Feb 16, 2016 7:53 am
How long do the boards need to sit before they lay it? What's good practise?
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Re: Acclimatising timber4
Feb 17, 2016 7:35 am
I was told a long time ago by an oldtimer chippy that a couple of months should be minimum. I think a lot of this was for locally produced flooring which may just have been cut and stacked before a lot of the producers did kiln dried which is what 99% is these days. However the consensus seems to be nows that a couple of weeks should be fine as gandn says as long as you aren't in an area that has wild swings in weather or humidity leading up to laying the floor.
From Borals Acclimatisation pdf for solid hardwood...
"Acclimatisation is only complete when the moisture content of the timber flooring is equal to the RH in the environment. This usually takes about 14 days for 19mm flooring, but the time may vary depending on the species used and the weather conditions."
Re: Acclimatising timber6
Feb 17, 2016 9:11 am
Old chippy what we used to do if we had a solid timber floor going down was to stack it all but using 2 x 1" cleats so at least the air could circulate between boards. It takes up a lot less room but takes quite a while to do !
Also if the job comes to a standstill for a week or two to allow the timber to acclimatise then that's just the way it has to be and the client has to suck it up.
I know of one builder under the hammer with impatient clients ( the job was on track timewise ) where they insisted he put the flooring down as soon as it arrived which he advised against. He also wanted to put in an expansion joint ( 13m run of boards ) which they hated the idea of. They still insisted so he wrote out a letter that he got them to date and sign absolving him if anything went wrong with the floor which it did after six months. Big issues and costly to fix.
This is something else I should have posted originally too...
"All Australian hardwood flooring is coverd by Australian Standard AS2796.1 & .2 1999.
It will tell you that moisture content must be 9 to 14 % at time of installation.
It also states that boards over 85mm in cover width shall be top nailed (face nailed).
Boards with a cover width less than 85mm may be secret nailed or top nailed.
No manufacturer of hardwood timber flooring will honour a garantee if the 130mm wide boards are secret nailed. the holding ability is no where near enough for this material."
Re: Acclimatising timber7
Feb 17, 2016 10:12 am
Agree Stewie,and today with end matched and random lengths,to sticker the boards for acclimatising takes a lot of time.
When laying a timber floor over joists,especially the wider 133mm timber,I have always glued it as well, if I was going to secret nail it.Haven't had an issue.Even with sheet flooring yellow tongue,a big bead of glue and I just pin it in the corners.The glue takes up any minor hollows or bows in the joists and eliminates squeak.
Re: Acclimatising timber8
Feb 17, 2016 10:40 am
Even direct to joists I've always used glue as well whether laying down sheets or even the narrower 70 - 90mm floorboards. I've seen too many floors where the builder hasn't used glue for either and the floors squeak like hell anytime you walk on it.
Re: Acclimatising timber9
Feb 17, 2016 11:33 am
Hows this for due diligence- sorry bit off topic.
Back in the late 60s when I was an apprentice,I helped my boss build his own house.
Back then we were still using ungauged ob hardwood.
We built the frame and left it standing for all 4 seasons to let it do what it was
going to do,shrink,warp,twist etc,then straightened all the walls and floors,axeing the bows(no electric planes those days)
and packing the hollows.He was a traditional joiner by trade,turned carpenter.
Re: Acclimatising timber10
Feb 17, 2016 1:26 pm
I've never built a house using hardwood either when I did my apprenticeshipo in NZ or over here but part of doing some renos in the past we've had to tie in or sometimes adjust hardwood frames. Damn but it is hard timber after having stood for 50-60-70 years or so. I remember having my nailgun wound out to about 120 psi, firing a 90mm nail into a stud only for 20mm of it to still be sticking out of the wood. I think there are some very good reasons why the building industry moved to pine for framing.
I'd imagine you would of had to notch out all the top and bottom plates to restrict twisting of the studs too?
Re: Acclimatising timber11
Feb 17, 2016 3:27 pm
NZ was well ahead of us in regards to framing timbers back then.
I had a kiwi chippy mate who couldn't believe we were using ungauged timber.
There was 2 reasons for notching in the studs to the plates.
Firstly as you say to help prevent twisting and the second was because
The top and bottom plates were supposed to be 4x2 but in most cases
because they were only sawn not thicknessed it could vary from 2 1/4 thick
to 1 3/4 thick.So to enable all the studs to be cut to the same length so your top plate
wasn't up and down each check out had to be gauged from the bottom of the bottom plate
and the top of the top plate with a marking gauge.Became easier a bit later on when you
had a frame cutter person come around with his trenching saw.You would mark all your checkouts
on the plates and just feed it to him.I remember this timber, it was so green at times, we would
say its still growing.
And to get back on topic-that's what caused a lot of squeeking floors.
The joists would shrink after a while leaving a space between the underside of the
flooring and the joist.When you stood on the floor it would go down rubbing on the
nail which stayed firm in the joist.
Not so common now because of KD joists but if you want the best job,glue is your friend.
Re: Acclimatising timber12
Feb 17, 2016 3:38 pm
Totally agree and apart from letting the boards sit on site for a min of two weeks and checking the moisture content at 9-14% etc, the other things if you are installing it over sheeting like yellow Tongue is to give the sheets a quick sand first to remove as much of the waxy coating first then use a good construction adhesive like Sika T55J or Bostik Ultraset. There's a few others that I can't recall but something decent, not cheap Bunnings cut rate glue which cuts out any water based glues as well.
Feb 18, 2016 4:55 am
laying a solid wood floor is a job that can quite feasibly be carried out on a DIY basis, but obviously not everyone has the time or inclination to do this. If you want to get someone else to lay it for you, you’ll need to ask either a builder or local carpenter or joiner to do the work. Some suppliers can also recommend specialist floor fitters.
When your flooring arrives, you must let it acclimatise to the room before it is laid. Some types of flooring should be left in their packaging while they acclimatise, but others need to be removed, so ask your supplier for details. The supplier will also be able to tell you how long you need to leave them — some only require 24 hours, others may need longer.
When you are laying a solid timber floor, it is best to lay it using a fixed method, as opposed to ‘floating’ (commonly used for engineered boards). This is because solid wood flooring has a higher tendency towards movement and needs to be fixed to the subfloor to avoid problems in the future. You can fix it to concrete, to the floor joists or to an existing timber floor.
If fixing to concrete:
ensure the concrete is sound and level. If it’s not, then screwing a chipboard or plywood subbase on top, then nailing or gluing the new wood floor to it, is the best way forward.
If you are fixing the floor directly to the concrete, gluing it down is the way to go. You might also take a look at some of the self-adhesive membranes out there, but beware, they are incredibly sticky and once the wood is stuck to the membrane, it is near-impossible to remove.
If you are fixing solid wood flooring to existing timber:
nailing will be the best option. Although it is good to lay the new board at a 90° angle to the old, it is not imperative. That said, this is essential if you are nailing directly to the joists.
Because you are likely to be fixing your solid wood boards to the subfloor, underlay is not usually used, but there are slatted underlays you can buy for the purpose, with pre-cut slots that allow the floor to be glued directly to the subfloor (try Acoustalay Slatted Glue Through Underlay, available from Screwfix).
Before beginning work, skirting boards should be removed to achieve the neatest finish. Some homeowners do, however, choose to leave skirting in place and use quadrant beading to cover the gap between the floor and skirting.
Most solid wood flooring comes with tongue-and-groove edges and can be either glued or secret nailed, but before you begin, remember you will need to leave an expansion gap around the walls of around 15mm to allow for movement. You can pick up plastic spacers to do the job for you.
Depending on the size of your room, it should take around two to three days to lay wood flooring, although it has to be said that laying a fixed solid floor is a more time-consuming task than installing engineered wood. The results, however, speak for themselves.
1. Acclimatise the boards and decide which direction you are going to lay them in. If you are fixing them directly on to the floor joists, they will have to run at a 90° angle to them. Remove any inward-opening doors.
2. Remove the skirting boards using a crowbar (place a wooden or cork block between the wall and crowbar to avoid damage.
3. Vacuum and clean the subfloor and, if using, cut and fit underlay.
4. Position plastic spacers along the longest and straightest wall.
5. Fix the first row of boards — if the boards have tongue-and-groove edges, ensure the groove is facing the wall and start from a corner. Nail or glue depending on how you have decided to fix the boards and remember that the expansion gap will need to run around the edges of the entire room, including at the ends of the boards.
6. Lay the second row starting with the section cut off the board at the end of the last row you laid. Stagger the end joints of the adjacent rows by around 30cm. You can buy fitting tools to push the ends of the boards together. Work your way across the room, tightening each joint with an edge block.
7. When you get to pipes, mark the position on the board that is being laid around it, drill a hole about 5mm larger than the diameter of the pipe, and make two saw cuts running from the edge of the board to the sides of the hole. Fit the board into position and glue the off-cut piece of wood back into place behind the pipe.
8. When you get to the final row, you will probably have to cut along the length of the boards. Measure the gap between the boards and the wall, deduct 15mm and saw the boards to fit. Fix the joints and force into place.
9. Refit the skirting, or fit new.
Two to three Days
Cost: DIY or £300–500 (labour)
Engineered Timber Flooring
Many people these days opt for an engineered timber as opposed to solid. It is more stable than solid timber and therefore far less prone to movement. It is made up of a layer of solid wood, bonded to several layers of softwood and comes with tongue-and-groove edges that can be clicked together without the need for nailing or gluing.
It can be laid as a floating floor, over your existing floor (timber, concrete, tiles — you name it) and is designed to be used with an underlay. The better the product, the thicker the solid wood layer on top — which is particularly important if it needs sanding to repair any patches at some point.
Thanks for your reply. Hell no I'm not laying it myself. I'm just wondering because our blackbutt floor is currently sitting in a stack in the corner of our new build. I remember when my parents had one laid the carpenter was very particular about placing it all down flat and it was there for about two weeks.
It's always been what I wanted in the house and I want to make sure it's done properly..
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