Hardwood Flooring Installation and Maintenance
Most Important!!! – Always follow manufacturer instructions when installing ANY flooring.
- Prior to installation ALWAYS allow flooring to acclimate to the relative humidity of the home. (Usually 1-2 weeks) Be sure to check moisture levels of the sub-floor.
- Leave a gap of 5/8” – ¾” (as much as possible depending on baseboard depth) to allow for expansion.
- Evaluate subfloor for squeaks prior to install and screw down the subfloor as needed • Install wood flooring over approved 5/8” – ¾” thick sub-floor (particle board is not allowable). Always rip up old linoleum before installing hardwood flooring.
- Use Red Rosin Paper or 15 lb felt (on new construction) as an underlayment between the flooring and sub-floor.
- Install ¾” solid wood flooring on or above grade but not below grade.
- Keep relative humidity between 40-50%
- Follow a proper nailing schedule to insure minimal movement in flooring. On 2-1/4” strip flooring a nailing pattern of 6” – 8” between nails or staples is required with a maximum of 2” from the ends of the boards. On plank flooring 3” – 5” wide a nailing pattern of no more than 4” – 6” between nails or staples is required with a maximum of 2” from the ends of the boards.
- Solid bamboo needs to be installed with L-nails, not staples.
- Do not glue joints on solid wood flooring. This will produce uneven gapping in the floor and may result in splits in the center of flooring planks. (Glue is only required on some engineered products or laminates that float and that are not adhered to the sub-floor).
- Use finish nail or face nail at the beginning and ending rows of flooring in order to provide room for the manual or pneumatic nail gun.
Floor Care Recommendations
- Do not put a topcoat of finish on pre-finished flooring because this may result in a voiding of the finish warranty.
- Quickly wipe up any spilled liquid from the floor and protect wood from moisture.
- Place felt pads on the bottom of furniture to prevent scratching or gouging in wood flooring.
- Use runners or mats down in entranceways to cut down on dirt, rocks or debris scratching wood floors.
- Vacuum (no beater brush) or sweep floor on a regular basis
- Do not wet mop wood flooring. Use suggested wood floor cleaning products made specifically for pre-finished wood flooring.
- Do not walk on floors with high heels shoes or cleats as they will dent the floor.
For more information visit the National Wood Flooring Association.