by Brett Miller
Wide plank wood flooring accounts for the majority of all new wood floors being installed today. According to a 2016 US FLOOReport, solid plank flooring accounted for 55 percent of the total flooring sold. Many would argue that this number should be even higher when you include engineered flooring sales, which account for 57 percent of total square-feet sales in 2017, the majority of which are wide plank products.
Today’s wood flooring manufacturers are staying in front of this timeless trend by continuing to offer wider widths and longer lengths. Standard widths being sold today have grown to 5”, and some producers are even moving up to 18” widths in boards that are up to 12’ long. Some of the oldest solid floors in many of the historic homes across the country contain board widths upward of 24”. These historical treasures have been in place for hundreds of years and are being discovered and restored on a daily basis.
Plank flooring is defined as solid or engineered boards that are 3” and wider. NWFA Guidelines for installation of plank wood floors were last updated in 2012 and are currently in the process of being completely overhauled. This overhaul includes the long-overdue updates to the plank flooring installation methods. This article will focus on some of the standard installation methods to follow when installing plank flooring. The second part of this article will get deeper into many of the common methods used to install plank flooring that may not be addressed in the current NWFA Guidelines.
There are many nuances when installing wide plank flooring that must be taken into account to ensure a successful installation. As with any installation, an essential first step is to conduct a detailed pre-installation site survey. Guidelines that pertain to all wood flooring installations can be found in the NWFA Installation Checklist available at nwfa.org.
Solid wide plank wood flooring installation methods can vary from one manufacturer to the next, but how it reacts to a gain or loss in moisture is universal. The extent to which a solid plank wood floor changes dimension (shrinks or swells) when it loses or gains moisture is directly proportional to its width. Engineered wood flooring installation methods also vary from one manufacturer to the next. It is always important to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions with any product in order to ensure their product is being put to use as it was intended. The manufacturer normally indicates which installation methods are appropriate for the flooring being installed, which may include which type of moisture tests are required, which type or brand of adhesives to use, which underlayments, which fasteners (length, gauge, and frequency), and any other requirements specific to the product itself.
There are many required processes to take into account before installing a plank floor. If and when the manufacturer states, “follow NWFA Guidelines for installing solid plank wood floors,” proceed as the NWFA Guidelines suggest. In short, these are general guidelines:
SOLID PLANK INSTALLATION
Solid plank wood floors can be installed successfully above-grade or on-grade, but are not recommended for installation below-grade.
Solid plank flooring should be installed perpendicular to the joists, or on a diagonal for any single layer subfloor. (See NWFA Installation Guidelines for exceptions to this rule.)
Ensure the environmental conditions of the space and the moisture content of the substrate coincide with the moisture content of the flooring (and when applicable, the manufacturer’s requirements). In general, there should be no more than 2 percent difference in moisture content between properly acclimated wood flooring and wood subflooring materials.
As a general rule, a 3/4” expansion space should be left around the perimeter and at all vertical obstructions. Since solid wood doesn’t shrink/swell notably in its length, 3/4” may be overkill on butt-end walls. To minimize expansion on floors wider than 20’, or depending on geographical area, interior climate control, and time of the year, expansion may need to be built into the floor itself (washer rows). Undercutting vertical obstructions may assist in gaining the required expansion space.
For glue-down solid plank flooring over concrete:
Engineered plank wood floors can be installed successfully on, above, or below grade level.
Engineered plank flooring should be installed perpendicular to the joists, or on a diagonal for any single layer subfloor. (See NWFA Installation Guidelines for exceptions to this rule.)
Ensure the environmental conditions (temperature and humidity) of the space and the moisture content of the substrate coincide with the manufacturer’s requirements for the flooring going in. Check the moisture content of the substrate to ensure it is aligned with the ambient conditions (at EMC).
As a general rule, the engineered flooring material thickness dictates the expansion space left around the perimeter and at all vertical obstructions. Engineered flooring can shrink/swell both in width and length, so expansion is critical in all directions. To minimize expansion on floors wider than 20’, use of t-molding or other transition pieces recommended by the flooring manufacturer may be necessary, depending on geographical area, interior climate control, and time of the year. Undercutting vertical obstructions may assist in gaining the required expansion space.
For glue-down engineered plank over concrete:
In general, try to stagger as much as possible with minimal or no H joints and no stair-stepping patterns with plank floors. Attempt to stagger end-joints of boards row to row a minimum of twice the width of the flooring. For example, 8” minimum stagger for 4” planks, 12” stagger for 6” planks. Although this is ideal, many wide plank flooring products will not allow for such a wide stagger due to the amount of shorter boards.
Some common installation methods not addressed in the current Installation Guidelines include use of adhesive over wood subfloors, whether as a glue-assist application or full spread application:
Brett Miller is VP of Education & Certification at the National Wood Flooring Association in St. Louis. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Article posted with permission from Hardwood Floors Magazine.
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The benefits of hardwood flooring are remarkable when you think about it. What other flooring option never goes out of style, lasts for generations, matches every décor, and is so easy to maintain? But what you may not know is that wood floors have significant health benefits as well.
Wood directly impacts indoor air quality. In fact, wood floors can significantly improve indoor air quality when compared to other flooring options.
The number of people affected by allergies each year is staggering. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, researchers believe that nasal allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States alone, and that number is increasing every year. Allergies affect as much as 30 percent of the adult population in the U.S. and about 40 percent of children. Allergic disease, including asthma, is the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. for people of all ages. In children under the age of 18, it is the third most common.
Allergens can exist everywhere. Some are more common outdoors, like pollen and mold spores, while others are more common indoors, like dust mites and animal dander. All allergen sources, however, can be present anywhere at any time. And because the cost of air-borne allergy-related illnesses can be staggering – up to $17.5 billion in health care costs and more than 6 million work and school days lost each year – it is in everyone’s best interest to prevent and minimize allergy triggers whenever possible.
While outdoor allergens can be hard to control, there are ways to minimize the impact of allergens that occur indoors. All of the triggers for most air-borne allergens can accumulate indoors. They can gather on clothing, in your hair, on furniture, on curtains, on drapes, on bedding, on walls, and on flooring.
Frequent dusting, vacuuming, and washing will minimize many indoor allergies, but these activities also can stir them up. One way to prevent allergens altogether is to eliminate many of the areas where they can gather. Flooring is one area of the indoor environment where a number of indoor allergens can be controlled. Certain types of flooring, such as carpet, are simply better gathering places for allergens. Small microorganisms, pollen, dust, dust mites, mold, animal dander, and other substances tend to accumulate in carpet fibers. Other flooring types, such as wood, tend to minimize the accumulation of allergens because there are no fibers to trap these substances. Taking steps to minimize these kinds of allergens can result in improved indoor air quality.
A study conducted by Harris Interactive reports that most U.S. homeowners believe that their family’s health is directly related to the cleanliness of their floors. And the majority believe that wood floors are most effective in improving indoor air quality.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agrees. They report that wood floors are hypoallergenic, which is a huge advantage for allergy sufferers. Wood floors do not harbor microorganisms or pesticides tracked in from outdoors as other flooring options can. They also minimize the accumulation of dust, mold, and animal dander, which improves overall indoor air quality.
Wood flooring also improves indoor air quality in another, less tangible, way. This is because wood is a carbon-neutral product.
As most people know, as a tree grows, it takes in carbon dioxide from the environment and produces oxygen. What most people do not know, however, is that products made from wood, including wood flooring, store carbon during their service lives. In other words, even after the tree used to make wood is cut down and manufactured into flooring, it continues to store carbon during its entire service life. That’s quite a green story and is yet another way wood flooring improves indoor air quality.
In recent years, wood floors also have been improved by utilizing low VOC finishes and adhesives.
VOCs are volatile organic compounds. They are gases that are emitted from products that have been determined to be harmful to humans. Short-term health effects from VOCs can include headaches, nausea, and ear, nose, and throat irritation. Long-term health effects from VOCs can include liver damage, kidney damage, and damage to the central nervous system.
The California Air Resources Board, an organization known as CARB, monitors indoor air quality. CARB has established strict regulations for VOC emissions. It regulates VOCs in wood flooring finishes and adhesives, and provides the strictest VOC standards in the nation. Other areas of the country are regulated by the Ozone Transport Commission. CARB now is being used as a model to develop national standards to minimize harmful VOC emissions.
CARB places significant restrictions on VOCs throughout the state of California. Compliance is mandatory and can result in severe financial penalties if not followed. Fines can be as high as tens of thousands of dollars, per violation, per day. These fines can add up quickly and can be devastating to many companies. And it’s not just the contractor who is at risk either. Penalties can be applied to the contractor, the product distributor, and the product manufacturer as well.
With all of these positive research results, it is easy to see how wood floors can reduce indoor allergens and improve overall indoor air quality. Communicating these positive messages to your customers can help you steer them toward products that will not only improve their décor, but also their health.
Anita Howard is Chief Operating Office at the National Wood Flooring Association in St. Louis. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you planning on getting new wood flooring for your office or home? Is it difficult for you to decide which wood flooring you should go for? Are you looking for the best options for entryway flooring, or another area where your floors take a beating?
If this is you then don’t worry! We have a solution for you!
Here’s why you should go for engineered flooring for entryway or for places where you get high traffic:
If yes, then you have reached the right place. The resemblance between real wood and engineered wood flooring is high; as a matter of fact engineered wood flooring consists of real wood….especially the top layer which is 100% real wood.
The top layer can be almost any type of wood from ash to oak, so you have the opportunity todesign you high traffic areas to reflect the beauty of any species of wood.
From the day that it is installed this flooring will withstand heavy footsteps and constant pressure and still won’t budge from its place. Engineered Wood Flooring is designed to take almost anything you can throw at it.
The layers after layers of plywood that is used in engineered wood flooring make it sturdy and tough. This is the reason it is also considered as the best scratch resistant wood flooring.
You have the choice of customizing the top-layer of your engineered wood flooring. By choosing a certain species and finish you achieve the look that you want.
This is unlike any other form of wood which expands or contracts when temperature changes. This means that once installed, engineered wood flooring will retain its position for a fairly long time.
You are able to make an amazing first impression with this engineered wood flooring at your entry way. It looks like a solid wood floor, but has added benefits and could save you some money.
Engineered wood flooring is the perfect material for your DIY projects as well. This means that you don’t have to wait for longer period of time before your engineered wood flooring is installed and usable for your entryway.
In Conclusion, the most durable type of wood floo for high traffic areas is engineered flooring; the cost saving benefits and the beautiful selections available almost makes it a no brainer. If your home or office is busy with a lot of traffic; an engineered wood floor would be a great investment.
For more information on whether engineered wood flooring is the right option for your high traffic areas click here.
You need to consider engineered hardwood flooring pros and cons before deciding if it is your best choice for your home or office project. It is a fact that the attractiveness of engineered hardwood floor can never be denied by anybody. It comes with an enduring magnificence and long custom of luxury. It is hard to go wrong if you choose engineered hardwood for your flooring project.
Engineered wood flooring is not just a popular flooring solution nowadays; it is a highly practical substitute for solid wood flooring. Engineered hardwood is a more complex product that is comprised of more than a few layers, which is different from conventional hardwood that comes directly from a tree.
A number of homeowners are attracted the idea of installing their own engineered floors because it generally easy to install. However, do not over-reach on your home improvement skills because it is still a large project. If you do decide to go ahead and install your own hardwood floors, make sure to talk with an expert first. Our staff at Launstein is very knowledgeable and always will to help you get started (and Finished in the right direction). If you decide to leave this project to the pros, we could also recommend some local flooring contractors in your area.
When you are deciding whether or not to invest in engineered wood flooring, here are the engineered hardwood flooring pros and cons and other essentials to keep in mind.
Are you planning to renovate the floors of your home with engineered wood flooring? It is wise to consider the pros and cons before you make your final decision. Discuss with your contractor about the possibility of installing engineered wood floor. Look closely at any potential problems associated with this type of flooring and weigh the benefits. Engineered floors are a wonderful choice for High Traffic Areas of your home or Business, and there are tons of options on the market for you to choose from. Good Luck on your Decision, and as always if you have any questions feel free to contact us at Launstein if you have any questions about your Hardwood Floors.
Custom Hardwood Flooring Will Add Elegance and Style to Your Home
Are you looking for truly stunning hardwood flooring that will make your home more stylish? Custom hardwood flooring is the answer. Custom finish wood floors are usually installed, sanded and finished right on the job site. Hardwood floors are a striking selections for all rooms, with the added benefit of their durability, long-lasting beauty and sophistication.
On the other hand, custom hardwood flooring is a smart choice, if you want the floor that really makes a statement. With these types of custom hardwood flooring, you get all the sturdiness of conventional wood floors in addition to spectacular nice looks of patterning inlays, exclusive finery, and custom finishes.
Personalizing your present wood floor with unusual finishes or stains is an alternative to having custom finish wood floors installed in your home. Your flooring can be antique, dyed or stained to create just the appearance you desire with rough sawn hardwood flooring.
A number of options are:
Aniline Dye Coloration
Types of Custom Hardwood Flooring
There are many types of custom hardwood flooring you can choose from for your home, including the following:
Factory-unfinished and Pre-finished Wood Floors: Nearly all the available hardwood flooring is installed Pre-finished, using quite a lot of coats of shielding surface finish already applied from the factory. Unfinished floors are supplied unprocessed and completed on site.
Rough sawn hardwood flooring gives you the chance to select from the wide range of finishes, stains, and colors that add to the customization of a Hardwood Floor.
Solid Wood Flooring: This is adjudged the best choice of custom wood finish floor for your home. The solid wood floor can last for many years if properly maintained because it is a single plank of wood produced from a large piece of wood. Moreover, solid floors are able to be finished many times, therefore increasing their financial and aesthetic value.
Engineered Wood Flooring: Engineered wood flooring is built from more than a few wood layers or plies fused together under heat and pressure. It is a custom hardwood flooring that adds warmth and value to your house. You are sure to get the perfect match for your home with different widths, species, and finishes. Engineered floors are more eco-friendly options if sustainability is your priority.
Acrylic-impregnated Wood Flooring: This type of wood flooring is permeated with color and sealant all through the thickness of the wood. Acrylic-impregnated wood flooring is frequently used in commercial, nonresidential projects. It is very hard and highly opposing to scratches and moisture. In addition, you can get these custom finish wood floors in different colors, which makes it possible for you to find a shade that matches your home décor. They are also available in different wood species like walnut, bamboo, maple, cherry, oak, and pine.
Exotic Wood Flooring: The durability, beauty, and warmth of exotic wood flooring make it the preferred choice for many homeowners, who want more than maple statement or traditional oak. Choosing exotic wood flooring is a foremost investment because it is one of the most beautiful and treasured woods in the world. Depending on how exotic wood was sawn, the look can be radically different. The standard-sawn wood is perfect for rough sawn hardwood flooring and it is less expensive.
Have you been dreaming of superb hardwood flooring that stands out from the crowd? Then, look no further than custom hardwood flooring. Custom finish wood floors will add elegance and style to your home and with different types of custom hardwood flooring available such as exotic, acrylic-impregnated, engineered, solid, factory-unfinished and pre-finished wood floors, you are sure to get the style that will match your home décor.
To learn more about rough sawn hardwood flooring and other options for custom hardwood floors, get in touch with your local wood installer. Why do you have to settle for the ordinary or plain floor when custom hardwood floor can be a work of art?
Can You Put Hardwood Flooring Over Radiant Heat?
Can you put hardwood flooring over radiant heat is a frequently asked question from Consumers. The Answer is a Resounding YES!!!
Radiant heat offers even warmth in a room without cold spots and gives unmatched comfort that no other type of heating system can provide. Over the years, a lot of hardwood flooring has been installed over different types of radiant heat systems successfully.
Tips for Putting Hardwood Flooring over Radiant Heat
It is true that you can put hardwood flooring over radiant heat, but the wood must be brought to the area where it will be installed at least two weeks before the flooring so that it will acclimate. In addition, it is suggested that the radiant heat should be run at a temperature of 65 to 70 degrees two weeks before the wood flooring is taken to the site of construction and until the wood flooring has been finally installed.
You need the following tips to be confident that you have satisfactorily answered the question of can you put hardwood flooring over radiant heat.
1. Consult with Radiant Heat Provider: The first thing you must before you install hardwood flooring over radiant heat is to discuss with your radiant heat manufacturer or provider for the suggested installation methods. This is due to the wide range of radiant heat systems on the market, each with its own unique features.
2. Operating Period: For a successful installation, your newly installed systems should be in operation two weeks before the installation of heating wood floors. This safety measure will help to further dry out any unidentified species of trapped moisture.
3. Hydronic Systems: This must comprise of an outdoor thermostat and in-floor temperature sensors that let the system regulate the water temperature in accordance with the expected heat loss. Radiant heat adds to drying out of all woods.
4. Board Moisture Content: Ensure that the board moisture content is about 6 to 9 percent prior to installation and maintained very well after installation.
5. Humidification System: In order to maintain the proper humidity level, it may be necessary to use a humidification system. The indoor virtual humidity must be maintained between 30 to 50 percent throughout the year. Failure to do so can cause face checking, splintering, de-lamination, squeaking and edge cupping.
6. The Thermostat: Reduce the thermostat to 65°F for the duration of the installation. Slowly increase the temperature of the heating system to the preferred operating degree for a period of 5 days, after 48 hours of installation.
On no occasion should the surface temperature of the sub-floor be more than 85°F in any particular location. In addition, the temperature setting must be in 15°F of normal operating level, to avoid shock to the floor. Adjust the temperature setting gradually and make sure it is not turned off completely.
On the other hand, you need to note that rapid heating, failure or inability to maintain humidity levels between 30 percent to 50 percent and excessive heat can probably lead to squeaking, cupping, cracking and other forms of floor concerns.
7. Small Surface Splits: This should be expected in an installation of hardwood flooring over radiant heat, particularly at the ends of planks, but doesn’t constitute any product failure.
The Best Heating Wood Floors to use over Radiant Heat
Another important consideration in this context is the best heating wood floors to use over radiant heat. The floating engineered floor is the best wood flooring construction to use in this situation. This is because the boards of the floor are locked together at various joints of each board (not attached, adhered or nailed to the subfloor by any means). If any contraction or expansion in the wood floor takes place and cause any dimensional change, this lets the entire floor move as a single unit.
On the other hand, engineered floor that has cross layers of plywood support allows for an additional unwavering floor with a reduced amount of chance for dimensional movement. You can also install floating engineered wood flooring over all surfaces and sub-floors with the exception of the carpet, as long as they are flat and secure. Making use of a floating floor will significantly lessen any potential seam contraction between the floorboards.
Our Team at Launstein Hardwood Floors have the expertise to answer any questions or concerns you may have when it comes to Installing Hardwood floors over Radiant Heat. We have been in Business for over 50 years and we ship or product nationwide and throughout Canada. If you there is anyone in the business who can answer your questions, it is us….and we love to help. Call or email us anytime.
Absolute Truth about Hardwood Floors
Do you want a safe way to improve the appearance, value, and durability of your apartment or home? Then look no further than hardwood floors and the experts at Launstein. Solid hardwood floors are environmentally friendly, hard-wearing and attractive. Nearly all hardwood floors more or less never need to be changed and can add a huge amount of dollars to the value of your house. On the other hand, they provide unlimited collections for all artistic preferences. Solid hardwood floors will suit any circumstance and taste, from the type of wood to the finish and the design of the floor pattern.
Installing hardwood flooring in your home is a real deal if you take your time to evaluate the actual value that quality floor of this type can add to your home. Hardwood flooring adds beauty and warmth all over your home. A great thing about this type of flooring is that you can recoat or refinish solid hardwood floors more than a few times, and this adds to their appeal and durability. There are quite a lot of these types of floors that can last more than 100 years and still be beautiful and in good condition.
Cost of Installing Hardwood Floors
Before you can investigate the cost of installing hardwood floors or budgeting for this type of project, there are many factors you must put into consideration. Cost per square foot for installation and cost per square foot of the materials are two of the many considerations.
Moreover, cost of installing hardwood floors will depend on the intricacy of your project and where you reside or live, the method of installation, type of wood used, the equipment, costs of materials, and any waste generated in the installation process. The bottom line is that if a hardwood is done right, it is an investment that will benefit the value of your home or business in the long run.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood flooring is prepared from core high-density fiber, plywood or hardwood and an upper layer of hardwood veneer, attached to the upper surface of the foundation. You can get it in almost any type of hardwood. Also, it has the natural features of the chosen wood varieties as against a photographic layer. Engineered hardwood flooring has been premeditated to offer stability in areas where heat and moisture cause problems for hardwood floors.
Engineered wood floors are a better preference than conventional hardwoods with their increased moisture resistance and durability if you have spill-prone children or pets. On the other hand, engineered wood flooring can be installed in places where hardwoods will not match, such as the kitchens, basements and summer houses in high-humidity weather. Engineered hardwood flooring is also available in different styles, colors and widths like floating and glue-down floors.
All selections offer improved sturdiness over conventional wood, but investing in engineered wood with a thicker veneer and more core layers provide the most durability. Finally, you can get engineered flooring in different finishes, colors, and woods.
Hardwood floors should be your first consideration when it comes to selecting the ideal flooring for your home. Solid hardwood floors are popular for their warm and classic look, versatility and durability. In fact, when it is time to sell your home, they can add value to it and make any space appear more appealing.
However, you need to carry out thorough research to find the flooring option for your home with the wide-ranging number of wood flooring alternatives available, like engineered hardwood floors, traditional hardwood and lots more. On the other hand, we may want to hire a professional for the flooring project because installation can be a big job.