Helpful Tips for your Hardwood Floor Installation with Elastilon
- Elastilon is designed as a floating installation system. Do not permanently fix or attach product to the subflooring or install under permanent cabinetry.
- Maintain the proper expansion around room perimeter and around “fixed” cabinetry.
- Expansion joints will need to be installed in doorways, long hallways, and larger areas more than 33 ft (10m) following the direction of the width of the floor boards. Additional expansion joints are not necessary in the direction of the long length of the floor boards (expanses longer than 33 ft (10m) are permitted). Glue all endjoints.
- Elastilon alone is not a moisture barrier and will require a separate moisture barrier such as 6mil sheet plastic to be placed over cement, ceramic tiles or similar.
- Where necessary, undercut door jams or casings to allow the flooring to float freely and to expand and contract.
- To promote best board bonding into the adhesive top layer, remove any trace of dust from the back of the boards after making cuts.
- Be selective with board choice and do not install miss-milled boards, imperfect boards, cupped, twisted or bowed boards.
Check The Subfloor
- Subfloor flatness is very important. Subfloor deviation must not exceed 1/8” in a 6’ radius or 3/16” in 10’. (1/8”is equal to a grain of rice), (3/16” = three stacked quarters).
- All floors must be stable and clean as well as dry to NWFA/Flooring manufacturers’ specifications. For complete details please refer to the Installation Guidelines and Methods published by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). Additional application information is available at www.NWFA.org
Acclimation/Conditioning Of The Flooring
- All wood products are affected by environmental conditions/fluctuations especially prefinished materials. Therefore acclimate the new flooring in the areas to be installed to normal lived-in conditions while in the boxes.
- If products are protected in plastic or to speed up acclimation, open the ends of the boxes. To prevent board warping, twisting or bowing, do not cut the outside plastic support packaged bindings until ready to install.
- Length of acclimation time is not the determining factor. The goal is to reach an indoor equilibrium or balance between the “core” of the new flooring with its surroundings before assembly or installation. This balance could be achieved in as little as 1 to 5 days, or longer for some exotic species. For example; extended conditioning is not unusual for teaks, mahogany, rose wood, walnut and other dense species.
- For best performance, condition the flooring to consistent indoor temperatures of 60°-80° F and indoor humidity levels of 45% – 65%. The use of a dehumidifier or a humidifier depending on the local jobsite situation may be necessary to maintain the desired results.
Environmental Considerations For The Jobsite
- Permanent air conditioning and heating systems need to be operational at all times. Care must be taken with wood stoves and electric heat which tend to create very dry conditions.
- Very dry or humid regions of the country usually require extended conditioning to balance the wood to its environment.
- The use of dehumidifier or humidifier depending on the situation may be necessary to maintain desired results.
- Note that recommended acclimation levels maintained even after the installation will help to minimize board movement, excessive squeaks and gaps.
- Proper jobsite conditions, acclimation and moisture testing the subfloor and new flooring all work together for the success of the installation, and is the responsibility of those overseeing the project.
- Not following the above recommendations can negatively impact board performance and can result in excessive squeaks, board gapping, board-edge cupping and finish related issues, especially so in seasonal or vacation homes without constant indoor climate regulated conditions.
- Ensure that walls are reasonably straight; make necessary adjustments to the starter row.
- Elastilon must be rolled out perpendicular (90 degrees) to the direction of the floor to be installed.
- Install Elastilon with the white plastic film side up.
- Do not overlap or tape the seams.
- Plastic film protects the adhesive from dust and contaminates, do not remove until ready to use.
- Only pull out enough plastic film to adhere the desired amount of boards.
- If film was pulled out too far, tuck film back under the last row or board to protect the adhesive.
- Start straight, end straight. Select the longest, straightest boards for the starting rows.
- Hold planks together using blue painter’s tape to maintain tightness when pulling away film.
- To minimize board-end gapping always apply carpenters wood glue (Tite-Bond or similar) to all board-end joints.
- Many installers have successfully used mechanical straps to snug boards tighter during assembly. However, beware of over-strapping. Note that mechanical straps should never be used to compensate for poor quality flooring by forcing together boards that are warped, bowed, cupped or twisted. Remove questionable boards before installation.