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Installation Instructions Hardwood floors
Congratulations! You have selected a LINAZUL Hardwoods floor for your home. Most people have a professional hardwood flooring contractor install their floor. A professional installer typically has experience installing our materials. If you have decided to install the floor yourself, below are general installation instructions. Remember, no set of instructions can equal the years of experience that a professional can bring to the job.
Hardwood floors are a natural product. This means that the flooring materials will react to the environment where it is installed. Wood breathes, absorbs and gives off moisture. It the rooms in your house are abnormally humid or dry, the wood may react adversely to these conditions. One of the main goals of these instructions is to help you keep your wood floor products from absorbing moisture before, during and after installation.
Hardwood floors are best suited for rooms that are heated in the cold weather and air-conditioned in very hot weather. It is best for the floor if the humidity is relatively constant and moderate. Extremes, particularly of humidity, will degrade the flooring. For that reason, if your rooms are particularly dry, we recommend a humidifier. If the rooms are particularly humid, then a dehumidifier is suggested.
Before you begin, all surfaces must be clean, dry, smooth and free of dirt, wax, oil, paint and curing agents. If you are installing Hardwood floors in new construction several things need to be considered. The building must be completely enclosed, with the roof completed, and all windows and doors installed. It is very important that all “Wet” construction be completed and the materials completely dry before the installation process is begun. This includes all concrete, plastering, painting and tile work. Concrete should have been poured at least 60 days prior to the installation.
Hardwood floors can be installed in a variety of locations and over an assortment of materials. Perhaps the most important criteria for the installation location is the moisture level and moisture consistency. Moisture can migrate into the flooring from a variety of different sources. All of these potential sources need to be recognized and dealt with. For this reason, we recommend that the floor is to be installed at or above grade. Installations below grade are very susceptible to moisture, which could damage your floor. Because moisture can cause problems with hardwoods, it is not advisable to install hardwood floors in full bathrooms.
The environment in the areas beneath the floor is very important. The ideal conditions are where the floor is being installed over a heated/air-conditioned space. In this type of installation, no moisture will migrate through the subfloor to affect the hardwood floor. If the hardwood is to be installed over an unheated basement, for example, a vapor barrier must be installed below the hardwood.
If the area under the new floor is a crawl space foundation a vapor barrier must installed between the new hardwood floor and the subfloor. This barrier will minimize the effect of moisture in the crawl space environment that can migrate through the subfloor and into the hardwood flooring. A second vapor barrier of 4 to 6 mil polyethylene sheets should be laid on the crawlspace floor. It is also vital that the crawl space be adequately vented to make sure that any moisture that comes out of the soil does not build up but is vented to the atmosphere.
Most hardwood floors will be installed over wood subfloors. You can successfully install our flooring products over 3/4" thick strip subflooring, or exterior sheathing grade plywood (5/8" (19/32") or 3/4" (23/32") performance rated products are preferred). 3/4" (23/32") OSB is a comparable substrate. The wood subfloor may need to be renailed to minimize movement. Wood subfloors should be sanded flat prior to installing the flooring.
It is possible to install directly over concrete floors. We strongly recommend that you moisture seal a concrete subfloor. Although LINAZUL flooring is very stable, it should not be in contact with any slab that is constantly wet or even damp for any period of time. For wet slab, see a professional installer. Concrete subfloor must have all cracks and holes filled. For most installations ¾” plywood is fastened to the concrete subfloor, over a moisture barrier. A second moisture barrier is installed over the plywood and then the hardwood flooring can be nailed into the ¾” plywood.
As was stated earlier, the subfloor must be dry prior to the installation of any hardwood products. It is also important that the new flooring and the subfloor have the same low moisture content. Therefore it is important for your LINAZUL Hardwoods flooring materials to be placed in the room where they are going to be installed for 3 to 7 days, with heat or air conditioners operating as if the house was occupied. The packages should be opened so the flooring can acclimate to the conditions in the room.
To act as a moisture barrier, fifteen-pound building paper (tar paper) should be laid directly onto the wood subfloor. This building paper also minimizes squeaks caused by small movements of the flooring after installation.
A hardwood floor will expand and shrink as the moisture level in the room changes. This is expected and unavoidable. It is important to allow space for this natural process. The first boards, and the last boards of the installation need to be installed ¾” away from any walls. (Base molding will later cover this space.) If you are installing the hardwood around any other immovable features like columns, a ¾” expansion space needs to be included here also. It will probably be necessary to face nail the first row of flooring. The nail holes can be covered by baseboards or can be filled with wood filler.
The hardwood flooring can then be installed. Hardwoods are a product of nature. Because of the natural color variation in hardwood flooring from piece to piece, it is important to work out of four to five boxes at a time to assure a beautiful blend of shading. Many installers will “rack” or lay out the flooring with each board in its approximate final position. This gives the opportunity to arrange the individual boards to maximize the beauty of the natural color and grain variations. This also is the time to inspect all of the boards and remove any that are not acceptable.
You should use special flooring nails (cleats), or flooring staples to install the hardwood flooring. These fasteners are typically installed using pneumatic or mechanically operated floor nailing guns which are struck with a rubber-faced hammer to drive each board tightly against its neighbor and simultaneously fire the nail or staple through the tongue of the hardwood flooring and into the subfloor.
The individual boards must have nails at proper spacing for a trouble-free, durable, hardwood floor. It is recommended that nails be 8 to 10 inches apart along the length of each board. Each board should be nailed at least 5 inches away from each end.
Although we prefer nailing, LINAZUL Hardwood flooring can also be installed over a wood subfloor or concrete slab with glue. A moisture barrier is recommended even when a wood subfloor is used. Once again, it is very important than the installer is working on a flat, clean and dry base floor. After the moisture barrier has been applied, glue the floor over the existing concrete slab or plywood subfloor.
Use any top-quality wood floor adhesive on the market,
A floating floor is where the boards are installed over a foam pad and glued together. The planks are not nailed or glued to the subfloor. During construction, spacers are used to keep the flooring the proper distance from walls and other obstructions. Normal water resistant wood glue is used to glue the individual boards together. After the entire floor is installed, the spacer blocks are removed. If a large area of flooring is installed as a floating floor, expansion strips need to be included.
After your Hardwood floor has been installed, it is advised that you keep the heating/air-conditioning systems operating as if someone were living in the house. Extremes in temperatures and/or humidity caused by a non-functioning HVAC system could harm your new floor.