Fitting Solid Wood Floors
Solid wood plank and strip floors are straightforward to install-even for the first time D.I.Y.er. All our floors are supplied together with full step by step instructions and any tools required are readily available from hire shops.
Before delivery of the wood, ensure that the building is completely dry and aired with a relative humidity of 50-60%
All solid flooring should be first acclimatised within the building it is to be installed in for a minimum of 14 days prior to installation. The wood should be stacked up flat within the wrappers and away from an outside wall.
Solid wood floors can be fitted to:-
- A solid (concrete) sub-floor provided it is dry and has been overlaid with a 3/4" plywood.+
- Over existing tongue and groove floor boards, preferably at right angles to the run of the existing boards.
- Over a chip-board,HDF, or plywood sub-floor.
- Directly to joists.(At ground floor level, Joists should be covered with polythene moisture barrier or bitumen paper to prevent cupping caused by damp up-draughts)
- Onto pressure treated 38 x 46mm softwood battens, either foam backed or fixed to the sub-floor
A 15-20mm gap should be left at all perimeter walls with temporary wood or PVC spacers. The floor is fixed to the sub-base using a floor nailer (available from HSS Hire Shops) and 2" steel nails)
As a very rough guide, 1 box (1000 nails) should fit about 30m2 of floor. Fix the nails every 30-40cm along the board through the tongue
When fitting over 3/4" plywood or when uncertain about pipe positions beneath existing floors, the penetration of the nails can be reduced by fixing a shoe attachment to the portanailer.
It will be necessary to nail the first 2-3 rows of boards by hand before there is room to position the nail gun. When installing unfinished wood , face nailing is an acceptable method. The nails can be driven below the surface with a nail punch and the filled prior to sanding and finishing.
When fitting pre-finished floors, drill pilot holes at a 45º angle and then secret nail by hand. Hardwood or laminate skirting board in Oak, can be fitted to cover the perimeter gap.
When fitting up to existing skirting, wooden scotia or beading can be fited to ensure a neat finish.
Radiator pipe ferrules add a neat finishing touch. A hardwood jointing strip is essential when running the wood through doorways.
Pre-finished woods require no further treatment once installed, but will benefit from a couple of coats of Bona Kemi Parquet Polish which will give extra protection from scuffing and moisture.
Un-finished wood can be sanded and then sealed with a water based polyurethane treatment.
Alternatively a rustic oak floor looks good when finished with a polyurethane primer and then waxed with a waterproof paste.