Engineered Hardwood Flooring Installation Instructions
Mohawk Engineered Planks and Strips
can be installed over most subfloors, and are engineered to be dimensionally stable,
making them suitable for installation over all grade levels. See all information
and installation guidelines below.
Caution: Wood Dust
Sawing, sanding and machining
wood products can produce wood dust. Airborne wood dust can cause respiratory, skin
and eye irritation. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified
wood dust as a nasal carcinogen in humans.
Power tools should be equipped with a dust collector. If high dust levels encountered
use an appropriate NIOSH-designated dust mask. Avoid dust contact with skin and
First Aid Measures in case
of irritations: In case of irritation flush eyes and skin with water for
at least 15 minutes.
If questions please contact
Mohawk Technical Services at 1-888-387-9881, prompt 3
WARNING! DO NOT MECHANICALLY
CHIP OR PULVERIZE EXISTING RESILIENT FLOORING, BACKING, LINING FELT, ASPHALTIC "CUTBACK"
ADHESIVES OR OTHER ADHESIVES.
These products may contain either
asbestos fibers and/or crystalline silica. Avoid
creating dust. Inhalation of such dust is a cancer and respiratory tract hazard.
Smoking by individuals exposed to asbestos fibers greatly increases the risk of
serious bodily harm. Unless positively certain that the product is a non-asbestos
containing material, you must presume it contains asbestos. Regulations may require
that the material be tested to determine asbestos content and may govern the removal
and disposal of material. See current edition of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute
(RFCI) publication "Recommended Work Practices for Removal of Resilient Floor Coverings"
for detailed information and instructions on removing all resilient covering structures.
IMPORTANT HEALTH NOTICE FOR
MINNESOTA RESIDENTS ONLY:
THESE BUILDING MATERIALS EMIT FORMALDEHYDE.
EYE, NOSE AND THROAT IRRITATION, HEADACHE, NAUSEA AND A VARIETY OF ASTHMA-LIKE SYMPTOMS,
INCLUDING SHORTNESS OF BRATH, HAVE BEEN REPORTED AS A RESULT OF FORMALDEHYDE EXPOSURE.
ELDERLY PERSONS AND YOUNG CHILDREN, AS WELL AS ANYONE WITH A HISTORY OF ASTHMA,
ALLERGIES, OR LUNG PROBLEMS, MAY BE AT GREATER RISK. RESEARCH IS CONTINUING ON TH
EPOSSIBLE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE TO FORMALDEHYDE.
REDUCED VENTILATION MAY ALLOW FORMALDEHYDE
AND OTHER CONTAMINANTS TO ACCUMULATE IN THE INDOOR AIR. HIGH INDOOR TEMPERATURES
AND HUMIDITY RAISE FORMALDEHYDE LEVELS. WHEN A HOME IS TO BE LOCATED IN AREAS SUBJECT
TO EXTREMEM SUMMER TEMPERATURES, AN AIR-CONDITIONING SYSTEM CAN BE USED TO CONTROL
INDOOR TEMPERATURE LEVELS. OTHER MEANS OF CONTROLLED MECHANICAL VENTILATION CAN
BE USED TO REDUCE LEVELS OF FORMALDEHYDE AND OTHER INDOOR AIR CONTAMINANTS. IF YOU
HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF FORMALDEHYDE, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR
OR CALL LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT.
Attention - IT IS THE INSTALLER/OWNER
RESPONSIBILITY to inspect ALL materials carefully
BEFORE installation. Wood is a natural product containing natural characteristics
such as natural variations in color, one and graining. Some variation in color is
to be expected in a natural wood floor. Even though our product goes through many
inspections before it leaves the plant, it is the customer and installer's responsibility
for final inspection prior to installation. Mohawk Flooring warranties DO NOT
cover materials with visible defects once they are installed.
Basic tools and accessories: broom
or vacuum, chalk line, tapping block, Mohawk Hard Surface Cleaner, hand or electric
jam saw, miter saw, moisture meter, safety glasses, straight edge, table saw, tape
measure, 3M blue tape (#2080), square, utility knife, pry bar. Use a moisture cured
urethane wood flooring adhesive and trowel if gluing or if using a pneumatic floor
stapler, use a 20-gauge 1" staple with 1/8" crown. When installing Mohawk 5"
wide product, use an 18 or 19 gauge 1 1/4" staple or longer with a
1/4" crown is recommended. (NOTE: you must use a 3/8" or 1/2" adapter on some floor
staplers or as appropriate). Also Note: 3/4" thick engineered planks should
be nailed or stapled using a 3/4" solid wood flooring nailer or stapler of any brand
using the recommended size staple or cleat for 3/4" solid wood installations.
use of a Pneumatic floor stapler can mark the surface of the flooring.
Mohawk Engineered Wood Flooring
should be acclimated to the environment in which it will be installed for a minimum
of 48 hours prior to installation. The room temperature should be 60° - 80° F, with
relative humidity of 35% - 65%. These environmental conditions are specified as
pre-installation requirements and should be maintained for the life of the engineered
It is the responsibility of the installers/owner
to determine if the job site subfloor and job site conditions are environmentally
and structurally acceptable for wood floor installation. Mohawk
Hardwood Flooring declines any responsibility for wood failure
resulting from or connected with subfloor, subsurface, job site damage or deficiencies
after hardwood flooring has been installed.
SUBFLOOR PREPARATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
FOR ALL INSTALLATIONS
New concrete slabs require a minimum
of 60 days drying time before covering them with a wood floor.
Light Weight Concrete
Light weight concrete that has a dry
density of 100 pounds or less per cubic foot is only suitable for engineered wood
floors when using the floating installation method. Many products have been developed
as self-leveling toppings or floor underlayments, and gypsum-based materials. Although
some of these products may have the necessary qualifications of underlayment for
wood flooring installations, others do not. To test for lightweight concrete, scrape
a coin or key across the surface of the subfloor. If the surface powders easily
or has a dry density of 100 pounds or less per cubic foot, use only the floating
Concrete subfloors must be dry, smooth
(level within 3/16" in a 10' radius 1/8" in 6') and free of structural defects.
Hand scrape or sand with a 20-grit #3-1/2 open face paper to remove loose, flaky
concrete. Grind high spots in concrete and fill low spots with a Portland based
leveling compound (min. 3000 psi) Concrete must be free of paint, oil, existing
adhesives, wax, grease, dirt and curing compounds. These may be removed mechanically
but do not use solvent-based strippers under any circumstances. The use of residual
solvents can prohibit the satisfactory bond of flooring adhesives. It is important
to ensure a proper bond between the adhesive and the concrete, and planks or strips.
Mohawk Engineered hardwood flooring may be installed on-grade,
above grade, as well as below grade where moisture conditions are acceptable.
To ensure a long lasting bond,
make sure that the perimeter of the foundation has adequate drainage and vapor barrier.
Wood subfloors need to be well nailed
or secured with screws. Nails should be ring shanks and screws need to be counter
sunk. The wood subfloor needs to be structurally sound and dry. They should not
exceed 13% moisture prior to installation. If the subfloor is single layer, less
than 3/4" thick, add a single cross layer for strength and stability (minimum 5/16"
thick for a total of 1" thickness). This is to reduce the possibility of squeaking.
Wood subfloors must be free of paint, oil, existing adhesives, wax, grease, dirt,
urethane, varnish, etc. Underlayment grade OSB (not the wax side) is also suitable
for subfloors. Particleboard is not an acceptable subfloor for staple or nail
down installations but can be used as a subfloor in glue-down installations.
When installing over existing wood flooring, install at right angles to the existing
Subfloor Moisture Check
Mohawk Wood Flooring Adhesive may
be used for above, on and below grade applications and on all common substrates,
on and below grade applications are susceptible to moisture and should be tested
for moisture prior to installation in several locations within the installation
area. Acceptable conditions for above, on and below grade applications are:
Less than 30 lbs./1000 sq. ft./24
hours on a calcium chloride test
Or an acceptable reading on an electronic
concrete moisture meter
Wood substrates must have a moisture
reading of less than 13% when using an electronic wood moisture meter
To correct any subfloor problems concerning
moisture, either wait until the subfloor dries to meet specifications or use an
appropriate moisture barrier. For more information concerning moisture conditions
call Mohawk's Technical Service department at 1-888-387-9881 Prompt 3.
Subfloors Other Than Wood
Note: Perimeter glued resilient
vinyl and rubber tiles are unacceptable underlayments and must be removed.
Terrazzo, tile and any other hard
surfaces that are dry, structurally sound and level, as described above, are suitable
as a subfloor for Mohawk Engineered Hardwood Flooring installation. As
above, the surface must be sound, tight and free of paint, oil, existing adhesives,
wax, grease and dirt. Terrazzo and ceramic tile must be scuffed to assure adhesion.
Warning! Do not sand existing
resilient tile, sheet flooring, backing or felt linings. These products may contain
asbestos fibers that are not readily identifiable. Inhalation of asbestos dust can
cause asbestosis or other serious bodily harm. Check with local, state and federal
laws for handling hazardous material before attempting the removal of these floors.
Radiant Heated Subfloors
Before installing over a radiant heated
floor turn off heat and wait until the floor has reached room temperature. After
installing the floor return the heat to the previous setting.
Caution: The floor surface
must never exceed 85° F in temperature.
Remove all moldings and wall base,
and undercut all door casings with a hand or power jam saw using a scrap piece of
flooring as a guide.
"Racking the Floor"
Whether you choose to install the
floor with glue or staples, start by using random length planks from the carton
or by cutting four to five planks in random lengths, differing by at least 6". As
you continue working across the floor be sure to maintain the 6" minimum between
end joints on all adjacent rows. Never waste material; use the left over pieces
from the fill cuts to start the next row or to complete a row.
Note: When installing a pre-finished
wood floor be sure to blend the wood from several cartons to ensure a good grain
and shading mixture throughout the installation.
GLUE DOWN INSTALLATION GUIDELINES
There are two ways to install when
using a moisture cured urethane wood flooring adhesive (wet lay meaning to lay directly
into wet adhesive and dry lay method meaning to allow the adhesive to flash or to
Caution: Whether you choose
to install using the dry or wet method follow all guidelines set by the adhesive
manufacturer as well as by Mohawk Flooring. By not adhering to the guidelines you
can void your flooring warranties.
Step 1 - (Wet Lay Method)
Select a starter wall. It is recommended
to start the installation along an exterior wall; it's more likely to be straight
and square with the room. Measure out from the wall the width of two planks and
mark each end of the room and snap your chalk line.
Spread the moisture cured urethane
wood flooring adhesive from the chalk line to the starter wall using the recommended
trowel size specified by the glue manufacturer. It is important to use the correct
trowel at a 45° angle to get the proper spread of adhesive applied to the subfloor,
which will produce a proper and permanent bond. Improper bonding can cause loose
or hollow spots.
Note: Change the trowel ever
2000 to 3000 square feet due to wear down of the notches. This assures you will
always get the proper spread of adhesive.
Install the first row of starter planks
with the tongue facing the starter wall and secure into position. Alignment is critical
and can be achieved by securing a straight edge along the chalk line (2 x 4's work
well), or by top nailing the first row with finishing nails (wood subfloor), or
sprig/pin nails (concrete subfloor). This prevents slippage of the planks that can
Note: The planks along the
wall may have to be scribed and cut to fit in order to maintain a consistent expansion
space since most walls are not straight.
Once the starter rows are secure spread
2 1/2 to 3 feet of adhesive the length of the room. (Never lay more adhesive than
can be covered in approximately 2 hours). Place tongue into groove of plank or strips
and press firmly into adhesive never slide planks or strips through adhesive. Use
a rubber mallet to fit planks snug together at side and butt ends. Clean any adhesive
off the surface before it cures using clean terry cloth towels and mineral spirits.
Use 3M Blue Mask Tape (#2080) to hold
planks securely in place as you are installing and continue the process through
out the installation. Use caution when using a rubber mallet to butt material together,
it can burnish the finish and cause marring.
Note: Never work on top of
the flooring when installing with the wet lay method.
Step 1 - (Dry Lay Method)
Start by selecting your starter wall
and measure out from the wall 27" when installing 2 1/4" strip flooring and 30"
when installing 3" planks. This will allow adequate working space. Snap a chalk
Apply adhesive from the chalk line
out 2 1/2' to 3'. Allow adhesive to flash as per the instructions affixed to the
top of the adhesive container. The humidity chart will aid in allowing the appropriate
flash time based on the temperature and humidity.
Secure your starter rows with a straight
edge (2 x 4's). Install planks and secure with 3M Blue Mask Tape (#2080) as you
continue through out your installation. If you must work on top of the newly laid
flooring use a kneeling board.
Once the remained of the floor has
been installed go back to the beginning and remove the straight edges and spread
adhesive on the remainder of the open subfloor. Allow to flash for the appropriate
time and lay flooring as instructed. Remembering that the planks closest to the
wall may have to be scribed and cut to fit due to irregularities along the wall.
When using a moisture cured urethane wood flooring adhesive it is not necessary
to roll the floor.
Use clean white terry cloth
towels to clean as you go along with mineral spirits. Both are easy and
convenient to use. Adhesive that has cured on the surface of the flooring can be
difficult to remove and will require the use of a urethane remover. this product
has been recommended by the adhesive manufacturer and is safe for the finish of
your pre-finished Mohawk Hardwood Floor.
Light foot traffic is allowed after
12 hours but wait 24 hours after installation to remove the 3M blue masking tape.
Once the tape is removed clean any adhesive residue left from the tape.
STAPLE OR NAIL DOWN INSTALLATIONS
Mohawk Engineered Hardwood Floors
may be installed over wood subfloors using staples or flooring cleats. When installing
Mohawk engineered hardwood planks or strips by nailing or stapling it is necessary
to use the proper type of flooring stapler or nailer made for the thickness of the
engineered wood flooring that is being installed.
Recommended Pneumatic Floor
When stapling, use a 20 gauge, 1"
staple with an 1/8" crown on products up to 3" wide and 1/2" thick. When installing
a Mohawk 5" wide product, use an 18 or 19 gauge, 1 1/4" staple or longer with a
1/4" crown. (Note: you must use an appropriate adapter for the
thickness of the wood on some flooring staplers). Also Note: 3/4"
thick engineered planks should be nailed or stapled using a 3/4" solid wood flooring
nailer or stapler of any brand using the recommended size staple or cleat for 3/4"
solid wood installations.
You must staple or nail 1" to 2" from
the ends and every 4" to 6" along the edges. This will help ensure a satisfactory
installation. It is best to set the compressor PSI at 80 to 85 lbs. to keep the
staples from going through or breaking the tongues. Improper stapling techniques
can cause squeaks in the floor.
Adjustments may be necessary to provide
adequate penetration of the nail or staple into the nail bed. You want it flush
in the nail pocket. Use a scrap piece of flooring material to set tools properly
installation of the engineered hardwood flooring begins, install a 6-mil polyethylene
layer to completely cover the ground and approximately 6" up the foundation walls
when installing on a wood subfloor with a crawlspace. The seams of the 6-mil poly
should overlap 4" to 6" and should be taped to the foundation walls using an aggressive
tape such as duck tape. This will retard moisture from below that is emitted from
In addition to the ground cover in
the crawlspace, a 6-mil polyethylene layer or a 15 lb felt or resin paper must be
installed over the subfloor prior to the installation of the engineered wood flooring
in order to reduce squeaks and noises created by the opposing floors.
Installing 6-mil Polyethylene
Install the polyethylene parallel
to the direction of the flooring and allow a 3" overhang at the perimeter. Make
sure each run of polyethylene overlaps the previous run by 6" or more.
Layout the Job
Measure out from the ends of your
starting wall, 2 3/4" when installing 2 1/4" strip flooring or 3 1/2" when installing
3" planks and mark both ends. Where possible lay the flooring at 90° angles to the
floor joists. Make a chalk line along the starting wall using the marks you made.
Note: Expansion space is required
along the perimeter of room(s) of intended installation, expansion space is dictated
by the thickness of the product, for example, 3/8" thick floor requires 3/8" expansion
space, 1/2" thick floor requires 1/2" expansion space, 3/4" thick floor requires
3/4" expansion space.
Place the planks with the tongue facing
away from the wall and along your chalk line. Use brads or small finishing nails
to secure the first starter row along the wall edge 1" to 2" from the ends and every
4" to 6" along the side. Counter sink the nails and fill with the Professional's
Choice Filler that blends with the flooring installed. Place the nails in a dark
grain spot in the board. The base or shoe molding will cover the nails when installed
after completion of the installation.
Blind nail at a 45° angle through
the tongues. It will be easier IF YOU PRE-DRILL THE HOLES IN THE TONGUES. Nail 1"
to 2" from the ends and every 4" to 6" along the sides. IT will be necessary to
blind nail the next 2 rows. A brad nailer with 1" to 1 3/8" brads can also be used
to blind nail and no pre-drilling is needed.
Continue the installation using an
engineered wood-flooring stapler, using staples or nails recommended by Mohawk Flooring.
Nail or staple the flooring 1" to 2" from the ends and every 4" to 6" along the
Install the proper trim molding at
the doorways to achieve the transition and along the walls to cover the edges of
any gaps along the wall due to irregularity.
Complete the job by using Mohawk wood
filler that coordinates wit the installed engineered flooring to fill any gapping
along the joints or areas where brad nails were used in the trim or the flooring.
Clean the finished floor with Professional Choice Flooring Cleaner.
INSTALLING AS A FLOATING FLOOR
Only engineered styles with 5 plies
or more are approved for floating installation
Subfloor preparation is more critical
for a floating engineered floor than for a staple or glue down installation, the
floor must be flat to 3/16" within a 10 foot radius. If the floor requires correction
the high areas can be ground down and the low areas may be filled by floating latex
fortified Portland leveling compound. The leveling compound must be allowed to dry
according to the manufacturers instructions before the floor is installed over it.
The use of sand or extra padding to fill low areas is not acceptable.
Floating installation of Mohawk Engineered Hardwood Floors requires
the use of Mohawk SilentGUARD underlayment. Underlayment
requirements are very critical in a floating installation. Excessive pad compression
or compaction is a common cause of seam failure. Mohawk Industries does not recommend
the use of any other underlayment product.
An expansion space of at least 1/2
inch must be maintained around the perimeter of the room, all pipes, counters, cabinets,
fireplace hearths, doorframes and any other fixed vertical objects in the room.
Glue and Glue Placement:
The recommended glue for floating
installation is Mohawk Laminate Glue. Glue placement is very important. The glue
must be placed along the topside of the groove the full length of the grooved side
and end. This can be accomplished by inverting the plank and applying a bead of
glue (3/32") to the topside of the groove (side of the groove nearest the face of
the plank), when the plank is turned back over the glue will run down the back of
the groove giving total coverage. Apply only a 3/32" bead of glue, if the groove
is filled with glue it will be difficult to close the seam not allowing a tight
The installation begins with three
rows of flooring glued together and held in place with blue painters tape with the
groove side facing the wall. Spacers must be used to establish the minimum 1/2"
expansion space from the walls. These three rows must be straight, square and in
rack because they establish the alignment of the rest of the floor. After putting
these three rows together allow the glue to set (15 to 45 minutes) before proceeding
with the installation. With the tongue facing out the planks can be tapped together
with a tapping block on the tongue to make a snug fit. After installing 8 or 10
rows of flooring stand back and check for crowning or heaving due to tension strapping
or any damage caused by improper taping.
CLEAN AS YOU GO:
If any glue squeezes out of the seam
between the planks allow it to dry for 10 to 15 minutes and then lightly scrape
it away with a plastic scraper or putty knife, any glue left may be cleaned with
a damp cloth or other method recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. Do not allow
the glue to dry on the face of the flooring; it will be very difficult to clean
Warranty of separation of planks
is the responsibility of the flooring mechanic, provided there is no glue failure.
Glue failure is the responsibility of the adhesive manufacturer.
Mohawk Engineered Hardwood Floors
are very easily maintained. No wax, no mess. Simply use Mohawk Hard Surface Floor
Cleaner and a terry cloth flooring mop.
STEP ONE: Sweep your
floor to remove any particles that could scratch your floor.
Warning: Vacuums with a beater
bar or power rotary brush head can damage a wood floor and never should be used.
STEP TWO: Apply the
Mohawk Hard Surface Cleaner directly to the terry cloth flooring mop, not to the
STEP THREE: Use a
back and forth motion with the mop. When the terry cloth cover becomes soiled, simply
replace it with a clean one. Cleaning the floor with a soiled cover could cause
streaking. The covers are re-usable so simply throw the cover in the wash and dry
it as you would any towel.
Tips & Warnings:
Remove spills promptly using Mohawk
Hard Surface Floor Cleaner and a clean white cloth.
Use felt protectors under heavy pieces
of furniture and chairs.
Use protective mats at all exterior
Spiked heels or shoes in need of repair
can severely damage your floor.
Never wet or damp mop your wood floors.
Water can cause damage to wood flooring.
Never use oil soaps, wax, liquid or
other household products to clean your floor.
The suns UV rays can change the color
of your floor.
Keep animal nails trimmed.
Protect your floor when using a dolly
for moving furniture or appliances. Never slide or roll heavy furniture or appliances
across the floor.
If you floor becomes scratched or
dull repairs can often be made using repair accessories.