All you need to know about wood floor installation
What do you need to consider when laying a wood floor? Installation instructions
Wooden floors are glued or screwed. To decide on the correct installation method for your building project, you should take into account different factors such as the construction height available in the designated rooms and the condition of the construction base. Decide which type of installation to use according to these factors. Please feel free to contact us if you are unsure. We are happy to give you personal and detailed advice on your wood floor.
Guidelines and important instructions for a smooth installation process
Solid wood floors can be glued or screwed. Should you decide on solid wood floors from Hiram Floors, you can also lay them on top of underfloor heating. Our PDFs provide step-by-step guidelines and instructions on what to look out for during the installation process. Download our PDFs now.
Engineered wood floors can be installed either floating or completely glued. It is also possible to screw three-layered floors onto a wooden base. They are also suitable for installation on top of underfloor heating. Download our instructions including guidelines now.
Site preparation for the installation of Hiram wood floors
A HIRAM FLOORS wood floor is a product sourced from regional sustainably-managed forests, then carefully dried and processed with a particular eye on quality.
In order to enjoy your Hiram wood floor for many years, the construction site must be well prepared. In this guide we would like to highlight the most important points.
As every construction site brings its own challenges, we highly recommend an on-site consultation by a professional and/or parquet floor fitter, whether you plan to lay the floor yourself or have the fitter install it.
Requirements with regard to indoor climate and humidity
Wood is a hygroscopic material which breathes, i.e. it expands in high humidity (swelling) and contracts again in low humidity (shrinkage). Hiram Floors wood planks are delivered with a wood moisture content of 8-10 %, which equates to a relative air humidity of 40 – 50 %. Accordingly the room humidity should also range from approximately 35 – 60 %. If the room temperature is very variable, there will be greater wood movement. You will find the corresponding impact in the table below.
The indoor climate alters according to the seasons as well as during the heating period, and this is impossible to avoid entirely. Even with correct installation visible joints may appear, especially in winter, and this is an absolutely normal phenomenon with solid wood floors. These gaps may close again with higher air humidity, which is to say in the warm months, as the wood absorbs the water out of the air as much as it can.
As far as possible it is important to provide an indoor climate which is constant and not extreme, as the planks can get rough and cracked if the humidity is too low, or start to warp if it is high. This should not as a rule happen in more modern flats and houses on account of their good insulation layers. Even in older buildings it is mainly doors and windows which ought to be inspected. If in doubt, call in a professional.
The effects of indoor humidity on wood floors:
Under 20 % Significant warping and dry cracks in the wood planks. Leads to damage of the planks.
20-40 % Possible appearance of visible joints and slight to medium warping possible.
40-50 % Ideal room humidity. No warping, no gaps.
50-70 % Slight to minor warping of the wood possible
Preparation of the room – room humidity and temperature
Our wood floors are delivered with a wood moisture content of 8 – 10 %, which equates to a relative room humidity of approximately 50 %. Accordingly, the air humidity in the relevant rooms should be between 35 and 60 % and the room temperature lie between 18° and 20°.
It is important to ensure that the building is free from any building moisture. This relates in particular to the subfloor and the walls. All preliminary work should have been completed. With new-builds in particular it is important to check the subfloor (screed, anhydrite screed) for any residual dampness. Errors are often made when inspecting for residual moisture content, e.g. insufficient drying-out or false measurements. This can result in a delay of months to the schedule, and can damage a floor if it has been laid. Make sure therefore that the screed has had enough time to dry out (ideally 6 months). Adding a moisture barrier (e.g. a minimum 0.2 mm thick PE sheet) is strongly recommended. The base should in any case be clean, dry, even and free of cracks.
Recording of measurements regarding the substrate dampness of the screed / substructure in several places
Cement screed 2.0 cm
Cement screed (with underfloor heating) 1.8 cm
Anhydrite screed max. 0.5 cm
Anhydrite screed (with underfloor heating) max. 0.3 cm
Wood substructure: 8-12 %
Wood moisture content of the boards: 8-10 %
As already mentioned it is essential that the floorboards are always stored in rooms with a constant room climate and temperature prior to installation. The building site must therefore be dry and warm. In order to check this, set up a hygrometer in the building and review the room humidity at regular intervals.
After delivery the boards should ideally be stored in their planned future location. This ensures that they get acclimatised, adjusting to room temperature and humidity. The planks should be allowed to acclimatise for at least 48 hours before installation commences.
All the important points summarised
Make sure the building site is dry and warm. The room temperature should be between 18 and 25° C, and the room humidity between 35 and 60 %. We recommend procuring a hygrometer in order to check the room humidity regularly.
Walls and floor base should also be dry, in accordance with the standardised guidelines. We strongly recommend taking a measurement of the residual dampness!
Allow the floor planks to acclimatise in their planned future location for at least 48 hours before installation.
Particularly in the case of new-builds, it is strongly recommended to add a moisture barrier, as mistakes often occur in measuring the residual humidity in the screed.
The substrate should be clean, dry, even and free of cracks. Please inform us immediately if the delivery date needs to be postponed due to inadequate measuring or too high residual humidity in the floor base. Hiram Floors will store the wood planks until all the conditions are met.