Starting your installation
Make sure subfloor is tested for moisture first and is properly prepared. Since wood expands with any increase in moisture content, always leave at least a 3/8" expansion space between flooring and all walls and any other permanent vertical objects, (such as pipes and cabinets). This space will be covered up once you reapply base moldings around the room. Use wood or plastic spacers during installation to maintain this 3/8" expansion space.
When laying flooring, stagger end joints from row to row by at least 8". When cutting the last plank in a row to fit, you can use the cut-off end to begin the next row. If cut-off end is 8" in length or less, discard it and instead cut a new plank at a random length and use it to start the next row. Always begin each row from the same side of the room.
Work from several open boxes of flooring and “dry lay” the floor before permanently laying the floor. (But never open more than a few boxes in advance) This will allow you to select the varying grains & colors and to arrange them in a harmonious pattern. It also allows you the opportunity to select out very dark/light pieces for use in hidden areas in order to create a more uniform floor. Remember, it is the installers’ responsibility to set the expectations of what the finished floor will look like with the end user first and then to cull out pieces that do not meet those expectations.
To draw planks together, always use a tapping block, (a short piece of flooring), and hammer, as tapping the flooring itself will result in edge damage. When near a wall, you can use a pry bar to pry close the side and end joints. Take care not to damage edge of flooring.
Begin installation next to an outside wall. This is usually the straightest and best reference for establishing a straight working line. Establish this lline by measuring an equal distance from the wall at both ends and snapping a chalk line. The distance you measure from the wall should be the width of a plank plus about 3/8" for expansion space. You may need to scribe cut the first row of planks to match the wall in order to make a straight working line if the wall is out of straight. You may want to dry lay a few rows, (no nails), before starting installation to confirm your layout decision and working line.
Staple/Nail Down Recommendations
We recommend nailing or stapling on 8" centers along edge and then nailing a maximum of 3" in from the end of every piece.
Caution: When first starting to nail the flooring down and after nailing down a small section of approx. 25 sqft, please make sure that this initial test section of flooring, once nailed to the subfloor, is firmly affixed. In particular, please check to make sure that the groove side of each piece, being held down only by the tongue of the adjacent piece, does not rock up and down if weight is placed on it and then removed. If the groove side does exhibit up/down movement STOP!!! Call Wood Flooring International immediately at 856-764-2501.
This movement will not sand out nor can this up & down movement be corrected later on! It will be necessary to glue this floor down in addition to nailing it in order to correct this condition, which is caused by a too loose tongue and groove. Loosely milled flooring may be nailed and installed in beads of a non-hardening construction adhesive such as “a Liquid Nails caulking type” laid on 8" centers or the flooring may be laid with a full mastic spread in addition to nailing.
It is the installers responsibility to ascertain whether this "too loose of a T & G" condition exists in the flooring prior to installation. If the flooring is found to have a “too loose T & G condition” Wood Flooring International will, upon notification from the installer prior to installation, correct the problem as follows. At Wood Flooring International’s option, Wood Flooring International will either replace the flooring, refund the purchase cost of the flooring, or compensate the installer for the extra cost of the adhesive/mastic now necessary to insure a good installation. Wood Flooring International shall not be responsible for replacing any flooring in excess of the 25 sqft nailed down as the test section and then found to have excessive up and down movement.
If you decide to cover the floor (to allow the other construction trades to continue working), in order to protect the floors prior to final cleanup and turnover to the owner, use rosin paper to cover the floors and only use 3M Blue Tape to hold the rosin paper to the floor. Do NOT USE plastic film or other non breathing type coverings as this can cause the floor to become damaged from humidity buildups. Also, only use the 3M Blue Tape as this tape is designed for use on finishes and other tapes may pull and damage the finish when removing it.
Remove expansion spacers and reinstall base and/or quarter round moldings to cover the expansion space.
It is suggested that you buff the floor with lambs wool pads in order to “pull any splinters”, remove any residues and handprints/foot prints, etc.
Install any transition pieces that may be needed (reducer, T-moldings, nosing, etc.).
Dust mop or vacuum your floor to remove any dirt or debris.
Nailing Tips For Exotic Woods:
Splitting Tongues - Nailing dense or brittle exotic woods - Sometimes, in order to stop splitting the tongue in these dense woods, it is necessary to adjust the angle or height of entry of the nail. This can be accomplished, through trial and error experimentation, by simply attaching some duct tape to the nailer’s faceplate to change the angle or height of the nail’s entry. If excessive tongue breakage occurs during nailing, the above adjustments to the nailer will reduce the frequency of the problem.
Nailing extremely hard exotic woods - All our woods, with the exception of ebony, (which usually has to be pre-drilled before nailing), can be nailed with conventional power or air nailers/staplers. In the case of air guns, it may be necessary to increase the pressure to get the nails to fully set.
Loose Tongue and Groove - Due to the extreme hardness of many of the exotic woods we must run the T & G tolerances a little looser than domestic woods in order to make pieces, which may be a bit warped or twisted, installable. Please make sure in the initial stages of installation, before proceeding too far, that the floor, after nailing, is sufficiently affixed and without up and down movement. Should the T & G fit not be acceptable and there is movement after nailing, then the floor will have to be nailed and glued. Using a non-hardening construction adhesive such as Liquid Nails which comes in caulking tubes, the floor may be nailed after it is laid in beads of adhesive placed on top of the subfloor, run on 6 - 8" centers at a right angle to the direction of the floor. This will stop any subsequent movement.
When face nailing any pieces and then subsequently filling the nail holes, make sure you mix the fill color to the color the wood will change to and not the color of the freshly sanded floor!