Timber flooring Installation
IMPORTANT! READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS BEFORE INSTALLATION
CORRECT SITE STORAGE & ACCLIMATISATION
The flooring should be stored inside an enclosed building, at least 200mm above the ground and supported by bearers at 450mm centers maximum.
If flooring is to be fitted over bearers and joists, all necessary air vents must be fitted prior to the flooring being delivered to site to allow cross flow air ventilation. Air needs to be able to flow freely to all faces.
A moisture barrier must be fitted over the bearers to prevent rising ground moisture being taken up by the floor boards which can cause expansion. The flooring must be protected from all moisture.
Do not store the flooring in sheds or in plastic covers exposed to direct sunlight. These conditions will limit the free flow of air and induce extremely high temperatures, detrimental to the flooring.
During storage regularly check the flooring to ensure there isn’t a build-up of condensation. Make sure any protective covering is not trapping the rising moisture as this defeats the purpose of the covering.
TIMBER MUST BE ACCLIMATISED ON SITE FOR A MINIMUM OF FOURTEEN DAYS DURING WARM, DRY WEATHER. I.E. LATE SPRING, SUMMER & EARLY AUTUMN.
This MUST BE done in an enclosed building, preferably in the rooms where the flooring is to be laid. The floor boards need to be laid out individually to allow correct acclimatisation. The flooring must be protected from any form of moisture at all times during transportation, acclimatisation and after installation.
Please note, Acclimatising during Winter is not required. It will usually result in the floor boards taking up moisture and expanding, with shrinkage subsequently taking place in summer.
During acclimatisation it is essential the conditions in the rooms where the timber is to be installed are equal to those that will be prevalent during occupation. The moisture content of the timber must be equal to that of the room prior to installation.
DO NOT INSTALL DURING OR AFTER EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS
Flooring is usually kiln dried to a moisture content of between 9 – 12%. Under average weather conditions this has been found to be the most satisfactory.
Prolonged, excessive rain or dry heat either prior, during, or after installation will result in the timber gaining or losing moisture which will cause the floor to expand or contract.
If a period of abnormal weather occurs before or during installation, ask your supplier for advice before proceeding.
Where there are specialised conditions such as high humidity, underfloor heating, or permanent air-conditioning, it is of utmost importance that extra attention is given to onsite acclimatisation. Heating must be turned on during winter and air conditioning during summer while the flooring is acclimatising. It is essential that every precaution is taken to prevent the uptake of moisture before and after laying.
Timber flooring will always have a degree of movement in individual boards due to the fact that timber is a hygroscopic material that absorbs and transports moisture. To minimise this effect there are precautions that should be taken in addition to the above.
- Avoid direct sunlight through windows. Make sure they are covered until curtains can be installed. • Take extra care during installation and when using temporary protection. If a protective covering is required while trades people complete their work, it is important to use a material that breathes readily such as cotton sheets or similar.
- The final finish should be given careful consideration. Remember timber flooring needs to be able to expand and contract in each individual board.
HANDY TIPS FOR INSTALLATION
Australian Standard AS1684 – 1992 states that where flooring is laid after the erection of the walls, there must be a minimum 10mm clearance allowed between the flooring and the bottom plates which are parallel to the direction of laying.
This clearance is acceptable for rooms that are 3 – 4 metres in width. If a room is wider than this, including sections of floor that are continuous through doorways etc.. a proportional increase in the clearance is required. Expansion joints must be fitted if the room size or a continuous run is 6 metres or over.
If the above is carried out correctly, and the flooring has been fixed appropriately, when natural movement occurs due to moisture variances and average seasonal weather, the walls will not be affected. It is advisable to use a Kiln Dried F17 sub floor.
The product has been moisture tested by the manufacturer and also tested at the Tile Importer yard to the manufacturer’s specifications. Before installing it is important to do your own test to make certain that the product is not compromised by condensation or moisture before being laid.
Moisture testing must be done by proper moisture testing equipment and the results must be kept by the owner.
Testing the flooring on site ensures the flooring is between 8 and 12 percent otherwise the flooring should not be laid.
If the moisture content is over 12 percent do not lay the flooring and contact Tile Importers.