READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE INSTALLATION!!!
Beautiful hardwood floors are a product of nature and therefore, include natural variations. Stoehr floors are manufactured in accordance with accepted industry standards which permit a defect tolerance not to exceed 5%. The Installer/Owner of Stoehr products has final inspection responsibility as to grade and quality. He/she must use reasonable selectivity and hold out or cut off pieces with glaring defects, whatever the cause. Use of stain or putty stick for defect correction during installation is an industry accepted procedure. Five percent must be added to actual square footage needed as allowance for cutting waste and allowable manufacturing defects. Should an individual piece be doubtful as to grade or quality, the installer should not use the piece. Stoehr assumes no liability for manufacturing defects that are identified after installation.
DELIVERY, STORAGE, AND HANDLING
Do not deliver material during inclement weather conditions. Handle and unload with care. Store in a dry place, being sure to provide at least a 4-inch air space under bundles which are stored over on-grade concrete floors, flooring shall not be delivered until the building has been closed in with windows and doors in place and until cement work, plastering and all other materials are thoroughly dry. Concrete should be at least 60 days old.
You will need safety glasses, wood moisture meter, table saw, circular saw, jigsaw, chalk line, tape measure, pencil, hammer, utility knife, drill, 1/16” drill bit, nailset and 7d flooring nails or equivalent. For ease of installation Stoehr recommends the Primatech Model 300 and 330, Primatech Model 200 Pneumatic Nailers, and the Powernail® Model 45 with 8-25 Adaptor Plate, Model 45R with 8-25 Adaptor Plate, or Model 445 pneumatic nailer. A Stanley-Bostitch MIIIFS Flooring Stapler is also acceptable. A non-marring white tip mallet should be used when installing flooring.
3/4” Random Length is for nail-down installation only over subfloors. In pier and beam construction it is necessary to have a board or plywood/OSB subfloor over joists. Do not nail over particle board or similar products. Before starting your installation, be sure the subfloors meet the following requirements:
- JOISTS –Plywood/OSB over joists (16” O.C.) should be a minimum of 3/4” thick T&G exterior grade. The 4’ x 8’ sheets should be laid with the direction of the
surface grain at right angles to joist direction. Offset the plywood end joints every 4 ft. and be sure to leave a 1/8” gap between sheets. Nail every 6” along each joist using 10d common nails, at least ¼ crown 18ga staple or equivalent fasteners. Penetration into the underlying material should be at least 1-1/2”.
- CONCRETE – One successful method of installing 3/4” Random Length flooring on concrete that is on/above grade, is to provide a Plywood/OSB nailing surface over 4 mil polyethylene film. Your poly-film should be laid loosely over the entire floor with edges lapped 4” and lapped 4” up the wall (Fig. 1). Next, lay out 3/4” x 4’ x 8’ sheets of exterior grade plywood/OSB with 1/4” gaps between sheets and with your end joints staggered every 4 ft. Anchor the subfloor with powder-actuated or hammer-driven concrete anchors. Use a minimum of 18 fasteners per panel, 3 inches from the perimeter, 3 rows of 6, evenly spaced, starting at one end of the panel and working toward the opposite edge to be sure of flattening out the plywood and holding it securely.
Note: Never install 3/4” flooring over concrete which has cured for less than 60 days or over concrete that may experience high moisture conditions.
Stoehr ¾” flooring is crafted of the finest hardwoods available. However, we would like to point out that all wood naturally expands when exposed to moisture and even our high quality kiln-dried products will expand when exposed to unusually high moisture conditions. Due to the nature of wood, a minimum 3/4” space must be provided along the wall that is parallel to the direction of the hardwood flooring to allow for expansion. Do not install below grade (no basements) or over any subfloor with an existing moisture problem.
Look for and correct any cause of excess moisture, such as water in the basement, plumbing leaks, excessive condensation on water pipes, poorly fitted doors or windows, wet walls/foundations or ‘green” lumber. In crawlspace homes it is recommended that you spread at minimum 4 mil polyethylene ground below your subfloor.
Proper air circulation is important to prevent moisture build-up. In crawlspace homes at least two vents on opposite walls should be left open year round with the combined size of the openings being no less than 1.5% of the square footage of the first floor.
As part of your subfloor preparation remove any existing base, shoe mold or doorway thresholds. These items can be replaced after installation to cover any unattractive cut edges. All door casings should be undercut or notched out to avoid difficult trim cuts. This can be easily done with a jamb saw or by laying down pieces of flooring on your subfloor as a depth guide for your handsaw (Fig. 2).
GENERAL INSTALLATION RULES:
- Your floor should be delivered to the job site at least 72 hours before installation. The jobsite should be controlled to the expected living conditions. The flooring bundles should be place in the area where they are to be installed and the heating or air conditioning turned on so the flooring can acclimate to the conditions under which it will remain after installation. The wood moisture content of the joists, subfloor and flooring should be mid range of the anticipated high/low for the geographical region.
- Test wood sub floors and wood flooring for moisture content using a pin-type moisture meter. The moisture content of the sub floor should not exceed 12% and the moisture content of the wood should be within 3% of the sub floor moisture content. Failure to test for proper moisture content of the wood flooring and sub floor can result in cupping and/or other problems related to or associated with moisture, problems associated with moisture are not covered manufacturer’s warranty.
- Use Red Rosin or 15 lb felt as an underlayment between the flooring and sub-floor in order to provide some moisture resistance as well as to reduce squeaking as the floor contracts and expands.
- Your 3/4” Random Length flooring should be installed at right angles to your joists. If your installation requires the flooring to lay parallel (or less than 45° toward parallel) to the joists, blocking must be used 24” O.C. between the joists.
- The flooring requires a 3/4” expansion void between the first and last rows of strips and the walls, and at all vertical obstructions within the room.Note: In climates with extreme humidity or areas with excess soil moisture (coastal areas, waterfront sites, etc.) consider including expansion space within the floor (as well as at the wall lines) by spacing in joints between strips about every 12”- 15”. This is easily done with strips of 1/32” sheet metal, thin metal washers, etc. placed between the rows of flooring before nailing tight. Extended acclimation time is also recommended.
- Because of the natural color and grain variation in hardwood flooring from piece to piece, it is recommended to carefully inspect all boards during installation and before they are nailed into place. The installer is the final inspector and any materials considered inconsistent with the majority of the flooring should not be installed.
- The proper nail spacing (by hand or by machine) 2-1/4″ strip flooring a nailing pattern of 10”-12″ between nails or staples is required with a maximum of 2″ from the ends of the boards. On plank flooring 3″- 7″ wide a nailing pattern of no more than 6”-8” between nails or staples is required with a maximum of 2″ from the ends of the boards.NOTE: A general rule of thumb is to nail more often on a wider board. IMPORTANT: No matter the length of the board, it should have at least 2 nails, 1 on each end.
- For machine nailing over plywood-on-joists use 2” or 1 ¾” cleats or staples in your nailing gun. For machine nailing over plywood-on-concrete use a 1-3/4” cleat or staple in your nailing machine.
- Because of the walls being in the way, you will be forced to hand-nail the first 2 rows of strip and the last 3 rows of strip. Pre-drill you nail holes with a 1/16” drill bit to avoid splitting. Be sure to countersink all hand-driven nails. Countersink and putty all nails which are driven through the exposed face of the boards.
INSTALLING YOUR FLOOR:
- From your starting wall, measure out a distance equal to the width of the strip plus 1 inch in both corners. Snap a chalk line between these two points so you will have a guide to keep your first row of strips absolutely straight.
- Line up your first row with the edges of the tongue on the chalk line and the groove side ¾” away from the wall.
- Create a random pattern at the beginning of the installation, thereby creating a “stair step”. Then, when the end of the row is reached, your final cuts are used to start the next rows. Continue a stagger of at least 6” between end joints in adjacent rows throughout the floor.
- Do not use a hammer or hard mallet when boards into place. Use only a soft tool such as the one which is supplied with a professional Tongue & Groove flooring fastener. Caution: Do not hit directly on the top edge of Random Length flooring. Some mallets may cause damage.
- Pre-drill and face-nail the first row of strips using a 7d flooring nail or equivalent every 6”-8” along the groove side (Fig. 1).
- Face nail the first row (Fig. 1) and next row of strips by hand. Pre-drill your nail holes at a 45 degree angle down through the nailing groove on top of the tongue. The next rows should blind nailed. Avoid bruising the wood by using a nail punch to drive the nails the last 1/4” into the tongue. Use 7d flooring nail or equivalent.
- Continue nailing by hand, or start using your floor nailing gun to lay consecutive rows of flooring. As you nail, be sure to pull the flooring tight together, both side and end joints. While slight bows in 3/4” solid flooring are normal, Stoehr’s unique manufacturing process helps minimizes the potential. Bowed boards can usually be pulled straight by use of a pry bar or by simply using additional nails as needed.
- The last 2 or 3 rows of strips will have to be either blind-nailed or face-nailed by hand. The last row of strips may need to be ripped to the proper width to provide at least 3/4” room for expansion at the wall line.
- Putty any nail holes and small gaps using a matching putty stick (available at most retail flooring centers).
- When the installation of the Random Length flooring is complete, clean up all debris and follow NWFA/NOFMA sanding and finishing guidelines.
- Install thresholds, base moldings, and/or shoe moldings, attaching so not to obstruct your 3/4” expansion space.
- Maintenance should consist of dry tacking with a microfiber cloth to remove dust and dirt. Spills should be cleaned immediately. Bona Hardwood Floor cleaner or equivalent may be used for periodic cleaning. Follow manufacturers cleaning procedures.
- A small amount of flooring should be saved and stored in a dry location should the need arise for repair in the future.
Remember – Wood is a natural product that can vary in color, grain, and contains natural characteristics that varies from piece to piece and is to be expected. We do not warrant against these natural variations. If you are not satisfied with the flooring prior to installation, simply return the unused material to your dealer for a full replacement.
We urge you, as the final inspector to inspect for proper grade, style, and quality PRIOR to installation. Verify that the flooring is the correct material. Care should be taken at this time to remove or repair particular characteristics you do not desire. Manufacturer declines responsibility for any costs incurred when the flooring materials with visible defects have been installed. Please refer to Stoehr Flooring Manufactures Warranty for complete details.
CAUTION: WOOD DUST
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified wood dust as a nasal carcinogen. The sawing, sanding, and/ or machining of wood products can produce wood dust that can cause respiratory, eye, and skin irritations. Equipment should be equipped with a dust collector to reduce airborne wood dust. Wear an appropriate NIOSH designated dust mask to reduce exposure to airborne wood dust. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. In case of irritation, flush eyes or skin with water for at least 15 minutes. For further technical or installation questions or to request a Material Safety Data Sheet please call (877) 525-4632.