Inspect the job site carefully before you begin the installation. Some conditions require specific installation methods. A level, flat, clean, dry, and firm subfloor is always necessary. All L.W. Mountain, Inc. products are manufactured in accordance with accepted industry standards, which permit grading deficiencies not to exceed 5%. If the material is not acceptable, do not install it and contact the seller immediately.
Climate and Pre-installation Procedures
• Material should be stored on the job site in rooms where installation is to occur.
• Garages and exterior patios are not suitable for storing wood flooring.
• DO NOT remove the product from the cartons.
• DO NOT open just the ends of the cartons.
• HVAC systems MUST be installed and operating before the flooring is delivered to the jobsite.
• All concrete, masonry, framing members, drywall, paint and other “wet” work should be thoroughly dry.
• Exterior Grading should be complete with surface drainage offering a minimum drop of 3’ in 10’.
• Crawl spaces must be a minimum of 24” from the ground to the underside of the 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 1.5% of the crawl space square footage.
Make sure the room environment is set at a normal living range 55 – 80 degrees and 35 – 55% humidity. Normal living conditions should be achieved and maintained a minimum of fourteen days before flooring is brought into the living area for acclimation purposes. It should be maintained during and after the installation as well. Proper acclimation is not a measurement of time; it is a measurement of moisture levels. It requires taking moisture readings of the flooring and the subflooring. The flooring is acclimated and ready for installation when it has reached a moisture level consistent with the job site and normal living conditions. Using a moisture meter, test the subfloor and hardwood flooring for moisture content. Moisture content of the subfloor should be 6-12% depending on your area. When wood flooring is produced for the North American market, it has a moisture content of between 6-9%. For solid strip flooring (less than 3” wide), there should be no more than 4 percent moisture content difference between properly acclimated wood flooring and subflooring materials. For wide‐width solid flooring (3” or wider), there should be no more than 2 percent difference in moisture content between properly acclimated wood flooring and subflooring materials.
The customer is responsible for maintaining normal humidity conditions (35-55%) within the home throughout the year. L.W. Mountain, Inc. is not responsible for environmental conditions that cause excessive expansion and contraction.
1. Preferred Subfloor
1) ¾ inch CDX plywood in 4 x 8-foot sheets
2) ¾ inch OSB - PS2 rated in 4 x 8-foot sheets
2. Existing wood floors
3. Sheet vinyl or resilient tile as long as it is installed over one of the preferred subfloors.
4. Concrete slabs – Installation should be done by installer with substantial knowledge of N.W.F.A. (National Wood Flooring Association) recommended alternatives for installing over concrete slabs.
5. In-floor Radiant Heat: With radiant heat, heat source is directly beneath the flooring, so flooring may gain moisture or dry out faster than in a home with conventional heating system. For this installation, once slab has cured, turn heat on, regardless of season, and leave it on for at least 5-6 days before installation. Maximum surface temperature should never be more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).
Radiant Heated Floors – L.W. Mountain, Inc. only recommends, and warranties certain engineered flooring be installed over in-floor radiant heated subfloors. Contact us for recommended floors. Our SOLID should NEVER be installed over any kind of radiant heat system.
1. Subfloors must be cleaned. This can be scraping or sanding the floor to remove all foreign materials.
2. Subfloors must be flat. ¼ inch in 10 feet. Sand all seams and high spots.
3. Subfloors must be free of loose areas and squeaks before installation can start. Renail or screw down sections that are loose or squeak. Replace any subfloor that is damaged.
4. The subfloor must be dry before you begin your installation.
Above Grade - Engineered and Solid floors can be installed.
On Grade - Engineered and Solid floors can be installed. L.W. Mountain. Inc. does not recommend gluing down solid wood on concrete slabs. Solid Bamboo can be glued with appropriate adhesives. *See Technical Letter*
Below Grade - Engineered floors can be installed. Solid wood and bamboo should not be installed below grade.
The installer is the final inspector of this product. Once a board is nailed or glued to the floor, it is deemed to be acceptable to the installer and homeowner. If the installer is not sure whether or not the floor’s milling or grading is acceptable, work should stop immediately, and a call should be made to the person that sold the floor.
Floating – Glue Joint Method
Maximum room dimensions for an engineered floating floor are 25 ft. across the boards
or 40 ft. lengthwise. Floors exceeding either of these dimensions
require use of “T-Molding”. A minimum of one butt seam is required in every other row,
regardless of width (e.g. hallways).
Never attach any permanent object through the flooring, affixing it to the subfloor.
Never install kitchen cabinets on top of floating floors. A float-in floor must be free to
expand and contract in all directions.
If installing over concrete, a 6-mil plastic moisture barrier MUST be layed
over entire subfloor before any other underlayments. Overlap plastic seams 8 inches.
Layout 2n1 underlayment foam or other sound deadening underlayment, butting seams.
Begin installation from the longest straightest wall, usually an outside wall.
Start in the corner and lay first row, with groove ends and sides toward wall.
Proper expansion space can be achieved by pulling floor away from wall once first three rows have been installed.
Use spacers to maintain a proper expansion space of ½ inch.
Apply a 1/8-inch bead of Floating Floor Adhesive to the top edge of the end groove of the second board. Engage groove onto tongue of the first board. Continue in this manner for entire first row.
Cut end board in first row to correct length and start second row with left-over piece (if possible).
End joints must be staggered by at least 12 inches.
Butt seam must be placed in each row regardless of width, e.g. hallways.
Apply 1/8-inch bead of Floating Floor Adhesive to top edge of the side groove.
Engage the groove onto the tongue of the previous row and press together.
For full boards, apply 1/8-inch bead of Floating Floor Adhesive to the top edge of the end and the side grooves.
Engage short end of new board keeping long side in line with tongue of adjacent board.
Using tapping block, carefully tap long edges together until they are closed. DO NOT tap
too hard or over-engage. Never tap directly against wearlayer. Continue this process
until you reach the end wall.
Blue painter tape #2080 can be used to keep rows or sections of floor boards together until the adhesive has cured. (incorrect tape can harm the finish.) Tape together 4 or 5 rows at 18” intervals.
Many installers choose to use straps or clamps in an effort to force board rows tighter together during installation. Be aware that over-strapping may adversely affect the floor and can result in glue-bond failure, seam peaking, twisted boards, or out-of-square flooring board alignment.
Cut last board to correct width. Place last board on top of second-to-last board. Mark board with help of piece of board. Use floor pull bar and mallet to engage the long side of planks.
Racking rule of thumb: Stagger end joints in adjacent rows at least twice the width of the boards, as product allows. Do not use "stair-step" spacing. Avoid End-Joint line up & H-joints. See figure A-1.
Remember that all walls and other vertical structures in the room must have a ¾ inch expansion space left between it and the floor. If your drywall stops at least ¾” above the floor, the thickness of the drywall can be considered part of the ¾” expansion space requirement.
• Once the floor has been completed, the base and the quarter round can be reinstalled into the room. This will cover the expansion gaps left between the wall and the floor.
• Sweep or vacuum the floor using a soft brush attachment.
• Finish by cleaning the floor with an approved hardwood floor cleaner.
• Enjoy your new hard wood floor.
Trims & Transitions
There is a variety of trims and transitions to accent a floor by covering expansion gaps or transitioning from one flooring surface to another. Before completing your floor, it is important to know what trim pieces you will need for your floor.
*Moldings must always be nailed or glued to the wall or subfloor, never to the hardwood flooring.
Waste Factor -
Additional square footage ordered for an installation is commonly referred to as a waste factor.
During installation, boards are cut to specifically fit your floor.
In addition, some boards may not be suitable for installation because of milling or color preferences which means it becomes waste. Finally, unfortunate damage during the life of your floor may call for replacing a board, and having spare flooring from the same stock can help to keep your floor’s appearance. The standard in the flooring industry is to order five - ten percent of additional flooring to cover cuts and other waste.
*DO NOT INSTALL CABINETS ON TOP OF ANY FLOATING FLOOR. IT WILL INHIBIT THE EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION OF THE FLOOR.
**L.W. Mountain, Inc. does not recommend covering the flooring for any extended period. If covering is needed to protect the flooring from additional work, it should be immediately uncovered after the work is performed. Covering the flooring can give other trades the perception that no damage will occur no matter what they do. In addition, foreign matter between the flooring and the cover can cause abrasions to the surface.
This is especially true in NEW home construction. Covering a newly installed floor over a recently poured concrete basement with fresh paint and dry-wall can cause moisture to be trapped under the covering and causing major damage to the new flooring.