- Above Grade - Engineered, Solid Strip and Solid Plank floors can be installed
- On Grade - Engineered, Solid Strip and Solid Plank floors can be installed. L.W. Mountain does not recommend glue down of solid strip or solid plank installation on concrete slab.
- Below Grade - Engineered floors can be installed. Solid strip and plank should not be installed below grade.
- Concrete slabs on grade or above require a screed system with a minimum 3/4 inch plywood on top of subfloor material for nail/staple down installation.
A. Before installing wood flooring, place an approved vapor retarder. Some examples of acceptable vapor retarders over wood subfloors include:
B. Unfinished and factory finished solid plank should be installed perpendicular to joists or on a diagonal for any single layer subfloor (exceptions: Over diagonal, solid subfloor boards, install perpendicular to joists or subfloor direction).
- An asphalt laminated paper meeting UU-B-790a, Grade B, Type 1, Style 1a.
- Asphalt-saturated kraft paper of #15 or #30 felt that meets ASTM standard D-4869 or UU-B-790, Grade D
- Red Rosin Paper
C. Wall Line Layout
1. Choose a starting wall according to the most aesthetically or architecturally important elements in the room, taking into consideration fireplaces, doors, cabinets and transitions, as well as the squareness of the room. The starting wall will often be the longest unbroken wall in the room.
2. Snap a working line parallel to the starting wall, allowing a 3/4 inch expansion space between the starting wall and the edge of the first strip or plank run.
3. As a general rule, a 3/4 inch expansion space must be left around the perimeter and at all vertical obstructions.
4. Random-width plank is laid out with alternating courses varying by widths. Start with the widest board, then the next width, etc., and repeat the pattern.
5. Lay one row of strip or plank along the entire length of the working line.
6. Top-nail and blind-nail the first row (hand-nail if necessary), using appropriate fasteners. Denser species may require pre-drilling. Each succeeding row should be blind-nailed with the nailing machine whenever possible. At the finishing wall and other obstructions, it may be necessary to blind-nail by hand until top nailing is required.
7. Racking rule of thumb: Stagger end joints in adjacent rows at least three times the width of the boards, as product allows. Avoid H-joints.
8. To minimize expansion on floors wider than 20 feet, more or less spacing between rows may be needed, depending on geographical area, interior climate control, and time of the year.
9. Where spacing is required: use a washer or removable spacer to leave additional space every few rows and/or start in center of room and work out to both sides. Do not use spacers that may cause damage on factory-finished products.
10. Nailing: Blind-nail through the tongue using 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch fasteners. Use 1 1/2 inch fasteners with nominal 3/4 inch plywood subfloor direct to concrete slab. Face-nail boards where needed using 6d-8d casing or finish nails. Fasteners should be spaced every 6 - 8 inches on blind-nailing, or every 10 - 12 inches on face-nailing.
11. Blind-nail and face-nail, as necessary, to complete the final rows.
Remember that all walls and other vertical structures in the room must have a 3/4 inch expansion space left between it and the floor. If your drywall stops at least 3/4" above the floor, the thickness of the drywall can be considered part of the 3/4" expansion space requirement.
- Once the floor has been completed the base and the quarter round can be reinstalled into the room. This will cover the expansion gaps left between the wall and the floor.
- Sweep or vacuum the floor using a soft brush attachment.
- Finish by cleaning the floor with an approved hardwood floor cleaner.
- Enjoy your new hardwood floor.
About Trims and Transitions
There is a variety of trims and transitions to accent a floor by covering expansion gaps or transitioning from one flooring surface to another. Before completing your floor it is important to know what trim pieces you will need for your floor.
- T-Mold - The molding is used mostly between tiled surfaces and wood floors. Also used for connecting to existing wood floors.
- Overlap Reducer - Used mostly with floating floors to other floor coverings with lower vertical heights. Also used to transition carpet and floating floors.
- Square Nose Reducer - Used to transition in thickness from wood floor down to thinner surface
- Nosing - Also called Stair Nosing, Bull Nose, Stairwell Trim, Landing Tread. Thickness same as flooring. Used to created finished edge on top step, around stairwell, sunken living room, etc.
Moldings must always be nailed to the wall or subfloor, never to the hardwood flooring.
Additional square footage ordered for an installation is commonly referred to as a waste factor. During installation, boards are cut to specifically fit your floor. Once boards are cut, the remainder is typically unable to be used elsewhere in your floor. In addition, some boards may not be suitable for installation because of milling or color preferences which means it becomes waste. Finally, unfortunate damage during the life of your floor may call for replacing a board, and having spare flooring from the same stock can help to keep your floor's appearance. The standard in the flooring industry is to order five to ten percent of additional flooring to cover cuts and other waste.