All wood and/or Laminate flooring requires an “Acclimation” period prior to installation. Acclimation is a time when the flooring materials will be placed in your home. During this time the flooring is adjusting to normal conditions.
General Rule of Thumb:
Laminate- 3 days
Engineered Flooring- 5-7 days
Solid Hardwood- 10-14 days
Exotic Hardwood- 3-4 weeks (pending a moisture test)
Floating installations are used mainly with Laminate and/or Engineered flooring. The flooring is not attached to the sub-floor in a floating installation.
An underlayment material (foam, plastic or other material) is placed over the sub-floor and then the Laminate or Engineered flooring are installed by locking the individual pieces together with their specific connecting method.
This method is generally used when installing an engineered floor over a concrete sub-floor. An adhesive is spread over the sub-floor with a notched trowel, then the flooring is laid over the adhesive. Since solid wood flooring has a tendency to expand and contract, it is highly recommended that solid wood flooring with a thickness greater than 1/2″ NOT be installed using the gluedown method.
This installation method is most often used when installing solid wood flooring. Nailing may also be used to install some engineered flooring. During naildown, nails or staples are driven, at an angle, through the tongue portion of each individual board. In some cases, such as with character / antique flooring, you may choose to have exposed “face nail” driven directly through the face of the boards.
Moisture / vapor barriers are extremely important when installing any type of flooring. Types of moisture barriers include roofing felt, plastic, foam, etc. Moisture barriers are installed or placed directly beneath the flooring. It is highly recommended that the crawlspace also be covered with a plastic moisture barrier. We recommend that a crawlspace moisture barrier should be in place in all crawlspaces, regardless of your floor covering or type. In some instances, a spreadable moisture barrier may be required when installing a gluedown floor over concrete.