The installation of hardwood flooring product systematically implies the acceptance of its apparent imperfections unless the owner or the installer have pointed them out to the vendor before its installation.
Natural wood flooring is a unique product that of its nature is distinctive by the variations in wood grains and the color of its fibres. These variations do not in any way constitute a defect.
Industry standards provide for a margin of error of 5% for natural imperfections and manufacturing defects. Before installation of the floor, the installer must carefully inspect the planks for grade, color, quality of product manufacturing and finish in order to insure that the product is up to standard.
The installer must make a reasonable selection and cut, eliminate or install any defective piece in a low visibility area.
Provide for an overage or surplus of 5% of the surface to be covered in order to compensate for cutting loss.
Before laying down wood flooring, the installer must determine whether the work site environment as well as the condition and type of subfloor meet or surpass all of the stated requirements in the installation instructions.
Any installed plank shall be deemed to be accepted by the installer and the owner whether or not the latter is present at the time of installation.
In a new building, hardwood flooring should be one of the last elements to be installed. All water works or works that generate humidity (plumbing, acoustic ceilings, wallboard joints, etc.) should be completed before the installation of hardwood flooring. Concrete and plaster will have to have hardened and be at least 60 to 90 days old. The materials must be dry. The heating and ventilation systems must be completely functional; the room should have a constant temperature of 19-22°C (66-72°F), as well as constant relative humidity between 45 and 55%.
The ideal moisture content of the subfloor is 8 to 10 %, but must not exceed 12%. The difference between the subfloor and the wood planks must not exceed 4%. For planks of 4” and more of width, the difference between the subfloor and the wood planks must not exceed the internal humidity level of the planks by more than 2%.
The boxes of planks must be on the work site at least 72 hours before installation. Do not open the boxes before starting the work. Do not store the boxes in an inadequate place such as a shed, an unheated garage or a basement.
It is not recommended to install hardwood flooring in a basement, or over a radiant heating system.
The approved types of subfloor are plywood with a minimal thickness of 15 mm (5/8 in.), an OSB panel of 20 mm (¾ in. ) well nailed to the central joists spaced at 40.6 cm intervals (16 in. ), a concrete slab with an approved subfloor( tongue and groove wood subfloor), on an existing wood floor (installed at a 90 degree angle).
The sub floor must be clean. It must be structurally solid ( firmly secrewed to the joists in order to prevent creaking). The surface must be level as a maximum discrepancy of 3.17 mm over 1.8 m (1/8 inch over 6 feet) is acceptable.
Begin installing the second row by repeating the edge nailing as described in step 3. (Do not face nails as in the first row)
• The tools required for installation are as follows : nail gun, Miter Saw, circular saw, drill, square, measuring tape, chalkline, hammer, rubber hammer, nail punch, level, vacuum cleaner, protective glasses, touch-up kit.
• It is recommended to use a vapour barrier on the entire surface.
• Trace a start line to insure that the first row is straight and square.
• Leave a space of at least 13 mm (1/2 in.) to 19 mm (3/4 in.) between the planks and the walls to allow for expansion due to variations in humidity.
• Use planks from several boxes and mix them to insure a good assortment of color, length and appearance.
• Depending on the nail gun, the first rows must be nailed by hand until you have sufficient space to use the nail gun using 5 cm nails (2 in.).
• The planks must be nailed every 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 in. ) and at a minimal distance of 5 cm (2 in. ) from the end of the planks.
• Make sure you stagger the ends of adjoining planks by at least 15 cm (6 in. ) to avoid clustering end joints.
• The last planks must be installed the same way as the first ones.
Maintaining a stable climatic environment is the secret of a well-preserved floor. It is imperative that an indoor temperature between 19-22°C (66-72°F) and relative humidity between 45% and 55% be maintained.
• Use protective mats at doorways to retain dirt and humidity. Avoid mats with a foam rubber or rubber undercovering as they could damage the varnish.
• Use felt pads under all furniture and chair legs in order to prevent scratching the floor.
• Never wash your floor with lots of water. Excessive humidity damages the wood.
• Use a vacuum cleaner, a dry mop or a broom.
• Wipe up any spots or spills immediately.
• Never use wax.
• Avoid wearing high heels on your hardwood floor.
• Pets’ nails, among other things, can cause scratches.