Robina Floors Engineered Wood Installation Instructions
FOR INTERLOCKING ENGINEERED HARDWOOD
Glue down or Floating Installation: INTERLOCKING ENGINEERED WOODS can be installed over most sub-floors, and are engineered to be very dimensionally stable, making them suitable for installation over all grade levels. (See information and installation guidelines below.)
ATTENTION – INSTALLER/OWNER RESPONSIBILITY
Inspect “all” materials carefully before installation. Wood is a natural product containing variations in color, tone and graining. Some variation in color is to be expected in a natural wood floor. Beautiful hardwood floors are a product of nature and therefore not perfect. These floors are manufactured in accordance with accepted industry standards, which permit a defect tolerance of 5%. Even though our product goes through many inspections before it leaves the factory, it is the responsibility of the customer and installer to perform a final inspection prior to installation. ANY WOOD warranties that may be offered with this product do not cover materials with visible defects once they are installed. We recommend that you visit the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) website at woodfloors.org for installation help and maintenance tips.
Before you begin to install your flooring you must make sure the flooring is placed in the actual environment which it is going to be installed in. The HVAC system should be fully operational and on if needed to maintain a healthy home environment. This means leaving the purchased product in the original carton packaging for a period of 48 hours in the room where it will be installed. See the NWFA guidelines; Chapter 2 Acclimation & Appendix B Acclimation for more detailed information.
Basic tools and accessories: broom or vacuum, chalk line, tapping block, wood cleaner, hand or electric jamb saw, miter saw, moisture meter, safety glasses, straight edge, table saw, tape measure, square, utility knife, pry bar and underlayment (for floating installations).
Use urethane wood flooring adhesive, towels and trowel if gluing.
JOB SITE CONDITIONS
It is the responsibility of the installer/owner to determine if the job site sub floor and job site conditions are environmentally stable (Temp 60º F-80º F / Relative Humidity 35%-65%) and structurally (see local building codes) acceptable for wood floor installation. The customer and/or installer is responsible for wood failure resulting from or connected with sub-floor, subsurface, job site damage or deficiencies after the hardwood flooring has been installed. See NWFA guidelines.
SUB-FLOOR PREPARATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALL INSTALLATIONS
Concrete Sub-Floor Standards
New concrete slabs require a minimum of 90 days drying time before covering them with a wood floor. Performing a concrete moisture test on all concrete slabs would identify if the sub-floor is conditioned properly for a flooring installation, minimum results are listed below;
• Less than 3 lbs. /1000 sq. ft. /24 hrs. on calcium chloride test
• Less than a reading of 5.0 on a Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter (moisture meter)
Lightweight concrete has a dry density of 100 pounds or less per cubic foot and is only suitable for engineered wood floors when using the floating installation method. Many products have been developed as self-leveling toppings or floor underlayments. These include cellular concrete, resin reinforced cementations, underlayments, and gypsum-based materials. Although some of these products may have the necessary qualifications of underlayment for wood flooring installation, others do not. To test for lightweight concrete, scrape a coin or key across the surface of the sub-floor. If the surface powders easily or has a dry density of 100 pounds or less per cubic foot, use only the floating installation method.
All Concrete sub-floors must be dry, smooth (level with 3/16” in a 10 foot Radius – 1/8” in 6”) and free of structural defects. Hand scrape or sand with a 20 grit #3-1/2 open face paper to remove loose, flaky concrete. Grind high spots in concrete and fill low spots with a Portland based leveling compound (min. 3,000 psi). Concrete must be free of paint, oil, exiting adhesives, wax grease, dirt and curing compounds. These may be removed chemically or mechanically, but do not use solvent-based strippers under any circumstances. The use of residual solvents can prohibit the satisfactory bond of flooring adhesives. It is important to ensure a proper bond between the adhesives and concrete and wood panels. These engineered hardwood floors may be installed on grade, above grade, as well as below grade where moisture conditions do not exist. To ensure a long lasting bond, make sure that the perimeter of the foundation has adequate drainage and vapor barrier.
Wood sub-floors need to be well nailed or secured with screws. Nails should be shanks and screws need to be counter sunk. The wood sub-floor needs to be structurally sound and dry. It should not exceed 3% of the moisture content of wood flooring to be installed prior to installation. If the sub-floor is single layer, less than 3/4” thick, add a single cross layer for strength and stability (minimum 5/16” thick for a total 1” thickness). This is to reduce the possibility of squeaking. Wood sub-floors must be free of paint, oil, existing adhesive, wax, grease, dirt, urethane, varnish, etc. Underlayment grade OSB (not the wax side) is also a suitable sub-floor. Particleboard is not an acceptable sub-floor for staple or nail down installation but can be used as a sub-floor in glue-down installations. When installing over existing wood flooring, install at right angles to the existing floor.
Sub-floor Moisture Check
Wood Flooring Adhesive may be used for above, on, and below grade applications and on all common substrates. On and below grade applications are susceptible to moisture and should be tested for moisture prior to installation in several locations within the installation area. Please see concrete sub-floor standards listed above for acceptable conditions for above, on and below grade applications. To correct any sub-floor problems concerning moisture, either wait until the sub-floor dries to meet specifications or use appropriate moisture barrier.
Sub-floors Other Than Wood or Concrete
Note: Perimeter glued resilient vinyl and rubber tiles are unacceptable underlayments and must be removed. Terrazzo, tile and any other hard surfaces that are dry, structurally sound and level, as described above, are suitable as a sub-floor for engineered wood.
Radiant Heated Sub-floors
Before installing over a radiant-heated floor turn off heat and wait until the floor has reached room temperature. After installing the floor return the heat to the previous setting, slowly 2º at a time. Caution: The slab surface must never exceed 85º F. in temperature. (See NWFA Guidelines - Appendix H Radiant Heat Installation) http://www.nwfa.org/member/pdf/installg/appenh.pdf
INTERLOCKING ENGINEERED HARDWOOD FLOORING INSTALLATION
As above, the surface must be sound, tight and free of paint, oil, existing adhesives, wax, grease and dirt. Terrazzo and ceramic tile must be abraded to assure adhesion. Warning! Do not sand existing resilient tile, sheet flooring, backing, or felt linings. These products may contain asbestos fibers that are not readily identifiable. Inhalation of asbestos dust can cause serious bodily harm. Check with local, state and federal laws before handling hazardous material and before attempting the removal of these floors
Determine if you need to remove all moldings and wall-base and undercut all door casings with a hand or power jamb saw using a scrap piece of flooring as a guide.
“Racking the Floor”
Start by using random length strips from the carton or by cutting four to five strips in random lengths, differing by at least 9”. As you continue working across the floor be sure to maintain the 9” minimum stagger between end joints on all adjacent rows. Never waste material; use the left over pieces from the cuts to start the next row or to complete a row.
Note: When installing a pre-finished wood floor be sure to blend the wood from several cartons to ensure a good grain and shading mixture throughout the installation.
INTERLOCKING FLOATING INSTALLATION
All flooring installations must use an approved underlayment. In a floating installation, a 1/2” expansion gap must be maintained around the perimeter of the room.
After allowing the floor to acclimate and ensuring that proper subfloor requirements are met, you can begin the installation by laying the underlayment. As you lay the first plank, use spacers to maintain the minimum 1/2” expansion gap around the perimeter of the room. Then lay the butt seams onto each other for the first row. The cut piece from the first row (which is at least 9” long) will be used to start the second row. Be sure to always stagger the end seams a minimum of nine inches. To begin the second row, place the tongue of the cut piece into the groove and lock down into place. Place the second board of the second row into the groove and lock down into place. The butt seams will be held down by the following rows. The last row will be cut to fit and should be wider than two inches. If you need to remove the last board installed, gently slide the tool provided in this carton in between the two boards, at the short end seam. If you encounter resistance, please turn the tool 180° and try again. The tool should slide in easily. Once the tool is fully installed, pull the desired board up and away from the adjacent board to remove.
GLUE DOWN INSTALLATION GUIDELINES
There several ways to install using a glue down method such as wet lay or tacked. Caution: It is important to follow all guidelines set by the adhesive manufacturer for the glue down method you choose. By not adhering to the guidelines you can void your flooring warranties.
Step 1: Select a starter wall. It is recommended to start the installation along an exterior wall; it’s more likely to be straight and square with the room. Measure out from the wall the width of two strips plus 1/2” and mark each end of the room and snap your chalk line.
Step 2: Spread “adhesive” from the chalk line to the starter wall using the adhesive manufacturer’s recommended trowel. It is important to use the correct trowel at the recommended angle to get the proper spread of adhesive applied to the sub-floor, which will produce a proper and permanent bond. Improper bonding can cause loose or hollow spots. Note: Change the trowel every 2000 to 3000 square feet due to wear down of the notches. This assures you always get the proper spread of adhesive.
Step 3: Install the first row of starter planks with the tongue facing the starter wall and secure into position with spacers. The locking mechanism will ensure when properly assembled that the flooring remains in-rack, spacers will maintain the recommended expansion space around the perimeter The planks along the wall (first row) may have to be cut to fit since most walls are not straight, and leaving an expansion space of ½” is required with the Robina Floors.
Step 4: Once the starter rows are secure, spread 2-1/2 to 3 feet of adhesive the length of the room. (Never lay more adhesive than can be covered in approximately 2 hours.) Place the tongue into the groove of the planks and press firmly into adhesive. Never slide strips through adhesive.
Test for proper bond by occasionally lifting a board and looking for good coverage (90%), and then replace it into the adhesive. Clean any adhesive off the surface before it cures using water. Use mineral spirits after it cures.
Note: Never work on top of the flooring when installing with a glue down method. Light foot traffic is allowed after 12 hours but wait 24 hours after installation.
Install the proper trim molding at the doorways to achieve the transition and along the walls to cover the edges of any gaps along the wall due to irregularity.