Wood Laying and Care - Useful tips
Important laying information
|Preparing the sub-floor|
|Laying laminate floor covering|
the space around the wall
|Hot water under floor heating|
Important laying information
Laminate floor covering should be left for 2 or 3 days to acclimatize in the room in which it is to be laid. Elements in opened packets must be laid immediately. The floor covering should only be laid in dry rooms, it is not suitable where it may be exposed to moisture, e.g., bathrooms, kitchens, etc. Laminate floor covering must be laid "floating", i.e. it must not be screwed, nailed or glued to the sub-floor. Check the elements for flaws before you lay them. No claims can be entertained in connection with floor covering elements that have already been laid. In cases of justified complaints, please state the productions number shown on the back of the product packaging.
Laying tools: Spacer blocks, rule, set square, pencil, fine toothed saw, chisel, straight edge and installation clamps for the first plank rows, thinly viscous, water-resistant PVA-D3 adhesive spray, cleaning cloth, hammer and hammering block.
Preparing the sub-floor
The sub-floor must be firm, smooth and dry (in a proper condition for laying work, conforming to DIN 18356). Level out irregularities. A vapor barrier of at least 0.2mm thick, diffusion tight PE sheeting must be laid on mineral floors (e.g. concrete, screed, terrazzo etc.) and on under floor heating in such a way that there is a 20cm overlap at the edges. Sub-floors which are directly above the soil, i.e. in rooms without an underlying basement, or are above vaulted cellars or crawl spaces, must be provided with a barrier, e.g. of 1.2mm thick PVC sheeting, with sealed joints and drawn up with a rounded transition at the walls. If the sub-floor consists of an organic material, e.g. textile underlay, chipboard, etc., the vapor barrier must be laid under the floor rather than on it. Laminate floor covering can be laid on existing covering such as PVC, linoleum, rubber, needle felt, or short pile carpet (max. 5mm) without a vapor barrier, provided the floor under there coverings is in a proper condition for laying work. If there is a textile underlay, footstep sound insulation is unnecessary. However, it is advisable to cover the carpet with a layer of wrapping paper or newspaper. In the case of other sub-floors, footstep sound insulation (foamed material, corrugated board) should be laid loosely on the sheeting.
Laminate floor covering is laid by gluing together the groove and tongue. Any foreign bodies between the groove and tongue must be removed. Apply a thin layer of glue to the whole length of the top face of the tongue, and then immediately press the elements flush together by hand. If too much adhesive is applied, it may not be possible to join the groove and tongue correctly. When fitting the boards together the glue must be pressed out of the joints throughout their length, so that the floor is sealed and no moisture can penetrate. Any adhesive that is forced out of the top of the join should be pushed aside with a plastic spatula and removed completely with a slightly moistened cloth.
Laying laminate floor covering
It is advisable to lay laminate floor covering in the direction of the incoming light. Align the first row parallel to and at a distance of at least 10mm from the wall with the groove facing the wall. Start the second row with the residual element of the first row. Ensure that the butted joins are offset by at least 40cm. Check the first three rows by laying them without adhesive; use a piece of string or a straight edge to ensure that they are correctly aligned. This is essential, to ensure that the remaining rows are laid exactly and free of gaps. Now glue the elements together one by one and hold them firmly together with spacer blocks or clamps. Allow the three glued rows to dry well (leave for at least 60 minutes) before you continue. Fit in more elements and lay them row by row. Set the distance from the wall with spacer blocks. In general: a distance or an all round expansion gap of at least 15mm must always be maintained between the floor covering and walls, doors, other floor coverings, heating pipes and all fixes objects (e.g. spiral staircase). Butted joins must be always offset by at least 30cm. The final row of laminate floor covering must be cut seamlessly with the help of a chisel. Leave the spacer blocks in place at the end wall during the whole operation.
Doorframes must be shortened to allow an element, including sound insulation, to be pushed under the frame. Rooms 10 metres long or longer and 8 metres wide or wider must be provided with additional gaps to accommodate any movement of the floor covering. The expansion and shrinkage behavior of the floor necessitates the inclusion of movement gaps / profiles in the following areas: doors, openings, angled rooms. Gaps can be covered with conventional profiles.
Drying time/covering the space around the wall
The adhesive must be allowed to harden for 24 hours before the floor can be walked upon or subjected to loads. The spacer blocks for maintaining the distance from the wall must be removed now. The all-round expansion gap at the edge of the floor is now covered with skirting boards or parquet strips, which must be fixed to the wall rather than the floor.
Laminate floor covering is made of wood, and reacts to changes in room climate. During the heating period the room temperature should be about 20 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity 50-60 % to ensure that no shrinkage gaps are formed.
A dry or slightly damp cleaning cloth suffices for daily cleaning. If necessary, add a mild household-cleaning agent to the water used to wipe the floor; never use a caustic cleaning agent or an abrasive. Wipe up any spilled liquid immediately. This floor covering, like all others, is therefore advisable always to put felt pads on the bottom of all chair and table legs, and always to take dirt exclusion measures in all entrance areas (e.g. provision of textile mats). Protect zones that are subject to a lot of wear with suitable coverings. As with all floors, some wear tracks make appear and belong, as with parquet, to the characteristic properties. Damaged individual planks can be replaced by new ones (professional layers can advise you on this).
Hot water under floor heating
The laminate floor can be laid on floors with hot water under floor heating. Please telephone us on (0208) 443 3322 for a leaflet with all additional information.
© Columbia Flooring