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29 May 2020 by Forte
Work with a Reputable Installer
This may go without saying but we cannot express its importance enough. A professional, experienced installer will get the job done right the first time and you will be far less likely to experience issues down the track
Choose your Installation Method Carefully
Installation over concrete, particle board, ply or existing timber flooring: For the best quality timber flooring installation, we always recommend direct fixing your timber flooring. Although direct sticking is usually more expensive than floating, it results in a lovely solid-feeling floor that is very quiet to walk on.
Installation over existing cork or vinyl flooring: These substrates are not suitable for direct fixing to so the flooring will have to be floated. Be sure to use a high quality underlay as this will do a lot to minimize the footfall noise, resulting in a more quality sounding floor
All laminate flooring: Laminate flooring must always be floated on an underlay. Again, it is very important to use a high quality underlay as this will do a lot to minimize the footfall noise, resulting in a more quality sounding floor
Ensure Correct Subfloor Preparation
A floor is only as good as its foundations. As the installer is usually responsible for the floor prep, it is again so important that you get someone that knows what they are doing. Many floor movement issues come down to poor or incorrect subfloor preparation. For example; - No moisture barrier, not enough moisture barrier, the wrong type or incorrect application can lead to moisture coming up in the surface which can result in the flooring cupping or warping. Leveling the floor can be an expensive process but it is integral in achieving a quality install. If the substrate is uneven, you could experience creaking, squeaking, hollow spots etc in your flooring.
Use a Good Underlay
If floating your timber or laminate floor be sure to choose a good quality underlay - the last thing you want is to have to pull your flooring up to replace faulty underlay. If installing over under floor heating the underlay will need be compatible with the heating system you are using. It is also important that the underlay be installed correctly - if not installed right it could result in your under floor heating being less effective or less efficient. If installing in a multi-level building, it is NZ regulation that you must use an acoustic rated underlay. Keep an eye out for density ratings and thickness - generally the denser the underlay, the quieter it will be and the thickness multiplies this effect
Don't Forget to Acclimatize
Acclimatisation is an important pre-installation process of letting the flooring materials breathe and become accustomed to the surroundings in which they will spend their life. We recommend storing the unopened packs of flooring in the installation area for 48 hours to acclimatize. Failure to properly acclimatize flooring before installation begins may compromise the integrity of your floor. Excessive gaps, warping or cupping can occur after the installation is complete; the expansion joint may also be compromised, which will result in further damage. Failure to acclimatize the flooring will also void the manufacturer’s warranty if such problems arise
Order of Installation
Timber flooring should be installed before your carpet. Kitchen cabinetry can be installed over a direct fixed timber floor. If floating your timber floor, the cabinetry must be installed before the flooring is laid - heavy units can create pressure on the timber and potentially lift the floor in a different area if it is not fixed
Correct & Careful Installation
Again, the installation is usually left completely up to the installer so it is important to get someone that knows what they are doing. If installed incorrectly you are likely to experience issues with your floor in the future and your warranty may also be voided.
A note on adhesive tape: Never use any adhesive tape (even low tack) directly on a pre-finished timber floor - the chemicals in the tape can react with the floor coating, causing it to peel off when the tape is removed. As a pre-finished floor is usually factory finished overseas it is not easy to touch up damaged areas
Don't Overlook the Finishing Details
Matte black finishing bars.. brass inlays.. inset stair treads... Its the small details that make all the difference! Stylish finishing details can really enhance the look of the room - whilst unsightly details can be a real eyesore. The finishing details are often left in the hands of the installer as with a building project they are usually the last thing on your mind. If you want to have control over your finishing details, we recommend discussing them with your installer right from the beginning so there's no surprises. If you know what you want your installer may be able suggest how to achieve the look, and if you don't they should be able to recommend popular solutions to what you are after. Alternatively, if the installer can't help you may need to source the finishing detail yourself - in this case don’t hesitate to contact us as we have a number of suppliers on file that can help with finishing details. Let us know if you have any questions!
If trades people are going to be working in the area after the flooring has been laid, we recommend using a temporary protective system such as "Ram Board" or similar to cover the entire timber floor. Be sure not to fix the product with tape on the floor - tape to skirting boards instead using a low tack tape. In addition, covering the entire floor is important as timber flooring can change colour with exposure to UV light - you don't want to cover only one area and find it is a different colour to the uncovered area afterwards!