Please note: Every property is different and there is a huge amount of varying factors to consider when fitting a hardwood floor. It is impossible to have a strict set of instructions for installations due to the variations from job to job. The following information is our wood flooring installation guide but it is only to be taken as help. If you have any specific questions, or if you can’t find that answer you are looking for, please contact JFJ Wood Flooring on 01598 740197 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before You Fit:
It is recommended that you allow the flooring to sit in the room it is to be laid in for a minimum of 72 hours before it is fitted. This then allows the boards to acclimatise to the conditions of the room prior to installations. It is important that when you do this, you are acclimatising your wooden flooring into suitable conditions (see below for info on checking subfloor and environment). For more information on this see our webpage that gives details of acclimatising our engineered wooden flooring: https://www.jfjwoodflooring.co.uk/faq/does-my-flooring-need-acclimatise-property-first
Inspecting the Floor
The beautiful thing about wood flooring is that no two floorboards are the same, wood flooring has charm and character than cannot be replicated. Natural variations in grain and colour from board to board are not flaws, they are part of the natural characteristics of the timber. It is the responsibility of the property owner / fitter to check that they are happy with the finish, grade, colour and natural features as well as to check for any machining discrepancies before the floorboards are fitted. The beauty of each board is up to the tastes of the individual. One person’s favourite board in the whole floor will be the board another person would choose not to use. It is important that all floorboards are checked in good lighting prior to installation.
A wastage factor has to be built in when fitting a hardwood floor. 10% wastage is often considered an industry standard and we use this as a guide, though we have always found with our engineered oak flooring that 5% is typically all that is required. However if you feel as though you would like to be a little more selective over what boards to use, then this does need to be considered when calculating how much wastage to order. More information on this can be found on our ’What grading to choose’ article. Also keep in mind that with most of our products we offer free delivery on any quantity so if you find you then need a box or two more, we can get these to you at no extra cost.
Checking Subfloor and Environment
It is essential that that the both the subfloor and environment are suitable and ready for your wooden floor to be laid. The relative humidity of the room needs to be between 45-65%. This can be tested by leaving a relative humidity meter in the room. The wooden flooring is designed to be laid into an environmentally controlled structure. The room must be dry and all wet trades such as plastering must have been finished and allowed to dry.
The flooring can be laid over a variety of different surfaces such as concrete, plywood, joists, existing timber floor boards and more. The surface your new flooring is to be laid on must be dry, level and have load bearing properties. The subfloor must also be checked to make sure it and has no loose pieces.
The moisture content of a wooden subfloor must be below 10% and it is important that you ensure that no draughts or moisture can come up through your existing timber floor. This is particularly important if you have a vented floor beneath the existing floorboard. If you have a newly laid concrete, it must also have had time to fully dry. The moisture content of the concrete should less than 3%. Some adhesives and underlays recommend different levels of moisture content of your concrete subfloor so make sure that you check the instructions on each individual product you are using. This must be tested by a professional on site and drying times must be checked with the supplier of the concrete if you are not sure.
It is also important to check that if you have underfloor heating set within a screed, the underfloor heating is turned on as per instruction before any wooden flooring is laid. In some cases, despite giving the screed time to dry, you will find that when the underfloor heating is turned on, moisture will be driven up and out of the screed. It is imperative that this moisture is not driven into the underside of your floor boards. Again, it is recommended that moisture content is tested by a professional, however there is a ‘trick of the trade’ way of testing if moisture is still being driven out of your floor. If you tape a piece of polythene down to your sub floor and find that there is condensation on the underside of the polythene, this is a sign that there is still moisture being driven out of the screed.