Acclimation of product is one of the
most critical requirements, and often
overlooked. It is important to note that
the product must be acclimated in the area
where it will be installed and under the
conditions it will exist in.
The manufacturer will specify:
- The length of time a product needs to be
- The temperature and humidity guidelines
- Manufacturer will specify how high to
stack, whether vertical or horizontal or
whether to open cartons or leave cartons
Excessive moisture is the enemy of most floor coverings. Determining moisture content in a floor is often best left to a professional. Moisture indicators can give an approximate reading of moisture content in a floor but the only way to qualify the results is through a Calcium Chloride test or a Relative Humidity test. Every product manufacture has their own tolerances, it is critical to know and follow their requirements.
Often, when floating a floor, a 6mil poly film can be installed under the flooring to achieve a required moisture barrier.
It is important to note that moisture vapor films can trap moisture that can lead to mold and mildew. It is always best to remedy the cause of the excess moisture before installing your floor.
SOUND generally refers to structural strength of the substrate; is it flaking off, cracked, contaminated or has other defects?
DRY has to do with moisture. Manufactures specify acceptable moisture content on subfloors, it is critical to stay within guidelines.
CLEAN means free of debris or particles, this is important when gluing... is it dust free?
Manufactures specify the acceptable
FLATNESS a floor can tolerate, usually
indicated by depth or height of undulation in a specified distance (example: 1/8” in 12’).
Manufactures specify the acceptable
DEFLECTION, or “bounce” a floor can tolerate.
Floating floors require expansion gaps at the walls and other vertical surfaces. Since a floating floor is not fixed to the substrate, and expands and contracts monolithicly, expansion gaps are required. Since each flooring expands and contracts differently, manufacturers have different requirements. It is important to follow their installation instructions. Spacers can be placed at the vertical surface to achieve the proper expansion gap. Expansion gaps are often required at doorways and in large open areas as well.
When floating a floor it is critical that it be allowed to free float over the substrate.
NEVER install cabinets on top of
NEVER install heavy
furniture or islands
over floating floors
LUXURY VINYL will be affected by constant direct sunlight overtime. Avoid exposure to long periods of direct sunlight to protect your floor.
Sound Reduction Cushion
Cushion underlay for laminate and luxury vinyl flooring must be firm and dense, to reduce joint
movement and reduce sound transmission.
LAMINATE flooring requires a pad underlay, to reduce noise underfoot and absorb minor floor imperfections.
LUXURY VINYL click systems do not require cushion underlay, but one may be used to
reduce sound transmission rates between floors.
Scratching & Indentation
No laminate or luxury vinyl flooring is “scratch proof” or “indentation proof”. Today’s finishes are durable and scratch resistant, but under certain conditions all surfaces will scratch. Scratch resistant surfaces such as aluminum oxide or ceramic bead provide additional scratch resistance - but they too can be scratched or dented. It is important to match the proper product to area of use.
Some precautions can be taken to reduce scratching and indentations such as:
- Use chair pads under roller chains
- Use felt chair protectors of adequate size
(usually 1.5") under chair legs
- Use entry mats at outside entrances to
reduce tracked in dirt
When manufacturers refer to “radiant heated” floors, they are referring to “in floor” heating systems. They exclude floor “warming” mats
or wire systems.
LAMINATE flooring is designed for floating
installations only. DO NOT glue to the floor.
LUXURY VINYL products are designed to be
either glued down or floated. It is important
- Use the recommended adhesive
- Apply the proper amount of adhesive
- Allow proper “open time”
- Read the installation instructions to
determine whether the product can be glued
down or floated
What Does Commercial Mean
Commercial is separated into two categories:
Heavy Commercial & Light Commercial
Each manufacturer has their own definition
of light and heavy commercial applications.
Always consult the manufacturers written
HEAVY COMMERCIAL common examples
- Grocery stores
- Rolling traffic areas
LIGHT COMMERCIAL common examples
- Clothing/retail stores
- No rolling traffic areas
- Dorm rooms
- Multi family housing