Floors By Nature - Flooring, Floors, Hardwood Floors, Environmentally Friendly Floors By Nature - Flooring, Floors, Hardwood Floors, Environmentally Friendly
		

SURFACE PREPARATION 

All sub floors must be clean, level, absolutely flat and dry. Scrape and smooth any debris off of the surface. Sand high areas or joints. Fill low areas and cracks with proper compounds.

The sub floor surface must be structurally sound

Prepare all doorways and walls. Undercut all door casings. Remove all moldings.

Concrete sub-floor must be completely cured and dried (8-12 weeks old) with minimum surface temperature of 60F (15C) and maximum moisture content of 2% dry-weight basis. The ideal relative humidity in the room should be 55%.

Wood sub floors need to be well secured with counter sunk screws on ring shank nails. It should not exceed 14% moisture prior to installation.

Irregularities on the sub floor flatness must not exceed 1/8 in. every 8 feet.

FLOATING INSTALLATION 

Spread and unroll the required polyethylene cushioning underlayment parallel to the longest wall (they can be trimmed after the installation has been completed). Allow sufficient overlap on all joints with the next sheets; use double adhesive tape to fix the joints. Complete until the whole surface is covered with the underlayment. Pick the first floorboard and align it with the closest wall. Groove side facing the wall. The installation should begin from the right corner of the room.

Use 1/2 in. (12mm) temporary spacing-wedges to create the necessary gaps from the walls. Pick the second board, apply 1/8 in. (3 mm) glue bead at the inner topside of the groove at the board end, and start jointing the board in the row. Never apply glue onto the tongue. Continue the same steps until the first row is competed. Use a specially designed crowbar to push all the joints tight at the same time. Use the special crowbar to tighten joints form the sides and use clamps whenever necessary to ensure tight and square joints. Never fail to wipe off any excess glue immediately. Repeat all processes and install the rest of the floor. The last row is usually narrow and it may be necessary to rip floorboards lengthwise to fill in this row. Measure the remaining space and cut the boards accordingly, ensuring a 1/2 in. (12mm) spacing wedges in afterwards. Allow the finished floor to be free from load and traffic for at least 8 hours before all temporary spacing wedges can be removed. Install all the skirting/molding the next day. Make sure that all skirting or moldings are fixed onto the adjacent wall only, and not directly fixed onto the floor.

NAIL DOWN INSTALLATION 

This method of flooring installation may give some advantages over the other methods such as speed, reduced labor materials and more immediate "use" of the floor. However, the process is more difficult and some professional assistance may be required. It is necessary to use a 3/4"" (18mm) minimum thickness pay-wood sub floor with this method of installation of installation to reach the decree of surface flatness as specified in "SURFACE PREPARATION". Gap for expansion space between pay-wood boards and around the perimeter of the installed ply-wood sub floor must be provided in accordance with the manufacturers specifications. The moisture content of the ply-wood must be ensured to meet what is specified under "INSPECTION & PREPARATION".

Step 1 - Locate the longest wall in the room by which the direction of the flooring should follow. Depending on the type of flooring used, draw a starting line on the ply-wood sub floor parallel to that wall, by a distance equaling the width of the floorboard chosen + 1/2 in.). For instance, when installing flooring with "3.5" (90mm) width, the distance from the wall should be "4" ("3.5" + 0.5"). The additional 1/2 in. space is meant to create space for expansions. It is vital to ensure the line is totally straight and that installation begins with a perfectly straight and square start.

Step 2 - Pick the first floorboard and aligning it along the start line, with the groove side facing the wall. The installation should ideally begin from the right side of the room. Alignment must be done between the outer edge of the floorboard and the start line. NOT between the tip of the tongue and the start line. Use spacing wedge, if necessary, to create the 1/2 in. (12mm) expansion gap. Once the floorboard is aligned perfectly, face nail the board with the nail perpendicular to the surface. Place nails as close as possible to the wall, so that after completion, when the base molding is fixed, the head of the nail will be concealed under the base molding. Nailing the other long side of the floorboard on the tongue for this first row has to be done with the nail slightly inclined and the nail head driven flush with a nail punch. Care must be taken on the placement of the nail. The nails should be spaced every 10-12 cm (every 4-5") apart, and should be more than "2" (5cm) from either end of the floorboards. Use 1 - "1.5" finishing nails depending on the thickness of the floorboards installed. Continue the same step until the first row is completed. Remember to cut the last floorboard in the row to create the needed expansion gap of 1/2 in. (12mm) from the wall. Start the second row in the same manner. Use the remaining board from the first row or use fresh floorboard. Cut the board if necessary to crate staggered joints that are at least "20" (480mm) apart. From the second row on, nailing is done on the tongue side only. The first and last rows must be nailed down by hand because they are closer to the wall. Continue to install all the remaining rows. (Use a nailing machine if necessary to speed up the job). If nailing machine must be used, it is important to sacrifice some floorboards to test & adjust the machine. Hardwood varies in its density between one species and the next. The machined has to be adjusted from time to time to suit each particular job. The base plate of the machine must be clean, smooth ad free from any nicks and scratches to avoid damages to the flooring surface. Do not put machine directly on floor surface; always use protective cardboard or mats. Do not hesitate to seek professional assistance whenever required.

Step 3 - The final row of flooring is usually narrow and it will likely be necessary to rip floorboards lengthwise to fill in the row. Measure the remaining space and cut the boards accordingly, ensuring a 1/2 in. (12mm) gap at all sides. Nail down this last row in the same manner as the nailing of the first row, and complete the installation. Once the nail down work is completed, install all the skirting and moldings. Make sure that all skirting/molding are fixed onto the adjacent wall only, NOT directly to the floor. Clean the surface and refer to "CARE & MAINTENANCE" for additional information.

GLUE DOWN INSTALLATION 

This method of installation requires fans to crate airflow and to help speed up the drying time of the adhesives. Sufficient cross ventilation should also be provided during installation and up to 24 hours after its completion. Also, Concrete sub floors should have at least 3000-PSI compression strength. This type of installation does not need any cushioning underlayment.

Step 1- Determine the working area to begin the installation in and the longest wall in the room with access. Draw a straight line on the floor parallel to that wall by a distance of (6x width of 1 floorboard plus ½"). For example when installing flooring with 5" (127mm) width the distance of the line should be "30.5" (6x5 plus ½") from the wall. The area formed between the wall and the line will be the working area; the rest of the room will be the installation area; and the line itself will be the starting line. Depending on the width of the room, the working area may need to be adjusted, in order to avoid a very narrow cut on the last floorboards for the final row. Make a test and lay floorboards beforehand, if necessary. A starting block is recommended to help the initial floorboard placement. Nail the starting block down firmly along the starting line, within the working area to help hold the first row of the installed floorboards firmly in place.

Step 2 - Once the working area and the installation area have been established, the adhesive spreading on the installation area can begin. Follow all directions and recommendations from the adhesive manufacturer and use all the proper recommended tools. The adhesive should be used sparingly over and area that can be laid with flooring within 3 hours, depending on the curing speed of the adhesive used. Pick the first floorboard and align it with the starting line (starting block) along the groove’s edge. The installation should ideally start from the right side. Lay the first floorboard and ensure that 12 mm (1/2") gap from the adjacent wall is provided. (Use spacing wedge or nail the floorboard down if necessary).

Pick the second board, apply 1/8" (3mm) glue bead on the inner topside of the groove at the board end, and start jointing the board in the row. Never apply glue on the tongue. Continue the same steps with the next floorboard and complete the first row. Cut the last piece to allow ½" (12mm) gap to the wall. Use a specially designed crow bar to pull the last board into place. Push joints tight and drive spacing wedges in. Clean any excess glue from the joints immediately. Begin the second row by either using board left over from the first row or fresh board. Cut the board, if necessary, to create staggered joints at least 20" (480mm) apart. Repeat steps similar to the first row and complete the second row. Note that unlike the floating installation method, longitudinal tongue and groove gluing (along the edge of each row) is not compulsory with this glue down method.

Tighten all joints and use soft rubber mallet to speed up the process, if needed. Make periodic checks of adhesive transfer during installation by inspecting the back of a floorboard. Adhesive transfer must cover at least 80% of the area behind the floorboard. Add more adhesive with roll brush if needed. Insufficient adhesive transfer may cause poor results. To prevent movement, tape flooring down every 3 completed rows across the face together using temporary –adhesive masking tape (i.e., 3M 2090 Blue Mask™ tape). ALWAYS wipe off excess glue from all joints immediately. Repeat all processes and install the rest of the floor within the installation area.

Step 3- Every 2-3 hours and upon completion, roll the floorboard surface with a 100-150 LB (50-70 kg) roller to ensure all boards are flat and in perfect contact with the adhesive. Wrap the roller with cloth or with foam pad to avoid scratches or dents on the floor surface. The final row is usually narrow and may require ripping floorboards lengthwise to fill in the row. Measure remaining space and cut the boards accordingly, ensuring a ½" (12mm) gap to the walls at all sides. Use the special crow bar to pull these last floorboards into place, and to tighten the joints. Then drive the "½" (12mm) spacing wedges in. Add more spacing wedges around the perimeter of the installed floor if necessary to keep al joints tight.

Step 4 - Cover the remaining, uncovered working area. Remove the starting block and spread the adhesive in the same manner as described before. Install flooring the same way as the fist stage, making sure to put glue beads on the inner topside of the grove at each board's end before jointing the floorboards. Work from the area away from the access “backward” toward the access. Clan any excess glue from the joints immediately. Tape down rows and roll floorboard surfaces. Complete the installation and spare "½" (12mm) expansion space to the wall. Put additional spacing wedges whenever required around the perimeter. Remove all adhesive tape from the first stage area and clean the surface thoroughly. Repeat the process afterward on the remaining area. Allow the finished floor to be free form load and heavy foot traffic for at least 24 hours after completion. Do not cover the surface. Allow the flooring to breathe.

Step 5 - The next day, remove all temporary spacing wedges and install all the skirting/moldings. Still avoid heavy foot traffic. Make sure that all skirting/moldings are fixed onto the adjacent wall only, not the floor.

 



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