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Installing An Engineered Hardwood Floor

The advice and instructions below are a short account based on our own past experience and are intended as a supplement to the manufacturers own instructions and recommendations. These instructions apply to installing as a floating floor over a suitable underlay. Engineered floors can also be secret nailed or bonded to a suitable sub-floor. Ask for our instruction sheets for these methods. We also produce a supplement for installing an engineered floor over a hot water under-floor heating system.

Please examine the boards carefully before installation. Neither we, nor the manufacturers can accept claims for visibly damaged planks after they have been installed. The flooring is only suitable for use in dry rooms with a normal temperature of 18-20&186;c and 50-60? relative humidity, and must be protected from rising moisture, condensation and other forms of humidity.

Decoration and plaster must be completely dry before delivery. The flooring should be acclimatised within or adjacent to the room it is to be installed for at least 24 hours prior to fitting. The packs should be stacked horizontally within the packaging at least .5m away from an outside wall.

The flooring can only be installed over a sub-floor that is dry and flat (approx 2mm over a 1 m² area). Level up any hollows in the sub-floor with Styccobond F400 repair screed. Uneven floors can also be overlaid with underlay panels 5-8mm thickness loose laid at right angles to the run of the new flooring.

The sub-floor must be and must remain dry (for concrete floors the rule is a a maximum of 2% moisture content throughout the whole thickness of the floor).

On new concrete floors, a drying period of at least 2 weeks for every 1cm thickness should be allowed. (e.g. a 6mm screed should dry for 12 weeks) When installing at ground floor level, or fitting onto a solid sub-floor, always us a moisture barrier, or a foil laminated underlay with taped joints and perimeters. Keep the boards within the packaging until the start of the installation and then unwrap and use one pack at a time. Lay the boards in the direction of the light for best effect.

Lay out the Underlay
Lay out the underlay 1 width at a time the same direction as the new floor. Lay groove side to the wall using spacers to maintain a 10mm gap between boards and the wall.

Lay the boards
If the wall runs out, lay the boards straight a few centimetres out from the wall and scribe a line with a pencil onto the board. Cut down the board to line up with the wall and insert spacers to maintain a 10mm gap.

Use the Off Cuts
Use the off-cut from the last board to start the next row unless it is under 20cm in which case, cut into a new board. Make sure there is a 10cm gap between wall and insert spacers to keep the boards tight. Check again that the boards will still run straight when you reach the centre of the room, and ensure that you will not have to use a run of planks on the opposite wall less than 50mm wide.

Use a Pulling Iron and Mallet
The last boards of a run can be tapped into place with a Birbek pulling iron and a hammer or mallet.

Use a Tapping Block
Use a tapping block to knock in the second row of boards. It is important to strike the tongue and not the edges of the boards.

Take boards apart and glue
When all the boards have been correctly cut and scribed for the fist 2 rows, take the boards apart and commence with the glueing.

Apply Adhesive
Apply a good quality D3 PVA adhesive to the lip of the groove NOT THE BACK OF THE GROOVE. Glue end joints as well as edges.

Glue boards in this order
The correct order to glue the boards is shown above 1 to 6. Ensure that the fit is tight and that the boards are held firmly in place with the wedges. The first 2 rows of boards are crucial to the whole installation, so it is imperative that the boards are properly glued and straight.

The last row needs sawing
The last row of planks will need to be sawn lengthwise. Lay the last plank directly on top of the last but one plank and using an off-cut piece of board as a scribing guide, trace a cutting line onto the last plank.

Apply glue to the grove lip
Apply glue to the grove lip and then pull the board into place with the pulling iron. Make sure that the board is held tight by inserting spacers Leave 12 hours if possible before using the floor.

Cut through Architraves
Cut through architraves with an undercut saw using an off-cut board as a guide to rest the saw onto. The floor can then be slid under the architrave and still be able to expand.

Bore out holes
Bore out holes 10mm larger than the pipes when fitting up to radiators. This will allow the wood to expand uninhibited around the pipes.

Cut holes neatly
Cut through the holes as neatly as possible. It may help to score through the surface of the wood with a Stanley knife before sawing.

Glue boards back together
Glue the boards back together around the pipes with PVA adhesive and hold the boards together with masking tape for at least 12 hours.

Take out the spacers once the adhesive has set and then install the skirting board or, if fitting up to existing skirting, the scotia moulding. It is important to nail, stick or screw into the perimeter walls and not into the floor. When fixing threshold strips at doorways, make sure that these are not tight up to the new floor as this could cause it to buckle.

Please look after your new floor by following the instructions in our latest Cleaning & Maintenance Of Polyurethane Sealed Hardwood Floors instruction leaflet supplied with your floor or available on request.

Download instructions to print or view off line in Acrobat.