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Engineered Wood Flooring - Installation Guide

This guide is produced by Flooring Sales Ltd to ensure that the floors we sell (Staki, Holt and Herga) can be fitted to the standard required to match the manufacturers warranty.

This guide relates only to engineered wood flooring, it is not relevant to solid wood floors.

Site Conditions

Ensure that the moisture content of the subfloor is within the recommended range for the flooring being installed. Excessive moisture can lead to expansion or warping. On newly laid sand and cement/ concrete screeds, ensure that the screed is totally dry. Ensure that the subfloor is clean, dry, and level.

Maintain a stable relative humidity level in the environment. Ensure that all wet trades, ie plastering are completed prior to fitting the flooring.

The new flooring should be stored in the room it is to be laid for 24hrs prior to installation, allowing it to acclimatize

Installating Plank Flooring

It is very important to have a flat subfloor. When checking the floor for flatness, there should be no more than a 3mm gap under a 2m straight edge.

Levelling must only be carried out using a latex screed. This should be left to dry overnight, possibly longer if applied thickly.

Do not lay the floor in a regular pattern such as ‘brickwork’. The floor must be laid randomly, with adjacent ends at least 50cm apart.

Floating Plank Floors

The floor produces a ‘hollower’ sound when walked upon. The feel underfoot will be softer compared to a glued-down floor.

Individual planks or boards are connected to each other, forming a “floating” surface above the subfloor. Tongue and Groove boards require PVA adhesive in the joints.

Individual planks can be more easily lifted and replaced, making repairs more straightforward. This is also an advantage if access under the subfloor is required.

When levelling, do not use extra layers of underlay to fill hollow spots. This will make the flooring soft underfoot and bouncy.

If the flooring is running between different rooms it is advisable to break each doorway with a threshold, effectively breaking the job up in to several smaller areas with less movement potential.

If a kitchen is to be installed on top of the floor, the flooring must be stuck down, if laid floating the weight of the kitchen will restrict the floor from moving.

If a floor reaches 6m or more across its width it is also advisable to glue it down. Wide expanses of flooring potentially need a lot of room to move. Gluing the floor down stops the floor moving.

Expansion gaps must be left around the perimeter of the floor as well as where the flooring meets any fixed objects – i.e. kitchen islands.

Glued Plank Floors

The flooring should be stuck down if heavy units, kitchen islands or storage heaters etc. are to be installed on top of the floor.

Since it is directly bonded to the subfloor, glued-down flooring is less flexible. Generally, this type of flooring feels more solid underfoot and tends to have less of a hollow sound when walked on.

The individual planks or boards are directly adhered to the subfloor creating a more permanent and stable installation.

Glued-Down installations will allow larger areas to be laid without the need for thresholds in doorways between rooms where the floor is laid, so flooring can run through the rooms unbroken.

Installing Herringbone Flooring

Herringbone Floors must be fully stuck down.

Find the centre of the room and establish a centreline. This will serve as a reference point for laying the first set of herringbone pieces. Glue down the crown line and leave to dry.

Plan the layout carefully to avoid small, narrow cuts at the edges of the room. Start the pattern from the centre of the room and work outward to maintain symmetry

Underfloor Heating

When installing on a heated base, ensure that the heating is uniformly spread without hot or cold spots. The temperature of the floor surface must not exceed 27° C.

Check with the heating system manufacturer that their product is compatible with hardwood flooring.

If you are laying a floating floor over an underfloor heating system, you must use an underlay which incorporates a vapour barrier.

General Considerations

Do not install the wood flooring when there are still lots of trades on site. The floor should be laid near to the end of any project to minimise the risk of damage. Always protect the floor once laid if there is more work being carried out.

Before commencing any installation, ensure that the client is happy with the colour and the grading of the flooring. When laying ‘smoked’ flooring, please note there will be a lot of colour variation between the boards.  Please ensure that the client is aware of this. Work from 2 or 3 different packs to help to randomise the overall effect.

Aftercare and Maintenance

We recommend installing matting at external doorways. Protective felt pads should be fitted to the bottoms of chair and table legs. Avoid walking on the floor with high heels if possible, this can potentially dent the floor.

Maintain stable humidity levels in the home. Excessive moisture or extreme dryness can affect the wood’s stability.

Dust and dirt can act like abrasives, potentially scratching the floors finish. Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to remove loose dirt and debris.

Accidental spills should be cleaned up promptly to prevent liquid from penetrating the floors surface. Use a slightly damp cloth for this purpose.

When cleaning, use a pH-balanced wood floor cleaner recommended by the flooring manufacturer. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the lacquer.

If re-coating floors please speak to our technical department on advice regarding the best products to use.

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