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2.1 Handling and Storage.

Don’t truck or unload wood flooring in the rain, snow or other humid conditions.

Store wood flooring in an enclosed building that is well ventilated with weather proof windows. Garages and exterior patios, for example, are not appropriate for storing wood flooring

Leave adequate room for good air circulation around stacks of flooring

2.2 Job-site Conditions

Wood flooring should be one of the last jobs completed in a construction project. Prior to installing hardwood floors, the building must be structurally complete and enclosed, including installation of exterior doors and windows. All finished wall coverings and painting should be completed. Concrete, masonry, drywall, and paint must also be complete, allowing adequate drying time as to not raise moisture content within the building.

HVAC systems must be fully operational at least 7 days prior to flooring installation, maintaining a consistent room temperature between 60-75 degrees and relative humidity between 35-55%.

Engineered hardwood floor may be installed above, on, and below grade level.

It is essential that basements and crawl spaces are dry. Crawl spaces must be a minimum of 18? from the ground to underside of joists. A vapor barrier must be established in crawl spaces using 6 mil black polyethylene film with joints overlapped and taped.

During the final pre-installation inspection, sub-floors must be checked for moisture content using the appropriate metering device for wood and/or concrete.

Hardwood flooring must acclimate for as long as necessary to meet minimum installation requirements for moisture content. Always use a moisture meter to monitor the flooring and job-site conditions as they acclimate, until the wood is neither gaining nor losing moisture.

Hardwood Flooring Sub-floor Preparation

3.1 Wood Sub-floors

Sub-floor must be structurally sound and properly secured with nails or screws every 6 inches along joists to reduce the possibility of squeaking.

Wood sub-floors must be dry and free of wax, paint, oil, and debris. Replace any water-damaged or delaminated sub-flooring or underlayments.

Preferred sub-floors – 3/4” CDX Grade Plywood or 3/4” OSB PS2 Rated sub-floor/underlayment, sealed side down, with joist spacing of 19.2” or less; Minimum sub-floors – 5/8” CDX Grade Plywood sub- floor/underlayment with joist spacing of no more than 16”. If joist spacing is greater than 19.2” on center, add a second layer of sub-flooring material to bring the overall thickness to 11/8” for optimum floor performance. Hardwood flooring should, whenever possible, be installed perpendicular to flooring joists.

Sub-floor moisture check. Measure the moisture content of both the sub-floor and the hardwood flooring with a pin moisture meter. Sub-floors must not exceed 12% moisture content. The moisture difference between sub-floor and hardwood flooring shall not exceed 4%. If sub-floors exceed this amount, an effort should be made to locate and eliminate the source of moisture before further installation.

Do not nail or staple over particle board or similar product.

3.2 Concrete Sub-floors

Concrete slabs must be of high compressive strength with minimum 3,000 psi. In addition, concrete sub-floors must be dry, smooth and free of wax, paint, oil, grease, dirt, non-compatible sealers and drywall compound etc.

Engineered hardwood flooring may be installed on, above, and/or below-grade.

Lightweight concrete that has a dry density of 100 pounds or less per cubic foot is not suitable for engineered wood floors. To check for light weight concrete, draw a nail cross the top. If it leaves an indentation, it is probably lightweight concrete.

Concrete sub-floors should always be checked for moisture content prior to the installation of wood flooring. Standard moisture tests for concrete sub-floors include relative humidity testing, calcium chloride test and calcium carbide test.

Measure the moisture content of the concrete slab using a TRAMEX concrete moisture meter. If it reads 4.5% or above, then this slab must be checked using calcium chloride tests. Flooring should not be laid if the test result exceeds 3 lbs per 1000 sqft of vapor emission in a 24-hour period. Please follow the ASTM guideline for concrete moisture testing.

As an alternative method of concrete moisture testing, In situ relative humidity testing may be used. Reading shall not exceed 75% of relative humidity.

3.3 Sub-floors other than wood or concrete

Ceramic, terrazzo, resilient tile and sheet vinyl, and other hard surfaces are suitable as a sub-floor for engineered hardwood flooring installation.

The above tile and vinyl products should be level and permanently bonded to the sub-floor by appropriate methods. Clean and abrade surfaces to remove any sealers or surface treatments to insure a good adhesive bond. Do not install over more than one layer that exceeds 1/8” in thickness over suitable sub-floor.


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