Laying wood or laminated flooring is a delicate operation that can require professional help, but can also be carried out by DIY enthusiasts with a good level of experience.The intrinsic qualities of the wood impose a certain number of precautions that must be respected in all phases of installation: before, during and after laying.
Wood and laminated flooring must be stored in its original, sealed packaging, in the room where it is to be laid, a minimum of 4 to 7 days before you begin installing. Whatever its storage location, the wood must be stored in a clean, dry, closed and well-aired location. AVOID storing near extreme heat.
Conditions in the room:
The premises must be heated (15°C minimum) and you must only begin installation if the ambient air has a humidity level of between 40 and 60%. This humidity level must ABSOLUTELY be maintained during the entire time the premises are used.
Consequently, works such as building work, plasterwork or coating work must be dry (including the plaster sealing the battens), and the humidity cannot be allowed to rise during this time.
Once the floor has been protected against humidity, woodwork and glazing must be installed (away from water and air, in heated premises with all paintwork finished).
If you have any doubts, such as in buildings without cellars or new builds, for example, install a waterproofing base layer to prevent humidity from rising.
Preparing the bases:
Hygrometry and Planimetrics:
- Hygrometry – Maximum humidity of the base:
3% for the screed, 1.5% for the screed with a low temperature heated floor, 0.5% for anhydrous screed.
It is vital that you always test the humidity of the screed every time before you lay a wood floor. Installing a plastic film before laying the resilient underlayer and using a primer on the screed can slow down the degradation of the wood should the humidity rise.
- Planimetrics – Keeping a flat base:
2 m/m with a steel rule of 20 cm; 5 m/m with a steel rule of 2 m. If the ground is uneven or has any holes or bumps, you must smooth it to level the surface. The levelled floor must be completely dry before you install the parquet.
Preparing to lay the parquet:
While you lay the wood floor, open several packets to mix several potential shades and tones together. Inasmuch as it is a natural product, wood can present variations of colour, pattern and texture from one board to another.
Expansion is the idea here: as wood is a living material, it reacts to variations in temperature by expanding and contracting. Leave a small space free when you lay the floor at the edge of the floored area, around pipes and at the feet of door frames to give the wood room to move.
The extent of this expansion is proportional to the surface area of the room. As an example, if the width of the room is 5 m, the edge joint will be 12.5 mm, an average of 2.5 mm per metre. For rooms that are more than 10 m wide, an additional, separate expansion joint is recommended and may be necessary. Consider too a separation joint between each room.
Finishings for the expansion joints must not prevent the wood from moving. Against the wall, place skirting boards or beading. For other shapes, such as pipes or individual angles, apply sealant.
Your floor will only be laid successfully if these prerequisites are perfectly respected. Your floor can then be laid using different laying techniques, by taking the existing base and the type of parquet chosen into account.