Tips For Laying Oak Flooring
Despite the fact that you have spent time and effort choosing the perfect oak flooring, all of this effort could quickly be lost if the correct guidelines are not taken when laying your oak flooring.
1. Acclimatise Your Wood
The first and probably the most important tip that we can give you is to make sure that you acclimatise your oak boards.
Wood flooring, especially solid oak flooring, is very susceptible to changes in humidity. This change can cause oak boards to naturally expand and contract as the boards moisture content changes.
If a floor is fitted as soon as it arrives on the site, it leaves no time for the oak’s moisture content to balance with the conditions on site.
If installed into a damp environment, the oak boards will absorb the moisture and expand. If the flooring however is laid in an area with a lower moisture content than the moisture content of the board, the moisture will leech out of the wood resulting in the board shrinking. This will leave you with large gaps between boards or more serious problems such as splits and cracks.
Therefore to sufficiently acclimatise your oak flooring, we always suggest that your boards are left in the area in which they are to be laid, for a minimum of 2 weeks. The longer that you leave your boards, the more time they will have to acclimatise properly.
2. Leave An Expansion Gap
The next tip is to ensure that a small expansion gap, around 1.5mm, is left around the outside edges of your room. This small gap will help to ensure that there is somewhere for the wood to expand into, if it suffers from changes in humidity.
3. Never Glue The Tongues When Laying Tongue And Groove Flooring
In order to create a tight fit between your boards to create a smooth finishes, it can often be tempting to glue the boards together. This however should never be done as doing so will create “raft” which, if the floor expands, could pop up off the sub-floor and cause it to buckle or bow.
If you do plan to use glue to glue your boards to your sub-floor, adhesive should only be applied to the underside of the oak board, not the tongues or grooves. If you plan to nail or screw your floor down, no adhesive should be used at all.
4. Clean Workspace
Although black marks left by shoes or equipment on the oaks surface can often be removed, a huge amount of time can be still be spent sanding them out. Keeping a clean workspace is therefore important when looking to save hours in the long run.
5. Take Your Time
Although you are desperate to get your boards down as soon as possible so you can take a look at your flooring in all its glory, we recommend that you always take your time when laying your floor.
It can often be easy to get confused when laying your oak floor so taking your time and thinking things through can save you a lot of trouble further down the line.
We hope that these tips help you with the laying of your oak flooring but if you are in need of any further assistance, please give us a call on 01538 304584.