Professional Installation Guide for Hardwood Flooring

Installation Guide for Hardwood Flooring

 Written instructions below or see professional MAGNUM installation video at www.venconusa.com .

 Video is truly outstanding and done in partnership with the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) considered the authority on wood flooring installation. This video is for a floating flooring installation and is broken down in to five  segments covering, Jobsite Requirements, Pre-Installation, Installation and finish and damage repair. Running time is about 25 minutes.

These Vencon flooring instructions are for 3/4″ Solid Plank & Strip Products – For Nail-Down Installation ONLY

INSTALLER/OWNER RESPONSIBILITY
Beautiful hardwood floors are a product of nature and therefore, not perfect. Our wood floors are manufactured in accordance with accepted industry standards, which permit grading deficiencies not to exceed 5%.These grading deficiencies may be of a manufacturing or natural type.
The installer assumes all responsibility for final inspection as to grade, manufacture and factory finish. This inspection of all flooring must be done before installation. Carefully examine flooring for color, finish and quality before installing it. The installer must use reasonable selectivity and hold out or cut off pieces with deficiencies, whatever the cause. If material is not acceptable, do not install it and contact the seller immediately.

Prior to installation of any Vencon hardwood-flooring product, the installer must determine that the job-site environment and the sub-surfaces involved meet or exceed all applicable standards. Recommendations of the construction and materials industries as well as local codes must be followed. These instructions recommend that the construction and subfloor be dry, stiff and flat. The manufacturer declines any responsibility for job failure resulting from or associated with sub-surface, sub flooring or job-site environmental deficiencies.
Prior to installation, the installer/owner has final inspection responsibility as to grade, manufacture and factory finish. The installer must use reasonable selectivity and hold out or cut off pieces with deficiencies, whatever the cause.
Use of stain, filler or putty stick for touch-up during installation should be accepted as normal procedure.
When flooring is ordered, 5% must be added to the actual square footage needed for cutting and grading allowance.
Should an individual piece be doubtful as to grade, manufacture or factory finish, the installer should not use the piece.
Use of appropriate products for correcting subfloor voids should be accepted as a normal industry practice.
TOOLS & ACCESSORIES NEEDED
NOTE: IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO USE THE PROPER ADAPTERS AS WELL AS STAPLES OR CLEATS. IMPROPER FASTENERS, MACHINES AND AIR PRESSURE CAN CAUSE SEVERE DAMAGE. THE MANUFACTURER OF THIS FLOORING PRODUCT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE CAUSED BY USE OF IMPROPER TOOLS OR MISUSE.

Broom

Drill with 1/16″ drill bit

Tape Measure

Hammer

Earplugs and safety glasses

Chalk line & chalk

Recommended Hardwood Flooring Cleaner

Handsaw

Nail Set

6-7d screw-shank nails

Moisture meter (wood, concrete or both)

2″ “Blind” fastening machine

Undercut or Jamb Saw

PRE-INSTALLATION PROCEDURES FOR JOB SITE INSPECTION
The building should be closed in with all outside doors and windows in place. All concrete, masonry, framing members, drywall, paint and other “wet” work should be thoroughly dry. The wall coverings should be in place and the painting completed except for the final coat on the base molding. When possible, delay installation of base molding until flooring installation is complete. Basements and crawl spaces must be dry and well ventilated.
Exterior grading should be complete with surface drainage offering a minimum drop of 3″ in 10’to direct flow of water away from the structure. All gutters and downspouts should be in place
Solid wood flooring must be installed on or above grade level. Do not install in full bathrooms.
Crawl spaces must be a minimum of 24″(600 mm) from the ground to underside of joists. A ground cover of 6-8 mil black polyethylene film is essential as a vapor barrier with joints lapped six inches and taped. The crawl space should have perimeter venting equal to a minimum of 1.5% of the crawl space square of footage. These vents should be properly located to foster cross ventilation (see figure #1). Where necessary, local regulations prevail.
Subfloor must be checked for moisture content using the appropriate testing method.
Permanent air conditioning and heating systems should be in place and operational. The installation site should have a consistent room temperature of 60-75° F and humidity of 35-55% for 14 days prior, during and until occupied, to allow for proper acclimation.

STORAGE AND HANDLING
Solid wood flooring should be stored in the environment in which it is expected to perform. Deliver the materials to an environmentally controlled site. Materials should be allowed to acclimate for 72 hours or as long as necessary to meet minimum installation requirements for moisture content. Acclimation within a closed carton may not be adequate due to lack of air movement. Handle and unload with care. Store in a dry place being sure to provide at least a four-inch air space under cartons, which are stored upon “on-grade” concrete floors. Flooring should not be delivered until the building has been closed in with windows and doors in place and until cement work, plastering and all other “wet” work is completed and dry. Concrete should be at least 60 days old.

INSTALLATION APPLICATIONS
NOTE: MINOR OCCASIONAL NOISES IN MECHANICALLY FASTENED FLOORS IS NOT ABNORMAL DUE TO STRUCTURAL MOVEMENT CAUSED BY CHANGES IN ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS. FOLLOWING THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAN MINIMIZE THESE FACTORS BUT OFFER NO GUARANTEE THAT THE FLOOR WILL NOT CREATE MINOR OCCASIONAL NOISES.

General Information for Fastening Machines:
Avoid striking the edge of factory-finished products with the fastener’s mallet. Edge crushing can occur causing unsightly cracks and splinters. Use a block to hammer against if necessary (figure #2).
Faceplates should be covered with protective materials to prevent damage to the surface of the flooring. Any water damaged, swollen or delaminated sub flooring materials will not hold staples properly and must be repaired or replaced.

General Information for Manual Fastening Machines:
Improper adapter plate selection can cause severe edge damage. Ascertain that the proper adapter has been selected and properly installed for 3/4″ flooring.

General Information for Pneumatic Fastening Machines:
Improper pressure settings and failure to use proper adapters can cause severe damage to the flooring. The correct adapter and air pressure setting will properly set the fastener in the nail pocket (figure #3). Low air pressures may fail to properly set the staple and damage adjoining boards. Air pressures set too high may cause damage to the tongue, preventing installation of adjoining boards and cause blisters on the face of the flooring. Make certain that the compressor has a regulator in-line with the air hose for proper adjustment. Set pressure at 70 PSI to begin with and adjust until proper staple setting occurs.

SUBFLOOR REQUIREMENTS MUST BE:

CLEAN – Scrape, broom clean, and smooth. Free of wax, paint, oil, sealers, adhesives, curing agents and other debris.

LEVEL/FLAT – Within 3/16″ in 10’and/or 1/8″ in 6’. Sand high areas or joints. Flatten low spots with layers of 15# builders felt, plywood or shims (not leveling compounds).
NOTE: Laminated rosin paper or 15# builders felt (tarpaper) acts as a moisture retarder and may be used to reduce movement caused by changes in subfloor moisture, thereby reducing cupping and warping. (This is especially helpful over crawl spaces and basements) In addition, the use of these materials can give the flooring a more solid feeling, reduce sound transfer, prevent noise caused by minor irregularities and debris, and make it easier to slide the wood together across the surface of the subfloor. Kraft paper may be used to make installation easier but DOES NOT serve any other purpose.

STRUCTURALLY SOUND – Nail or screw any loose areas that squeak. Replace any water-damaged, swollen or delaminated sub flooring or underlayments. Avoid subfloors with excessive vertical movement.

DRY – Check moisture content of the subfloor with the appropriate moisture meter.

RECOMMENDED SUBFLOOR SURFACES

PREFERRED: 3/4″ (19 mm) CDX grade plywood 3/4″(23/32″) OSB PS2 rated underlayment

MINIMUM: 5/8″CDX grade plywood

Existing solid wood flooring

Screeds

T&G wood subflooring

SUBFLOOR TYPES:
Note: Do not install solid wood plank or strip over radiant heated subfloors or attempt to glue to a subfloor of any type.

Wood Subfloors and Wood Structural Panel Subfloors
Plywood: Must be minimum APA grade rated sheathing or CDX minimum. Oriented Strand Board (OSB):Must be PS2 rated installed sealed side down.

Do Not install over particle board, wafer board, pressed wood or fiberboard.

Make sure existing floor or subfloor is dry and well nailed or screwed down every 6″ along each joist to avoid squeaking or popping before the floor is installed. The wood subfloor must not exceed 13% moisture content. Measure moisture content of both subfloor and wood flooring to determine proper moisture content with a reliable wood moisture meter (figure #4). The difference between the moisture content of the wood subfloor and the wood flooring must not exceed 4%.

Optimum performance of hardwood floor covering products occurs when there is little horizontal or vertical movement of the subfloor. The MINIMUM subfloor recommendations described above are for 19.2″ O/C joist spacing with minimum recommended spans. If the subfloor has excessive vertical movement (deflection) before installation of the flooring it is likely it will do so after installation of the flooring is complete. Deflection may cause the floor to become loose creating a noisy floor or cause premature finish wear. Avoid installations over sub floors that do not meet this minimum criterion. As flooring manufacturers we are unable to evaluate each engineered system. Other spacing and spans as well as their engineering methods are the responsibility of the builder, engineer, architect or consumer who is better able to evaluate the expected result based on site related performance.

All underlayment panels should be spaced 1/8″ apart to insure adequate expansion space or have the space cut around the perimeter using a circular saw. T&G panels normally have built in expansion; DO NOT cut around their perimeter. When installing over existing wood floors parallel with the flooring, it may be necessary to install an additional layer of plywood to stabilize the flooring or install the wood floor at right angles. Applicable standards and recommendations of the construction and materials industries must be met or exceeded.

Concrete Slabs
Solid flooring can be installed over concrete once the appropriate nailing surface has been installed. The concrete must be of high compressive strength. All concrete subfloors should be tested for moisture content (Figure #5). Visual checks are not reliable. NOTE: Test several areas, especially near exterior walls and walls containing plumbing.
NOTE: Test several areas, especially near exterior walls and walls containing plumbing.

A “DRY” SLAB, AS DEFINED BY THESE TESTS CAN BE WET AT OTHER TIMES OF THE YEAR. THESE TESTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A DRY SLAB. ALL CONCRETE SLABS SHOULD HAVE A MINIMUM OF 6 MIL POLY FILM MOISTURE BARRIER BETWEEN THE GROUND AND THE CONCRETE.

Subfloor Systems
Bonded: Install suitable moisture retardant followed by a plywood subfloor with a minimum thickness of 3/4″. Allow 1/2″ expansion space around all vertical objects and 1/8″ between all flooring panels. The panel must be properly attached to the subfloor using a minimum of one fastener per square foot and more if necessary. Use pneumatic or powder actuated fasteners. Do not hand nail the subfloor with concrete nails. Install a moisture retardant barrier with joints lapped 6″ and begin installation of flooring using 1 1/2″ fasteners.
Floating: Install a suitable moisture retardant followed by a plywood subfloor with a minimum of 3/8″. Allow 1/2″ expansion space around all vertical objects and 1/8″ between all flooring panels. Install a second layer of 3/8″ plywood at a right angle to the previous panels, offsetting the joints 2’. Staple together with staples that will not penetrate the first layer of subfloor with a crown width of 3/8″ or more. Install a moisture retardant barrier with joints lapped 6″ and begin installation of flooring.

GENERAL INSTALLATION TIPS
Floor should be installed from several cartons at the same time to ensure good color and shade mixture. Be attentive to staggering the ends of boards at least 6″, when possible, in adjacent rows. This will help ensure a more favorable overall appearance of the floor. Large spans in areas of high humidity may require the addition of internal or field expansion. This can be accomplished by using spacers, such as small washers, every 10-20 rows inserted above the tongue and removed after several adjoining rows have been fastened.

STEP 1: DOORWAY AND WALL PREPARATION
Undercut door casings. Remove any existing base, shoe mold or doorway thresholds. These items can be replaced after installation. All door casings should be notched out (figure #7) or undercut to avoid difficult scribe cuts.

STEP 2: ESTABLISH A STARTING POINT – WALL-TO-WALL INSTALLATION

Installation parallel to the longest wall is recommended for best visual effects, however, the floor should be installed perpendicular to the flooring joists unless subfloor has been reinforced to reduce subfloor sagging.

Find appropriate subfloor from “Subfloor Type” section in this instruction manual. If a moisture retardant material is to be used, such as Laminated Rosin Paper (see NOTE, Subfloor Requirements), install this material before proceeding, lapping joints 6″ and stapling if necessary.

Measure the width of the product being installed. For random or alternate width products, use the widest plank for the first row.

Add 1″ to allow for 3/4″ expansion and the width of the tongue.

Using this measurement, in at least two places, measure out equal distance from the starting wall and 12″ -18″ from the corners (figure #8) and snap a chalk line.

STEP 3: INSTALLING FIRST ROWS – WALL-TO-WALL INSTALLATION
NOTE: Always end glue wide width (4″ or more) planks with a PVA wood glue.

Use the longest, straightest boards available for the first two rows.

Align tongue of first row on chalk line. The groove should be facing the starting wall.

Pre-drill the nail holes 1″ from back (groove) edge, 1″-2″ from each end, and at 6″ intervals at a 45° angle down through the nailing “pocket” on top of the tongue (figure#9).

Face-nail the groove side where pre-drilled. When complete, blind-nail at a 45° angle through the tongue of the first row. Fasten using 6 or 8d nails. Countersink nails to ensure flush engagement of groove. Avoid bruising the wood by using a nail set to drive the nails the last 1/2″ into the tongue.

Continue blind nailing using this method with following rows until stapler or nailer can be used.

End-joints of adjacent rows should be staggered a minimum of 6″ to ensure a more favorable overall appearance. Beginning rows may be blind-nailed where clearance allows using a pneumatic finish nailer with 15 gauge, 1 1/2″ (minimum) nails in lieu of above.

STEP 2 & 3: CENTER TO WALL INSTALLATION

Snap a chalk line down the center of the room.

Install a sacrificial row that extends the entire length of the room on the centerline.

Install three rows of flooring.

Remove the sacrificial row and insert a slip tongue (spline) in the open groove.

Always glue and nail the slip tongue in place.

STEP 4: RACKING THE FLOOR

“Dry” lay (rack) materials to cover approximately 2/3 of the room. Begin dry laying (racking) approximately 6″ from the edge of the previously installed rows. Avoid pulling boards too tightly together on the sides, as they must move freely when fastening begins.

Mark the final board in each row and cut to proper length allowing for expansion.

Visually inspect flooring, setting aside boards that need to have natural character flaws cut out.

Use these boards for starting and finishing row after objectionable characteristics have been removed.

STEP 5: INSTALLING THE FLOOR

Fasten a sacrificial board to the floor. Check for surface damage, air pressure setting, tongue damage, etc. before proceeding. Make all adjustments and corrections before installation begins. Once proper adjustments have been made, remove and destroy the board.

Begin installation with several rows at a time, fastening each board with at least two fasteners, 8-10″ apart and 1-1 1/2″ from the ends (to avoid splitting). Tighten boards as necessary to reduce gaps before fastening.

End-joints of adjacent rows should be staggered 6′ when possible to ensure a more favorable overall appearance.

The last 1-2 rows will need to be face-nailed where clearance does not permit blind nailing with stapler or brad nailer. Pre-drill and face-nail on the tongue side following the nailing pattern used for the first row.

Rip final row to fit and face-nail. If the final row is less than 1″ in width, it should first be glued to the previous UNINSTALLED row and the two joined units should be face nailed as one.

STEP 6: COMPLETE THE JOB

Clean the floor with the recommended wood flooring cleaner. (Dura-Luster No-Wax Cleaner)

Re-install any transition pieces that may be needed, such as Reducer Strips, T-moldings, or Thresholds. These products are available pre-finished to blend with your flooring.

Re-install all base and/or quarter round moldings. Nail moldings into the wall, not the floor.

Leave warranty and floor care information with the owner. Advise them of the product name and code number of the flooring they purchased.

To prevent surface damage avoid rolling heavy appliances or furniture on the floor.

Use plywood, hardboard or appliance lifts if necessary.
MOLDINGS

REDUCER STRIP: a teardrop shaped molding used around fireplaces, doorways, as a room divider, or as a transition between wood flooring and adjacent floor coverings that are less thick. Fasten down with adhesive, small nails or double-faced tape.

THRESHOLD: a molding undercut for use against sliding door tracks, fireplaces, carpet, ceramic tile, or existing thresholds to allow for expansion space and to provide a smooth transition in height difference. Fasten to subfloor with adhesive and/or nails through the heel. Pre drill nail holes to prevent splitting.

STAIR NOSING: a molding undercut for use as a stair landings trim, elevated floor perimeters, and stair steps. Fasten down firmly with adhesive and nails or screws. Pre drill nail holes to prevent splitting.

QUARTER ROUND: a molding used to cover expansion space next to baseboards, case goods, and stair steps. Pre drill and nail to the vertical surface, not into the floor.

COMBINATION BASE AND SHOE: a molding used when a base is desired. Used to cover expansion space between the floor and the wall. Pre drill and nail into the wall, not the floor.

T-MOLDING: a molding used as a transition piece from one flooring to another of equal height or to gain expansion spaces. Fasten at the heel in the center of the molding. Additional support may need to be added to the heel of the molding dependent upon the thickness of the goods covered.

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