Wood flooring should be one of the last jobs completed on the construction project. Limit foot traffic on finished wood flooring.
Evaluate the jobsite for potential problems before installation begins, and before wood flooring is delivered to the jobsite.
Ensure any water pipes if present in the sub floor are at an adequate level or insulated to not compromise the installation and/or cause and effect on the timber after installation. Failure to insulate can cause localized shrinkage of the floor boards
Ensure electrical wires if present in the sub floor are at an adequate level to not interfere with the installation
Subfloors (wood or concrete) should be checked by an appropriate method for establishing moisture content. Average subfloor moisture content should be within the range as specified in Chapter 2, Moisture Testing
Unless a waiver or letter of protest listing exceptions exists, installation constitutes acceptance of subfloor/substrate, the jobsite itself – including the ambient temperature and relative humidity at the time of installation, and all impacting variables that may affect a wood floor
Surface drainage should direct water away from the building
Do not deliver wood flooring to the jobsite or install wood flooring until the building is enclosed
If heating and/or air-conditioning is in operating condition, it needs to be operating. If it is not possible for the permanent heating and/or air-conditioning system to be operating before, during and after installation, a temporary heating and/or dehumidification system that mimics normal temperature and humidity conditions can enable the installation to proceed until the permanent heating and/or air-conditioning system is operating.
Do not deliver wood flooring to the jobsite or install wood flooring until appropriate temperature and humidity conditions have been achieved. Appropriate temperature and humidity conditions are defined as those conditions to be experienced in the building after occupancy.
Do not deliver wood flooring to the jobsite or install wood flooring until all concrete, masonry, plastering, drywall, texturing and painting primer coats are completed.
Basements and crawl spaces must be dry. If power washing is required in the basement, do so before wood flooring is installed and allow subfloor and basement to dry before installing wood flooring.
Crawl space should be a minimum of 457mm from ground to underside of joists.
Crawl space earth (or thin concrete slab) should be covered 100% by a vapour barrier of polyethylene (minimum 1000 gauge) or other recommended puncture-resistant membrane
Where a proper ground covering is in place and when venting is required, the crawl space should have openings of 1500mm2 per meter run on two opposing sides
For crawl spaces without ventilation openings, vapour retarder joints must overlap a minimum of 150mm and be sealed or taped. The vapour retarder should also extend at least 150mm up the stem wall and be attached and sealed to the stem wall. Continuously operated mechanical exhaust and perimeter wall insulation or conditioned air supply and insulation must be provided.
Note the ground level so that the correct type of flooring and system can be specified for the job.
Engineered floors can be appropriate for above-ground, on-ground and below-ground installations.
Solid wood flooring can be appropriate for above- ground and ground level installations, but not for below ground installations.
If the soil surrounding a structure is 75mm or more above the floor of any level, consider that level below ground. This includes walk-out basements. In addition, the surrounding soil should be sloped away from the structure.
Where the minimum jobsite conditions are present, the flooring can be delivered and stored in the rooms in which it will be installed.
Additional jobsite conditions for pre-finished flooring
All finished wall coverings and painting should be completed. Note: Skirting or finish and shoe mould may be installed and finished after the flooring installation.
After installation, if you choose to protectively cover the floor, cover the floor completely with a floor protection product, since some species are light-sensitive and uncovered areas may change colour. However, covering a glue-down application may not allow some adhesives to properly cure. Follow the flooring and adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations. Use a covering material that is vapour permeable to avoid trapping moisture/vapour on or within the floor. A common reinforced builder’s paper is a good choice. Any covering should be taped, using a low-adhesion tape, to base or shoe mouldings. Avoid taping to the finished flooring. When taping paper or sheets together ensure they are taped to each other and not to the floor.