Things To Check Before Bringing Oak Flooring Into Your Home
When doing any sort of renovation, the norm nowadays is often to get the job done as quickly as possible. However whenever installing oak flooring it is hugely important that a few key aspects are checked before the flooring comes anywhere near your home.
Are All The Windows Fitted?
Depending on the scale of your renovation, new windows may have been required. Needless to say, because of the cold air and rain, your oak flooring should not be anywhere near the vicinity at this time.
Is The Plastering Complete?
With renovation often comes the need for some plastering and paint work to be done. It is very important that this type of work is all complete and dry prior to bringing oak flooring into your home.
The main reason for this step is because of the problems moisture and humidity can have on oak flooring. If your boards were brought into this environment, they are likely to encounter excessive expansion, which will cause problems upon fitting.
Is Your Sub-floor In A Suitable Condition?
Whatever way you are planning to fit your oak flooring, the condition of the sub-floor is significant.
If you are intending to nail or screw down your floor onto timber joists or a plyboard sub-floor, it should checked to ensure it is up to standard. These should be completely dry, free from rot and treated for woodworm.
For those who have decided to glue down their oak flooring onto a concrete sub-floor, again this needs to be to suitable standard. If the concrete has been newly laid, depending on the thickness, you are looking at anywhere up to 6 months until the room is ready. This is simply because the concrete needs time to dry out. The moisture content of the concrete floor should be lower than 4%, which can be checked using a moisture metre. A concrete sub-floor above this level of moisture will more than likely cause problems to your oak flooring in the future.
Acclimatising The Oak Boards
With all the necessary steps made the final step is the prepare the room for the acclimatisation of the boards. Whether you have opted for solid or engineered oak flooring, the acclimatisation is a important step.
Acclimatisation is the process of allowing the boards to “settle" into the environment before they are eventually fitted. This gives the boards chance to acclimatise to the normal temperature and humidity of your environment.
To do this, begin by adjusting the room to what you would normally class as your “natural living conditions”. For example if you regularly like your rooms at a constant temperature, ensure that the room is at this temperature during the acclimatisation period. With this done, you can now bring the boards into the room. These boards should be stacked in a way which is free of any wrapping and allows airflow to pass between them.
If you have chosen solid oak flooring, we recommend leaving the boards to acclimatise for as long as possible. Generally the recommendation is to leave them for 2-3 weeks. For an engineered oak floor, it is not as critical to leave the boards as long as solid oak. However leaving as long as possible is again recommended.