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Strand Woven Flooring Installation Instructions

NOTE: Please follow all installation guidelines provided by the National Hardwood Flooring Association.  These installation instructions only apply to Solid Strand Woven Eucalyptus and Bamboo Flooring.  Where instructions differ from the NWFA.org, these instructions take precedence.

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.

TOOLS

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
  • square
  • utility knife
  • pry bar
  • wood flooring adhesive if gluing - towels and trowel
  • if stapling - an 18 gauge, 1 1/4" staple or longer, with a power nailer is recommended - Caution: Improper use of a power nailer can mark the surface of the flooring.

2. JOBSITE CONDITIONS AND ACCLIMATION PROCEDURE

Your flooring should be one of the last items installed in any new construction or remodel project. All work involving water or moisture should be completed before flooring installation. Permanent HVAC should be on and operational and maintained between 60-75° F & relative humidity should be 30%-60% for min 14 days prior to delivery, as well as during and after installation.

Store flooring in the areas where they are to be installed. Both ends of the boxes should be completely opened to allow flooring to acclimate. Do not store directly on concrete or near outside walls. Flooring should be acclimated until its moisture content is within 2% of the moisture content of the subfloor. Due to the Strand Woven Eucalyptus density, acclimation will progress more slowly than an engineered product. In very humid or dry climates, acclimation may require several weeks. Non-intrusive surface meters tend to give more accurate readings than pin type meters. All moisture meters must be calibrated and adjusted to specific settings for different species. For Solid Strand Woven products, use the setting for Ipe (Brazilian Walnut). Failure to acclimate properly may result in shrinkage or expansion and cupping/buckling. 

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 AND RECCOMENDATIONS

Concrete Sub-Floors

New concrete slabs require a minimum of 60 days drying time before covering them with a wood floor.

Lightweight concrete

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.

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

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.Particleboard is not an acceptable sub-floor for staple down or glue-down installations.

Sub-floor moisture check

All subfloors must be dry and remain dry year-round, structurally sound, clean and level within 3/16" per 10' radius. Moisture content of wood sub floors must not exceed 12%, wood flooring moisture content must be within 2% of wood subfloor moisture content, and concrete must not exceed 3 lbs. per Calcium Chloride Test (test method ASTM 1869-89). For glue down installations, subfloor must be free of wax, grease, paint, old adhesives, etc., which can be removed by sanding. Concrete subfloors must be fully cured, at least 60 days old, and should have min 6-mil polyfilm between concrete and ground. Installation below grade is NOT RECOMMENDED.We recommended the use of a concrete sealer when needed. 

4. PREPARATION

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.

Racking the Floor”

Whether your choose to install the floor with glue, nails, or staples start by using random length planks from the carton or by cutting four to five planks in random lengths, differing by at least 6”. As you continue working across the floor be sure to maintain the 6” minimum between end joints on all adjacent rows. Never waste material; use the left over pieces from the fill cuts to start the next row or to complete a row. Note: When installing a pre-finished wood floor be sure to blend the wood from several cartons to ensure a good grain and shading mixture through out the installation.

5. INSTALLATION METHODS

5.1 GLUE DOWN INSTALLATION GUIDELINES

There are two ways to install when gluing down strand woven flooring (wet lay meaning to lay directly into wet adhesive and dry-lay method meaning to allow the adhesive to flash or to tack up.)

Caution: Whether you choose to install using the dry or wet method follow all guidelines set by the adhesive manufacturer. Please use adhesive that is suitable for ½” Solid Strand Woven Bamboo or Eucalyptus and apply with recommended trowel for adequate coverage. By not adhering to the guidelines you can void your flooring warranties. 

Wet Lay Method

Step 1 - Select a starter wall. It is recommended to start the installation along an exterior wall; it’s more likely to be straight and square with the room. Measure out from the wall the width of two planks and mark each end of the room and snap your chalk line.

Step 2 - Spread adhesive from the chalk line to the starter wall using the recommended trowel. It is important to use the correct trowel at a 45% angle to get the proper spread of adhesive applied to the sub-floor, which will produce a proper and permanent bond. Improper bonding can cause loose or hollow spots.

Step 3 - Install the first row of starter planks with the tongue facing the starter wall and secure into position. Alignment is critical and can be achieved by securing achieved by securing a straight edge along the chalk line (2’x 4’s work well), or by top nailing the first row with finishing nails (wood sub-floor), or sprig/pin nails (concrete sub-floor). This prevents slippage of the planks that can cause misalignment.

Step 4 Once the starter rows are secure spread 2-1/2 to 3 feet of adhesive the length of the room. (Never lay more adhesive than can be covered in approximately 2 hrs.)

Place tongue into groove of plank or strips and press firmly into adhesive never slide planks or strips through adhesive. Use a tapping block to fit planks snug together at side and butt ends.

Clean any adhesive off the surface before it cures using clean terry cloth towels and a urethane remover or mineral spirits.

Use 3M Blue Mask Tape to hold planks securely in place as you are installing and continue the process through out the installation. Use caution when using a rubber mallet to butt material together, it can burn the finish and cause marring

Note: Never work on top of the flooring when installing with the wet lay method.

Dry Lay Method

Step1 - Start by selecting your starter wall and measure out from the wall 30” when installing 5” planks. This will allow adequate working space. Snap chalk line.

Step 2 - Apply adhesive from the chalk line out 2.5’-3’. Allow adhesive to flash as per the instructions affixed to the top of the adhesive container. The humidity chart will aid in allowing the appropriate flash time based on the temperature and humidity.

Secure your starter rows with a straight edge (2’x 4’s). Install planks and secure with 3M Blue Mask Tape as you continue through out your installation. If you must work on top of the newly laid flooring use a kneeling board.

Once the remainder of the floor has been installed go back to the beginning and remove straight edges and spread adhesive on the remainder of the open subfloor, allow flashing for the appropriate time and lying flooring as instructed. Remembering that the planks closest to the wall may need cutting to fit, due to irregularities along the wall.

Clean Up

Use clean white terry cloth towels to clean as you go, along with mineral spirits. Both are easy and convenient to use. Adhesive that has cured on the surface of the flooring can be difficult to remove and will require the use of a urethane remover. This product has been recommended by the adhesive manufacturer and is safe for the finish of your pre-finished hardwood floor.

Light foot traffic is allowed after 12 hours but wait 24 hours after installation to remove the 3M blue masking tape. Once the tape is removed clean any adhesive residue left from the tape.

5.2 NAIL DOWN INSTALLATIONS

Your strand woven hardwood floors may be installed over wood sub-floors using staples.

When installing your strand woven wood planks or strips by stapling, it is necessary to use the proper type of flooring staples for your strand woven wood floors.

Recommended Staplers

When installing a 5" wide product, an 18 gauge, 1 1/4" staple or longer, with a power stapler is recommended

Step 1 - You must staple 1”-2” from the ends and every 6”-8” along the edges. This will help insure a satisfactory installation. It is best to set the compressor PSI at 80-85lbs. to keep the staples from going through or breaking the tongues. Improper stapling techniques can cause squeaks in the floor.

Adjustments may be necessary to provide adequate penetration of the staple into the nail bed. You want it flush in the nail pocket. Use a scrap piece of flooring material to set tools properly before installation.

Before installation of the strand woven flooring begins, install a 6-mil polyethylene layer over the sub-floor. This will retard moisture from below and may help prevent squeaks. Keep in mind there is no complete moisture barrier system for staple or nail down installations.

Note: 15lb roofing felt or resin paper may be substituted for the polyethylene and installed as below.

Installing 6-mil Polyethylene

Install the polyethylene parallel to the direction of the flooring and allow a 3” overhang at the perimeter. Make sure each run of polyethylene overlaps the previous run by 6” or more.

Layout the job

Measure out 3.5” from the ends of your starting wall when installing 5” planks and mark both ends. Where possible lay the flooring at 90* angles to the floor joists. Make a chalk line along the starting wall using the marks you made.

Beginning installation

Note: Expansion space is required along the perimeter of room(s) of intended installation, expansion space is dictated by the thickness of the product, for example, 3/8” thick floor requires a 3/8” expansion space, 1/2” thick floor requires 1/2” expansion space.

Place the planks with the tongue facing away from the wall and along your chalk line. Use brads or small finishing nails to secure the first starter row along the wall edge 1”-2” from the ends and every 6”-8” along the side. Counter sink the nails and fill with a wood filler that blends with the flooring installed. Place the nails in a dark grain spot in the board. The base or shoe molding will cover the nails when installed after completion of the installation.

Blind nail at a 45*-degree angle through the tongues. It will be easier IF YOU PRE-DRILL THE HOLES IN THE TONGUES. Nail 1”-2” from the ends and every 6”-8” along the sides. It will be necessary to blind nail the next 2 rows. A brad nailer with 1”-1-/38” brads can also be used to blind nail and no pre-drilling is needed.

Continue the installation using a wood flooring stapler, using staples recommended by a wood flooring professional. Staple the flooring 1”-2” from the ends and every 6”-8” along the edge tongues.

Final Touches

Install the proper trim molding at the doorways to achieve the transition and along the walls to cover the edges of any gaps along the wall due to irregularity.

Complete the job by using wood filler that blends with the installed flooring to fill any gapping along the joints and cleans the finished floor with Professional’s Choice Flooring Cleaner.

6. RADIANT FLOOR INSTALLATION

Solid Strand Woven Products are not suitable for Radiant Floor Installation.

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