» ADVICE » Floor laying guide » Guide to the installation of engineered flooring

The engineering floor is a device that allows a multitude of installations. In this guide, discover all the techniques for installing engineered flooring for a lasting result over time.

 

The basics before installing engineered flooring

First of all, zoom in on the right steps to take before installing the engineered floor in your home. When building a new home, the engineered floor is one of the last elements to be installed. All work involving water and humidity must indeed be completed before installing this type of flooring. The same is true for concrete and plaster, which must have hardened and aged for a period of at least 60 to 90 days.

It is also imperative that the materials be perfectly dry. Heating and ventilation systems must also be fully functional. As a guideline, a constant room temperature of 19-24°C must be maintained in addition to a constant relative humidity between 37% and 55%.

 

For the installation of engineered wood flooring, it is also necessary to allow for a 5% surplus of the surface to be covered. This is to compensate for the loss due to cutting. Before installing this type of flooring, the installer must ensure that the work environment, condition and type of subfloor meet all the requirements set out in the installation instructions. In particular, NWFA and NOFWA standards.

Rules for Approved Subfloor Types

Engineered flooring can be installed in any room of the house. Depending on the type of room you live in, you will need to know the types of subfloors that are suitable for installing this type of flooring. To get an idea, note that plywood panels with a minimum thickness of 15.5 mm or 5/8″ as well as OSB panels with a minimum thickness of 18.5 mm and conforming to the NWFA standard are eligible for the installation of engineered flooring. Also note that this type of subfloor is not recommended for a basement.

 

Concrete subfloor is just as convenient for the installation of engineered wood flooring. To do so, make sure that the concrete pour is 60 to 90 days old for optimal results. The surface must also be level, a gap of 3.17 mm by 1.8 m at most is acceptable. The moisture content according to the so-called concrete moisture meter should also not exceed 12% or 4% if the moisture meter measures the volume of water.

 

A wood sub-floor is also allowed for the installation of an engineered floor. However, it is important to make sure that its humidity level is in compliance with the requirements using a wood moisture tester. To do so, the moisture content must not exceed 12% and must not differ by more than 4% from the moisture content of the floor to be installed. If the humidity level is too high, you must find the source and correct it.

 

When installing on a radiant floor heating system, it is essential to take into account a few conditions. Namely the use of the floating method or the glued method for the installation of engineered flooring. Acclimatizing your floor covering in the room for 48 to 72 hours with the radiant heating system operating at a temperature between 18 and 24°C is also recommended. Not to mention the fact that the temperature of the subfloor should not exceed 28°C.

 

In general, to successfully install engineered flooring, the subfloor must be kept clean. It must also be structurally sound, screwed firmly to the joists to prevent cracking and its surface must be flat. As for the moisture content of the flooring, it must never exceed 12%.

 

Installation by simple gluing

 

For this type of installation, you must use glue. This will act as a vapour barrier for proper installation. You will also need a miter saw, jigsaw, square, tape measure, chalk line, hammer, rubber hammer, level, wood chisel, vacuum cleaner and wet rags. Not to mention the glue boilers, notched trowel and some pencil-stain touch-ups.

 

Before proceeding with the installation of glued engineered flooring, make sure that the subfloor meets the necessary construction standards. Start by leaving a space between the boards and the wall of ¼” at the end of the boards and ½” along the length of the boards. Then, draw a starting line so that the first row is straight. Continue by applying the glue with a 3/16″ V trowel at a 45° angle. This should be done evenly over the surface.

 

Once this has been done, lay each floor, carefully pressing it into the glue on the floor. To do this, you can use a rubber hammer or walk on the floor in both directions. Also, always use a damp cloth to quickly wipe off any glue residue. For a good assortment of colour, length and appearance, you can also use strips from different boxes.

 

For a standard installation, it is also important to offset the ends of the boards at least 15 cm from the ends of adjacent boards. This avoids the risk of overlapping end joints. Once the installation is complete, remember to roll the engineered flooring with a solid device in both directions. Finally, allow it to dry for 24 hours before moving around and moving furniture.

 

Double gluing installation

 

As with the previous installation method, it is imperative that the subfloor meets all the conditions already mentioned. For this type of installation, you will also need various tools in addition to an acoustic membrane of your choice. Once the condition of the subfloor has been checked, start by cutting the membrane with a retractable blade knife or a regular chisel. The aluminized side of the membrane in question must be installed with the aluminized side facing upwards to reflect the room temperature towards the floor.

 

Then, cover the entire surface with the membrane by raising it vertically 5 cm above the walls and obstacles. Remember that no space must remain uncovered and the membrane strips must touch each other without overlapping. To do this, start along the wall by folding the strip lengthwise on itself to uncover the edge of the wall. Then spread the adhesive over the uncovered part of the subfloor and cover the glued part with the membrane. Repeat this procedure until the room is complete.

 

Then make sure that the joints touch each other and are well glued to the subfloor. Especially since they do not need to be sealed with adhesive tape. Then pass a 35 to 45 kg heavy roller over the membrane to ensure adhesive transfer. Then finish by installing the engineered floor. Remember that for an efficient installation, it is important that the boards be straight and square. From left to right, place each board by pressing firmly to optimize the floor’s entry into the glue.

 

Nail-type installation

 

Here, you will need a miter saw, jigsaw, square, measuring tape, chalk line, hammer, rubber hammer, level and nails depending on the thickness of the product. You will also need a nailer, vapour barrier, wood chisel, vacuum cleaner and safety glasses. Before proceeding, always make sure that the sub-floor meets the construction standards governing the installation of a nailed type floor.

 

It is recommended to install a vapour barrier over the entire surface. For a brilliant visual effect, it is also recommended to install the floorboards parallel to the longest wall in the room. Then draw a starting line so that the first row is straight and square. Then leave a space between the planks and the wall from ¼ in. at the end of the planks and ½ in. along the length of the planks. Stagger the ends of the boards at least 15 cm from the ends of adjacent boards to avoid overlapping end joints.

 

Depending on the thickness of the engineered wood, nails should be chosen carefully. For installation, always install your boards from left to right and nail on all four ends. Note that for 3 ¼” and 5″ boards, nail every 6″ to 8″. On the other hand, for boards 7″ and over, you must nail every 4″ to 6″. Also, always keep a minimum distance of 2″ from the end of the boards before starting to nail.

 

Floating type installation

 

For this approach, you need glue, a vapour barrier membrane, a polyethylene foam membrane in addition to the tools already listed. After checking all conditions related to the condition of the subfloor, start by installing a vapour barrier over the entire surface. Then unroll the rolls of polyethylene foam in the same direction as the installation of the boards, while avoiding overlapping joints. For installation, it is essential to leave a space between the boards and the wall of ¼ in. at the end of the boards and ½ in. along the length of the boards.

 

Once this is done, draw a starting line so that the first row of the floor is straight and square. Then, connect the first row of boards on the narrow side all the way along the room. Then apply a thin strip of tube glue on top of the male parts of the board and glue it to the subfloor so that the ends of the boards are always offset to avoid overlapping.

 

The long sides should also be joined together and then slide the board as close as possible to the short side of the previous one. Finish by tapping gently on the side until the 2 boards are equal. Always use a damp cloth to quickly wipe off any glue residue. To complete the job, it would be ideal to leave 24 hours before walking around or putting heavy objects on the newly laid engineered floor.