Hestia Floors
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Installation Guidelines for Engineered Bamboo

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ENGINEERED INSTALLATION GUIDELINES:

Pre-installation guidelines

1)  ESTIMATE THE TOTAL SQUARE FEET OF THE ROOM or rooms where you will install your new bamboo floor and add 5% - 10% for waste.

2)  THE SUBFLOOR MUST BE FLAT by 1/8” in a 6’ radius.   Make sure that wood based subfloors are structurally sound and properly attached to the floor joists to avoid creaking sounds.

2)  THE SUBFLOOR MUST BE CLEAN.  If the floor is floated or stapled, the subfloor must be clean of all debris that would cause the flooring not to lay flat.  If the floor is glued down, all paint and overspray must be cleaned off in order to accomplish a strong bond between the subfloor and flooring.

3)  THE SUBFLOOR MUST BE DRY. The number one reason that a floor fails is because of moisture.  The moisture could come from a number of sources.  Make sure all doors and windows are installed and painting and wet work is completed before acclimating the floor.  Always test the subfloor for moisture and document the results.  Basements and crawl spaces must be dry and well ventilated. A black 6-mil (or thicker) polyethylene (poly) film must cover the ground of all crawl spaces; seams must be overlapped and taped.  Gutters, downspouts and exterior grading should direct water away from the house.  Not achieving the proper moisture levels before and after installation could cause cupping, buckling, gapping and grain raise.  The following test methods are recommended:

• Wood Subfloors – Use a pin meter for use in testing moisture in wood.  The wood based subfloor should not exceed 12% moisture content, with a maximum moisture variance not to exceed 2% difference between the flooring and subfloor.

• Concrete Subfloors – Calcium Chloride Test should not exceed 3.0 pounds or using a Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounter meter should not exceed 4.0%. The concrete subfloor must be fully cured and at least 60 days old.

Document and keep all of the moisture readings. If the testing exceeds the above mentioned guidelines, DO NOT INSTALL THE FLOOR. Elevated moisture levels on a wood based subfloor can be easily corrected by the use of polyethylene moisture retarder or if you are installing over a concrete floor, an adhesive that has a moisture retarder membrane. When corrected, retest your floor to insure moisture guidelines have been met.

4)  THE MATERIAL MUST BE PROPERLY ACCLIMATED.   Acclimating the flooring allows the flooring to achieve equilibrium moisture content (EMC) with the environment in which the floor will be installed.  The flooring should acclimate for a minimum of 3 days prior to installation.  The ideal way to acclimate a bamboo floor is to open the cartons and cross stack the boards leaving a 4” air space under the first row.  The flooring should be placed in the center of the room, away from direct sunlight and air vents.  The HVAC must be installed and running for 14 days prior to installation and must be stay in constant operation.  The relative humidity should be kept between 35% and 55%.  The temperature should be kept between 65⁰ and 75⁰F.  The flooring should not be stored in storage sheds, garages, car parts or any un-climatized building.  NOTE:  Remember to acclimate the moldings also.

5)  INSPECT ALL MATERIAL carefully before installation.  Warranties do not cover materials with visible defects once they are installed.  Bamboo is a natural material and has variations in color and mineral lines.  These are normal and are to be expected.  When installing, mix planks from 3-4 cartons at a time to ensure a good blend of the natural variation.  Boards with noticeable defects should not be used.  Installing the floor constitutes acceptance.

6)  WHERE CAN YOUR NEW BAMBOO FLOOR BE INSTALLED?  An engineered strand woven bamboo floor can be floated, stapled or glued down.  When using the floating method of installation, the engineered strand woven bamboo floor can be installed below, on or above grade.  When gluing or stapling an engineered strand woven bamboo floor down, only install on or above grade.  

NOTE:  Do not install an engineered strand woven floor in full bathrooms, powder rooms, wet areas, saunas, or pool rooms.  The warranty is voided if installed in these areas.   Engineered strand woven bamboo floors can be installed over radiant heat floors, not exceeding 80˚F, using the floating method of installation.

7)  WOOD DUST CAUTION:  Cutting, sanding or machining wood products produces wood dust. While wood products are not hazardous under OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29CFR 1910.1200), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the State of California has classified wood dust as a human carcinogen. PROPOSITION 65 WARNING: This product produces wood dust when cut, sanded or machined. Wood dust is considered a carcinogen by the State of California.  Precautionary Measures: Airborne wood dust can cause respiratory, skin and eye irritation. Power tools should be equipped with a dust collector. Use an appropriate NIOSH-designated dust mask. Avoid dust contact with skin and eyes. First Aid Measures in case of irritations: In case of irritation flush eyes with water. If needed seek medical attention. If dermatitis occurs, seek medical attention.

8)  WARNING! DO NOT MECHANICALLY CHIP OR PULVERIZE EXISTING RESILIENT FLOORING, BACKING, LINING FELT, ASPHALT ADHESIVES OR OTHER ADHESIVES:  Previously installed resilient floor covering products and the asphalt or cutback adhesives used to install them may contain either asbestos fibers and/or crystalline silica. The products in this carton DO NOT contain asbestos or crystalline silica.  Avoid creating dust. Inhalation of asbestos or crystalline dust is a cancer and respiratory tract hazard. Smoking by individuals exposed to asbestos fibers greatly increases the risk of serious bodily harm. Unless positively certain that the product is a non-asbestos containing material, you must presume it contains asbestos. Regulations may require that the material be tested to determine asbestos content and may govern the removal and disposal of material. See current edition of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) publication “Recommended Work Practices for Removal of Resilient Floor Coverings” for detailed information and instructions on removing all resilient covering structures.

9)  DECIDE THE DIRECTION IN WHICH THE FLOOR WILL BE INSTALLED.  When installing over a wood based subfloor, planks should be installed perpendicular to the flooring joists. It is best to install the flooring parallel to windows (if possible).

10)  PREPLAN THE NUMBER OF ROWS required to finish the installation. The final row will normally be narrower and have to be ripped lengthwise.  A good idea is to rip both the first and last rows to balance the installation. If the first or last row is narrower than 2”, use carpenters glue to secure the narrow boards to the adjoining full row.

11)  ALLOW AT LEAST 1/2” EXPANSION SPACE around the entire perimeter of the room including spacing under moldings and transition strips.  

12) WHEN USING THE FLOATING INSTALLATION METHOD, it is required that individual rooms be able to expand and contract independently in response to changes in temperature and relative humidity. Properly installed transitions (T-moldings) are required in doorways, between adjoining rooms and, between rooms and adjoining hallways to allow individual floor sections to expand and contract independently. In areas measuring more than 30 lineal feet in either direction (width or length), use an additional transition molding (t-mold). Before installation, find the individual boards that will best blend in color with the moldings and keep those boards aside to be used with the molding.

Doorways and archways that are 6 ft. or less are also required to have a transition between the areas.

Many types of existing wall base are not very wide at the base, the preferred option is to remove the wall base and use a combination of straight wall base combined with quarter-round or shoe molding. This allows for the required ½” expansion gap, as well as provide sufficient space to allow for expansion and/or contraction so that the floor will not shrink out from underneath the wall base. Do not force the moldings tight onto the floor in order to allow the floor to move (float).

13)  UNDERCUT DOORJAMBS TO ALLOW FOR EXPANSION & CONTRACTION. This can be easily done by using a small piece of the flooring as a guide to cut the door jambs.

14)  ALWAYS INSTALL FROM 3 – 4 CARTONS to ensure a good mixture of the natural color variation and grading. This is extremely important when working with natural colors.


You are now ready to install your floor:

GLUE DOWN INSTALLATION GUIDELINES

Be sure to follow all Pre-Installation Guidelines.

A. Make sure the subfloor is clean, flat and dry and that the flooring has been being properly acclimated according to the pre-installation guidelines listed above.

B. Measure the width of one board plus ½” (expansion space) and snap a chalk line from one end of the room to the other.  

C. Use a good quality moisture cured urethane to install the floor.  Use the adhesive manufacturers suggested trowel for gluing down a 9/16” engineered wood floor.  Spread the proper amount of adhesive between the chalk line and wall.  Install the first row, tongue toward the wall, lining up on the grooved side along chalk line.  Use ½” spacers to insure that the planks do not move.

D. Spread enough adhesive to install the next four rows.  (NOTE: It is a good idea to stay off the floor while installing it in order to keep the planks from moving.)  Start the second row with a piece that is at least 12” long.  Always insure that the end joint spacing is a minimum of 12”.  The stagger not only creates a random length appearance but adds dimensional stability to the installation, especially over a suspended subfloor.  Continue to install the rest of the floor in the same manner.  

E. Install the last row making sure that there is a ½” expansion space between the last row and any vertical surface.

FLOATING INSTALLATION GUIDELINES

Be sure to follow all Pre-Installation Guidelines.

A. Roll the underlayment out following instructions of the manufacturer.  If you are using an underlayment that does not have a vapor barrier attached, loose lay 6 mil poly sheeting with the seams overlapped 8”.  Tape the overlapping edge with a clear packaging tape and lap the edge of the poly up the wall but not touching the sheetrock. Then roll out underlayment and butt the edges together.  It is a good idea to tape the edges to keep the rolls from moving while installing the floor.

B. Begin installing the first row by laying a board down flat on top of the already installed underlayment in the left corner of the room with the tongue facing toward the wall. Align the end of the second board with the first and snap end locking system together by simply pushing it straight down on top of first board. Repeat this step to install the remaining boards in the first row. Cut the last board in the row to the necessary length leaving a ½” expansion space. If leftover piece is 6” or longer, use it to begin the next row.

C. Insert spacers between the first row and the walls in order to maintain the ½” expansion space around the perimeter of the floor. Always stagger the end joints of adjacent rows a minimum of 12”, to create a random length design and add dimensional stability to the installation

D. Start the second row by holding the long side of the board at a 45⁰ and engage the sides by rotating the board towards the floor while pushing it against the edge of the first board.  If boards are not lying flat, they were not aligned evenly during engagement. Start this step over. Insure the edges of both boards meet evenly by applying equal pressure while rotating the board down.

E. Continue installing the second row and cut the last board to size just as you did in the first leaving a ½” expansion space at the end of the row.

F. Install the third row in the same manner as described above. Once three rows have been installed, re-check the spacers to ensure they are tight against the wall. If necessary, adjust the floor to ensure the installation is square.  Continue the installation.

G. When working under doorjambs or toe kick areas of cabinets, there is not enough clearance to achieve the 45⁰ angle required to engage the sides. In these hard to reach areas, trim away the raised portion on the groove side using a knife or wood chisel and glue the boards together using a high quality carpenter’s glue.  

H. Install the last row making sure that there is a ½” expansion space between the last row and any vertical surface

NAIL DOWN – STAPLE DOWN INSTALLATION GUIDELINES

Be sure to follow all Pre-Installation Guidelines.

Some squeaking, popping or crackling noises are possible when nailing or stapling down a floor and considered normal.  The noises can change as the environment in the home change.  These noises are not considered to be manufacturing related.  To reduce these noises, make sure that the subfloor is structurally sound, does not have any loose pieces in the subfloor and is securely fastened to the joists.  Be sure that the subfloor is clean and free from any dust or debris.  Be sure that the nailer or stapler is securely setting the fastener in the correct position on the top corner of the tongue.  If the nailer or stapler is not properly set, the flooring will be damaged by the nailer or stapler.  Make sure that the air pressure is set correctly.  The top of the staple or cleat should sit flush within the nail pocket to prevent damage to the flooring.  Hestia Floors, Inc. is not responsible for damage caused by the mechanical fasteners.

Use 1 ¼” fasteners for the 9/16” engineered and 1” for the ½” flooring.

Install the flooring over a 15 lb. asphalt felt paper.  The felt helps reduce moisture from below and reduce squeaking noises.  NOTE:  The felt paper is not a moisture barrier, but a moisture retarder.

Select a starter wall, preferably an outside wall because it is most likely to be straight and square the room.  Measure out from the wall the overall width of the plank (plus tongue) and add ½” for the required expansion space.  Make a mark on the subfloor at both ends of the room and drop a chalk line.  

NEVER use a rubber mallet or hammer directly on the flooring to engage the tongue and groove.  This can damage the flooring and/or finish.

Be sure to follow all Pre-Installation Guidelines.

A. Lay a row of planks along the chalk line with the groove side facing the wall and the tongue facing you.  Secure the planks by drilling a hole in the top of the plank approximately 1” from the back of the plank, approximately every 6” and fasten to the subfloor using a 1” finishing nail.  Countersink the nails and fill with a quality putty that blends with the color of the floor.  Be sure to remove any filler from the face of the floor.  Next use the 1” finishing nails to nail into the nailing pocked on top of the tongue.  Nail at a 45˚ angle approximately every 6” and 1 – 2” from each end.  NOTE:  Be sure that the first row is straight in order to prevent misalignment or gapping in the rest of the installation.  You should be able to use the stapler or nailer after the first 2 – 3 rows are installed using this method.

B. Each succeeding row should be blind-nailed wherever possible.  Every 3”-4” with staples, every 4”-6” with cleats, and within 1”-2” of end joints.

C. Add each additional row of flooring. Distribute lengths, avoiding “H” patterns and other discernible patterns in adjacent runs. Stagger end joints at least 12”

D. During installation of flooring pieces, push or gently tap boards flush to the previous row. Tap against the tongue; tapping the groove may damage the edge. To prevent damage to the finish, avoid tapping the face of the board with a rubber mallet. 

E. Continue to install the floor making sure that a fastener is place 1 – 2” from both ends of the plank and approximately


After the floor is installed – here are some helpful tips:

REMOVE THE SPACERS.

INSTALL THE MOLDINGS making sure to leave the required expansion space.

THOROUGHLY CLEAN THE FLOOR to remove dust and/or adhesive smudges.

THE USE OF PUTTY to fill small gaps is considered normal in any hardwood or bamboo installation. Use a good quality putty and make sure that any putty residue is not left on the floor.  

NEVER COVER a newly installed floor with plastic. Always use a breathable material such as cardboard. Using a non‐breathing type covering can cause a moisture build up under the covering and damage the floor.

NEVER use wax, oil soap, household cleaners or polish on your floor.

NEVER use a steam mop or wet mop the floors.  

CLEAN YOUR FLOOR on a regular basis by misting an approved floor cleaner on the floor and immediately wiping dry.  (Bona Hardwood Cleaner is recommended.)

USE WALK OFF MATS (RUGS) at all exterior entrances to avoid tracking dirt, sand, water and asphalt from drive ways onto your new floor.

PERIODICALLY RE-ARRANGE rugs and furniture to allow the floor to age evenly.

USE area rugs in high traffic areas.

MAKE SURE there that the temperature is kept between 65⁰ and 75⁰ Fahrenheit and the relative humidity is kept between 35% and 55%.

A BAMBOO FLOOR, like all wood floors, will expand and contract with seasonal changes.  Do not place fasteners (nails, screws, etc.) through the floor.  Do not force moldings such as transition strips, shoemold or baseboard down directly onto the flooring.  This could cause pressure points and not allow the floor to float freely.  Damage could result such as gapping or buckling.

BAMBOO FLOORING WILL SCRATCH and dent, just like most hard surface flooring types.  When choosing a flooring product for areas in your home; children, pets, and lifestyle activity should be taken carefully into consideration. Therefore, it is important to protect your floor with felt pads under chairs and other furniture that may be moved across the floor without damaging the surface of the floor.  Keep pet nails trimmed.

MINOR SCRATCHES or dents damage can be repaired.  Use a touch-up or filler kit. Major damage may require individual board replacements.

GAPPING CAUSED BY SEASONAL CHANGES should be expected in all natural flooring and does not constitute a product failure. It is normal that natural floors will be affected by fluctuating temperature and humidity levels within the home. Care should be taken to control relative humidity and ambient temperature.

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