The moisture level content of the wood and
subfloor must be within 2% points of each
other and the subfloor must not exceed 12%.
Important: For proper acclimation, material must
achieve room temperature (65-80 degrees F) for
24 hours prior to installation.
How Do I Store It? Store according to the
manufacturers instructions. The instructions will
specify whether to store opened or unopened,
and whether to store in the center of the room or
at the edges.
Climate control might be the single most
common reason for customer dissatisfaction.
It is critical the proper temperature and
humidity are maintained throughout the life
of the installation. Improper climate control
will result in material swelling in the summer
and shrinking (gapping) in the winter. Follow
the manufacturers guidelines or refer to the
general NWFA guidelines.
Important: Without proper climate control within
the home, gapping and shrinking will occur.
How Do I Test? There are simple temperature
gauges that include a relative humidity reading
(ex: ExTech #44550 is available on-line at extech.
How Can You Control Relative Humidity? There
are two basic options, a portable unit (average
cost around $500-$1000) or a unit that ties into
your heating and AC system (average cost $2,000
Floating floors expand and contract
monolithicly. There must be enough space
left at vertical surfaces such as walls and
posts to allow for this movement. The larger
the area the more space is required. Some
constructions (ex: multi core engineered)
expand and contract less than solid wood
Important: Always leave an expansion
gap. The expansion gap is covered
with wall base and/or quarter round.
How Do You Create an Expansion
Gap? During installation spacers
are placed at vertical surfaces and
removed after the installation is
Expansion joints are almost always required
between rooms, where a room meets a hall,
or in large expanses..
Important: Leave proper space for expansion.
How Do You Create an Expansion Joint?
Expansion joints are created by separating
the two areas with a space for expansion and
contraction. A “T-Mold” is installed to cover the
expansion space and still allow for movement.
Moisture Content in Concrete Subfloor
Moisture in the concrete subfloor, as
hydostatic pressure or as vapor emissions, is
a major reason for flooring failures.
Important: Concrete Subfloor moisture must not
exceed 65% relative humidity.
How Do I Test? There are several moisture
meters that provide an indication of moisture
content. There are also probe systems that
provide accurate readings. There is also a Calcium
Chloride test and less quantitative rubber mat
How To Control the Moisture: There are two basic
methods of controlling moisture; membranes
(example: VersaShield) and coatings and moisture
cured adhesives (example: WF Taylor MS-Plus).
It is critical that you follow the manufacture’s
recommendation for adhesive. They know
their products best. However, there are some
universal Wood/Bamboo adhesives available
(ex: WF Taylor’s MS-Plus).
Important: Use the proper adhesive and apply
with the recommended trowel.
Proper Nail Length
Proper nail length and gauge is determined
by the manufacturer and subfloor thickness
Important: It is critical that the proper gauge
(thickness) of nail or staple is used. When using a
pneumatic nailer pay close attention to proper PSI
Wood and Bamboo are natural products, the
inherent beauty is that no two pieces are
exactly alike. Natural variations are part of
the beauty of the product.
Important: It is important that during installation
visual aspects of each piece of material are taken
How Do You Layout To Maximize the Natural
Beauty of the Product While Minimizing Visual
Differences? Always work out of multiple boxes
and pay attention to date runs.
In every natural product, like Wood and
Bamboo, there will be some pieces, that
while not defective and within industry
standards, are not what the consumer wants
Important: Always allow overage for culled
How Do You Estimate Amounts of Culled
Material? Generally allow 5% more material than
floor space to compensate for culled material;
that is an industry standard.
Wood and Bamboo are natural products and
will scratch, scuff and dent under the right
conditions. Some species and some finishes
are more resistant to scratches, but NO Wood
or Bamboo is “scratch proof”.
Important: Scratches occur more frequently under
chair legs that are small in diameter and at entry
areas where abrasive dirt is drug in.
How Do You Avoid Scratching? Certain species are
denser and less prone to scratching and denting.
There is a n industry standard for hardness on Wood
and Bamboo called the Janka Rating (janka.com).
Finish is also important. Aluminum Oxide finishes
are very durable and scratch resistant. Use chair
protectors under furniture legs.
What is the Ideal Moisture Content of
the Actual Wood Product?
Every manufacturer will vary slightly, but
the average approved moisture content in
wood is between 6% to 9%. Although some
movement can be expected even in this
range, dramatic expansion and contraction
can happen outside this range.
Important: Follow the manufacturer’s
recommendations which are specific to their
How Can You Test? There are several electronic
moisture meters available on the market (ex:
Delmhorst DI-2100 Wood Meter). These are
generally a pin probe type and provide an instant
reading. It is important to know the species of
wood to determine the ideal moisture content.
What is Face Checking?
Face Checking is long cracks in the veneer
that run along the length of the board in
engineered wood flooring. It typically occurs
when the moisture content in the wood
is incompatible with the conditions in the
Important: Interior relative humidity must be
maintained to help avoid face checking.
How Do You Avoid Face Checking? Certain species
(ex: Oak) and certain construction (ex: engineered
multi core) products are less prone to checking.
Choose the proper product for your climate.
How Should the Floor Be Cleaned?
Always follow manufacturer’s
Important: Excessive moisture and harsh cleaner
(high pH) can often damage the floor.