Timber Installation Process
While timber is a highly desired natural product that looks beautiful when installed. However in order to ensure the best possible outcome, it is especially important for the installation to be carried out correctly. It is essential to have a knowledgeable, highly skilled installer as well as the correct processes, equipment and materials.
We followed a recent timber job with a camera and observed every step of the process which is outlined below. If you have any further questions or would like to browse our timber selection, don't hesitate to get in touch.
If the concrete (or existing floor) is not as smooth as it should be, our team will need to grind the surface of the floor with a heavy duty mechanical grinder. The edges of the room are ground using a hand grinder so there is no damage done to the walls (as shown in image), then the rest of the room is done with a much larger heavy duty grinder.
This is the first step towards achieving a smooth and level floor. The surface must be as smooth as possible before installing timber, otherwise the timber planks will follow the undulations in the substrate causing adhesion failure, creaking and possible splitting of boards. The acceptable standard for a substrate that our team use is; the floor must be no greater than 3mm of tolerance over the length of a 3 metre straightedge.
Depending on the substrate type and the next part of the process, often a suitable primer is needed to be applied to the substrate to ensure an adequate key for good bond strength and adhesion.
3. Moisture Seal
As timber flooring is a natural product that is significantly affected by moisture, it is important that thorough in-slab moisture testing is carried out prior to any work being undertaken. Our team of experts will drill small bore holes to reach approximately 40% into the thickness of the concrete slab. A moisture reading will be taken to determine if the concrete substrate is sufficiently dry or excessively wet. The standard that is used is that the concrete must be less than 70% relative humidity for a successful installation. If the concrete is found to be too wet, a 'Moisture Seal' will be applied to prevent moisture seepage or penetration from the concrete slab into the timber boards.
4. Self Levelling Compound
Once the Moisture Seal has dried, the floor may still not be as flat as necessary for a timber installation, so a Self Levelling Compound is then applied. As this is applied, the Self Levelling Compound - which is quite a fluid product - moves around and fills in any undulations in the floor, drying up into an extremely level floor.
The deeper the undulations are in the floor, the more Self Levelling Compound needs to be applied. It is quite the magical product!
5. Timber Installation
Now comes the most rewarding - yet strenuous - part; the installation of the timber product! While you can either glue down or float timber flooring, the most common form of installation (and strongly recommended by our team) is to glue down the timber planks as demonstrated here.
These timber planks are being installed one-by-one by applying adhesive to the back of the boards. The boards are connected side by side through the clever 'tongue and groove - like' click together board joining system. Once this has been completed for the whole floor, heavy weights are placed on top of the timber boards to ensure adequate adhesive transfer from the boards to the substrate. They are left in place until the adhesive is suitably dry.
5. Completed Installation!
And - voila - the installation has been completed! All that's left to do for our installers is to ensure the timber floors are left clean and tidy and - if there is more work to be done in the home (like in this instance) - 'Thinline' cover sheets will be placed on the timber to ensure that it is not damaged as the rest of the home is being completed. Once all work is completed, our team will return to uplift and dispose of the cover sheets sitting on the timber, leaving an amazing finished timber floor.
Once your home has been completed, all that's left to do is move in and enjoy all your timber floor has to offer!
As with any flooring installation, it is imperative that the floor is thoroughly scoped out and effectively planned before starting. There is no 'one system fits all' for timber flooring, but our team of experts will ensure that the correct process is implemented for the correct type of timber flooring and substrate.
If you have any queries regarding the timber installation process, or anything else our team can help with, don't hesitate to get in touch through our online contact form or by calling us on 03 348 0639.