Floor Preparation & Installation

Wood is hydroscopic. It will absorb and expel moisture based on its environment. Solid wood flooring is 100% hardwood and is not immune to these changes. With Engineered wood floorings multi-ply construction, these changes are greatly reduced. However, for the best results we recommend that all hardwood floorings be acclimated in a controlled environment prior to installation.

Interior walls should be dry enough to be painted and a relative humidity of 30-50% should be provided before any installation begins. A Calcium Chloride test will determine if a concrete slab is suitable for hardwood flooring, If excessive moisture is present an approved concrete sealer should be used to seal the slab.

Concrete sub floors must be clean, flat and sound and of sufficient compression strength (3000lbs PSI) being sure that the surface is not slick. Sections not flat such as waviness, trowel marks, etc. are to be eliminated by grinding or the use of an acceptable leveling compound. Especially along the walls, the sub floor flatness must be checked and, if necessary, improved. Flat to 1/8” in an 8’ radius.

In addition to concrete sub floors, these products can be installed over dry, flat wood sub floors, such as plywood. If plywood is used as an overlay over an existing sub floor, the thickness of the overlay material much be such as to yield a total 3/4” sub floor thickness.

New wood type sub floors should also be checked for moisture using a moisture meter. In general, wood or plywood sub floors should not exceed 12% moisture content or 4% moisture content difference between wood flooring and sub floor. Sub floor irregularities and undulation may cause any wood flooring installation to develop hollow spots between the flooring and the sub floor.

The three methods to install wood floors are:

  • Glue Down
  • Floating
  • Nail Down

Some of the benefits to a floating floor are:

  • Floating floors were designed to cover various types of sub flooring with a minimal amount of preparation.
  • They can be removed or repaired without damaging your sub floor.
  • You can remove a floating floor with ease and in some situations re-install it in a different area.
  • Removal of ceramic tile can be very costly and you can cover it up with a floating floor.

Floating wood floors are basically built the same as other engineered wood floors, which have multiple thin ply layers that are glued together. The inner cores are generally either a hardwood and/or soft ply- wood type of material, which incorporates the tongue and groove system. The top hardwood veneer wear layer is glued on top surface of the core and is available in almost any hardwood species.