Hardwood Flooring Installation Guideline | Summary
Statistics taken from the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association) show that 78% of hardwood flooring problems are in newly built homes; of which, 95% are moisture related. Due to the rising cost of heating and cooling, building practices have changed. Vapour retarders, ostensibly made to prevent warm or cool air loss, may seal in the new home’s moisture. Thanks to these vapour retarders, the moisture will take far too long to leave the newly constructed home. Hundreds of gallons of water used in concrete, masonry, mortar, plaster, drywall compound, studs, joists, paint, and many other building components evaporate into the home’s interior. This moisture will cause the floor to expand soon after installation. At time of installation the conditions may have been ideal but this hidden excess moisture will quickly be absorbed by the subfloor and hardwood flooring causing it to cup and crack.
We all have our duties and responsibilities to ensure the best long term results.
- We manufacture the product under the strictest of quality control, stored in our climate controlled warehouse, and delivered to acceptable jobsite conditions.
- INSTALLING THE HARDWOOD FLOORING IN NEWLY CONSTRUCTED HOMES SHOULD BE THE LAST JOB DONE. THIS WILL PREVENT TRADE DAMAGE; BUT ALSO LETS THE SUBFLOOR DRY OUT FROM THE TOP AND BOTTOM.
- The builder brings the home within acceptable conditions by running dehumidifiers, heating systems, etc.
- The installer (ours or yours) accepts the jobsite conditions and completes the installation following Gaylord Hardwood Flooring Guidelines.
- After installation, the builder continues to keep relative humidity within recommended range until closing.
- The builder gives the new homeowner our information package on how to care for their new floor; stressing how important controlling relative humidity is. A humidistat needs to be placed in the basement; which is the largest source of moisture. Spending time explaining this is critical to the long term success of each and every job.
After all the physical labour is done and the floor looks great, the job is not complete until that new home moisture is removed; which can take more than a year. This is where things can become unsuitable and the barely acceptable conditions at installation quickly fall into the unacceptable range very quickly. The hundreds of gallons of water in the home from the concrete, drywall, etc. turn to water vapour and are absorbed into the subfloor, then to the wood flooring. It must be realized that air with 80% Relative Humidity is 80% full of its capacity to hold the water vapour. When the air reaches 100% Relative Humidity it turns to water. People would surely be quick to wipe up a pail of water that was dumped on their floor; however the 5 pails of water vapour in the air is not seen, so it is not looked at as a potential problem. Unfortunately, the wood does not recognize the difference and absorbs both the water and the water vapour.
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