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What to do.
- Remove all carpet and padding and expose the subfloor to inside air movement.
- Deliver wood flooring and store it inside a living area with Heat/Air Conditioner operating.
- Leave wood flooring exposed for several days while it is acclimating to interior conditions, and during the acclimation period, the subfloor has an opportunity to release moisture.
- If the wood flooring manufacturer does not require acclimation leave the subfloor exposed for 2-3 days with the heat/AC running to dry subfloor panels to acceptable moisture content.
- Test subfloors top and bottom (10-30 tests) for moisture content. When subfloors are at Equilibrium Moisture Content (see chart) and within the accepted moisture content range, you are ready to install the flooring.
What to do if wood flooring or laminate is to be installed directly to concrete.
- Prepare the concrete subfloor in accordance with NWFA standards of concrete subfloors.
- Deliver the wood and store it inside conditioned rooms where the AC/heat is on and working. Some manufacturers of engineered flooring do not require acclimation of their products. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep in mind that the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions apply.
- Have your wood flooring contractor or independent private wood flooring inspector perform Calcium Chloride Moisture tests before installing any wood flooring product over concrete. If moisture levels exceed the maximum limit determined by the wood flooring manufacturer, DO NOT proceed with the installation.
What to do if the wood flooring or laminate is to be installed on a wood or concrete subfloor.
- Flatten the subfloor to NWFA or wood product manufacturer’s printed instructions.
- Have a professional measure the concrete for flatness before subfloor panels are installed. This is money well spent that will save you a lot of misery should the flooring become loose and pop up.
- Have your wood flooring contractor or independent private wood flooring inspector perform Calcium Chloride Moisture tests before installing a wood subfloor over concrete. If moisture levels exceed the maximum limit determined by the wood flooring manufacturer, DO NOT proceed with the installation. Once the moisture level has been lowered to an acceptable range, install the subfloor.
- Make sure that each panel has the correct number of anchors to prevent movement, squeaking, swelling, buckling, and raised floors after the installation.
- Moisture test each panel (6 tests per panel) before the panel is installed. If the moisture content is not acceptable, do not install the panel.
- Once all subfloor panels are installed moisture test the entire subfloor again before any wood flooring or laminate product is installed. Do these tests one-two days after the panels have been installed? If moisture content has increased, do not install wood flooring.
- Check for proper attachment to concrete and flatness across the subfloor before installing wood flooring or laminate products. Failure to do so could result in total replacement of the floor.