Timber Flooring Installation: Properties of Timber
Before you decide on getting timber flooring installation done at your home, there are some basics you should know – you should know about the properties of the material that is being used.
- Wood or timber as we know it is hygroscopic in nature. This means that it is quite capable of absorbing and expelling moisture in response to the weather. When it absorbs moisture, it expands in size and when it expels moisture it contracts.
- One of the things you should remember is that timber is prone to expanding and contracting in size since factors like atmospheric moisture or relative humidity, moisture ingress, air conditioning and the lack of proper ventilation can lead to an expansion or contraction in the size of the timber. Therefore, it is important that you take these factors into consideration before you go ahead with timber flooring installation. Timber flooring must be accustomed to the local climate and environment before the installation process.
Things to Know Prior To Timber Flooring Installation
There are certain things that should be kept in mind prior to the process of timber flooring installation. One of the most important things to remember before you go ahead with the process of installation is to make sure that the weather conditions of the site are suitable or not. The storm water system should be completed beforehand or should be effectively diverted away from the sub-floor.
Acclimatisation is quite important for timber since timber is quite prone to expanding and contracting depending upon the moisture levels in the atmosphere. In order to minimise the movement that occurs in wooden floor due to varying levels of moisture, it would be quite beneficial if they fix a timber floor which has a moisture content pretty close to the average moisture content of the surrounding environment.
Inspection of the Site before Timber Flooring Installation
One of the important things to do before timber flooring installation is to inspect the site before the process is carried on.
- Conducting an inspection to check for any signs of moisture that could result from rising damps, ceiling and pipe leaks, bathroom overflow problems etc.
- The subfloor should be free of any sort of contaminants like oil, saw dust, grease, paints, metal scrapings etc.
- It is important to scrape the subfloor with a blade that is quite wide in order to remove all of the cement and plasterboard setting residues.
- It is important to make sure that the concrete slab is completely flat and does not have more or less than 3mm deviation in a radius of 3m as per the Australian standards.
- The subfloor that is made out of concrete should be tested for moisture in order to ensure that the moisture content in the cement is less than that of 5.5%. If the moisture content exceeds the given amount, then a moisture barrier must be applied.
- The substrate of timber like the ply board or the previous wooden floors should be sanded in order to create a flat surface, and in order to ready the floor for timber flooring
- During the timber flooring installation, it is important that you maintain sufficient ventilation in the sub-floor. If the area underneath the floor is constantly damp due to high levels of humidity, then it can have adverse effect the timber flooring and thereby lead to an increase in the expansion of the wood.