Engineered Flooring Installation

Engineered Flooring can be purchased as Tongue & Groove (T&G) or QuickLock installation. If you've purchased T&G flooring, please see the installation instructions below.

QuickLock Engineered Flooring is installed the same way as Quicklock Laminate Flooring. Please see our laminate installation section to watch the installation video's.

| Before Installation | Sub-floor Preparation | Getting Started | Wet-lay | Dry-lay | Staple/Nail | Floating |

Before Installation

Inspect ALL materials carefully BEFORE installation. Wood is a natural product containing variations in color, tone and graining. Some variation in color is to be expected in a natural wood floor. The flooring product goes through many inspections before it leaves the plant, it is the customer and installer’s responsibility for final inspection prior to installation. Most flooring warranties DO NOT cover materials with visible defects once they are installed.

It is the responsibility of the installers/owner to determine if the job site sub-floor and job site conditions are environmentally and structurally acceptable for wood floor installation. Most distributors do not accept responsibility for wood failure resulting from or connected with sub-floor, subsurface, job site damage or deficiencies after flooring has been installed.

Preparation for concrete sub-floors

New concrete slabs require a minimum of 60 days curing time before covering them with a wood floor. Concrete sub-floors must be dry, smooth (level with 3/16” in a 10 foot. Radius 1/8” in 6”) and free of structural defects. Hand scrape or sand with a 20 grit #3-1/2 open face paper to remove loose, flaky concrete. Grind high spots in concrete and fill low spots with a based leveling compound (min. 3,000 p.s.i.).

Concrete must be free of paint, oil, exiting adhesives, wax grease, dirt and curing compounds. These may be removed chemically or mechanically, but do not use solvent-based strippers under any circumstances. The use of residual solvents can prohibit the satisfactory bond of flooring adhesives. It is important to ensure a proper bond between the adhesives and the concrete, and planks or strips.

This flooring product may be installed on-grade, above grade, as well as below grade where moisture conditions do not exist.

To ensure a long lasting bond, make sure that the perimeter of the foundation has adequate drainage and vapor barrier.

Preparation for wood sub-floors

Wood sub-floors need to be well nailed or secured with screws. Nails should be ring shanks and screws need to be counter sunk. The wood sub-floor needs to be structurally sound and dry. They should not exceed 14% moisture prior to installation. If the sub-floor is single layer, less than 3/4” thick, add a single cross layer for strength and stability (minimum 5/16” thick for a total 1” thickness). This is to reduce the possibility of squeaking. Wood sub-floors must be free of paint, oil, existing adhesive, wax, grease, dirt and urethane, varnish etc. Underlayment grade OSB (not the wax side) is also suitable sub-floors. Particleboard is not an acceptable sub-floor for staple or nail down installation but can be used as a sub-floor in glue-down installations. When installing over existing wood flooring, install at right angles to the existing floor.

Preparation for sub-floors other then wood or concrete

Note: Perimeter glued resilient vinyl and rubber tiles are unacceptable underlayments and must be removed.

Terrazzo, tile and any other hard surfaces that are dry, structurally sound and level, as described above, are suitable as a sub-floor for engineered hardwood flooring installation. As above, the surface must be sound, tight and free of paint, oil, existing adhesives, wax, grease and dirt. Terrazzo and ceramic tile must be abraded to assure adhesion.

Warning! Do not sand existing resilient tile, sheet flooring, backing, or felt linings. These products may contain asbestos fibers that are not readily identifiable. Inhalation of asbestos dust can cause asbestosis or other serious bodily harm. Check with local, state and federal laws for handling hazardous material before attempting the removal of these floors.

Preparation for radiant heat sub-floors

Before installing over a radiant-heated floor turn off heat and wait until the floor has reached room temperature. After installing the floor return the heat to the previous setting.

Caution: The slab surface must never exceed 85 ˚F in temperature.

How to check for moisture on the sub-floor

A wood flooring adhesive may be used for above, on, and below grade applications and on all common substrates. On, and below-grade applications are susceptible to moisture and should be tested for moisture prior to installation in several locations within the installation area. Acceptable conditions for above, on, and below-grade applications are:

  • Less than 3lbs./100 sq. ft./24 hrs. on calcium chloride test.
  • Less than a reading of 5.0 on a Trames Concrete Moisture Encounter (moisture meter).

To correct any sub-floor problems concerning moisture, either wait until the sub-floor dries to meet specifications or use an appropriate moisture barrier. Ask your flooring retailer for more information.

Tools and supplies

You will need the following: broom or vacuum, 3M blue tape, tape measure, utility knife, hammer, pry bar, chalk line, hand saw or jig saw, nylon/plastic tapping block, hardwood flooring cleaner, miter saw, moisture meter, eye protection, straight edge.

Extra tools needed for glue down include: Recommended flooring adhesive, 3/16” x 1⁄4” x 1⁄2” x 5/16” trowel.

Extra tools needed for staple down include: Bostitch Floor Runner (S3297-LHFZ) using 1” Bostitch staple (S1397) (or equivalent equipment recommended by your flooring retailer) or Power Nailer – 50C nailer using 1 1/2” power cleats (use the 3/8” or 1/2” adapter as appropriate) (or equivalent equipment recommended by your flooring retailer), compressor, in line regulator.

Caution: Improper use of a power nailer can mark the surface of the flooring.

Remove moldings and wall-base

Remove all moldings and wall-base and undercut all door casings with a hand or power jig saw using a scrap piece of flooring as a guide.

Racking the floor

Whether you choose to install the floor with glue, nails, or staples start by using random length planks from the carton or by cutting four to five planks in random lengths, differing by at least 6”. As you continue working across the floor be sure to maintain the 6” minimum between end joints on all adjacent rows. Never waste material; use the left over pieces from the fill cuts to start the next row or to complete a row.

Note: When installing a pre-finished wood floor be sure to blend the wood from several cartons to ensure a good grain and shading mixture throughout the installation.

Wet-lay or dry-lay glue down installation guidelines

Caution: Whether you choose to install using the wet or dry method follow all guidelines set by the adhesive manufacturer as well as Quality Craft Flooring. By not adhering to the guidelines you can void your flooring warranties.

Wet-lay installation method

Step 1
Select a starter wall. It is recommended to start the installation along an exterior wall; it is more likely to be straight and square with the room. Measure out from the wall the width of two planks plus 1/4” and mark each end of the room and snap your chalk line.

Step 2
Spread an appropriate flooring adhesive from the chalk line to the starter wall using the recommended trowel (3/16” x 1/4” x 1/2” notch). It is important to use the correct trowel at a 45º angle to get the proper spread of adhesive applied to the sub-floor, which will produce a proper and permanent bond. Improper bonding can cause loose or hollow spots. Note: Change the trowel every 2000 to 3000 square feet due to wear down of the notches. This assures you always get the proper spread of adhesive.

Step 3
Install the first row of starter planks with the tongue facing the starter wall and secure into position. Alignment is critical and can be achieved by top nailing the first row with finishing nails (wood sub-floor), or sprig/pin nails (concrete sub-floor). This prevents slippage of the planks that can cause misalignment.
Note: The planks along the wall may have to be cut to fit since most walls are not straight, and leaving an expansion space is not necessary with Quality Craft Engineered Flooring.

Step 4
Once the starter rows are secure spread 2-1/2 to 3 feet of adhesive the length of the room. (Never lay more adhesive than can be covered in approximately 2 hrs.)

Place tongue into groove of plank or strips and press firmly into adhesive. Never slide planks or strips through adhesive. Use a tapping block to fit planks snug together at side and butt-ends.
Test for proper bond by occasionally lifting a board and looking for good coverage (90%), then replace it into the adhesive.

Clean any adhesive off the surface before it cures.
Use 3M Blue Mask Tape to hold planks securely in place as you are installing and continue the process throughout the installation. Use caution when using a rubber mallet to butt material together, it can damage the finish. Note: Never work on top of the flooring when installing with the wet lay method.

Dry-lay installation method

Step 1
Start by selecting your starter wall and measure out from the wall 27” when installing 2 1/4” strip flooring and 30” when installing 3” planks. This will allow adequate working space. Snap chalk line.

Step 2
Apply adhesive from the chalk line out 2’-3’. Allow adhesive to flash as per its instructions. Appropriate flash time is based on the temperature and humidity.
Secure your starter rows with a straight edge. Install planks and secure with 3M Blue Mask Tape as you continue throughout your installation. If you must work on top of the newly laid flooring use kneeling board.

Once the remainder of the floor has been installed go back to the beginning and remove straight edges and spread adhesive on the remainder of the open sub-floor, allow to flash for the appropriate time and lay flooring as instructed. Remember that the planks closest to the wall may need cutting to fit due to irregularities along the wall. Use a flooring adhesive that does not require the floor to be rolled.

Clean Up

Clean up flooring adhesive as you go. Adhesive that has cured on the surface of the flooring can be difficult to remove and will require a specific flooring adhesive remover recommended by your retailer. Once the floor is completed, clean the flooring with an appropriate hardwood flooring cleaner.

Light foot traffic is allowed after 12 hours but wait 24 hours after installation to remove the 3M blue masking tape. Once the tape is removed clean any adhesive residue left from the tape with an appropriate adhesive remover.

Staple or nail down

Engineered hardwood floors may be installed over wood sub-floors using staples or nailing cleats.

When installing engineered flooring by nailing or stapling, it is necessary to use the proper type of flooring stapler or nailing gun.

Recommended staplers and nailers

Bostitch Floor Runner (S3297-LHFZ) using 1” Bostitch staple (S1397) or equivalent equipment recommended by your flooring retailer.

Power Nailer – 50C nailer using 1 1/2” power cleats (use the 3/8” or 1/2” adapter as appropriate) or equivalent equipment recommended by your flooring retailer.

Staple or nail installation method

You must staple or nail 1” – 2” from the ends and every 4” – 6” along the edges. This will help insure a satisfactory installation. It is best to set the compressor PSI at 80 – 85 lbs. to keep the staples from going through or breaking the tongues. Improper stapling techniques can cause squeaks in the floor.
Adjustments may be necessary to provide adequate penetration of the nail or staple into the nail bed. You want it flush in the nail pocket. Use a scrap piece of flooring material to set tools properly before installation.

Step 1
Before installation of the engineered flooring begins, install a 6 mil polyethylene layer over the sub-floor. This will impede moisture from below and may also help prevent squeaks. Keep in mind there is no complete moisture barrier system for staple or nail down installations.

Note: 15lb roofing felt or resin paper may be substituted for the polyethylene and installed as below.

Install the polyethylene parallel to the direction of the flooring and allow a 3” overhang, at the perimeter. Make sure each run of polyethylene overlaps the previous run by 3” or more.

Step 2
Measure out from the ends of your starting wall 2” when installing 2” strip flooring or 3” when installing 3” planks and mark both ends. Where possible lay the flooring at 90° angles to the floor joists. Make a chalk line along the starting wall using the marks you made.

Step 3
Place the planks with the tongue facing away from the wall and along your chalk line. Use brads or small finishing nails to secure the first starter row along the wall edge 1” – 2” from the ends and every 4” – 6” along the side. Counter sink the nails and fill with appropriate filler that blends with the flooring. Place the nails in a dark grain spot in the board. The base board molding will cover the nails when installed after completion of the installation.

Step 4
Blind nails at a 45° degree angle through the tongues. It will be easier If you pre-drill the holes in the tongues. Nail 1” – 2” from the ends and every 4” – 6” along the sides. It will be necessary to blind nail the next 2 rows. A Stanley BT35 brad nailer with 1” – 1-/38” brads (or equivalent equipment recommended by your flooring retailer) can also be used to blind nails without predrilling.

Continue the installation. Nail or staple the flooring 1” – 2” from the ends and every 4” – 6” along the edge tongues.

Floating floor installation

Floating floors can be installed over any structurally sound surface that meets or exceeds local building codes.

Step 1
Install the 8mm polyfilm in the same direction that the floor will be installed. Overlap the seams and extend up the walls a few inches. Tape all seams.

Step 2
Install the first row using spacers to line up the planks and to hold the 3/8” (9.5mm) expansion room. If the wall is not straight, snap a chalk line to scribe the first plank as necessary to maintain the alignment.
All planks in the first row should be installed with the groove side towards the wall using the longest boards available. Apply a continuous glue bead (less than 1/6”) along the groove to where the second row will be attached. If any glue gets on the surface on the flooring, wipe off immediately with a clean, damp cloth.

Step 3
Begin your second row with cut off piece from the previous row if it is at least 8” (203mm) long. Use a tapping block and hammer, gently tap the first plank of the second row into the previous row. Continue installing the rest of the planks for this row. Use a pull bar and hammer to fit the last plank of this row. Insert spacers to maintain the expansion room.
Continue to install each plank, row by row and apply glue to the groove as noted above. Clean with a damp cloth if glue appears on the top surface.

Step 4
When floor is complete, wipe off any excess glue that you may see. Allow finished floor to sit untouched with spacers left in place, for 12 hours while glue sets. Avoid walking on your new floor and do not move any furniture on the floor until the glue has set.

After the 12 hours, remove spacers and install finishing molding and baseboards around the perimeter of the room covering the expansion room. Note: nail molding and base boards to the wall, not to the floor.

Final touches

Install the proper trim molding at the doorways to achieve the transition and along the walls to cover the edges of any gaps along the wall due to irregularity.

Complete the job by an appropriate flooring filler that blends with the installed flooring to fill any gapping along the joints and clean the finished floor with an appropriate hardwood flooring cleaner in the manner described below.



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