There is simply nothing like real wood flooring for durability and rustic charm. Oak Floors are one of many real wood flooring species that can add warmth and character to any room that synthetic materials cannot.
Because wooden floors are a natural product grown from trees they have a lot of variations and natural qualities. Some pieces will have knots open or filled and some species can differ in colour quite substantially . Variation in widths are considered normal as wood naturally expands and contracts because of changes in temperature and humidity. No wood floor will ever be exactly the same and all those natural variations can come together to give a genuinely beautiful natural finish.
And don't forget that real wood flooring will last a lifetime and can always be refinished with different stains, lacquers or oils to give a brand new looking finish or simply let it naturally wear to produce a rustic looking floor over time.
Important information before installation?
Be fitting customers should be aware of moisture and humidity in the room of fitting. Any experienced fitter will be able to use specialist tools to test the humidity and sub floor moisture in a room.
No matter which wood flooring you buy , it needs to get acclimatised to the temperature and humidity in your home. Wood flooring will naturally expand mainly along the width of the board when it is exposed to an increase in moisture. It will shrink when the moisture decreases or the heat is reduced.
Before doing anything it is important to make sure that the room is okay for installation and acclimatisation of a wood floor. The sub-floor must be level and dry with a moisture content of below 3.5% on a concrete moisture content scale. Should you be getting readings higher than this after a concrete floor has been installed for longer than 4 months , increasing ventilation, heat and the use of a dehumidifier is advised. Seek professional advice should the concrete sub-floor be more than 6 months old.
The room of installation must have good ventilation and maintain a humidity of around 45%-65%. This is thought to be in line with normal living conditions. Before storage for acclimatisation , ensure all wet trades such as painting and plastering are completed and completely dried out. The extra moisture created by such trades can affect your floor adversely during storage.
When a room is within the above recommendations you are then ready to acclimatise your flooring. Put the boxes of floor into the room of installation. They should be in piles of at most 4 high. Leave at least a minimum 6cm gap between all stacks of floor. Don't open any boxes or remove wrapping as this may aid warping or cupping . The room should be at approximately 20-22degC. Boxes should then be left for at least 10 days to acclimatise. Following these steps will reduce expansion and shrinkage in your floor. For under-floor heating , please contact us.
Sub-floors must be level before commencing installation. We recommend no more than 3mm over a 1m distance in any direction. This should be checked and measured before commencing installation. Uneven floors should be suitably levelled using levelling boards, plywood or self levelling products.
Installation Requirements and Wastage
Wooden Floor Shop Ltd highly recommends using a professional wood flooring installer. Your choice of floor fitter can be the most important person to the end user as it is him/her who will be responsible for how the finished floor will look and perform. It is not recommend to do DIY fitting or to use of a joiner on any solid wood floors. It is also important to consider while many joiners may be qualified floor fitters, not all are qualified to fit wood floors.
Important Guidelines :
It is important to work from several boxes at a time. This enables the fitter to decide on the best mix of colour and grain to as to achieve the best looking floor possible. Different boxes can vary in colour and mixing boxes throughout the installation can give a better overall finish. NB. Wood is a product of nature and in most species a natural wastage of up to 5% is possible. EG as much as 5% of the product may not be suitable for purpose or visually acceptable. It is because of this we always recommend adding 5% to accommodate this natural wastage.
Because of cutting and fitting wastage it is advisable to allow for a further 5%. So in total an allowance for total wastage of 10% should be purchased. EG if you need to cover a floor of 20m2 , purchase 22m2 of flooring to allow for natural and fitting wastage.
Wood flooring is best laid in the direction of the longest length of the room. For example a room measuring 5 x 3m should have the length of the boards running along the 5m length of the room. The maximum length a solid wood floor can run without a break for expansion is 7m and the maximum width is 5m. For wider rooms it may be necessary to build in internal expansion. This is achieved by placing 1mm spacers between each joint along the board lengths, then fixing the next row in place and removing the spacers. These internal expansion gaps should continue along the whole length of the joint. Allow 6 complete rows of expansion gaps (6mm in total ) for every extra meter over the maximum width of the room.
When installing onto a concrete sub-floor it must be dry (below 3%MC),level and free from oil , dirt and dust. Your fitter should be able to test the moisture content (MC) of your sub-floor using a concrete moisture meter. For boards up to 135mm wide we recommend a concrete to wood bonding adhesive such as Laybond 16. For widths from 136mm up to 240mm an elastic wood to concrete bonding glue such as MS polymer is required. NB We do not recommend floating any solid wood floors in any circumstances.
When installing onto a timber sub-floor such as floor boards or plywood we recommend secret nailing using a Primatech overlay flooring nailer and Primatech nails or equivalent.
When installing onto Under floor Heating longer aclimatisation is necessary. Do not use a solid wood board any wider than 150mm. MS polymer glue (or equivalent) is also necessary. Boxes should be laid flat and unopened separately. Do not pile them on top of each other. The heating system should be set to 14deg for the first week and increase every week by 2degC. After 8 weeks the floor will be acclimatized and ready for installation.
An expansion gap must be left that can vary due to the time of year. During winter the floor will shrink during acclimatisation, so an expansion gap of 12-15mm is required. This should be left around all the edges where the floor meets , walls or fireplaces or any object that the floor is installed adjacent too. During installations in the summer an expansion gap of 10-12mm is required as the floor will have expanded slightly during installation. At all other times a 12mm gap is sufficient. All expansion gaps can then be covered by the use of skirting or beading. A minimum thickness of 15mm is required to cover the expansion.
At all openings and doorways expansions gaps are also necessary. These can be hidden by the use of solid wood door bars. At the door frame it is necessary to cut an expansion gap into the frame. This will allow the floor to appear to be fitted flush to the frame , but if it expands can then expand underneath the frame in to the expansion gap.
Maintaining A solid wood Floor
- Place door mats at all external Doors
- Use felt pads on all chair and table legs
- Use felt based castor cups on all furnishings fitted with castors
- Always protect your floor when moving heavy objects.
- Wipe , vacuum or sweep you floor for daily maintenance.
- Remove dirt and stains with a certified wood floor cleaner and damp (not wet) mop
- Remove any spillages from your floor immediately. Never allow liquids to sit on your wood floor.