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Hardwood Flooring Care and Maintenance

Importance of Maintenance
Unlike most floor coverings, wood floors are a long-term investment that, correctly maintained, will last the lifetime of the home. Fortunately for consumers, today’s wood floors offer a wide spectrum of product options that are easy to maintain. Unlike times past, when people had to get down on their knees to buff their wax floors, taking care of wood floors today require little effort. The routine maintenance involves protecting the finish from scratches and moisture. If consumers avoid both of those things, they’ve got a handle on most of their wood floor care.

Educating the Consumer
Creating realistic expectations of the wood floor maintenance upfront, before the contract is even signed is important. Consumers who realize that their floors aren’t impervious to an onslaught of spills, grit and water will be happier with their floors and less likely to call back with complaints in the future. That means explaining proper maintenance both preventive, such as using throw rugs and floor protectors, and routine, such as the use of the correct wood floor cleaner. (Many contractors include the cost of the cleaner in their job estimates or offer it as the floor is being completed.)

Consumers need to be made aware that using improper cleaners can void their warranty and also cause future problems with recoating.

Another area where you need to be up front with consumers is the recoat schedule. Depending on the traffic on the floor, most floors will need recoating at some point during the life of the floor. Tell them to call a wood flooring professional when they think the floor might need recoating. If the floor performs as you’ve said it will, the customer will feel confident calling you when it’s time for a recoat.

A simple explanation of how humidity levels affect wood floor performance also helps avoid typical complaints about cracks between boards. In addition to a verbal explanation, give this information to the customer in writing.

Maintenance for All Hardwood Floors
While specific finish types may require different maintenance, some guidelines apply to the care of all wood floors. First, before furniture is placed onto the wood floor, floor protector pads should be installed on the bottom of all furniture legs. Also, rugs should be placed at all entrances to the area (check with the finish manufacturer for when these can be placed. Most should not go down on the floor for at least seven days, and sometimes more than 21 days after the finish is applied). These rugs help trap grit and also absorb moisture before either one has a chance to damage the finish. Rugs should be shaken out, cleaned and thoroughly dried when they get wet. Take special precautions with non-skid pads that are frequently placed under area rugs. These pads may imprint their pattern onto the finish and/or wood floor. (Natural fibers may not transfer as much as synthetic pads.) Also, be aware that area rugs may cause color differences in the floor due to differences in light exposure.

Consumers should expect that their floors will shrink and expand with changes in humidity, sometimes leaving small cracks between boards. To minimize the changes, it is recommended that consumers use some kind of humidity control in their homes.

Routine basic maintenance includes sweeping, vacuuming and/or dust-mopping to remove dirt and grit. (Use only vacuums that have a special hard-surface setting.) The more that dirt and grit are allowed to accumulate, the more they will be tracked over the floor, leaving scratches.

Some manufacturers recommend lightly damp-mopping a floor, while others do not. Regardless, household dust treatments should never be used. All shoes, especially high heels, should be kept in good repair — if they lose their protective cap, they will dent the surface of any floor. Pet nails need to be trimmed regularly to prevent finish and wood damage.

Be especially attentive to potential spill areas, such as dishwashers, sinks, ice makers and stove tops. Other potential problem spots may include household plants and Christmas tree stands.

Consumers see the best results if they develop a cleaning schedule and stick to it. In addition to their regular schedule, they should be aware that not only should they clean the floor immediately after a major event; they should clean immediately before it. (The increased traffic on the floor will result in more damage from any dirt or grit present on the floor.) These are just some of the basics.

Arimar International Corp.

6800 N.W. 36 Avenue Miami, FL 33147 Toll-Free: 1(888) 694-5195 info@arimarwood.com

PDF FILE: Hardwood Floors Care and Maintenance

Arimar Solid Hardwood Flooring Installation Instructions

Inspect Material for defects

SUBFLOOR:

1. 5/8” minimum thickness, preferred 3/4” or thicker plywood installed with long edges at a right angle to the 16” on center floor joists and staggered so that the end joints in adjacent panels break over different joists. Nail at each bearing with 6d threaded or 8d common nails spaced 10” on center along intermediate joists.

2. 1” x 4” to 6” wide, square edge, kiln dried coniferous lumber, laid diagonally over 16” on center wooden joists. The ends of all boards are to be cut parallel to the center of the joists for solid bearing. Face-nail each board solidly at every bearing on the joists with two nails (7d threaded or 8d common).

3. 23/32” minimum O.S.B. on 19.2-inch maximum center floor joists with system properly nailed or minimum 7/8” subfloor with 24” on center floor joists or trusses.

4. Baseboards should be installed so that their lower edge is slightly above the level of the finished floor, but not nailed into the finished floor.

5. Basement and crawl spaces must be dry and ventilated when plank or strip flooring is to be installed over them. In crawl spaces a vapor barrier should be provided. Follow local building codes or black vapor barrier must be provided below subfloor on the ground. (6 mil. black)

6. Plank or Strip flooring is not to be installed below grade.

7. All subfloors, new construction or existing should be checked for moisture using a moisture meter. In general wood or plywood subfloors should not exceed 14% moisture content, or 4% moisture content difference between 2 1/4”wood flooring and subfloor, or 2% moisture content difference with plank floor. Check with your local distributor for your geographical variances.

8. Subfloor should be flat or made to be flat to 3/16” in a 8’ft. radius.

9. Particle board of any thickness is NOT ALLOWED!

10. Adequate and proper nailing as well as soundness of the subfloor should be ascertained. Foreign material shall be removed from the subfloor surface and swept clean.

11. The clean subfloor shall be covered wall to wall with 15lb. asphalt saturated felt, Aquabar®B, Moisture Mat. Lap the edges of this felt 4” when positioning it. Double the felt around heat ducts that may be in the floor.

GENERAL INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS
1. Acclimation Instructions: The “acclimation period” is the time which the hardwood floor is left in the environment in which it is going to be used. This acclimation period can vary greatly depending on the starting moisture content of the wood, the species and size of the planks. The greater the mass the longer it may take to acclimate; wider material will take longer than narrower material and factory finished wood will take longer to acclimate than unfinished wood.
To properly acclimate the wood flooring to the interior conditions of the building, the flooring needs to be removed from its boxes and cross stacked to allow airflow around the planks.
The installer must document the moisture content of the flooring or the sub-floor before beginning the work. The planks need to be acclimated to within 2% - 3% difference from the subfloor as per NWFA guidelines for plank flooring. Once the flooring has reached the EMC, equilibrium moisture content) required, the floor is ready for installation. It is the responsibility of the professional installer to ensure that the wood has been properly acclimate and bring to the attention of their client any abnormalities or a possible issue that may occur during or after installation.

2. Flooring should be laid at right angles to the floor joists and if possible in the direction of the longest dimension in the room.

3. Begin laying the flooring in a room corner with the groove of the flooring facing the wall. Provided not less than 3/4” expansion space or what will be covered by the baseboard and trim specified for the job.

4. End joints should be staggered to achieve the best appearance in the finished floor (Min. 6”).

5. Nailing should be scheduled with the first run and last run of flooring to be faced nailed then countersunk, face nails should be placed in face of wood in grain to match filler/putty. 2 1/4” wide material should be nailed or stapled every 8” to 10”. Plank should be nailed or stapled every 6” to 8”. Also nailing is required within 2” to 3“ of the end joints.

6. 3/4” plank and strip are pre-finished wood flooring products. Be sure to check nail gun faceplate to ensure it will not damage the surface finish. (See fig. 1)

7. Both 3/4” plank and strip have a U.V. cured, Alpha Alumina polyurethane finish.

8. To avoid dimensional change and movement in hardwood flooring the Relative Humidity should be maintained year round at 35%-55% Relative Humidity. Exotic wood species require special attention as to acclimation, nailing and/or sanding.

Note

  • Wood flooring not recommended for wet areas, full baths or shower rooms.
  • Do not sand any subfloor that may contain asbestos or lead.
  • Do not install over radiant heated floors.
  • Do not install any product with visible defects.
  • ALL crawl spaces must have 6mil. Black Polyethylene covering surface of crawlspace or follow local building codes.
  • On or above grade only.
  • For special applications such as glue to concrete call distributor or manufacturer. (No full spread applications)

Arimar International Corp.

6800 N.W. 36 Avenue Miami, FL 33147 Toll-Free: 1(888) 694-5195 info@arimarwood.com

PDF FILE: Installation Guide Solid Hardwood Floors

Arimar Engineered Flooring Installation Instructions

Sub-Floor Preparations:

The sub-floor must be completely Dry

1. All concrete floors are to measure a maximum of 5% moisture or less on the Tramex concrete Encounter.
2. Per the NFWA’s recommendations, the maximum allowable amount of moisture emissions as expressed by the calcium chloride test is 3.o pound per 1,000 sq ft per 24 hours at the time of installation.
3. Another method to determine the presence of moisture in the slab is the use of moisture barriers securely to the concrete for a period of no less than 48 hours. No change should occur in the color of the concrete.
4. The concrete slab will usually take from 90 to 150 days to dry thoroughly depending on the size of the slab and weather conditions.
5. Do not install wood flooring if moisture levels exceed recommended levels.
6. The sub-floor must be free from any type of paint, oil, greases, dust, and all other types of residue.
7. The sub floor should be level in general; however, it must be level within ¼” over a 10-foot radius, in any direction.
8. If plywood is use as a sub-floor, the moisture content difference should be no more than a 3% difference between the engineered wood floor and the plywood. All ply-wood must be exterior grade CDX and plywood size for the subfloor is suggested to be no larger than ¾” by 48” X 38” and an expansion gap of no less than ¼” between sheets and installed in an alternative pattern, not straight rows.
9. A suggested moisture barrier is a layer of floor tar adhesive. 15# felt, and then another layer of floor tar adhesive.

Engineered Products:

Glued down Installation

1. Pre-inspect your floor to verify the proper product and color is being installed per manufacturer’s standards. Always plan for 10% defect and/or waste.
2. Verify that the delivered wood flooring is between 8% to 10% moisture content and is free of defects.
3. Acclimation Instructions: The “acclimation period” is the time which the hardwood floor is left in the environment in which it is going to be used. This acclimation period can vary greatly depending on the starting moisture content of the wood, the species and size of the planks. The greater the mass the longer it may take to acclimate; wider material will take longer than narrower material and factory finished wood will take longer to acclimate than unfinished wood.
To properly acclimate the wood flooring to the interior conditions of the building, the flooring needs to be removed from its boxes and cross stacked to allow airflow around the planks.
The installer must document the moisture content of the flooring or the sub-floor before beginning the work. The planks need to be acclimated to within 2% - 3% difference from the subfloor as per NWFA guidelines for plank flooring. Once the flooring has reached the EMC, equilibrium moisture content) required, the floor is ready for installation. It is the responsibility of the professional installer to ensure that the wood has been properly acclimate and bring to the attention of their client any abnormalities or a possible issue that may occur during or after installation.
4. Concrete slab should be tested per the instructions in the sub-floor preparation instructions
5. A moisture barrier sealer must be added to the concrete.
6. Arimar’s engineered floors should be installed with urethane based adhesives.
7. Read the glue manufacturer’s instructions, which is printed in the detail on the glue container along with the proper trowel recommendations.
8. Snap a working line parallel to the starting wall, in multiples of our engineered plank width, plus an expansion space of ¾” to set up the baseline of installation. Be careful to assure you do not end up with a width of less than 2 inches at the final opposing wall. If so, adjust by ripping down the length of the first row.
9. Following the spread rate, and the curing time, spread the glue evenly on the subfloor to cover the area the installer can lay the planks in proper time for the best results of the glue.
10. Lay one row along the entire length of the work line. Add each additional row of flooring, watching the pattern repeat and offsetting or staggering the joints at least 6”.
11. Roll the floor with 150” roller after installation.
Failure to follow these Instructions will immediately invalidate our Warranty

Arimar International 

6800 N.W. 36 Avenue Miami, FL 33147 Toll Free: 1(888) 694-5195 info@arimarwood.com

PDF FILE: Installation Guide Engineered Hardwood Floors