Important Note About Crawl Spaces: Many wood floors fail due to the failure of the installer to address moisture in crawl spaces. If you have a crawl space under your home or new flooring, you must properly remedy this moisture.
You must have a high quality vapor barrier or moisture insulation (with 100% blockage) or the moisture coming up from the crawl space will damage the flooring. A ground layer cover is required - must be 6mm minimum black polyethylene with joints overlapping at least 6 inches, and sealed with moisture-resistant tape.There must be a minimum of 18′′ from the ground to underside of joists, the polyethelene should also extend at least 6" up the block walls and be sealed there as well, and it should have perimeter venting equal to at least 1.5% of the crawl space total square footage. The vents should be properly placed for cross-ventilation. We recommend you read this document about what happens when crawl spaces are not sealed.
Important Note About Installing Over An Unconditioned Space (such as a garage): Subfloor moisture penetration of improperly sealed sub-floors over unconditioned spaces is a common cause of wood floor failure. If you are gluing the floor down over such a space, you must use a 100% urethane adhesive that contains a moisture barrier. If you are nailing the floor down over such a space, you will need to follow these steps:
In an unfinished space, staple a 6mm plastic sheet to the ceiling of the unconditioned space with joints overlapping at least 6 inches, and seal with moisture-resistant tape. In a finished space, coat the ceiling with two layers of high-gloss paint.
Lay down two layers of 15 lb asphalt saturated felt paper at a 90 degree angle to each other over the plywood before beginning the nail down installation. Thus, lay down the first layer and be careful not to overlap the rolls as this may cause an un-level surface. Once the first layer is down, install the second layer at a 90 degree angle and care not to overlap
Our solid (wood all the way through) floors can be put under cabinets if they are being nailed down or glued down. Floating floors of any kind should not be installed under cabinets. This is because you do not want to pin down an entire side of a room of floating floors as it will inhibit their ability to expand and contract naturally.
a. Acclimate your flooring for at least 10-14 days prior to installation (instead of the normal 72 hours) in the environment in which they are going to be lived on. Ensure all boxes are opened properly so that the planks can breathe.
b. Glue the flooring down. The elasticity in the glue allows the floors to breathe easily through humidity changes.
c. Make sure to leave ¼ - ½ inch of expansion gap around your flooring perimeter at the time of installation.
d. Try to keep your interior humidity setting consistently in the same 20% range year round (opening windows for a day won't hurt the floors), even via the use of humidifiers/dehumidifiers if necessary. If you allow big humidity swings, larger gaps may develop between your planks during dry spells and they'll close during wet spells.
We recommend that you only use 18 gauge cleats. If you use 16 gauge cleats they are likely to cause dimpling on your floors, as described in this article: https://www.ambientbp.com/pdf/avoiddimpling.pdf
Furthermore, they may cause cracks and splits in the tongue that will cause further issues down the road.
If you have a humidity modulator in your home that will keep your indoor humidity at a level of 40%-60%, you do not have any run limits on your floating wood floor. This can also be achieved via the use of a portable humidifer or dehumidifier. Also, some areas in the Southern United States have relatively stable humidity year around (like Southern California or Florida) so this usually isn't an issue in those areas. However, if you live in an area with seasons, and you don't have a way to control your humidity, you will want to ensure to follow the guidelines in the diagram below.
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