Click & Lock Hardwood Flooring Installation Instructions
NOTE: This is a generic installation guide only. Installation instructions from the product's manufacturer must be followed.
1. INSTALLER/OWNER RESPONSIBILITY
Inspect ALL materials carefully BEFORE installation. Wood is a natural product containing characteristics such as variations in color, tone and wood grain. Some variation in color is to be expected in a natural wood floor. Even though our product goes through many inspections before it leaves the plant, it is the customer and installer’s responsibility to do the final inspection prior to installation. Warranties DO NOT cover materials with visible defects once they are installed.
Basic tools and accessories include:
- broom or vacuum
- chalk line
- tapping block
- hardwood surface cleaner
- hand or electric jam saw
- miter saw
- moisture meter
- safety glasses
- straight edge
- table saw
- tape measure
- 3M blue tape
- utility knife
- pry bar
2. JOBSITE CONDITIONS
Your engineered hardwood flooring must be stored in the room where it is to be installed for at least 48 hours prior to installation in order to acclimate the flooring to the room.
In new construction, hardwood flooringshould 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 for complete drying prior to the wood flooring installation. Heating and air systems should be fully operational 5 days prior to wood acclimation, maintaining a consistent room temperature between 60-80o F and a constant relative humidity range of 35%-65%.
Flooring should not be delivered until the above guidelines are completed.
It is the responsibility of the installer/owner to determine if the job site's sub-floor and job site conditions are environmentally and structurally acceptable for wood floor installation. Wood failure resulting from or connected with sub-floor, subsurface, job site damage or deficiencies after hardwood flooring has been installed is the responsibility of the customer.
3. SUB-FLOOR PREPARATION
& RECOMMEDATIONS FOR ALL INSTALLATIONS
New concrete slabs require a minimum of 60 days drying time before covering them with a wood floor.
Lightweight concrete that has a dry density of 100 pounds or less per cubic foot is only suitable for engineered wood floors when using the floating installation method. Many products have been developed as self-leveling toppings or floor underlayment. These include cellular concrete, resin-reinforced cementations underlayment, and gypsum-based materials. Although some of these products may have the necessary qualifications of underlayment for wood flooring installations, others do not. To test for lightweight concrete, scrape a coin or key across the surface of the subfloor. If the surface powders easily or has a dry density of 100 pounds or less per cubic foot, use only the floating installation method.
All Concrete sub-floors must be dry, smooth (level with 3/16” in a 10 foot. Radius-1/8” in 6’) and free of structural defects. Hand scrape or sand with a 20-grit #3-1/2 open face paper to remove loose, flaky concrete. Grind high spots in concrete and fill low spots with a Portland based leveling compound (min. 3,000 p.s.i.) Concrete must be free of paint, oil, existing adhesives, wax grease, dirt and curing compounds. These may be removed mechanically but do not use solvent-based strippers under any circumstances. The use of residual solvents can prohibit the satisfactory bond of flooring adhesives. It is important to ensure a proper bond between the adhesive and the concrete, and planks or strips. Your hardwood flooring may be installed on-grade, above grade, as well as below grade where moisture conditions do not exist.
To ensure a long lasting bond, make sure that the perimeter of the foundation has adequate drainage and vapor barrier.
Wood sub-floors need to be well nailed or secured with screws. Nails should be ring shanks and screws need to counter sunk. The wood sub-floor needs to be structurally sound and dry. They should not exceed 13% moisture prior to installation. If the sub-floor is single layer, less than 3/4” thick, add a single cross layer for strength and stability (minimum 5/16: thick for a total 1” thickness). This is to reduce the possibility of squeaking Wood sub-floors must be free of paint, oil existing adhesives, wax grease, dirt and urethane, varnish etc. Underlayment grade OSB (not the wax side) is also suitable sub-floors. When installing over existing wood flooring, install at right angles to the existing floor.
Sub-floor moisture check
Above, on, and below grade applications are susceptible to moisture and should be tested for moisture prior to installation in several locations within the installation area. Acceptable conditions for above, on, and below grade applications are:
- Less than 3lbs./1000 sq. ft./24 hrs. on a calcium chloride test.Less than a reading of 5.0 on a Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter (moisture meter). Wood Substrates must have a moisture reading of less than 13% when using a Tramex or equivalent moisture meter and the moisture content of the wood should be within 4% of the subfloor moisture content.
To correct any sub-floor problems concerning moisture, either wait until the sub-floor dries to meet specifications or use an appropriate moisture barrier.
Remove all moldings and wall-base and undercut all door casings with a hand or power jam saw using a scrap piece of flooring as a guide.
5. CLICK & LOCK FLOATING INSTALLATION
All flooring installations must use an approved 2 in 1 underlayment. In a floating installation, a 1/2” expansion gap must be maintained around the perimeter of the room. Allowing the floor to acclimate and ensuring that proper subfloor requirements are met. Begin the installation by laying the underlayment. As you lay the first row of planks, use spacers to maintain the minimum 1/2” expansion gap around the perimeter of the room.
Begin the second row ensuring the end seams are staggared a minimum of nine inches. Place the second board of the second row into the groove and lock down into place. The butt seams will be held down by the following rows. It is only necessary to glue the end seams within the first and last row of the installation. The last row will be cut to fit and should be wider than two inches.
Notes for Installation on a radiant floor
Your 1/2" Engineered Hardwood Flooring (with the exception of Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) and Maple), can be installed over radiant heating system on the ground floor, second floor, or in the basement by following the instructions below.
As there is a wide array of systems on the market, each with its own features, it is recommended that you consult your radiant flooring dealer to ensure your installation method is the right one. Wood floors can be successfully installed on radiant floors, provided you know how the latter work and how they may interact with flooring.
Preparing the subfloor for concrete slabs or beam and joist floors with a radiant system is the same as for slabs without such a system.Follow the instructions in the Floating Installation section.
Precautions and recommendations:
- Heat the installation site for 5 to 6 days before board delivery, regardless of the season, to remove residual moisture in thesubfloor.
- Ensure that ambient humidity and temperature are the same as when the area is occupied.
- The radiant floor surface must never be warmer than 85°F (29.44°C) during installation or while the floor is in use.
- To minimize sudden fluctuations in ambient humidity and temperature that could impact wood moisture levels, it is recommendedthat you install 3 thermostats. The first is to monitor the temperature of the under-floor radiant system, the second is to monitor roomtemperature, and the third is to monitor temperature outside the room. This combination allows rooms to warm gradually in relationto outside temperatures.
- Use caution when turning the radiant systems on and off at the beginning or end of the seasons. Gradually increasing thethermostat temperature over a one week period will help to minimize any undue stress on the hardwood floorboards.