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The easy way to install timber flooring

Welcome to our simple guide for installing your new timber floors.

Signs of moisture in your subfloor

Check for signs of moisture in your subfloor using a calibrated moisture metre. Moisture content must be;

  • Below 5% for concrete slabs
  • Below 12% for timber substrates

Subfloor is level and clean

Using a straight edge tool check subfloor is level according to relevant industry standards, 3mm deviation over 1m. Floor preparation and levelling may be required before installing your floors.

Floors have acclimatised

When you've received your timber floors it is essential to acclimatise them in the centre of the room before installing.

Up to one week’s acclimatisation is essential in areas that are particularly humid, cold, wet, hot or dry. Boards installed in a humid environment will naturally grow, hence the requirement for acclimatisation in areas such as QLD.

Optimal laying conditions

Room temperature is between 15-30 degrees and humidity levels are between 30%-70%.

Defective boards

All installed boards will be considered as accepted by the installer and/or homeowner, therefore it is essential that the boards be thoroughly checked pre-installation, with adequate lighting. Boards should be checked for the following prior to installation;

  • Board defects
  • Excessive colour variation
  • Excessive feature
  • Locking System

Reason's why to glue down your timber floor

We always recommend glueing down our timber floors for optimal performance, quietness and longevity.

1. Get organised

Set up your installation tools and open multiple packs to pre-select boards that blend best with matching scotia, skirts and trims.

Check door and door frame clearances to ensure that doors will move freely without contacting the floor surface.

2. Set out

Although timber floors can be installed in any direction, as a rule, they are usually installed perpendicular to a window. Installing the floor parallel to the longest wall tends to make a room appear larger.

Know your maximum raft size, before floor expansion is required.

  • Floating - (L) 10m x (W) 8m
  • Direct Stick - (L) 16m x (W) 12m

3. First row

  1. First plank, first row. Place a spacer 10-15mm thickness to the left and position the plank against the wall. Later, after 3 rows, you can easily position the flooring against the front wall with spacers of 10-15mm.

  1. Second plank, first row. Press the short end of the next floorboard at an angle to the first one, then lay down, Complete the first row. The boards can also be lightly tapped up without lifting.

  1. At the end of the first row, place a spacer 10-15mm to the wall and cut the length of the last plank to fit.

  1. For a clean cut, the top surface should face down when you use a jigsaw, or circular handsaw and up when you use a handsaw or a crosscut saw.

4. Second row

  • Second row, first plank. Minimum length 300mm. Place a spacer against the wall. 

  • Minimum distance between short ends of planks in parallel shall not be less than 200mm.

  • Place the floorboard at an angle against the floorboard in the previous row, press forward and fold down at the same time. A rubber mallet and tapping block may be necessary.

  • Second plank, second row. Place the short end of the floorboard at an angle against the previously installed floorboard. Fold down. The boards can also be tapped up without lifting.

  • Lift floorboard (together with the previously installed floorboard in the same row) lightly up (about 30mm) and push it against the row in front. Push down when the floorboards are positioned tightly together. 

Tip! Stagger boards to ensure a more favourable overall appearance of the floor. When installing boards of random length, ensure that the staggered length is at least 20cm. End boards must be greater than 30cm in length.

5. Finish your floor

If you are floating your timber floor, you will need affix Scotia or reinstall your skirting boards around the perimeter of your room to conceal the expansion gaps. For glued down timber floors the expansion gaps can be concealed with flexible caulk. 

Lastly, Get Insta Ready

Congrats, you did it! Before you kick back and admire a job well done, don’t forget to snap some photos and share your new floors. Tag us on Instagram @flooringonlineau to really make our day.

Can engineered timber be floated directly over a subfloor?

If floating your timber floors, it is essential to include an underlay as part of your floor preparation.

What does 'nested lengths' mean?

Nested lengths are boards that are shorter in length, and ensure your floor develops the desired staggered aesthetic.

Do you need a saw to install engineered timber?

Yes, you will need access to a saw to cut lengths of boards as well as door jambs.