- Measure the room so that the quantity of engineered hardwood flooring required is known. If the last board required is too narrow in width, it may be necessary to install length-wise cut boards on both sides of the room to give it an overall balanced look.
- The engineered hardwood flooring should be given sufficient time to acclimatize by not opening up the packaging in the room where they are to be installed.
- Each piece should be inspected to ensure that the quality is acceptable.
- Ensure that the floor will fit under doors and skirting strips. Existing skirting strips may have to be removed during installation to allow for the expansion perimeter.
- Ideally, the engineered hardwood flooring should be installed along the longest dimension of the room and in a square room, the long joints should follow the path of the incoming light.
- Sub-floor surfaces must be dry and level. Suitable surfaces include concrete, particleboard, wood floors, both ceramic and vinyl tiles and possibly others. Please consult your flooring specialist.
- For uneven concrete floors, cement-based levelling compounds can be used to even out abrupt variations of about 1/6” for every 80”.
- It is necessary to lay 1/6” thick polyethylene foam in between the sub-floor and engineered hardwood flooring. Ensure that the foam overlaps and covers the sub-floor without any open gaps.
Tips for Installation
- To glue the tongue and groove joints together, apply the adhesive evenly along the upper surface of the groove.
- Do not strike the engineered hardwood flooring directly with the hammer, always use a striking block.
- As you lay each row of engineered hardwood flooring, wipe off excess glue with a damp cloth.
Laying of Engineered Hardwood Flooring
- Being a natural material, timber is prone to movement with variations in moisture content, heat and relative humidity in the environment. As a guide, please allow the expansion perimeter of the floor gaps to be at least 2mm (1/12”) at each end per running meter (yard) of the engineered hardwood flooring. For example, an 8 meter (25 feet) long floor will need a 16mm (about 5/8”) expansion joint at each end.
- Lay out the first engineered hardwood flooring, with the groove facing the wall and place wedges at the end of the engineered hardwood flooring to establish the expansion joint. Join other boards along the room length but do not glue yet.
- It is important for the first row to be installed in a straight line. Test with a string. If the wall is not straight, mark its profile on the first row and cut the engineered hardwood flooring length-wise accordingly.
- Now lay out the engineered hardwood flooring along the wall with the groove facing the wall, insert wedges along the wall for the expansion allowance along the length of the engineered hardwood flooring. Lay the last row with a mortise chisel or a pinch bar.
- Start the first piece of the following row with the residual piece of engineered hardwood flooring from the previous row if it is at least 50cm (20”) in length. Apply the adhesive to the grooves and if there is excess glue, wipe off with a damp cloth.
- Use the striking block to hammer the engineered hardwood flooring smoothly together. If there is excess glue, wipe off with a damp cloth.
- To shorten door frames, place the engineered hardwood flooring on the floor by the frame and saw to make sure the floor will fit under.
- Should there be any protrusions such as heating pipes from the floor, measure the position and size of the protrusions on the engineered hardwood flooring and cut.
- Leave space for the expansion gap around the protrusions, about 10-20mm (3/8”-3/4”) in diameter more than the actual size.
- Saw through the holes at a 45 degree angle, apply glue to the edge of the cut-off piece and fix it behind the protrusion.
- The width of the final row can be found using a piece of engineered hardwood flooring (tongue to the wall) as a marking guide.
- Place the engineered hardwood flooring for the final row on top of the second last row, move the marking guide along the wall and mark the width of the remaining row on the engineered hardwood flooring.
- After cutting, apply adhesive to the groove and place with a mortise chisel or pinch bar.
- Leave the wedges in until the glue has properly dried.