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FLOORING INSTALLATION GUIDE

INSTALLATION PROCEDURES:

 TIMBERWALK INSTALLATION GUIDE MUST BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE

Engineered Timber-Floating & Glue-down

 

Step 1: PRE-INSTALLATION PROCEDURES:

Please handle, transport, and unload the flooring with care. Flooring should be stored in a dry place, with at least a 100mm air space under cartons. Flooring should not be delivered until the building has been closed in with windows and doors in place, and until cement work, plastering, painting, and all other materials are thoroughly dry. Acclimatize the flooring for at least 48 hours (preferably 3-4 days) prior to installation In addition, the heating or cooling system should be operating and controlled at 40°–65° RH for at least 48 hours before, during and maintained after installing. Do not install in areas that are subject to extreme seasonal temperature changes where you cannot control the temperature. Due to the many different types of radiant heat floors, we do not recommend installing over this type of substrate.

Step 2. MOISTURE TEST:

Before installing over concrete or a wooden sub-floor, check the floor for moisture in several areas using an appropriate qualified commercial moisture meter. The acceptable moisture level of Concrete sub floors should be no more than 3-5%, if the test is within the specified range, this also applies to engineered floors that are manufactured using ply-wood as its structure.

Engineered flooring is not to be confused with solid timber as engineered is more dimensionally stable.

Step 3. SUB-FLOOR PREPARATION: ACCEPTABLE SUBFLOORS: The sub-floors must be structurally sound. Note: The sub-floor must be structurally sound and checked for moisture content. Movement and squeaks should be well fastened with ring nails or screws to the floor joists. If gluing the Floor down direct to the concrete then the sub-floor must be clean and free of paint. Wax, oil and other debris must be removed; In addition it must be flat and level within 3mm inside a 3meter radius. High spots must be sanded/ground flat and low spots must be filled with a leveling compound recommended by your dealer. On old or uneven wood floors, apply 15-20mm Plywood, glue & screw every 150mm to avoid squeaking & hollowness – gluing is essential if sub floor was uneven

Step 4. BEFORE INSTALLATION:

Unpack & lay out the flooring where it is to be installed, that is, lay the boards down roughly as they will appear after installation, taking care to mix in a color pattern pleasing to the eye, Our quality control procedures at the factory ensure that very few, if any boards are defective when delivered to the consumer, remember that all natural flooring comes in a range of colors and shades, the Installer should inspect each plank at this time for finish and quality, check for damaged or defective boards if any are found these should be removed and returned to your supplier for exchange or you may choose to fit these boards in areas out of site such as cupboards.

INSTALLATION METHODS: FLOATING: RECOMMENDED FOR ENGINEERED TIMBER FLOORS

Use 3mm foam padding Underlay we suggest using TIMBERWALK Silent Step high density acoustic underlay; you can also install over sound deadening underlayments with this method. Apply a 3mm bead of PVA D3 CROSS LINKED ADHESIVE: NOTE WHEN INSTALLING TIMBERWALK BY FLOATING METHOD, THEN YOU MUST USE A D4 ADHESIVE: the glue must be placed on the upper top edge of the groove, both the long and short side of the boards MUST be glued, this is done by turning the board with the face pointing down, the glue is applied in the groove then the board is turned back and is ready to install. Use a tapping block if necessary to gently tap the boards into place, a tapping block can be made with a 150mm” pieceof scrap timber flooring. Remember to allow at least 10-15mm for expansion around the perimeter walls. Do not tap on the tongue or groove directly, as you will damage the floor. Be sure to remove all excess glue as quickly as possible, as once it dries it may be more difficult to remove. You can use a watered damp cloth when removing the D3-D4 glue.

NOTE: Failing to use sufficient glue will cause movement & squeaking.

ADHESIVE: SNAKING OR “S” METHOD: RECOMMENDED FOR ENGINEERED TIMBER

Snake or Zig Zag: this method is done by applying a continues bead of glue on the back of the floorboard, the bead must not be more than 100mm apart. The board is glued and then put in place by firmly pushing/moving the board in position which will take up any unevenness in the sub floor, it is very important that sufficient adhesive is used at all times, if not, movement could occur resulting in drumming or squeaking. Be sure to clean up any adhesive on the surface immediately, as once it dries, it may be very difficult to remove. Always follow manufacturers’ instructions using their suggested adhesive and installation instructions for their adhesive warranty to be in effect. Remember to leave at least 10-15mm “expansion gap around the perimeter. This method is suitable for ENGINEERED TIMBER

ADHESIVE: TROWEL METHOD: RECOMMENDED FOR ENGINEERED TIMBER

The adhesive is poured onto the sub floor/concrete in small amounts, a cup size is sufficient, then using a 3- 6mm notched trowel the adhesive is spread evenly over the sub floor, this must be done in small areas as the adhesive has a tendency of sinking, the board is then placed in position by firmly pushing/moving the board in place. Be sure to clean up any adhesive on the surface immediately, as once it dries, it may be very difficult to remove. Always follow manufacturers’ instructions using their suggested adhesive and installation instructions for their adhesive warranty to be in effect. Remember to leave at least 10-15mm “expansion gap around the perimeter. This method is suitable for ENGINEERED TIMBER

NOTES: Timber flooring are a natural and environmentally friendly product take care to install this flooring correctly; taking all precautions suggested in this guideline, the flooring will give you many years of satisfaction. Please note that it is always best to have your floor installed by a professional licensed floor installer even though it is possible to install yourself. This is only a guideline regarding the installation of this flooring TIMBERWALK cannot be responsible for the installation under any circumstances, unless installed by an employee of TIMBERWALK or by a fully licensed installer

NOTE: FOR GLUE-DOWN METHOD IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU SEAL THE SUB FLOORS.

INSTALLATION TIPS: DIRECTION OF THE TIMBER:

Usually you will want to orientate the boards with the major source of incoming light (windows) so that light is shining down the length of the boards, or install the floor with the length of the room.

CLAMPING: Blue masking tape, available from most hardware shops is ideal if you need to hold the boards in position, in most cases the floor does not require clamping

SKIRTING & SCOTIA’S: Remove skirting if possible and undercut door jambs to insure a quality installations if the skirting’s are left on then you need to finish of using a Scotia trim

FINISHING THE JOB: Replace original skirting, or install matching skirting. Install matching transitions as needed or recommended by your dealer.

INSTALLING OVER EXISTING TIMBER FLOORS: Floating is the preferred method, installation must be in opposite direction to existing panels, the floor must be sound, level and without creaking or squeaking

VINYL TILES-LINO: Floor cannot be glued down unless suitable floor preparation has been performed; floating method can be applied on top of vinyl tiles using appropriate membrane Concrete: Floating system or Glue-down method can be applied

RECOMMENDED AREAS: Timber flooring IS not RECOMMENDED to be installed in wet areas such as bathrooms (with tub/shower), wet rooms, outdoors, in direct sunlight, or areas that allow water to be carried in, unless you are very particular about the way you treat your floors such as rubber mats in bathroom then it is up to you, some people have been very successful with timber floors in these areas.

FOR CREATING A RANDOM EFFECT: To avoid creating a joint pattern in the floor, it is necessary to begin installation using starter boards. To create a starter board, cut the board at 2/3 the length. Start with the 2/3 length, and then install the full lengths and continue across the room. Use the 1/3 length to start the next row and continue as above keeping at least a 250mm distance between the end joints. Cuts made at the opposite wall should be used for starter

boards. If necessary, use the pull straps -clamp at 1meter. Intervals to hold the planks firmly together. Be sure to allow at least a 10-15mmexpansion gap around perimeter.

RECOMMENDED ADHESIVES: TIMBERWALK recommend

  • Glue-Down Method ADESIV – Sika T-55 –Bostik Ultraset- Mapei P9901K
  • Floating Method- Solid Bamboo D4 Adhesive
  • Floating Method Engineered bamboo D3 Adhesive
  • Floating Method- Engineered D3 Adhesive

SEALING: The floors come pre-finished in a factory environment, it is not necessary to apply additional sealing or waxes

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL INSTALLATION:

  1. Read all instructions first: Get all your questions answered before you start installing the floor.
  2. Amount of needed: Buy enough flooring to equal at least 105%to 110% of the square meterage of your room, for waste allowance.
  3. Before installing, with closed boxes let flooring sit in room for 3 to 4 days to acclimatise to temperature and moisture. Run air conditioning or heat, as it will be in normal living conditions.
  4. Be aware of moisture problems: Moisture can ruin any floor. Always look out for potential moisture problems, especially in basements.
  5. Dealing with moisture before installation: If you have or suspect moisture problems, don’t install your floor yet. Contact a professional flooring installer to improve sub-floor to an acceptable level of moisture.
  6. Room/entryway preparation: Undercut door casings are much better than trying to scribe the flooring to fit there.
  7. Leave expansion gaps: Leave a 10-15mm space at each wall, beneath door jambs (these can also be scribed) and at transitions for expansion of flooring, skirting and Scotia’s will cover any gaps
  8. Tapping block: You can use a trimmed piece of flooring for this, or buy a pre-made tapping block. NEVER HIT

FLOORING DIRECTLY AND BE CAREFUL NOT TO FRACTURE FLOOR EDGES. 9. Old glue on the board can be removed using Methylated Spirits or Turps, gently wipe with a soft cloth

NOT A PROBLEM:

  1. Bending or bowing of the boards in length direction. These boards might be a little harder to install, but will NOT be a problem after they are installed, or in the future. They will lay flat WITH THE OTHER BOARDS
  2. Colour Variations may occur as timber are natural products be sure to select the colours accordingly before installing.

NOTE: It is normal for all hardwood floors to expand and contract with the seasons. This means that small gaps may form during low humidity conditions. You can prevent this from happening by controlling the humidity year-round. All floors will scratch and dent depending on your living conditions.

CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF YOUR TIMBER FLOORS:

This guide is part of the manufactures program and wear layer warranty, failure to comply fully, will result in the warranty being null & void. The key to quality maintenance and protection of your floor; the following floor care recommendations are necessary. Please follow this procedure

  1. Place quality mats at all entrance ways, always ensure that these mats are cleaned
  2. Ensure that anybody walking on the floor has wiped their feet and that there are no stones or fine grit or nails on the soles of their shoes, sand and dirt can be abrasive to the timber surface
  3. Place mats in front of the sink in the kitchen or laundry areas
  4. Protect your floor by placing protective pads on all furniture
  5. Do not drag furniture across your floor
  6. Maintain proper humidity levels between 40-60% throughout the year, in certain countries this may require the use of a humidifier
  7. Vacuum your floor regularly
  8. When cleaning a micro fibre mop is preferred, always mist spray the floor
  9. Do not saturate or pour water directly onto the timber floor
  10. Do not use a steam mop or hot water
  11. Useamildcleaningsolutionwhencleaningyourfloor
  12. Never apply abrasives chemical or wipe with abrasive cloths
  13. Remove spills promptly, avoid excessive water on the floor
  14. Do not use wax polishes on your timber floors

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR MAINTAINING TIMBER FLOORS Routine Maintenance Is The Key.

NOTE: it is important to understand that Timber floors are a natural product and must be treated with care.

Many customers have unrealistic expectations about the life and durability of timber floor coatings. Some expect the coatings to never wear or mark, and to be impervious to spillages and moisture or to never need maintenance. It’s is better to create realistic expectations upfront by explaining clearly that wood floors are a long term investment that will last the lifetime in your home, If routine cleaning and maintenance are carried out, and they are protected from moisture and abrasion. Routine basic maintenance includes sweeping, vacuuming or dust mopping to remove dirt and grit which if left this will accumulate and act as an abrasive as it is tracked throughout the home. This schedule should also include the occasional light damp mopping with the manufacturer’s recommended cleaner.

 

SHOES-MATS-DOGS

Many people don’t wear outside shoes inside for cleanliness reasons. They switch to softer indoor footwear and this not only reduces the cleaning required but also prevents tracking abrasive grit and dirt into the home. This grit acts just like sandpaper on your floor. Good quality mats placed inside and outside all entrance doors are the next best solution to prevent tracking abrasive dirt and grit inside. Area mats placed in high traffic areas such as at the kitchen sink or hallways greatly assist in the reduction of wear in these areas. Move them periodically as ultraviolet light can change the colour of exposed timber giving the floor an uneven appearance. If shoes are worn inside, they should be kept in good order to prevent denting of the timber floorboards, dog’s claws should be kept trimmed for the same reason.

In almost all cases when called in to assess the condition of a homeowner’s Timber floors I will find the most damage around and underneath the dining table. It is a heavily used area and the constant scraping of chairs in and out can quickly degrade the finish. Most have diligently placed felt protectors on the bottom of the chair legs only to have them knocked off or damaged over time, leaving the hard wood or metal tip exposed. The besttypes of protectors are ones with a hard plastic cup containing the felt pad that have a nail or pin that can be hammered into the leg itself. They don’t fall off. With furniture legs, it is not so much weight but movement that damages floorboards. Or you can look at the full rubber type. It is up to you the homeowner to regularly check chairs & tables to see if the felt is still intact and has not fallen off, if you want to protect your floors.

 

WOOD & WATER DO NOT MIX

Water is the biggest problem when it comes into contact with Timber floors and it is important to prevent your floors to direct contact with water, if there happens to be a water spill, then mop up as quickly as possible. It is essential that the floor be cleaned using a minimum of water. MIST SPRAYING IS THE BEST METHOD, Use damp mops only, never a wet mop and mop with the grain of the timber not across it. Don’t allow water to stand on the floor, wipe up spills or leaks immediately. Use a slightly moistened cloth for sticky spills if necessary, be sure to wipe the floor dry afterwards. Too much water can result in moisture penetrating the finish, which could lead to delamination or the cupping of the floorboards.

DO NOT USE STEAM MOPS ON TIMBER FLOORS: They force steam (moisture) into small incisions, breaks or cracks will appear on the surface of your floor and could cause the finish to peel and delaminate. All finishes degrade over time by the process of oxidation – a process that is accelerated by heat.

 

CLEANING PRODUCTS TO USE

Never, ever use common household products like all-purpose household cleaner, window cleaner, steel wool pads, aerosol furniture polish, wax or similar products to clean your floor. Some are too abrasive and will scratch the surface, others will make your floor dangerously slippery or could leave a film of silicon or wax on the timber which will interfere with any future recoating of your floor. A lot of people might think Methylated Spirits or Kerosene is all right to use. THEY ARE NOT. Any type of petroleum distillate will degrade the finish over time and eventually cause it to look irreversibly dull and drab. It is best to use the finish manufacturer’s proprietary cleaner, following their directions for use, but if none is available then some warm water with a little mild, neutral PH detergent added works well. Again Mist Spray or squeeze the mop out and damp mop only. Some choose to buff the floor with a soft cloth afterwards to ensure no water is left on the timber.

 

AVOID DIRECT SUNLIGHT

Timber, like many natural materials (such as your skin) will change colour on exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Even an old floor that is re-sanded will expose new timber fibres to the light, which begins this colour change process. The amount of change is dependent upon the amount of direct and indirect sunlight exposure the floor gets and the response of different species of timber is variable. This colour change is the most dramatic in the first 6 months after it is sanded and finished. It is recommended that rugs be moved periodically during this time to avoid leaving areas of uneven colour. We see many modern homes with huge expanses of unprotected glass allowing intense direct unfiltered sun to beat directly onto the floor surface. The incredible heat generated not only cooks the surface of the Timber speeding up the process of oxidation by which all finishes degrade, but also increases the chance of the floorboards cupping.

 

TIMBER FLOORBOARDS CUP FOR ONLY ONE REASON

– that is from gaining or losing moisture faster on one side than the other. The heat beating on the surface dries out moisture from the topside of the boards making them drier than the bottom. The board’s cup away from the area of highest moisture with the top edges curling upwards towards the board centre. To avoid unwanted colour change, the possibility of the floorboards cupping or accelerated degradation of the finish it is best to filter the sunlight that shines directly onto your bamboo floors with blinds, drapes or window tinting.

 

PERIODICALLY RECOAT YOUR TIMBER FLOORS

Your hardwood floor should be recoated when the original finish shows signs of wear, but before it has worn down to bare wood. Once worn to bare wood, the floor will stain easily and may require complete re-sanding. The recoating process only requires the floor to be cleaned down and then abraded, after which another coat of finish is applied. It is a much simpler and less costly process than re-sanding.

If you are unsure of the condition of your floor contact YOUR RE-SELLER for advice.

Place mats at all exterior door entrances, preferably inside and out. Place area mats in front of the sink and rugs down hallways and other heavy traffic areas. Be aware that some rubber backed rugs, foam backed rugs and non-slip pads contain additives that may discolour the floor. Periodically move your rugs around to avoid irregular discolouration patches from direct and indirect light exposure.

 

REGULAR INSPECTION

And finally do inspect your floors regularly for any signs of damage or wear and take the appropriate action. This step alone can save you much heartache and money. Early intervention in most cases means minor problems are fixed without the expense and disruption or re-sanding the entire floor. Again call your distributer for advice.

 

CARING FOR YOUR TIMBER FLOORS

PROPER CARE AND MAINTENANCE WILL PRESERVE THE BEAUTY OF YOUR TIMBER FLOORS MAINTENANCE TIPS:

  • Fit protective pads to the legs of chairs and tables to prevent scuff marks when moving furniture.
  • Under desk chairs that have castors fitted we recommend the use of a protective floor mat to prevent damage to the floor.
  • Floors exposed to direct sunlight should be protected by window coverings such as curtains or blinds
  • Install matting at the entrance to timber floors. The aim of a matting system is to remove dirt / grit and moisture from the feet of people entering the building to prevent that material scratching.

 

SOME DO NOT TIPS:

  • Do not let sand, dirt or grit gather on the floor. This can act like sandpaper and abrade or scratch the surface causing a dull finish.
  • Never use excess water to clean the timber surface. Excessive amounts of water can cause your timber floor to swell. Use water sparingly.
  • High heels should never be worn on timber floors. They can severely damage timber floors and leave dents in the surface, especially when the shoe loses its heel and you have a metal spike as the heel.
  • Do not use household detergents or cleaners on timber floors. These products can dull floor finishes, if you do use detergents, use sparingly and it is best to use a PH Neutral.
  • Pets living on timber floors can scratch or gouge the floors. Keep claws trimmed regularly.

 

CLEANING:

  • Use a damp mop only. A micro-fibre mop is recommended. Avoid wet mopping of the floor, which can leave excess moisture or streaking.
  • Regularly vacuum your timber floors, the vacuum should be protected on the underside, this will minimise the chance of scratches.
  • Apply the cleaning material by the “MIST SPRAY METHOD”, using this method minimises the chance of getting high levels of water on your floor.
  • The “MIST SPRAY METHOD”, is done by diluting the cleaning material and then lightly mist spraying the floors and then wiping with a “MICRO FIBRE MOP”
  • To remove spot rub these areas

When a spillage occurs soak up the bulk of the liquid quickly. Do Not Flood Mop Any Timber/ Floor. It’s the safest solution.