Engineered Wood Installation Guidelines
Site conditions are extremely important and can make the difference between a spectacular timber floor and one that is not so good. The overall fabric (walls, floors, timbers etc) of the building should be thoroughly dried out so there are no visible signs of moisture or condensation. All wet work (concrete, plastering etc) must be completed and dry before the timber is delivered. Dehumidifying a newly built/extended environment is crucial. This can be achieved by running the heating system for a prolonged period-with good ventilation or alternatively a dehumidifier can be used.
The packs should be stored in the room they are to be laid unopened for a minimum of 48 hours to acclimatise.
The engineered floors can be laid as a floating floor over a good quality underlay or fully bonded to the sub-floor. We would also advise the floor be laid by a professional floor fitter for a perfect finish.
Timber is a living substance that reacts to changes in relative humidity. Wood gains and loses moisture before and after installation as surrounding conditions fluctuate, indeed wood expands in the summer when the humidity level is high and contracts in the winter when the humidity level is much lower because of central heating etc.
To minimise the expansion or contraction of your floor we recommend that the building should be well ventilated and the relative humidity level maintained to at least 45% all year. Any building work, plastering etc. should be completed and thoroughly dry, see above.
We recommend the wood be left, unopened, in the room it is to be fitted at its normal temperature to acclimatise for at least 48 hours before fitting.
N.B: Engineered boards made of a top layer of Beech or Birch should NOT be used over under-floor heating.
If the sub-floor is concrete the level of moisture should be tested using a professional concrete moisture meter calibrated to give a percentage reading. The moisture content reading should be no higher than 2%, if a higher percentage reading is measured the floor should not be laid. The concrete should be level (maximum of 3mm difference over 2m) clean and dust free.
The existing structural floor boards should be screwed down flat, clean and dust free.
Structural Boards are those that have a thickness of 20mm + and can be laid over joists, if the boards are 14mm thick then 18mm structural plywood should be laid and screwed down first.
An expansion gap of 10-15mm is required between all stable building elements such as walls, doors, thresholds, pillars and pipes.
You will need special expansion joints for doorways without thresholds, passageways between rooms, long corridors, rooms with nooks and crannies, or floor surfaces which exceed 12m in length and 8m in width. Cover the floor with the underlay. Start in the corner where the two longest straight walls come together and preferably lay your floor in the direction of the incoming light. If you are laying your floor directly over floor boards they should be laid in the opposite direction.
For information on Installation Guidelines for Underfloor Heating click here.