Tongue and Groove construction makes for basic installation,
much like that of other hardwood floors. Due to the nature of
the engineered flooring, there is less shrinkage and swelling
allowing easier installation. Ellis flooring can be installed using
the traditional nailing or gluing methods. Since Ellis flooring is
a product of nature, there will be slight variations in color.
Please inspect boards before installing for an even shade
or for any defects.
Before installing your new Ellis flooring, make sure your sub-floor is level, clean, dry, and free of dirt, wax, oil and paint. Since there is slight shrinkage and swelling in flooring, you should unload your boxes 3 days before installing to let the flooring acclimate to its surroundings.
Ellis flooring should not be unloaded during wet conditions. Exposure to excess moisture from rain, snow, etc. will cause the boards to swell and once installed would eventually shrink back to their in-service moisture content, creating gaps between the boards. Since freshly poured concrete slabs emit many gallons of water moisture during their curing process, no concrete should be poured in the structure within 45 days before or after installation. It cannot be stressed enough that the structure must be enclosed and dried out before the flooring is unpacked or used.
Ellis flooring is best on sub-floors made from performance-rated ¾-inch-thick oriented strandboard (OSB) or plywood. 5/8-inch plywood may also be used. It is not recommended to use ½-inch or thinner plywood sub-floor products since they lack the stiffness and nail-holding properties to make them a good base for the flooring.
A vapor barrier such as 4- to 6-mil polyethylene sheeting should be laid between the ground and sub-floor, especially in structures with crawl spaces. Be sure the crawl space is vented year-round.
(NOTE: Any type of sub floor must be clean, dry and level before any installation steps for Ellis flooring are undertaken.)
Installation of Ellis flooring is much like that of other hardwood floors. 15-pound building paper (tar paper) should be laid directly onto the sub floor before actual installation. The tarpaper minimizes squeaks in the finished floor caused by natural small movements of the planks. Ellis flooring is a product of nature and its many hues and grains will vary. In order to have a choice of the best match of these two components it’s important to work out of several boxes at the same time. The hue and grain becomes nearly limitless through careful choice of individual planks, matching or mixing them against already laid planks.
When installing in climates with extreme humidity and/or moisture, such as coastal areas of oceans, lakes or rivers, expansion space within the complete floor may be necessary, in addition to that normally left at the wall. This is accomplished by placing 1/32-inch sheet metal or thin metal washers between rows of flooring before nailing. Place the spacers every 12 to 15 inches along the boards. Extended acclimation time is also recommended.
Nailing the individual boards is pretty much the same as would be used on any other hardwood floor, but the following is a useful review for installers:
Two-inch-long flooring nails (cleats) or 2-inch, 15-gauge flooring staples with a ½-inch crown may be used to install Ellis flooring. This will vary with 1-1/4-inch-long to 1-1/2-inch-long flooring cleats, depending on the size of the bamboo boards being installed. All fasteners should be installed using pneumatic or mechanical floor nailing guns that strike with a rubber-faced hammer that drives each board into the previous board and simultaneously fires a nail or staple through the tongue of the board and into the wood sub floor.
Correct spacing between the nails and staples is crucial for a good job. Recommended spacing is 8 to 10 inches apart along the length of each bamboo board, and each board should be fastened within 5 inches of each end. Chalking spacing on the tar paper, as installation proceeds is useful to allow the installer to know the position of each fastener on subsequent floor boards.
Ellis flooring may also be installed directly onto a concrete slab or wood sub floor, using the glue method and preferably also using a moisture barrier. Again, use a top-quality adhesive, such asBostik Best or Franklin 811, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for wood flooring. Boards should still be driven into their mating boards.
Thinner flooring can be installed with a method of nailing and gluing, similar to the system used with other hardwood flooring products.
Using any top-quality wood floor adhesive, such as Bostik Best or Franklin 811, spread the adhesive over the sub-floor and follow the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations for adequate covering. When the adhesive has set properly, lay the floor using a ½-inch nail gun and 1-1/4-inch cleats spaced 8 to 10 inches apart and with one fastener 5 inches in from each board end.
Ellis Engineered flooring may be sanded like any other hardwood floor. Sweep the floor just before starting to sand, as small pieces of dirt can become big blemishes if they are picked up by the sander and ground into the floor.
Make sanding and finishing close to the last job on the project, as workmen walking around the structure may raise dust and dirt that can settle into the fresh finish.
Start sanding with coarse or medium grit and work your way down to a final sanding with fine grit. After sanding is finished, apply the first coat of finish immediately after cleaning the surface of sanding residue. This is important as it prevents moisture from being absorbed into the freshly sanded floor. This would produce a raised, rough grain on the new floor. The floor may be finished with products commonly used for any other hardwood flooring finishing.
These would include among others, wiping stains, penetrating sealers, and all types of urethane and polyurethane finishes manufactured for use on hardwood floors. It is recommended to employ professional floor finishers for top-quality results.
Looking at future floor maintenance, Ellis flooring may be sanded and refinished a minimum of three times if it is properly installed and maintained. Normal maintenance is the same as with any other hardwood flooring surface: Watch for stone chips deposited on the floor after being stuck in shoe soles; spiked heels can be damaging, and of course, never drag furniture when changing a room décor.
Ellis wood flooring, as any other hardwood flooring material, is a solid, natural product. As such, it will naturally expand when exposed to excess moisture. This expansion in engineered flooring is less that that experienced by other solid hardwood flooring products, and expansion and contraction in wood-product is not considered a defect. To hold this expansion to a minimum, it is recommended that the structure be air conditioned or dehumidified during humid periods.
If the previous acclimation directions have been followed, this naturally occurring phenomenon will be minimal. Always allow at least ¾-inch space to the wall parallel to the direction in which the floor is laid.