale of 1-14 is acceptable.
• If the test results exceed these readings, the concrete slab should be sealed with an appropriate sealer that will correct high emissions, as per the sealant manufacturers’ recommendations
• Also check all site drainage to make sure all exterior water flows are directed away from the job site.
Installation on Plywood and Wood Substrates: Do not install over particleboard, with exception of products that can be installed using the floating installation method. Subfloor should be constructed of 5/8” or thicker plywood when installing directly over 16” on center 2”x10” joists. Plywood sheets should be laid with grained outer plies at right angles to joists; adjacent rows staggered four feet and nailed every 6” along each joist with 7D or larger nails. When installing new hardwood flooring directly over an old wood or strip wood floors, sand any high spots. Re-nail the old floor to eliminate squeaks or loose boards, and install new planks at right angle (perpendicular) to the old floor. The moisture content of the wood or plywood subfloor should not exceed 14%.
Important: Do not install any Hardwood Flooring Product using the glue down installation method over any vinyl asbestos flooring, vinyl composition tile, linoleum, asphalt tile, ceramic or stone tiles, carpet, or vinyl sheet products. Use a Hardwood that is rated for the Floating Floor Installation Method.
Installation on Concrete Slabs :
Note: Slip Sheet method of Installation has specific installation requirements. Contact Manufacture Technical services for approved installation procedures.
Important: Please see section “Installing Hardwood Floor over Radiant Heated Subfloors” below if installing radiant heated floor systems. Hardwood planks with HDF core are not approved to install over any type of radiant heated flooring systems, except for the Esteem VersaLock (oak only) hardwood.
FLOATING FLOOR INSTALLATION METHOD
Approved Subfloor Types:
All type of Engineered Hardwood Flooring products which have been approved for the floating installation method can be installed over any dry, level, sound subfloor, regardless of install level or sub floor type. All subfloors should be covered with “3 in 1” or “2 in 1” approved foam underlayment. When using a basic foam underlayment over a concrete subfloor, you must also use a 6 or 8 mil. Polyethylene film under the foam pad, which acts as a vapor barrier.
Note: Any pre-existing wood panels or strips that are floating or direct glued to the concrete slab, must be removed before installing Engineered Hardwood flooring using the floating method.
Below Grade: All Engineered Hardwood Products, when installed using the floating installation method, can be installed below grade. Always check the slab for excessive moisture and perform a PH test to insure that the slab is suitable for hardwood installation.(See Concrete Slabs:) Install “ 3in1”, “2in1” Underlayment, or the 6 mil. poly film and basic foam underlayment, which should be installed with ends butted together and taped with a clear 2” packaging tape to prevent any moisture from coming up through the seams. The Silent Step “ 3 in 1”, “2in1” underlayment or 6 mil. Poly film should be lapped up the wall 4” all the way around the room. This can be trimmed off after moldings are installed. If you are using the Silent Step “ 3 in 1” or “ 2 in 1” Underlayment, you are ready to begin the installation. However, if you have used the 6 mil. poly film, you need to install a approved basic foam pad on top of the 6 mil poly film butting the edges (but not overlapping). All seams must be taped with 2” clear package tape when installing over concrete slab
Installing Hardwood Floors over Radiant Heated Sub Floors
• Oak, Ash, Hickory, and Walnut species Engineered Hardwood products, > ½” thickness normally are approved for installation over radiant heated subfloors using either Adhered or Floating installation methods if applicable for the product.
• Nail or Staple Down installation methods are not recommended for Radiant Heated Sub Floors.
• For Engineered product constructions thinner than ½” will require review by the Hardwood manufacture before installation; along with a location registration and an acknowledgement letter, verifying that the project is approved and warranted.
• Radiant Heating Systems used must be designed and controlled specifically for Hardwood flooring by the system manufacturer, and include an Outside Temperature Probe, and Surface Temperature Controls.
• The end consumer should be aware that minor gapping between wood planks during the heating season is a normal occurrence with hardwood flooring installed over radiant heated subfloors.
• Proper humidity controls within the home or business will help to minimize the natural wood reaction to seasonally changing climate conditions.
• Indoor climate should be maintained between 60-80° F and a relative humidity range of 35%-65%.
Adhere to the following guidelines for a successful installation :
• Newly installed water type radiant heated flooring systems should be in operational mode with the temperature set between 64° -72°F, for a minimum of 4 weeks to insure that all sub floor moisture has properly dried.
• Older water type radiant floor heat systems should be fully pressure tested, properly maintained, and set to a minimum of 64°F, for at least 4 days before flooring delivery; acclimation, or installation processes may begin.
• All radiant heating systems must be set to room temp. (A minimum of 64°F), for at least 4 days before flooring delivery; acclimation, or installation processes may begin.
• Always check wood sub floors to insure that the moisture content is less than 14% using an accurate wood moisture meter.
• Concrete sub floors must register “dry”, using a reliable concrete moisture meter.
• The pH level of concrete sub floors should register between 6 and 9, on a fourteen point pH scale.
• Sub floors must fully comply with these “dry” requirements before proceeding with the delivery, acclimation, or installation of the wood flooring at the job site.
• Regulate the job site to insure that the relative humidity is between 35% and 65%, and that temperature is between 60° and 80° F, throughout the flooring delivery, acclimation, installation and any required curing processes.
• Deliver and acclimate the engineered hardwood flooring, for at least 48 hours before installation begins.
• Install the hardwood flooring according to the instructions that pertain to the product.
• After completing the installation, do not change the radiant heat setting for 48 hrs.
• Throughout the life of the installation, 3 to 5 degree daily increments must be used when adjusting system temperature for either upward or lower adjustments; so that the hardwood flooring can adjust to the temperature changes in a gradual manner.
• Never raise the flooring surface temperature setting above 85 degrees Fahrenheit
• Undercut door casings
• Remove any existing wall base, shoe molding, quarter round or doorway threshold.
Important: Do not install cabinets or walls on top of the flooring when using the floating installation method.
Step 1: POSITION THE FIRST ROW
Important: The flooring should be installed from several cartons at the same time to insure proper color, grain, and shade mix.
1. Before starting, first measure the width of the room, and then divide the room’s width by the width of the plank. If this means that the last row of planks will be narrower than 2”, then you will need to cut the first row of planks to make it narrower. Cut in such a way that both rows of planks (the first and last to be installed in the room) will have the same approximate width for an overall continuous look. See installing the last row.
Note: To cut the boards, always saw with the teeth cutting down into the face or top of the board. Cutting from the top down helps protect the surface. Use a carbide tip blade to insure smooth cuts.
2. Begin the installation of the planks in the left-hand corner of the room with the long direction parallel to the longest wall of the room. Always start so that you will be working left to right when facing starting wall. When possible, run the length of the planks in the same direction as incoming sunlight.
Be sure to install the first row of engineered planks with the groove side facing the wall (Versa- lock planks & tongue faces starting wall).
Using the proper spacers (depending on the thickness of the flooring), provide a gap for the seasonal expansion of the flooring along the walls of the entire room. Always place expansion spacers against the wall every 2-3’. Also place spacers at each plank end joint connection, as this will make maintaining a good square easier.
Note: Larger rooms require additional expansion space. Add 1/16” to the width of the expansion space for every 3’ the room extends beyond 25’. Dimensions exceeding 40’in length or width, requires the use of a T-Molding for expansion.
3. If the starting wall is out of square, it will be necessary to scribe the first row to match the wall, allowing the opposite side of the row to present a true square base for the rest of the floor. When the first row is complete, you must have a straight, even base established.
Step 2: GLUING THE BOARDS TOGETHER
When installing the Hardwood Flooring products which have been approved for the floating installation method, the boards must be side and end glued using Approved Adhesive, except for Versa Lock Hardwoods.
Always apply the adhesive into the bottom of the groove on each board. Do not fill the groove. Apply a continuous bead, filling the bottom of the groove no more than halfway full. Start & stop adhesive 2” from the ends on the long side of the board and 1” from the ends on the butt end.
Note: If any excess adhesive squeezes up to the finished surface, wipe it off immediately using a water dampened cloth or Adhesive Remover. Then immediately dry the surface and buff with a dry cloth. If the adhesive has dried, use a soft white cloth moistened with Adhesive Remover. Do not abrade the wood surface.
Step 3: INSTALLING THE REST OF THE FLOOR
Note: Always stagger approximately 12” to 24” between end joints of adjacent board rows. The end joints should not repeat visually across the installed floor.
After installing the first row of boards, apply the adhesive to the first board on the second row using the above gluing instructions. Connect that board to the first row remembering the 12”to 24” stagger between the end joint of the board on the first row. Tap the boards together with a hammer and a tapping block. Be sure that the tapping block is against the tongue only and use only a gentle tapping motion to tap the boards together. Excessive force will damage the board making it difficult to install additional boards. Once the board has been tapped into place check for a tight fit on sides and ends. To install the rest of the flooring, continue placing the boards from left to right, building a rack 3 to 4 rows wide, as the installation continues to complete the floor.
Note: When installing around fixed objects, small areas or even in general installation areas, the use of installation straps may prove helpful for securing boards together. Installation Straps are a handy tool that will insure a tight fit when used to strap continuous rows of hardwood.
Step 4: INSTALLING THE LAST ROW
Most often the entire length of the last row will need to be cut so that it is narrow enough to fit the remaining space. When this occurs, follow this simple procedure :
• Lay a row of boards, unglued, with the tongue toward the wall, directly on top of the last row installed.
• Take a full width scrap piece of the Hardwood product that is being installed with the face down and the tongue side against the wall. Use appropriate spacers against the wall to ensure the proper expansion space.
• Draw a line along the row moving down the wall. The resulting line gives the proper width for the last row which, when cut, can then be wedged into place using the pull bar. Spacers should remain while the adhesive sets.
Note: Floor should remain free of foot traffic for a minimum of 12 hours while adhesive sets.
A drying time of 24 hours is recommended before any damp-dry mopping, cleaning or heavy objects or furniture can be put back into place.
Make sure when the installation is complete that the spacers are removed and the expansion space is covered with an appropriate molding as described in MOLDINGS, TRIM & TRANSITION PIECES.
STAPLE OR NAIL DOWN INSTALLATION METHOD
JOB SITE PREPARATION
• Always acclimate the product for 48 hours prior to installation
• Verify that the floor is level and structurally sound. Repair as needed.
• Undercut door case moldings as needed.
• Remove any existing wall base, shoe molding, quarter round or doorway thresholds.
• Cover the clean surface, wall to wall, with 15 lb. black asphalt saturated felt paper. Butting the edges together.
Note: Per NWFA Red Rosin paper is not recommended.
Step 1: ESTABLISH A STARTING POINT
• Before beginning the actual installation, start a random layout of the flooring by arranging short and long lengths equally over the areas where the flooring is to be installed.
• Work out of several cartons at a time to insure proper color and shade mixture.
• Align the first row of planks to be sure you have a good straight line from one side of the room to the other. Snap a chalk line at the desired distance from the wall to help align the planks. The end joints of plank or strip flooring should be staggered to achieve the best appearance in the finished floor. (Minimum 6-8” for 3” planks, 12-24” for longer, wider 4-7” planks).
Important: Leave the proper amount of expansion space recommended for expansion at all vertical surface. (Normal rule of thumb is to have the expansion space equal the thickness of the wood). Example: 9/16 ” thick wood planks require a 9/16 ” expansion space.
Step 2: INSTALLING THE FLOOR
• Align the first piece on the chalk line. The groove side and end will be facing the starting wall. To avoid splitting the wood, pre drill holes then drive 7D or 8D finish nails, or 2” pneumatic nails, into the face of the board every 12” approximately 1/3” – 3/4” from the edge closest to the starting wall and within 2”- 3” from the ends and in the darker grain of the wood.
• Edge nail the plank by driving the same type fasteners at a 50o angle through the tongues of the planks in the first row of planks, spacing the nails every 8” – 10” and within 2” – 3” from the ends. This process should be repeated for each piece in the entire first row. Upon completion of the first row, go back and sink the face nails with a nail punch. If it appears that the holes will not be covered by the wall base or quarter round trim, fill the holes with wood filler designed to blend with your wood floor.
Note: Typically the first few rows must be edge nailed by hand rather than with a nailing machine due to a vertical wall obstruction. When clearance allows, use the appropriate nail/staple tool, which drive fasteners, simplifying and speeding up the nail/staple process.
• Install each successive row of planks by edge nailing the tongue side every 8″ – 10″ to within 2″ – 3″ from board ends. Be attentive to staggering the ends of the boards appropriately in adjacent rows to avoid clustering end joints. Upon reaching the last row to be installed, the planks should be ripped to allow proper expansion space. The last rows must be fastened by nailing approximately 1/2″ to 3/4″ from the back edge of the board every 12″. Use the same process of counter sinking the face nails and applying wood filler as used on the starter wall.
Make sure when the installation is complete that the expansion space is covered with the correct molding.
GLUE DOWN INSTALLATION METHOD
• Undercut door case moldings as needed.
• Remove any existing wall base, shoe molding, quarter round or doorway threshold moldings
Step 1: GETTING STARTED
• Install the flooring parallel to the longest wall in the room. Measure out from the wall in two places allowing the proper expansion space. Mark and snap a chalk line across the two marks. Glue the first row and place spacers against the walls to secure the row in place. Continue installing the floor from left to right. Spread only enough glue to install what can be set within 45 minutes. Planks can be set directly into wet glue (wet set),as Adhesive does not require flash off. Work your way out of the room. After the install is completed, keep the floor free from foot traffic for a minimum of 8-12 hrs. to allow adhesive to properly set.
Step 2: SPREADING THE ADHESIVE
• Always refer to the specific instructions on the authorized hardwood flooring adhesive label.
• When using Adhesive, use 1/4”x1/4”x1/4” square notched trowel,(yields 30 sq.ft. per gallon spread ratio).
• Over very level, flat sub-floors use 3/16”x3/16”x3/16”square notched trowel,(yields 40 sq.ft. per gallon spread ratio).
Note : For Hardwood planks less than 5” wide, use a 3/16”square notch trowel. For planks wider than 5”,use a 1/4” square notch trowel.
Only trowel enough adhesive to set 30-45 sq.ft. of wood. The hardwood can be “wet set”into the adhesive which has 45 minute open working time.
Step 3: STARTING THE INSTALLATION
The flooring should be installed from several cartons at the same time to insure proper color, grain and shade mix..
• Proper expansion spacing is required on all installations.
• Working from the subfloor and not on the hardwood from left to right, lay the next board and continue working towards the right until you need to cut a piece to complete the first row. Measure the size you need to complete the first row and cut to length. The balance of the piece you cut may possibly be used to start the next row, if the length is a minimum of 12”. Be attentive to staggering the ends of the boards correctly in adjacent rows to avoid clustering end joints. A tapping block/hammer, can be used to tap the boards until they are in proper position. Lock the row in place using spacers against the wall in the expansion space.
• To protect the face of the boards, always saw with the teeth cutting into the face of the board.
• For Wood Subfloors: If you are working on a wood type subfloor, you may want to use small finishing nails to hold the first row in place. Fill nail holes with wood filler designed to blend with your new floor.
Step 4: INSTALLING THE HARDWOOD
• Complete the rest of the installation by spreading enough adhesive to install 45 sf. at a time. Continue to dry rack when the hardwood so that you maintain the correct end joint stagger, then continue setting the hardwood into the adhesive ready.
• Make sure that there is 100% contact between the hardwood and the adhesive. Use a clean, smooth, 100-150 lb. roller to roll the flooring at every 150 sf. interval during the installation.
Step 5: INSTALLING THE LAST ROW
• Most often the entire length of the last row will need to be cut so that it is narrow enough to fit the remaining space. When this occurs, follow this simple procedure :
• Lay a row of boards, unglued, with the tongue toward the wall, directly on top of the last row installed.
• Take a short piece of the Hardwood product that is being installed with the face down and the tongue side against the wall.
• Draw a line with a pencil along the row moving down the wall. The resulting line gives the proper width for the last row which, when cut, can then be wedged into place using the pull bar.
• You will need to use the Pull Bar with care to make the last row fit tightly and allowing for proper expansion space. Leave spacers in the expansion space until the adhesive has cured, then remove. Keep the floor free from foot traffic, for 12-24 hrs., until adhesive has set securely.
• Recommended rolling the floor with a 100-150 lb. clean roller to insure good adhesive to wood contact.
Doorways: Attempting to continue installing rows through a doorway into another room can be difficult because the narrow opening is a very small base upon which to continue consistent even rows into the next room. T-moldings are available to install in doorways when joining flooring room to room. When using the Floating install method, every doorway less than 6’wide must be transitioned using a T-molding. Floating flow through installs are allowed only if the total length of the flow-through does not exceed 40’, and the flow through doorway is 6’or wider.
To achieve alignment of plank rows from room to room, it is best to use a master reference line to run through the doorway to the far ends of each room involved. Position the line so that it is square and parallel from each room’s corresponding wall. Use this line to align the plank rows from room to room.
Pipes, vents and other fixed objects: Each can be unique, but the general rule is to measure very carefully before you cut and remember to leave a 1/2” expansion gap between the object and the flooring. You will cover expansion gaps with molding, vent covers or pipe rings when the floor is complete.
Installation on Stairs: Working from the top step down, flooring should be installed using adhesive and screw type fasteners or nails. All stair nose moldings must be glued and nailed, or screwed every 8”, as a safety precaution.
Always consider that finished hardwood, installed on steps can be a very slick surface, especially when walked on with stocking feet. Use caution when walking on finished steps.
Glue down over cork: Using Wood flooring adhesive, Cross Ply Engineered Hardwood can be installed over a structurally sound concrete sub floor that is covered with full spread, permanently bonded acoustic cork. Cork thickness should not exceed 1/4” (6.35 mm), with a density between 11.4 and 13 lb / cubic foot. Install cork in accordance with cork manufacturer’s recommendations. Acoustic cork should be pure cork with a polyurethane binder.
• Moldings should be acclimated 48 hours
• Moldings must be predrilled to avoid splitting whenever they are to be secured with nails or fasteners.
• The tool of choice for cutting hardwood moldings is a 10 or 12” motorized miter saw with pre-set adjustments for the basic miter cuts at 22.5o, 45o, and 90o. A carbide tipped blade makes the best cuts. Be sure the saw blade is positioned to cut into the finished face.
• When installing Wall Base molding, eliminate the need to putty as many holes on the molding by placing the bottom nail below the finished line of the Quarter Round.
• On Wall Base or Quarter Round moldings, never restrict the hardwood floor’s natural contraction/expansion movement by driving the fasteners at a downward angle. Attach the moldings to the wall or vertical surface.
• Always miter cuts rather than having butt cuts when splicing. Decide the direction of the miter by cutting the molding with the long point oriented in the same direction as your natural line of vision when you enter the room.
Wall Base – Borders the wood floor at the base of the wall to give the room a finished look. This molding along with the Quarter Round conceals the required expansion space between the wall and the hardwood flooring. It is also sometimes used under cabinets and toe kicks.
Quarter Round – This molding conceals the required expansion space between the wall/ wall base and the hardwood flooring. It is also sometimes used under cabinets and toe kicks where a wall base won’t fit or at the base of the stairs to provide a subtle blend between the floor and the wall or vertical surface.
Threshold This molding is used at exterior doorways as a transition between flooring and the doorway threshold. It also can be used to transition a wood floor to different floor types to make them fit together perfectly, such as high pile carpeting or tile. Another typical use for a threshold is to conceal the expansion space between the flooring and a vertical surface such as fireplace hearths and sliding glass doors.
Installation: Lay the threshold molding in place to determine a proper fit. The threshold molding should overlap the flooring by 1/2” to 3/4” leaving the balance for expansion. To attach the threshold, nail into the subfloor behind the lip of the molding. Be sure when nailing not to obstruct the floors expansion space.
T Molding – Doorway molding used to join two wood floors in adjoining rooms. Also used when making transitions from a wood floor to another floor that is approximately the same height, such as ceramic tile, hardwood, or laminate floors. T-Moldings are also used to provide expansion joints when a floor dimension exceeds the length or a width of 40’.
Installation: A space of 1 1/4” between the two adjoining floors is necessary to properly install the molding. This is to allow for the expansion space. Lay the T-Molding in place to determine proper fit. To attach the T-Molding between a ceramic tile floor and the hardwood floor, apply 1/4” bead of construction adhesive to the top edge of the ceramic tile. To attach between two hardwood floors apply the 1/4” bead to the tope edge of one side of the hardwood only. Seat the molding in place allowing for a minimum of a 1/4” overlap on the wood flooring. Make sure to allow for the expansion space between the T-Molding and the tile. When installing over a wood sub-floor, use finish nails to secure T-mold. When installing over concrete, use heavy-duty construction adhesive to secure T-molding.
Overlap Reducer– (Floating Method) Used to join hardwood floors that utilize the floating installation method with floors of different heights such as vinyl, ceramic tile, or low pile carpeting.
Installation: To attached molding pre-drill and nail in appropriate 6” to 8” intervals. Do not nail less than 2”- 3” from the ends of either side. To attach the molding using glue, apply glue to the front edge of the molding. Apply one or two 1/4” beads of construction adhesive to the subfloor and seat the molding in place. It is important not to attach the reducer directly to the floating floor to allow expansion and contraction.
Overlap Stair Nose – (Floating Method) provides the proper transition for stairways or steps, which have hardwood floors that have been installed using the floating installation method. The Stair Nose also provides the proper overhang for a transition from one floor level to the next such as the step into a sunken living room.
Installation: To attached molding pre-drill and nail in appropriate 6” to 8” intervals. Do not nail less than 2”- 3” from the ends of either side. Also apply glue to the front edge of the molding. Apply one or two 1/4” beads of construction adhesive to the subfloor and seat the molding in place. All stair nose moldings must be nailed and glued to secure the molding adequately. It is important not to attach the reducer directly to the floating floor to allow expansion and contraction.
Flush Reducer – Used to join hardwood floors that have been glued down or nailed down to transition with floors of different heights such as vinyl, ceramic tile, or low pile carpeting.
Installation: To attached molding pre-drill and nail in appropriate 6” to 8” intervals. Do not nail less than 2”- 3” from the ends of either side. To attach the molding using glue, apply glue to the front edge of the molding. Apply one or two 1/4” beads of construction adhesive to the subfloor and seat the molding in place.
Flush Stair Nose – Provides the proper transition for stairways or steps which have hardwood floors that have been installed by either the nail down or glue down installation method. The Stair Nose also provides the proper overhang for a transition from one floor level to the next such as the step into a sunken living room.
Installation: When used on a stair step, the Stair Nose molding should cover and overlap the riser. When used on a step-up to another room, the Stair Nose molding becomes the starting “edge” of the floor. Because of the interlocking of the molding with the floor, the Stair Nose molding should be installed first. Once the molding is in place, the interlocking floor can be installed. Moldings should be installed using adhesive and screw type fasteners or nails.
Hardwood Flooring Care & Maintenance
1. Use a damp cloth to blot up spills as soon as they happen. Never allow liquids to stand on your floor.
2. For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink, or tar, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth, then wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.
3. Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt and grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
4. Periodically clean the floor with cleaning products made specifically for pre-finished hardwood floor care.
5. 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.
6. Do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or strong ammoniated or chlorinated type cleaners.
7. Do not use any type of buffing or polishing machine.
8. For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
9. For tough stains, you may need to use a heavy-duty stain remover made specifically for hardwood floors.
10. A more frequent dust-mopping or vacuuming schedule may be required in very sandy areas such as a beach home.
1. Entry mats will help collect the dirt, sand, grit, and other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that might otherwise be tracked onto your floor.
2. Do not use rubber or foam backed plastic mats as they may discolor the flooring finish. To prevent slippage, use an approved vinyl rug underlayment.
3. Use floor protectors and wide-load bearing leg bases/ rollers to minimize indentations and scratches from heavy objects. As a rule, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector.
4. Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 45 and 65% throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of the wood.
a. Heating season (Dry): A humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Wood stove and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.
b. Non Heating Season (Wet): An air conditioner, dehumidifier, or periodically turning on your heating will help to maintain humidity levels during summer months.
5. Avoid excessive exposure to water during periods of inclement weather.
6. Do not walk on your floor with stiletto heels, spiked golf shoes, or other types of sports cleats.
7. Do not allow sharp, pointed, or rough textured objects to be exposed to the hardwood flooring.
8. Keep your pet’s nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching your floor.
9. Periodically rearranging your area rugs and furniture will allow the floor to age evenly. UV sunlight will soften the tone of different species of hardwood to varying degrees.
10. Use a dolly when moving heavy furniture or appliances; but first, put down a piece of quarter inch plywood or Masonite to protect the floor. Never try to slide or roll heavy objects across the floor.
11. A protective mat should be used for furniture or chairs with castors.
Repairing Your Hardwood Floor
1. Minor damage to your hardwood floor can be repaired by using a color fill. This special product should be matched to the color of your floor and, when properly used, will make the damaged area virtually invisible. In addition, the repaired area will hold up to traffic and wear.
2. A qualified hardwood flooring installer should repair extensive damage to traditional engineered or solid hardwood flooring.
With hardwood flooring, you have several different installation options: Nail Down, or Glue Down and Floating. Some Shaw Hardwoods can be installed using more than one of the techniques described below.
• This installation technique is required for SOLID hardwood construction. You or a professional installer will either nail or power STAPLE your new hardwood floor to a suitable subfloor. SOLID construction, like it sounds, is milled from a single 3/4″ thick piece of hardwood. Because of its thickness, a solid hardwood floor can be sanded and refinished over several generations of use. One of the characteristics of solid wood flooring is that it expands and contracts with changes in your home’s relative humidity. Normally, installers compensate for this movement by leaving an expansion gap between the floor and the wall. Base molding or quarter round is traditionally used to hide the extra space.
• This is an optional installation technique that can be used for ENGINEERED hardwoods. You or a professional installer will use adhesive to adhere your new hardwood to a suitable subfloor. You will also use adhesive between the seams of your hardwood floor to complete and stabilize the installation.
• This installation technique is an option on certain ENGINEERED hardwoods. With a floating installation, you will not use adhesive to adhere the wood to your subfloor. Instead, you will use an underlayment between the wood and your subfloor. This installation technique allows the floor to expand and contract. The are variety of underlayment options for your specific installation. You will need to use adhesive between the seams of your hardwood to complete and stabilize the installation.
You’ll want to consider your installation options as you make your product selection. Your dealer will be able to help you decide what method will work best for your specific needs.
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