Hardwood Floors Need Stability

Sub Floor Mentality

Have you ever heard the saying "Measure twice and cut once"? Keith Clay Floors thinks this practical common sense mentality extends directly to the subflooring as well as your to your hardwood floor installation. What you place underneath your hardwood floors is critical to the extended life of your hardwood floor. Keeping mistakes to a minimum means doing a job right the first time for each and every hardwood floor installation. The end result is a uniform, stable, durable surface underneath to insure long life with proper care and maintenance.

Keith Clay Floors has the benefit of more than 25 years experience in installing hardwood floors of all types. Our success is directly related to our care and proper use of quality materials, the skill to complete the installation process and in meeting all your manufactured wood flooring guidelines. Sub Floor Mentality speaks to integrity, selection of proper equipment and type of wood for the location, and keeping your manufacturer specifications number one at all times. Let's discuss this process a little further.

Sub Floor Mentality - One of the most important aspects of your new hardwood floor is following the correct steps during the complete hardwood flooring installation process. Keeping this mentality in the forefront of the entire project will determine whether you have overall success or failure. Long term projects anticipate the need for quality wood flooring products, proper sub floor materials for support, and meeting all requirements for installation over wood or concrete. Providing peace of mind about your new floor is always a great idea.

Most construction in new homes, remodels and renovations provide a good look into what is required after the old flooring is removed. That said, the National Wood Flooring Association's Installation Guidelines, state that wood subfloor panels should conform to US Voluntary Product Standard PS1-07, Construction and Industrial Plywood; and/or US Voluntary Product Standard PS2-04; and/or Canadian performance standard CAN/CSA 0325.0-92 Construction Sheathing.

Solid-Board Subfloors - Solid-board subflooring should be 3/4" x 5 1/2" (1" x 6" nominal) Group 1 dense softwoods, No. 2 Common and kiln-dried to less than 15% moisture content. It should consist of boards no wider than 6", installed on a 45-degree angle, with all board ends full-bearing on the joists and fastened with minimum 8d rosin-coated or ring-shanked nails, or an equivalent.

There are a few types of wood flooring that should not be installed directly over solid-board sub-flooring. Thin-classification solid-strip flooring must have a 3/8"or better plywood underlayment installed over solid board subflooring. A good example is Parquet flooring; which cannot be installed directly to solid-board subfloors and requires 3/8" or better underlayment panels, nailed on a 6" minimum grid pattern using ring-shanked nails or staples.

CDX and OSB Subfloors - CD Exposure 1 plywood (also known as CDX) and OSB (oriented strand board) Exposure 1 subfloor panels are also appropriate subflooring materials, but the proper thickness of the material needs to be carefully reviewed in relation to the truss/joist system used or required by the manufacturer. Discussions for each individual hardwood floor installation are reviewed by our staff here at Keith Clay Floors at the time we inspect the premises prior to installation.

If you have specific questions about truss/joist spacing on center, double layer subfloors, current industry standards, CDX subfloor panels, OSB subfloor panels, T & G, or glued and mechanically fastened panels, please contact us at 972-463-6604.

Hardwood Floor Installation On Concrete subfloors. If you have concrete subfloors, care needs to be made to insure that the slab is flat to the wood flooring manufacturer's specification. Usually manufacturers will specify a flatness tolerance of 1/8" in a 6" radius and/or 3/16" in a 10" radius. If high spots are present these can be removed by grinding, and the depressions can be filled with approved patching compounds. Slabs also can be flattened using a self-leveling concrete product.

The main critical consideration prior to any hardwood floor installation, is all concrete subfloors must be dry. Current NWFA guidelines specify using relative-humidity testing (ASTM F2170), calcium chloride testing (ASTM F1869) or calcium carbide (CM) testing (ASTM D4944 and MilSpec CRD-C154-77) to identify the moisture content of the slab. If they meet your manufacturers specifications, installation will be a breeze after the sub flooring is installed.

Keith Clay Floors can evaluate properly any moisture on the slab, discuss what needs to be done, offer solutions like impermeable vapor retarder with the specified perm rating required, or discuss vapor emission retarder option with alternative installation methods to meet your selected wood flooring requirements.

Other considerations Prior To New Hardwood Floor Installation - Wood subfloors must be flat, clean, dry, structurally sound, free of squeaks, and have no protruding fasteners of any kind. Glue down installations and installations using mechanical fasteners must fall within the allowable tolerances before hardwoods are actually put down. Once these conditions have been met, you can then install wood flooring with confidence.

Keith Clay has been in business for almost 28 years serving Dallas, Frisco, Plano, Richardson and all Dallas Metroplex suburbs. We know wood floors and can answer any questions you may have. If you want the best job from a company of professionals, call us today. 972-463-6604. World Class Craftsmanship. Reasonable Prices.

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