4 Pre-Installation Considerations for Engineered Flooring

Installing engineered hardwood flooring in your home can be a difficult, time-consuming process. Not preparing your wood and floor space for installation can cause the process to be even more challenging. Regardless of whether you are doing the installation yourself or letting a professional take care of it, there are a few issues you need to address before the work begins. The following are four pre-installation considerations you should take into account before installing your newly purchased engineered hardwood floor.

Installing Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Installing engineered hardwood flooring can be tricky if you don’t take the proper precautions before beginning the project.

Inspection
It’s extremely important to inspect all of your wood flooring materials prior to installation and look for any cracks, holes, or bent or warped boards. While engineered hardwood flooring undergoes a rigorous inspection process before leaving the plant, imperfections and faulty boards can still slip through the cracks. In most cases, installing defective boards will void their warranty.

Order of Installation
Wood flooring should always be installed after all other installation and construction projects are finished. If floor installation is the only project, this isn’t something you need to be concerned with. However, if a new floor is part of a larger remodeling or new-home construction project, make sure you save it for last. This will help minimize the chances of your new boards experience major damage due to other construction projects.

Crawl Space and Subfloor Specifications 
It is very important for crawl spaces and subfloors to be dry before the installation process begins. For crawl spaces, there needs to be at least 18 inches between the joists and the ground. Vapor barriers or retarders must cover 100% of the crawl space, with the joints overlapping by at least six inches. The vapor barrier must also extend at least six inches up the stem wall, be attached and sealed.

Protection
Protecting your engineered hardwood flooring prior to installation is very important. The boards should not be delivered to the installation site until the building is enclosed and humidity and temperature are both stable. Fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels can cause boards to warp and bend, rendering them useless for installation. Finally, don’t deliver boards to the installation site until all painting, drywall texturing, masonry, and concrete laying is finished.

Want to learn more about installing engineered hardwood flooring in your home? Contact Fantastic Floor today to speak with one of our knowledgeable sales representatives. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

The Sticky Subject of Choosing the Right Glue for Installing Your Engineered Floor

So you’ve decided to install your new engineered floor yourself. You’ve got your kneepads, your saws, pencil, tape measure, a few other accessories and a whole lot of gusto. You’ve decided to go with a glue-down installation. Now the question is, what kind of glue do you use?

After making the complicated choices of choosing the right type of wood, both for looks and structural integrity, then¬† choosing the appropriate installation method for your floor’s location, glue choice seems like a minor no-brainer. However, there are important things to consider when choosing glue.

First off, are you installing in a location where you have any worries about moisture content? If you have any concerns, it’s best to choose a glue that acts as a vapor barrier as well as an adhesive. It will take a slightly larger chunk out of the pocket book, but it beats having mechanical failures due to moisture down the road. (For those of you skipping over this section, stay tuned for the upcoming post “Board Replacements and You: Why oh Why Didn’t I Just Spring for the Vapor Barrier Glue?”)

Additionally, make sure the glue you’re buying has a guarantee in place. More than this, check to see if the manufacturer of the glue guarantees that their glue will work with the product you are installing. If you’re not installing your floor yourself, check with your installer as well about adhesives. Installers might be prone to stick with adhesives they’ve had luck with in the past, but this might be the time that things don’t jive, and you’ll be the one holding the ball after things go haywire. So be sure and check with the adhesive manufacturer and make sure your installer is on the same page with your findings.

Some other points: Make sure the glue stays on the bottom of the board. Don’t let it creep into the joints, as that will kill your tight fit. Also have solvents on hand for when you get that sticky stuff on yourself. We want you to become attached to your floor, but…

Finally, check your glue for which size/type of trowel it recommends, and also check its dry time, which should both be written on the container. You may have downed a quadruple hazelnut latte prior to getting rolling, but you’re probably not going to cover 3,000 sf in an hour. Although YouTube it if you do, because that would amazing.

Stopping short of diving into the full subject of installation, these are some of the important aspects to remember about glue for your engineered hardwood flooring project. Good luck on your journey into the magical world of adhesives!

Here are a few popular adhesive brands to check out:

Bostik Best (PDF! Not too hefty on the load time, but just FYI it’ll take a second to load.)

BST Urethane (ditto)

Franklin 811 Titebond