Preparing your room before fitting a wooden floor is an essential part of the installation process. You will need to make sure that the room is dry, free of any other trades and that the subfloor is properly prepared. If you do not follow these steps then your wooden flooring may become damaged and will need replacing or repairing.
1. The room must be dry and free of any trades before fitting your floor
All wet trades in the room must be complete and dry (e.g. plastering or concreting). The room should also be completely weather tight and at a temperature of 17-22°C. In addition, the relative humidity also needs to be in the range of 45-65%. This will make sure that your wooden floor is at a stable temperature and humidity as it is installed and going forward.
2. The subfloor needs to be flat
You need a flat and even subfloor so that your wooden floor will sit correctly on top. The entire space must be flat. To check this, you can use a straight edge or spirit level. If you find an unevenness of 3mm or more, you will need to address this. If you have an uneven concrete floor, you can use a self levelling compound to smooth out any dips or ridges. With a wooden subfloor you can line it with plywood boards.
3. The subfloor needs to be dry
This is a really important part of preparing your room. The subfloor must be completely dry. You need to be careful and not just go on sight. A concrete subfloor can sometimes look dry but can have moisture underneath. Any moisture could transfer through to your new wooden floor and cause damage once it is installed. To measure the moisture in your subfloor you need to use the correct moisture meter.
- Wooden subfloor – use a 2-pronged moisture meter. The reading needs to be 16% MC (Moisture Content) or below.
- Concrete subfloor – use a Digital Hygrometer, which needs to be left in place for at least 24 hours. The reading should be no more than 65% RH (Relative Humidity).
If your readings come back to show that your subfloor is not completely dry, then you need to allow sufficient time for drying. Then re-test before laying your new floor.
4. The subfloor should be clean before fitting your floor
Clean your subfloor thoroughly before installing your new wooden floor. Remove any existing wax, oil or adhesive. Also sweep or vacuum to remove dirt and dust.
Please always follow the installation instructions before fitting your new hardwood floor.
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