BEFORE INSTALLATION

General information on the Timberwise parquet floor

 

Your Timberwise floor is a completely natural product. Modern production technology, critical grading and quality control do not remove the natural properties of the wood. Wood is hygroscopic, i.e. a ‘living’ material, so it absorbs and loses moisture according to the humidity and temperature of the air. Thus the volume of wood increases when it absorbs moisture and decreases when it loses moisture. When the wood floor is installed as a floating structure, it is important to leave expansion joints (approx. 10 mm) between the installed floor and solid structures so that it can expand and shrink according to fluctuations in air humidity and temperature. If the wood floor does not have space for so-called natural expansion, tensions may form as a result and damage the floor. In order to avoid damages, it is very important that the relative humidity is 30–65% (RH) for birch plywood structured and 40–60% for intermediate strip structured parquet and the temperature is between +18–24°C both during and after installation.

 

Quality inspection and liability for defects

Quality inspection and final acceptance before installation are the owner’s and installer’s joint responsibility, even if the owner was not present during installation. The installer must follow an acceptable situation assessment both before and during installation.  Each floorboard installed on the floor is considered as approved by the installer and/or the owner. The owner is responsible for checking the subfloor for possible moisture and level deviations and the owner must also ensure that all requirements concerning installation conditions stated in the installation instructions are met as defined in the specifications before the installation of the floor. Liability for defects covers only the Timberwise floorings that have been installed and maintained according to the instructions.

 

Timing and planning of installation

Wood flooring should be installed after all other construction work is completed. In addition, you must ensure that damp materials (such as filler material) have dried sufficiently and that the conditions in the room are optimal for installing the parquet.

Wood flooring expands and shrinks less lengthwise than widthwise, thus we recommend installing the floor parallel to the longest wall. Always carry out installations in narrow spaces and corridors lengthwise. When the installation must be completed crossways, an expansion joint of at least 10 mm must be left every 6 meters, so that the floor can expand and shrink widthwise. At the same time, it must be ensured that at least every third row of floorboards is laid using extended boards. In other cases, it is recommended to lay the parquet in the line of light. If the subfloor is an old board floor, the parquet boards are to be installed crosswise to it. When installing flooring equipped with the WiseLoc lock system, it is easiest to start near the wall that has the most doorways in the room. If one of the room’s end walls contains door(s), start the installation near that wall.

  

Expansion joints

To account for the expansion or shrinkage of the flooring with respect to fluctuations in air humidity, the parquet must be separated from the solid parts of the building by an expansion joint of approx. 10 mm in width. Solid structures include, among others, the surrounding and penetrating walls as well as the heating ducts. An expansion joint should also be left around other obstacles, such as pillars, stairs, kitchen islands, fireplaces, tile floors and thresholds as well as under doorframes. For large continuous floor areas (over 10 m long or over 6 m wide), the expansion joints must be larger than mentioned above. In a room of over 6 meters in width, the expansion joint must be increased by 1.5 mm per each meter exceeding 6 m. Expansion joints are covered using appropriate skirting boards. NOTE! Skirting boards should always be chosen based on the width of the expansion joint – not the other way around. In addition, the following points concerning expansion joints must be taken into account during installation:

 

  • The stairs must be installed on the sub-floor so that the parquet flooring will have 10 mm allowance for moving from the mounting points. Load-bearing structures of stairs (e.g. stringers or handrail supports) must never be mounted directly on the parquet!
  • Fixtures or load-bearing structures such as partitions, must never be installed on the parquet floor! They lock the floor so that the floor cannot expand or shrink freely. Due to this, all fixtures (e.g. kitchen islands and cabinetry) must be fitted before the installation of the parquet.
  • Glueable split-level boards may only be fixed to the other surface of the floor. If an uneven skirting board is fixed between two rooms on both floor surfaces, it locks the floors together and prevents the normal expansion and shrinkage of the parquet floor.
  • Skirting boards and thresholds must always be fixed in a way that does not prevent the parquet from expanding and shrinking normally. Do not fix the floorboards too tightly against the floor or a threshold through the parquet. Skirting boards, rails, thresholds etc. should not be screwed through the parquet so that they lock the parquet. When you are installing the parquet under doorframes, you must also ensure that it does not prevent the parquet from natural expansion and shrinkage.
  • For sliding-door cabinets, the allowance for moving must be made under the cabinets’ runner (10 mm) and the runner must be fixed to the parquet with short screws (12 mm) on the cabinet side.
  • Install each room as a separate area. Cut the floor at each doorway with an expansion joint and install thresholds or threshold skirting boards at the doorways. The floor should be installed in a square or rectangular shape (e.g. an L-shaped room is installed as two separate floor areas). If the parquet is installed as a floating floor, gluing the parquet to the subfloor at doorways, in front of the fireplace or elsewhere is strictly prohibited. In a situation where an unconventionally shaped room is combined into one flooring area, we recommend the use of traditional glued tongue and groove products and gluing the floor to the underlay.
  • Do not leave any pointed objects or brackets that prevent movement in the floor. The expansion joint may not be filled with cables, for example.

 

Subfloor and moisture barrier

The subfloor must be even – the allowable deviation is ±2 mm per two (2) metres. The levelness is checked by placing a floorboard tongue against the subfloor and measuring the gap remaining between the subfloor and the floorboard. Differences that exceed the allowable limit must be levelled out by sanding or applying appropriate filler material. The subfloor must be immovable, strong, solid, straight, dry and clean. Note that even small loose debris can cause unevenness that can wear the flooring. All fitted carpeting and other similar coatings must be removed. The underlay material must be as inelastic as possible. Suitable subfloors include: plywood or chipboard flooring, concrete surfaces, flagged and marble floors, linoleum and PVC. Note that an underlay material with a moisture barrier or a similar moisture barrier must always be installed on a concrete subfloor (e.g. 0.2 mm thick PE plastic, seams overlapped approx. 20 cm or taped).

 

The humidity of the sub-floor must be measured once more before installation. We recommend having the humidity of the concrete measured by a professional. Ensure that the sub-floor is dry along the whole installation area (also under any stored construction materials). Precise subfloor humidity measurements can be obtained by using the appropriate moisture meters. If the relative humidity of the subfloor is higher than 80% (max. weight percentage 3.0), DO NOT begin installing the flooring!

 

Preparations

Store parquet in unopened packages (the room must be dry, relative humidity of air 30–65% for birch plywood structured and 40–60% for intermediate strip structured boards and temperature +18–24°C). For 2 to 3 days before installation, the flooring material must be kept in conditions (air humidity and temperature) that are similar to those in the room where the flooring will be installed. The packages should be stacked on a flat surface in a way that allows air circulation between them and they must be kept away from a direct source of heat (such as radiators or strong sunlight). Do not open the packages until you begin the installation. Only open as many as you need on the same day. Ensure that the underlay material is level and free of moisture before starting. We recommend measuring the moisture of concrete surfaces.

 

Ensure that the underlay material (moisture barrier and impact sound insulation material) and the tools required for the installation are ready. Always check the suitability of the moisture barrier and sound insulation material for the Timberwise parquet with your dealer.

 

  • Suitable impact sound insulation material alternatives include for example the following: Timberwise underlay material
  • Required tools: metric measuring tape/ruler, marker pen, try square, fitting wedges for expansion joints, circular or crosscut saw, clamping device, wooden knocking block, chisel, hammer, knife and wood glue (PVAC glue).

 

First calculate the number of floorboards you need. Use a metric measuring tape/ruler to measure the total width of the room; divide it by the width of a floorboard, and check how many complete rows of floorboards will be used for the room. Narrow the first row of floorboards, if the width of the last row of floorboards is going to be less than 50 mm. NOTE! Remember the expansion joints.

 

In order to get a floor that meets the qualities of the range, alternate the floorboards from different packages during installation. Prior to installation, inspect the floorboards in sufficient lighting or daylight for potential visible defects. If there is a defect or you are unsure about how to proceed, contact your dealer. The manufacturer is not responsible for cases where floorboards have been installed without visual quality inspection.