Flooring Installation Guide

Jobsite

  • Engineered Hardwood should be one of the last jobs completed on the construction project.
  • The heating and/or air conditioning should be on and operational to maintain the adequate normal room temperature and humidity conditions before, during and after installation.

Recommended Tools and Materials

  • Safety glasses and dust mask
  • Table saw
  • Hand saw or door jambs
  • Wood or plastic wedges
  • Hammer and Awl
  • Rubber mullet
  • Tapping block
  • Pry bar
  • Measuring tape
  • Painters tape
  • Level
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Wood and/or Concrete moisture meter
  • Foam underlayment
  • 6mm Polyethylene Vapor Barrier
  • Floating floor glue
  • 1/2″ and 1/8″ spacers
  • Chalk line & chalk
Glue down installation
  • Recommended adhesives & adhesive remover
  • Glue scraper or clean damp clothes
  • Trowel
  • Straight edge
Nail/Staple down installation
  • Narrow crowned (under 3/8″) 1″ – 1 1/2″ staples or 1″-1 1/4″ hardwood flooring cleats
  • Compressor
  • In-line regulator
  • Pneumatic nailer / stapler
  • Power drill
  • Finishing nails
  • Flooring screw

Acclimation & Conditioning

  • Wiston Engineered Hardwood should be stored in the UNOPENED boxes in the room where the floor is to be installed for at least 72 hours prior to installation. Open boxes just before installation.
  • Relative conditions must be maintained between 40-60% and a temperature range of 18 to 21°C (65-70°F).
  • The moisture content rate of Wiston’s products are 6-9% EMC (Equilibrium Moisture Content).

Subfloor Guideline

  • Make sure that the substrate surface is clean, dry and flat to within 3/16” (5mm) over 10’ (3m).
  • Subfloor systems should be structurally sound and meet all manufacturer and building code requirements.
  • Wiston Engineered Hardwood can be installed Above-Grade, On-Grade or Below-Grade and on a concrete or wood subfloor.
  • Crawl spaces must be dry and well ventilated.
  • Crawl spaces must be a minimum of 18” (457mm) from the ground to underside of joints.
  • The crawl space should have adequate venting equal to 1.5 sqft per 100 sqft of the crawl space square footage.

Wooden subfloor

Specifications:

  • Solid board subflooring should be ¾” to 5 ½” (1” X 6” nominal).
  • CD Exposure 1 plywood and OSB Exposure 1 subfloor panels are appropriate.
Subfloor Moisture
  • Moisture Content (MC) of subfloor should not exceed 12% and no more than 2% difference between engineered hardwood and subflooring materials.
Subfloor Flatness and integrity
  • Wood subfloors must be flat, clean, dry, structurally sound, free of squeaking or depressed areas. Level by sanding down high spots and filling in depressed spots with an underlayment patch.
  • The subfloor must be flat to within 3/16” (5mm) over 10’ (3m).
Panel Subfloors
  • On truss/joist spacing of 16” (406mm) o/c or less, the industry standard for single-panel subflooring is minimum 1 5/8” (19/32”, 15.1mm) CD Exposure 1 Plywood subfloor panels (CD Exposure 1) or 23/32 OSB Exposure 1 subfloor panels, 4’ x 8′ sheets.
  • On truss/joist spacing of more than 16”, up to 19.2″ (488mm) o/c, the standard is minimum ¾” (23/32”, 18.3mm) T&G CD Exposure 1 Plywood subfloor panels, (Exposure 1), 4’ x 8′ sheets, glued and mechanically fastened, or minimum ¾” (23/32″, 18.3mm) OSB Exposure 1 subfloor panels, 4’ x 8’ sheets, glued and mechanically fastened.
  • Truss/joist systems spaced over more than 19.2” (488mm) o/c up to a maximum of 24” (610mm) require minimum 7/8” T&G CD Exposure 1 Plywood subfloor panels, (Exposure 1), 4’ x 8′ sheets, glued and mechanically fastened, or nominal 1” OSB Exposure 1 subfloor panels, 4’ x 8’ sheets, glued and mechanically fastened – or two layers of subflooring. Or brace between truss/joists in accordance with the truss/joist manufacturer’s recommendations and with local building codes. Some truss/joist systems cannot be cross-braced and still maintain stability.

Concrete subfloor

  • The concrete slab must be at least 30 days old.
  • The subfloor must be flat to within 3/16” (5mm) over 10’ (3m).
  • Minimum 0.15 mm (6mil) Polyethylene or other membrane waterproofing barrier should be installed over the compacted granular fill and directly under the slab.
  • The suspended concrete must be a minimum of 1 ½” (2.5 cm) thick and must be structurally sound. The exception to this is lightweight concrete having a density of 100 pounds or less per cubic foot.
  • Test for lightweight concrete by using a nail to scratch the surface of the concrete. If the concrete crumbles or turns to powder, it is not sound and you should NOT install the hardwood flooring.

Pre-Installation Preparation

Inspect the Flooring

Inspect material for color, finish, milling, and grade. Hold out pieces that may not be acceptable once installed.

Undercut Door Casings

Undercut all door casting 1/16″ (1.6 mm) higher than the thickness of the flooring being installed using a scrap piece of flooring as a guide.

Blending of Boxes

Wood naturally varies in color and grain characteristics. It is recommended to open and work from several boxes at a time and dry-lay the flooring, mixing the planks from several boxes to assure a uniform final appearance across the entire floor.

Match Transition Moldings

For best appearance blend all transitions and moldings to planks that have similar color and grain. Set them aside for use as needed.

Layout of Flooring:

Start by using random length planks from the box or by cutting 4-5 planks in random lengths, differing by at least 8”(20.3 cm). As you continue working across the floor try to maintain 8” minimum between end joints on all adjacent rows. Randomly install different lengths to avoid a patterned appearance. Never waste materials; use the end cut pieces from the fill cuts to start the next row or to complete a row.

Installation Guideline

Installation Chart

Subfloor TypeGluedFloatingStapled
PlywoodYesYesYes
ConcreteYesYesNo
Radiant Heating (Plywood)YesYesNo
Radiant Heating (Concrete)YesYesNo
Ceramic tile, Marble or vinyl tileNoYesNo

Glue down installation

Step 1: Set a starting line
  • It is recommended that flooring should be installed along the longest wall in the room.
  • Snap a working line parallel to the starting wall, the width of the board, plus ½” inch (12mm) expansion space between the wall and the end of board in each row.
  • Install a starter board along the edge of the working line and begin installation. Alternatively, lay one row of board in the adhesive along the length of the working line.
Step 2: Spread the adhesive
  • Use the recommended adhesive with a trowel at 45-degree angle and spread as much adhesive as can be covered by flooring as recommended by the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 3: Install the floor
  • Use the installation spacers throughout all perimeter areas to insure 1/8” (3 mm) expansion space is maintained.
  • Start the second row with a minimum of 8” (20.3 cm) gap (either shorter or longer than the board used in the first row) in order to avoid the patterned appearance.
  • Pull in tight together and tape with Painters tape to prevent shifting or gaping of boards during installation.
  • Use pry bar to fit last row of boards into place and be sure to leave minimum required ½” (12 mm) expansion gap.
  • Clean any wet adhesive by using a damp cloth or manufacture’s adhesive remover.
  • Wait at least 24 hours to move furniture or any heavy items in the area where the floor was installed.

Nail / Staple down installation

Fastener Length

The recommended fasteners are 1″ – 1 ¼” (2.5 – 3.2 cm) hardwood flooring cleats or narrow crowned (under 3/8″) 1″-1 ½” (2.5 – 3.8 cm) staples.

Fastener Spacing

Place fasteners 3-4″ (7.6 – 10.2 cm) apart for staples, 4-6″ (10.2 – 15.2 cm) for cleats, and within 1″-2″ (2.5 – 5.1 cm) from each end joints with at least 2 fasteners.

Step 1: Set a starting line
  • It is recommended that flooring should be installed along the longest wall in the room.
  • Snap a working line parallel to the starting wall.
  • Leave ½”  (13 mm) expansion space between the wall and the end of board in each row.
Step 2: Install the board
  • Lay one row of board along the entire length of the working line with groove facing the wall.
  • Use brads or small finishing nails to secure the first starter row along the wall edge 1″-2″ (2.5 – 5.1 cm) from the ends and every 4” to 6” (10.2 – 15.2 cm) along the side.
  • Use appropriate size fastener for top nailing first row, last row and any area where blind nailer will not fit.
  • Use the installation spacers throughout all perimeter areas to insure 1/8” expansion space is maintained.
  • Start the second row with a minimum of 8” (20.3 cm) gap (either shorter or longer than the board used in the first row) in order to avoid the patterned appearance.
  • A brad nailer with 1” – 1 3/8” (2.5 – 3.5 cm) brads can also be used to blind nail and no pre-drilling is needed.
  • During installation of flooring pieces, push or gently tap boards flush to the previous row. Tap against the tongue (tapping the groove may damage the edge).
  • Wait at least 24 hours to move furniture or any heavy items in the area where the floor was installed.

Floating installation

In floating floor installation, the flooring is not glued or nailed to the underlayment, but is glued in the board’s side and end groove only.

Step 1: Install underlayment pad
  • Minimum 6mm Polyethylene vapor barrier should be installed over subfloors.
  • Overlap sheets of Polyethylene 16” and tape together creating airtight seal.
  • Run the vapor barrier 1″ to 1 ½”(2.5 – 3.8 cm) up the walls and secure in place with tape.
  • Using Underlayment, roll out one roll at a time over the vapor barrier.
Step 2: Set a starting line
  • It is recommended that flooring should be installed along the longest wall in the room.
  • Snap a working line parallel to the starting wall, the width of the board, plus the tongue and ½”  (13 mm)  expansion space between the wall and the end of board in each row.
  • Install a starter board along the edge of the working line and begin installation. Alternatively, lay one row of board in the adhesive along the length of the working line.
Step 3: Glue the board
  • Lay one row of board along the entire length of the working line with tongue facing the wall.
  • Turn the board upside down when applying the glue.
  • Apply a bead of adhesive on the upper side of the groove the full length of the entire grooved side and end with adhesive.
  • When the board is turned again for installation with veneer on top, the adhesive will flow down the back of groove and give better coverage. Do not apply adhesive on top of tongue.
  • Use the installation spacers throughout all perimeter areas to insure 1/8” (3 mm) expansion space is maintained.
  • Set a tapping block against the outside of the board, and tap it gently with a hammer to bring the boards tightly together.
  • Start the second row with a minimum of 8”(20.3 cm) gap (either shorter or longer than the board used in the first row) in order to avoid the patterned appearance.
  • Pull in tight together and tape with painter tape to prevent shifting or gaping of boards during installation.
  • The last row most likely requires cutting to fit the width (require minimum 1 ½” (3.8 cm) of board width). To do this, place a full row of boards and ½” inch (13 mm) spacer against the wall to mark the cutting line on the last row.
  • Cut the boards for the last row, apply glue, and pull into place with a pry bar.
  • Wait at least 24 hours to move furniture or any heavy items in the area where the floor was installed.

** To prevent damage to the finish, avoid tapping the face of the board with a mallet.

Radiant Heat Installations

  • Use only a Wiston Engineered Hardwood Flooring approved radiant heat system.
  • The heat system must be operated at the normal living temperature for at least 7 days prior and one day before the floor installation, turn off the heating system. At the time of installation sub floor must be 18 – 24°C (65-75°F). After installation, bring heat up gradually over 3 to 4 days.
  • The maximum allowable subfloor surface temperature is 27°C (80°F).
  • Do NOT use Wiston Engineered Hardwood Flooring with systems that expose the floor to wide variations in temperature, such as hot wire induction mat systems or old hot water radiators.
  • Radiant heating systems usually produce a dry heat which can lower the ambient humidity level. It could be necessary to use a humidifier to maintain a recommended level of 30-50% and room temperature should not vary more than 10°C (50°F).

Wiston Warranty

Wiston Engineered Hardwood offers;

  • 25 Year Structural Warranty
  • 25 Year Finish and Wear Warranty

Review the Wiston’s Residential warranty from here