Preparation Is Key
Solid wood floors should be considered a ‘living, breathing product’. A wide variation in humidity in the home environment through the seasons, or a significant difference between the moisture content of the sub-floor and floorboards at the time of installation can result in uneven expansion/shrinkage. This can cause buckling (lifting) of the floor, or large gaps between the floorboards. There are several important ways to minimize this potential for such movement:
Important Note: most commercial delivery truck drivers will only deliver as far as your curbside. Be sure you have arranged for assistance to bring the delivered flooring into the house, either with your Installer or the trucking company ahead of time. Its not o.k to leave it outside or in a garage.
- Deliver the wood flooring to the home or job site for acclimation only if all the wet work (drywall, painting, tile & rock work etc) has been completed.
- The home & sub-floor should be dry.
- The heating and ventilation system should have been “on” for at least 1 week and operating in their normal range.
- Place the wood in the main area to be installed, on lathing and with spaces between the bundles for air to pass through. (Do not store in a garage, shed or basement)
- Have the flooring installed only by a professional flooring installation contractor. Some will even provide a guarantee of their installation.
The professional installer should make sure that:
- The moisture content of the floorboards to be installed are within 2% of the moisture content of the sub-floor – an acclimation period may be required for the floorboards to adjust to this level; an accurate moisture meter will be required to assess moisture content; (Calibrated properly for the wood species density)
- An adequate-weight underlay paper must be used between the floor and the sub-floor (heavier weight for over crawl space application), or optional glue and nail direct to the plywood. This is common when installing planks wider than 5″ to ensure a stronger hold down.
- An adequate gap must be maintained between the perimeter of the floor and walls to allow for acceptable natural expansion/contraction.
Floors that are being installed over concrete, over radiant heat, or in parts of a home that are ‘below grade’ (i.e. lower than the ground level outside the house) require professional advice. Successful installations over concrete require special attention to details. The use of Engineered Flooring should be considered for any installation over concrete or where humidity levels are a concern. With proper applications, most problems can be solved to allow for installation over most wood or cement surfaces. New technology adhesives, moisture controlling underpads and humidity control systems offer solutions to many technical problems, please ask us how we can help solve yours?
Relative Humidity Control
Ensuring that the indoor relative humidity will be maintained between 40-60% throughout the year will keep the wood very stable. Humidity control systems can help to maintain a constant humidity level. With large differences in humidity from one season to the next, the effect on wood can be damaging. Kitchens and bathrooms especially require proper venting of moisture-laden air. This can occur in homes that are unoccupied for lengthy periods of time, such as a weekend home or vacation cabin. If air conditioning or heating is not used, or is shut off, humidity control is a must even when the home is not occupied
All of our flooring is pre-finished with SACIOS “Hardwax Oil” from Germany, made with natural oils and waxes. This non-toxic, zero VOC’s, professional grade coating allows the resins to enhance the natural beauty of the wood. It also makes a durable and easily maintainable finish, suitable for floors, counter tops, cabinetry and safe for children’s toys