Pre-Install

Site Inspection
Prior to installing stewartfloor® hardwood floors, the building must be structurally complete and enclosed, including installation of exterior doors and windows. Concrete, masonry, drywall and paint must also be complete, allowing necessary drying time not to raise the moisture content in the building.

HVAC systems must be fully operational at least 14 days before flooring is to be installed with a consistent room temperature of between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 40-55%. This stabilizes the interior environment and is essential for acclimating hardwood flooring to the job-site.

Stewartfloor® solid hardwood flooring can only be installed on or above grade level. Bathrooms are NOT recommended.

Basements and crawl spaces must be dry. Crawl spaces must be a minimum of 24” from the ground to underside of joists. A vapor barrier must be established in crawl spaces using 6mm polyethylene (poly) film with joints overlapped and secured.

During the final pre-installation inspection, sub-floors must be checked for moisture content using the appropriate metering device for wood.

Acclimation of Hardwood Flooring

Wood is a hygroscopic natural material. This means it tends to absorb moisture from the environment it is exposed to. It will expand and contract depending on the amount of relative humidity it is exposed to in its surrounding environment. Acclimation of moisture content to the job-site equilibrium point before installation is essential in stabilizing movement after the installation is completed.

Hardwood flooring must acclimate for as long as necessary to meet accepted installation requirements for moisture content.

SubFlooring & Subfloor Preparation

¾” (19mm) CDX Grade Plywood or ¾” (23/32”) OSB PS2 Rated Underlayment with a minimum 40 lbs. density is recommended. The minimum would be 5/8” CDX Grade Plywood with a minimum 40 lbs. density.

Do not nail over particleboard or similar products, including gypcrete. DO NOT INSTALL STEWARTFLOOR®SOLID WOOD FLOORING OVER RADIANT HEAT FLOORING. THIS WILL VOID ALL WARRANTIES.

• Sweep or vacuum subfloor throroughly before beginning installation. Surface should be free of wax, debris and any solvents. Replace any water-damaged or delaminated subflooring or underlayment.
• Level/flat within 3/16” over 10’ and/or 1/8” over 6’. High areas or uneven joints are to be sanded flat. Low spots can be corrected by using shims or layers of builder’s felt.
• Subfloor must be properly secured with nails or screws every 6 inches along joists to reduce the possibility of squeaking after final installation.
• If high moisture content (MC) is found in the subfloor, determine the source and fix the problem before moving forward.
• If installing over a crawl space, lay a 6-mil black polyethylene film moisture barrier on the ground below the installation area.
• Cement work, ceramic tiling, plumbing, electrical, plastering and painting should all be completed before installing stewartfloor® solid wood flooring.
• Walls and ceiling should be completely dry
• Remove all baseboards, base moldings, shoe moldings, doorway thresholds, etc.
• Wood subfloor: Place 15-lb. asphalt-saturated felt paper that meets ASTM Standard D4869 or use a building paper with an equivalent permeance over subfloor. Asphalt felt is not considered a moisture barrier.

Please Remember: Prefinished hardwood flooring requires attention and care during installation to prevent damage to the finished surface. Be careful when handling the flooring, tools, nails as well as walking on the floor during installation. Do NOT lay your tools on the flooring during installation.