Installation

NOTE: Fluent Floors EH102, EH104, EC01, EC02, EC03, EC04, EB04, EB05, EW01, EW02, EW03, EW04, EW05, EW06, EW07, EW08, EW09 and EW10 need to be glued down when installed.

Fluent Floors Installation Instructions - Prefinished Solid & Engineered Wood


Acceptance of Flooring

Since wood is a natural product, there will be variations in grain, color and texture. These variations are not to be considered flaws, but a natural characteristic of wood. Inherent in a natural product, there may be imperfections that occur in nature or reveal themselves during the manufacturing process. The accepted standard in the industry allows a defect tolerance and grading variance not to exceed 5%, which may be of manufacturing or natural type.

Prior to installation, all floor boards should be inspected. Regardless of if it is a natural or manufacturing defect, boards that have an unacceptable grade, color, finish, texture or grain pattern should not be installed, and should immediately be reported to the seller. The acceptance of the flooring remains the sole and joint responsibility of the installer and end-user. Once the flooring is installed, it has been deemed acceptable by the installer and the end-user. To achieve a uniform appearance across the entire floor, it is critical to blend several cartons of the flooring during installation. Additionally, extra flooring should be retained due to future repairs.

It is the responsibility of the installer/end-user to determine if the jobsite subfloor and jobsite conditions are environmentally and structurally acceptable for wood flooring installation (see Minimum Jobsite Requirements). Fluent Floors declines any responsibility for wood floor failure resulting from or connected with sub floor, subsurface, jobsite damage or deficiencies after hardwood flooring has been installed.

In addition to the 5% manufacturing defect tolerance, the customer shall order 5%- 7% in addition to the actual square footage needed as allowance for cut-off or waste. For patterned, ornamental or floors with a specific saw grade the cut-off or waste can be higher.

Fluent Floors’ liability shall be solely limited to the replacement of defective products, i.e. materials only in excess of the 5% industry accepted norm, excluding trimming waste allowance. In any case, Fluent Floors shall not be liable for installer’s lack of judgement, quality of installation, labor, installation costs or any other consequential losses.

Installation guidelines are intended to offer general guidance as it relates to Fluent Floors pre-finished solid or engineered flooring and are NOT a replacement for a professional, certified installer. Fluent Floors wood floors MUST be installed according to the National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA) installation guidelines in order for Fluent Floors’ warranty to be valid. The most current publication of the NWFA guidelines are available to all members and a list of local NWFA Certified Professional Installers can be located at www.nwfa.org.

Minimum Jobsite Requirements

  1. Do not deliver wood flooring to the jobsite or install wood flooring until the building is fully enclosed, heating and air conditioning is in operating condition, and until appropriate required temperature and humidity conditions have been achieved. Appropriate temperature and humidity conditions are defined as those conditions to be experienced in the building after occupancy or those required by wood manufacturer.
  2. Wood flooring should be one of the last jobs completed on the construction project. All wet trades including concrete, masonry, plastering, drywall, tile, texturing and painting etc. should be complete. Appropriate required temperature and relative humidity conditions should stabilize before wood flooring is brought in. Limit foot traffic on finished wood flooring.
  3. Evaluate the jobsite for potential problems before installation begins and before wood flooring is delivered to the jobsite.

    A. Exterior surface drainage should direct water away from the building.

    B. Basements and crawl spaces must be dry. If power washing is required in the basement, do so before wood flooring is installed and allow subfloor and basement to dry before installing wood flooring.

    C. Crawl space should be a minimum of 18” (457mm) from ground to underside of joists. Crawl space earth (or thin concrete slab) should be covered 100 percent by a vapor barrier of black polyethylene (minimum 6 mil) or any recommended puncture-resistant membrane, such as Class C, meeting ASTM D1745. Check local codes. See NWFA Installation Guidelines for additional crawl space conditions and follow the local building codes.  

  4. Note the grade level so that the correct type of flooring and system can be specified for the job. Engineered and floating floors can be appropriate for above-grade, on-grade and below-grade installations. Solid wood flooring can be appropriate for above-grade and on grade installations, but not for below grade installations. If the soil surrounding a structure is three inches or more above the floor of any level, consider that level below grade. This includes walk-out basements.
  5. Subfloors (wood or concrete) should be checked by an appropriate method for establishing moisture content. See below for moisture content requirements.
  6. After installation, if you choose to protectively cover the floor, cover the floor completely, since some species/ finishes are light-sensitive and uncovered areas may change color. However, covering a glue-down application may not allow some adhesives to properly cure. Follow the flooring and adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations. Use a covering material with a vapor permeance (perm rating) of 1 perm or more (tested in accordance with ASTM E96) to avoid trapping moisture/vapor on or within the floor. Any covering should be taped, using a low adhesion tape, to base or shoe moldings (test adherence and verify it will not damage finishes on these surfaces as well). For floor protection use only a brown “kraft” type paper or Ram-board product that will allow the flooring to “breathe”. Do not use cardboard as it can leave marks in the finish. Do not tape to finished flooring. When taping paper or sheets together, tape them to each other, not to the floor

As in all installations, at completion of job, inspect flooring from a standing position.

Acclimation/Conditioning

  1. Ensure that the building is enclosed.
  2. Verify that the building is maintained at the required conditions for temperature and humidity.
  3. Heating and/or air conditioning systems should be operating at least five days preceding installation to promote proper acclimation and should be maintained during and after installation.
  4. Prior to installation, ensure that wood flooring is within acceptable range of moisture content with the wood subfloor. Moisture content of subflooring should not exceed 12%. For plank solid or engineered flooring (3” or wider), there should be no more than 2 percent difference in moisture content between properly acclimated/conditioned wood flooring and subflooring materials. Moisture content readings should be performed and logged. Forty readings per 1000 square feet, taken from various bundles/ boards throughout.

Rule for acclimation/conditioning:

Solid Pre-finished Flooring- Acclimate/condition the flooring to the environment. Engineered Flooring- Condition the environment to the wood flooring.

  • For solid and solid pre-finished wood - Acclimation can be facilitated by breaking the floor units into small lots and/or opening the packaging. A common practice is to cross‐stack the materials with spacers made of a synthetic material such as plastic builder shims. Do not use wood, due to tannin bleed (¾” to 1” sticks) between each layer of flooring to allow air circulation on all sides of all boards.
  • For engineered wood – Ensure that the temperature and relative humidity of the structure where flooring is to be put into use is within the range tolerance stated by the manufacturer. Check moisture content of flooring and subfloor at time of delivery. No more than 2% variance in moisture content should exist. Packaging should be opened on each end (if applicable) and allowed to condition for a minimum of 72 hours. For wider widths or thicker wear layers, more conditioning time may be necessary but care should be taken that the boards do not begin to swell or shrink and distort due to higher or lower relative humidity. Careful monitoring of moisture content, appearance of flooring and environment should be performed diligently.
  • Acclimate/condition flooring for a minimum of seven days for solid products, and three days for engineered. There is no given maximum in stated time for proper acclimation. While it takes time to acclimate a product, the most important aspect is that the materials reach a moisture content that is in equilibrium with its expected use. When wood is neither gaining nor losing moisture, equilibrium moisture content (EMC) has been reached. Acclimate/ condition the materials as long as necessary to accomplish this task, taking the necessary moisture readings to indicate when the materials have reached the proper moisture content and when no further changes occur. See NWFA Installation Instructions for additional information for acclimating wood flooring. Follow the moisture meter manufacturer’s instructions for proper moisture content readings.
  • Supplemental heating/cooling and humidification and/or dehumidification will be required at different times of the year, in nearly every climate in North America. This is especially important for the Mountain West region which is considered a high-altitude, dry climate. There are additional requirements for radiant heat installations.
  • Fluent pre-finished solid flooring and engineered flooring products require temperature to be maintained between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and 35- 55% relative humidity. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in irreversible structural damage to the flooring and void related warranties. Note: Not properly acclimating wood flooring may cause excessive expansion, shrinkage, dimensional distortion or structural damage. The worst‐case scenario is one in which wood flooring is stored at the jobsite in an uncontrolled environment, then immediately installed. This is especially true when the materials are stored in an area that is subject to excessive moisture and humidity conditions. Acclimation outside of the area in which the wood is to be installed does no good at all; in fact, it is likely harmful to store wood flooring at the jobsite under conditions that don’t reflect expected normal or required environmental conditions.

Wood Subfloor Specifications

  1. Typically both ¾” CD Exposure 1 plywood and OSB Exposure 1 subfloor panels are appropriate subflooring materials, but the proper thickness of the material will be determined by the factors noted in the NWFA Installation Guide.
  2. Wood subfloors must be flat, clean, dry, structurally sound, free of squeaks and free of protruding fasteners. See NWFA Installation Guidelines for additional tolerances and requirements

    A. Flatness: For nail down installation (1½” or longer fastener) the subfloor should be flat to within ¼” in 10 feet or 3/16” in 6 feet radius. For glue-down installations and installations using mechanical fasteners of less than 1½”, the subfloor should be flat to within 3/16” in 10 feet or 1/8” in 6 feet radius. If peaks or valleys in the subfloor exceed the tolerances specified above, sand down the high spots and fill the low spots with a levelling compound or other material approved for use under wood flooring.

    B. Clean: Ensure all dust, debris and residue (including concrete contaminates that may affect adhesive bond) are properly cleaned and removed from the subfloor.

    C. Dry: Ensure that the moisture content does not exceed 12%.

    D. Structurally Sound: Inspect the subfloor carefully. If there is movement or squeaks in the subfloor, refasten the subfloor to the joists in problem areas.

    E. Protruding fasteners are easily remedied by driving those fasteners deeper into the subfloor.

Moisture Testing

Wood Subfloors

Follow the meter manufacturer’s recommendations to get an accurate reading from the wood floor. Apply the necessary adjustment tables, conversion charts or settings for various species. Test for moisture at several locations in the room – a minimum of 20 per 1,000 square feet – and average the results. Document all results. A high reading in one area indicates a problem that must be corrected. Pay special attention to exterior and plumbing walls.

Concrete Subfloor

Note: All tests give a result – at the time the test is done – and in general give you the ability to start or not start a job. These tests do not give a permanent condition of your substrate, but merely a “at the time the test was performed” indication.

  1. The concrete must be a minimum of 30 days old before testing begins.
  2. Qualitative Moisture Tests: Electrical Impedance Test and Electrical Resistance Test (Moisture Meter). Follow meter manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Use moisture meters designed specifically for concrete moisture testing.
    • Test within the body of the slab (electrical resistance), as well as at the surface (electrical impedance).
    • These testing methods are not recognized by any standard and should not be used for the purpose of accepting or rejecting a floor. These electronic tests are useful survey tools to broadly evaluate the relative moisture conditions of a slab and to select locations for quantitative moisture tests.
    • If the moisture meters indicate the presence of excessive moisture, as per wood flooring or meter manufacturer’s recommendations, further (quantitative) testing is required using relative-humidity testing (ASTM F2170), calcium chloride testing (ASTM F1869) or calcium carbide (CM) testing (ASTM D4944 and MilSpec CRD-C154-77). See NWFA Installation Guidelines for additional acceptable quantitative testing methods.

Installation Guidelines

Solid Prefinished Installation Methods - Nail Down, Nail with Glue Assist

  1. Floor preparation: Refasten any loose areas of subfloor and clean the subfloor by sweeping, scraping, etc., as necessary. With frame construction, mark location of joists on perimeter walls so that starting runs and finishing runs, which require face nailing, can be nailed into joists. Marking also locates the joists for plank flooring installation.
  2. Unfinished and factory-finished solid strip and solid plank flooring should be installed perpendicular to the joists or on a diagonal for any single layer subfloor. See NWFA Installation Guidelines for exceptions.
  3. Before installing wood flooring, use an approved vapor retarder such as Forti-Fiber Aqua Bar “B”, lapped 2”- 4” along the edge seams. This retards moisture movement from below. Extend the felt/building paper completely to the walls. It is necessary to fasten the felt to the subfloor.
  4. Wall Line Layout
    • Choose a starting wall according to the most aesthetically or architecturally important elements in the room, taking into consideration fireplaces, doors, cabinets and transitions, as well as the squareness of the room. The starting wall will often be the longest unbroken wall in the room.
    • Snap a working line parallel to the starting wall, allowing ¾” expansion space between the starting wall and the edge of the first strip or plank run.
    • As a general rule, a ¾” expansion space must be left around the perimeter and at all vertical obstructions.
    • Random-width plank is laid out with alternating courses varying by widths. Start with the widest board, then the next width, etc., and repeat the pattern.
    • Lay one row of strip or plank along the entire length of the working line.
    • Top-nail and blind-nail the first row (hand-nail if necessary), using appropriate fasteners. Denser species may require pre-drilling. Each succeeding row should be blind-nailed with the nailing machine wherever possible. At the finishing wall and other obstructions, it may be necessary to blind-nail by hand until top nailing is required.
    • Racking rule of thumb: Avoid H patterns. Stagger end joints of boards row to row a minimum of 6” for strip flooring, 8”-10” for 3” to 5” planks, and for planks wider than 5”, stagger as much as possible with minimal or no H joints.
    • To minimize expansion on floors wider than 20 feet, more or less spacing between rows may be needed, depending on geographical area, interior climate control and time of the year.
    • Where spacing is required: Use a washer or removable spacer to leave additional space every few rows and/or start in center of room and work out to both sides. Do not use spacers that may cause damage on factory-finished products.
    • Nailing: Blind-nail through the tongue using 1½” to 2" fasteners. Use 1½” fasteners with ¾” plywood subfloor direct to concrete slab. Face-nail boards where needed using 6d-8d casing or finish nails. Fasteners should be spaced every 6”-8” on blind nailing, or every 10”-12” on face-nailing.
    • Blind-nail, face-nail or use wood floor adhesive, as necessary, to complete the final rows.
    • In board widths over 5”, Fluent Floors recommends using a nail down with glue assist method. Follow NWFA acceptable nailing schedule and supplement mechanical fastening with Bona R850-T. Bona R580 can be spread by trowel over the entirety of the subfloor to act as a vapor barrier. See www.Bona.com for manufacturer’s instructions. The use of subfloor or construction adhesive is not recommended.
    • See NWFA Installation Guidelines for additional layout methods.

Engineered Installation Methods - Nail Down, Nail with Glue Assist, Full Surface Glue-Down, Float

  1. Engineered wood flooring can be installed directly to screeds, provided the engineered flooring is a minimum of ¾” thick. For engineered flooring less than ¾” thick, the screed system must be overlaid with proper subflooring. (See NWFA Installation Guidelines)
  2. Fluent Floors pre-finished engineered flooring should be installed perpendicular to the joists or on a diagonal for any single layer subfloor.
  3. Random-width plank is laid out with alternating courses varying by widths. Start with the widest board, then the next width, etc., and repeat the pattern.
  4. Choose a starting wall according to the most aesthetically or architecturally important elements in the room, taking into consideration fireplaces, doors, cabinets and transitions, as well as the squareness of the room. The starting wall will often be the longest unbroken wall in the room.
  5. Glue-down pre-finished engineered plank
    • Test the substrate for moisture. Excessive/elevated moisture should not be present. The subfloor should be within acceptable moisture content before installing. If a moisture barrier sealer is needed, Fluent recommends either a full surface glue down using Bona R851 or nail down with a glue assist using Bona R-580. Bona R580 can be spread by trowel over the entirety of the subfloor to act as a vapor barrier. Follow NWFA acceptable nailing schedule and supplement mechanical fastening with Bona R850-T. Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s guidelines for application instructions.
    • Expansion space should be left around the perimeter. The expansion space should be a minimum of the thickness of the product being installed.
    • Snap a working line parallel to the starting wall, the width of the board, plus the tongue and recommended expansion space.
    • Install a starter board along the edge of the working line and begin installation. Lay one row of plank in the adhesive along the length of the working line. This will either need face nails to hold in place, or it should be weighted overnight until glue is set before continuing.
    • The tongue side of the flooring faces the direction in which you are installing.
    • Fluent recommends the use of Bona R851 for full surface glue-down applications. See www.bona.com for product details and instructions. Follow the installation procedure recommended by the adhesive manufacturer, which includes subfloor moisture content, spread rate, trowel size, open time, working time and flash time as necessary. Spread the adhesive as instructed up to and along the working line.
    • Distribute lengths, avoiding “H” patterns and other discernible patterns in adjacent runs. Stagger end joints of boards row to row a minimum of 6” for strip flooring, 8”-10” for 3” to 5” plank, and 10” for planks wider than 5”.
    • Fluent does not recommend the use of tape at any time to maintain a tight floor. Use straps or tensioners.
  6. Mechanically fastened strip and plank.
    • If necessary, add a vapor retarder.
    • Snap a working line parallel to the starting wall, allowing expansion space as specified by the manufacturer.
    • Lay one row of plank along the entire length of the working line.
    • Top-nail and blind-nail the first row (hand-nail if necessary), using appropriate fasteners. Denser species may require pre-drilling. Each succeeding row should be blind-nailed wherever possible. a. Typical: Narrow crowned (under 3/8”) 1”-1½” staples or 1”-1¼” hardwood flooring cleats designed for engineered flooring, spaced as recommended by the manufacturer. b. Typical: Every 3”-4” with staples, every 4”-6” with cleats, and within 1”-2” of end joints. Use appropriate size fastener for top nailing first row, last row and any area where blind nailer will not fit.
    • Add each additional row of flooring. Distribute lengths, avoiding “H” patterns and other discernible patterns in adjacent runs. Stagger end joints at least three times the width of the boards, as product allows.
    • During installation of flooring pieces, push or gently tap boards flush to the previous row. Tap against the tongue; tapping the groove may damage the edge. To prevent damage to the finish, avoid tapping the face of the board with a rubber mallet.
    • In board widths over 5”, Fluent recommends using a nail down with glue assist method. Follow the NWFA acceptable nailing schedule and supplement mechanical fastening with Bona R850-T. Bona R580 can be spread by trowel over the entirety of the subfloor to act as a moisture barrier sealer. See www.Bona.com for manufacturer’s instructions. The use of subfloor or construction adhesive is not recommended.
    • Please note that thinner engineered products may require additional underlayment for wider joist spacing (19” +), along with either a full surface glue down, or a glue down with nail assist method. See NWFA Installation Instructions for underlayment requirements.
  7. Floating engineered flooring.
    • Subfloor flatness is critical to the success of a floating floor installation.
    • Test the substrate for moisture. Excessive/elevated moisture should not be present. The subfloor should be within acceptable moisture content before installing.
    • If necessary, add vapor retarder.
    • Expansion space should be left around the perimeter. The expansion space should be a minimum of the thickness of the product being installed.
    • Typical: Subfloors are covered with a resilient material, foam underlayment or cork. Follow manufacturer's instructions for correct materials and thickness.
    • Typical: Floating engineered flooring is edge-glued or edge-attached with a self-locking mechanism. For edge-glued products use a glue such as Tite-Bond Tongue and Groove Flooring Glue. Do not use an expanding wood glue.
    • Starter boards should be aligned with the groove side and end against the starting wall. Tapping block should be used against tongue only.
    • Stagger end joints at least three times the width of the boards, as product allows.

  8. Chain of Custody Disclaimer

    It is the responsibility for all parties involved in the acquisition of this flooring material to pass this document along to the installer and the end-user. This includes, but is not limited to retailers, dealers, distributors, designers, architects or other specifiers.

    THIS DOCUMENT SUPERSEDES ALL PREVIOUSLY DATED INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS

Attention:

PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY, BEFORE YOU BEGIN INSTALLATION. IMPROPER INSTALLATION WILL VOID WARRANTY.

  • Always check panels for defects such as chips and color sheen differences in daylight before and during installation. Defective panels should never be used. Also check that the channel is clean and free of debris.
  • The maximum room/run size is 12 x 12 meters (40 x 40 feet).
  • For best color match when using panels from two or more packages, check to be sure all the patters are the same. Be sure to use laminate out of more than one box.
  • Your laminate flooring MUST be allowed to acclimate to the environment of the installation area. Leave the closed packages in a horizontal position in the room for 48 hours prior to installation. Preferable temperature should be approximately 17-23 °C (62-73 °F) with a relative humidity of 45-60 percent. Humidity should never be allowed to drop below 30% as this may cause gapping.
  • If existing baseboard moldings are difficult to remove, they may be left in place. Quarter round molding is all that is needed to cover the expansion space between flooring and baseboard.

SUGGESTED TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES:

Foam underlay, pressure sensitive polypropylene adhesive tape such as Tuck Tape or equivalent, spacers, saw, hammer, utility knife, pencil, tape measure, ruler.

If installing over a crawlspace or on a concrete floor, you must also install a 4mil (or thicker) polyethylene vapor barrier under your foam underlay or use a convenient 2 in 1 foam underlay that has a vapor barrier built in. When installing 2 in 1 foam underlay, butt seams and then completely seal seams using Tuck Tape.

SUBFLOOR:

  • The underfloor or subfloor must be thoroughly even, dry, clean and solid. Carpet staples or glue residue must be removed and floor must be clean to ensure proper installation.
  • To check for evenness, hammer a nail into the center of the floor. Tie a string to the nail and push the knot against the floor. Pull the string tight to the farthest corner of the room and examine the floor at eye level for any gaps between the string and floor. Move the string around the perimeter of the room noting any gaps larger than 4.8mm (3/16”). Any floor unevenness of more than 4.8mm (3/16”) per 3 metre (10 ft) must be sanded down or filled in with an appropriate filler.
  • Floors must be carefully checked for moisture problems. Any moisture needs to be solved before installation. New concrete needs to cure for at least 60 days before installation.
  • THIS PRODUCT IS NOT SUITABLE FOR DAMP ROOMS SUCH AS BATHROOMS, SAUNAS, ROOMS WITH DAMP CONCRETE, ROOMS WITH FLOOR DRAINS OR ROOMS THAT COULD POTENTIALLY FLOOD.

GENERAL INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. For installation on concrete floors or any floors over a crawl space, a vapor barrier MUST be laid down first. Use 4 mil poly. Run the poly 5cm (2”) up walls and overlap seams 45cm (18”). Tape seams.
  2. All flooring installations require foam underlay. Run the foam underlay in the same direction as the laminate panels. Underlay should be butted side by side with no overlap. Tape seams together.
  3. You will need to remove the tongue, on the long side of the panels that face the wall, from the appropriate amount of panels for your first row. This is to ensure that the decorative surface of the laminate is well under the finished trim when installed. Use a utility knife to score through the tongue several times until it easily snaps off.
  4. Start in a corner by placing the first panel with its trimmed side facing the wall. Use spacers along each wall to maintain an expansion space of 8-12mm (5/16” – 3/8”) between the wall and the flooring.
  5. REMEMBER THAT THIS PRODUCT IS PRIMARILY WOOD AND NEEDS ROOM TO EXPAND AND CONTRACT. AT NO POINT SHOULD YOU ATTACH THE FLOOR TO ANY SURFACE.
  6. To attach your second panel, lower and lock the end tongue of the second panel into the end groove of the first panel. Line up edges carefully. The panels should be flat to the floor.
  7. Continue connecting the first row until you reach the last full panel. Fit the last panel by rotating the panel 180° with the pattern side upward, place beside row, mark and then saw off excess. Attach as described above.
  8. When using a handsaw, cut on the decorative surface. If you are using a jig or circular saw, cut with the decorative side down to avoid chipping.
  9. Begin the next row with the cut piece from the previous row to stagger the pattern. Pieces should be a minimum of 20cm (8”) long and joint offset should be at least 40cm (16”).
  10. To start your second row, tilt and push the side tongue of the panel into the side groove of the very first panel at about 30°. Make sure the edges are lined up. Lower panel to the floor, locking the end tongue into the end groove of the first panel. Continue laying remaining panels in this manner.
  11. To fit the last row, lay a panel on top of the previous row. With the tongue to the wall, lay another panel upside down on the one to be measured and use it as a ruler. Don’t forget to allow room for spacers. Cut the panel and attach into position.
  12. Door frames and heating vents also require expansion room. First cut the panel to the correct length. Then place the cut panel next to its actual position and use a ruler to measure the areas to be cut out and mark them. Cut out the marked points allowing the necessary expansion distance on each side.
  13. You can trim door frames by turning a panel upside down and using a handsaw to cut away the necessary height so that panels slide easily under the frames.

DRY BACK GLUE DOWN VINYL PLANK INSTALLATION

STOP and read before proceeding!
It is important to properly install your Fluent Floors Flooring!

Materials

Fluent Floors Dry Back Glue Down Vinyl is suitable for all interior floor surfaces, above, on or below grade, and over concrete or wood substrates. With a clear wear layer of 0.5mm, Fluent Floors Dry Back Glue Down Vinyl is ideally suited for heavy commercial environments such as retail, leisure, health and education.

Fluent Floors Dry Back Glue Down Vinyl is manufactured under ISO 9001:2000, Quality Management Systems and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. Suitable for recycling.

Testing

It is essential to conduct a calcium chloride test (moisture test) on all concrete floors. The test should be conducted around the perimeter of the room, at columns, and where moisture may be evident. The moisture emissions from the concrete should not exceed 5 lbs/1000sf/24 hrs (2.27 kg/ 92.9sm/24 hrs).

If the concrete exceeds moisture limitations, the installation should not proceed until the problem is corrected. A moisture problem can be corrected by sealing the concrete with any one of the many brands of concrete sealers available. After the sealer has been applied, re-test to ensure that the problem has been corrected. It is important to note that a moisture test indicates conditions at the time of testing only. The flooring contractor cannot be held responsible if moisture appears in the future causing adhesive failure.

Please note that new concrete subfloors contain a high percentage of moisture and must be allowed to dry out. The drying time will depend on several conditions, such as the type of concrete used, average air temperature, thickness and location of the slab. The addition of fly ash to the concrete can adversely affect the long term performance of adhesives. Please contact your representative before proceeding.

Storage and Handling

During this preliminary moisture-testing period, Fluent Floors Dry Back Glue Down Vinyl should be present at job site to allow an appropriate period for product to acclimatize. Remove material from packaging, spread out if possible and allow to condition in room where installation is to take place at a constant temperature of 64°F-79°F for a period of 24 hours prior to installation. This temperature should be maintained during installation, and for a 24-hour period after installation.

Subfloors

  1. Fluent Floors Dry Back Glue Down Vinyl may be installed over non-porous surfaces and existing vinyl floors or used in wet use areas using an approved luxury vinyl adhesive. For a non-porous surface, you must use a pressure sensitive adhesive. Please consult your Fluent Floors Representative for your particular application.
  2. All supporting surfaces shall be structurally sound, solid, stable, level, plumb and true to a tolerance in plane of ¼” in 10 feet (6 mm in 3 m) for floors. They shall be dry, clean and free of dust, oil, grease, paint, tar, wax, curing agent, primer, sealer, old adhesive or any deleterious substance and debris which may prevent or reduce adhesion.
  3. Mechanically sand, bead blast or scarify the substrate to completely remove all paint, loosely bonded topping, loose particles, construction debris, old adhesive and any contaminant that may prevent or reduce adhesion.
  4. Remove any trace of strong acid or alkali from the substrate prior to the application of the surface product and/or the adhesive.
  5. The supporting surfaces shall be dry. The moisture emission shall not 5 lbs/1000sf/24 hrs (2.27 kg/ 92.9sm/24 hrs) for concrete. For wood underlayment, the moisture content should meet with the requirements of the wood manufacturer and/or flooring manufacturer, generally 8-10% using a “Delhmorst Wood Moisture tester”.
  6. In all cases, the structural design of floors shall not allow a deflection of more than 1/360 of span under live or dead loads.

Concrete Subfloors

  1. Concrete substrates shall be free of sealer or curing compound. The substrate shall be cured for a minimum of 42 days and tested for moisture emission using the anhydrous calcium chloride method. Test results shall be no more than 5 lbs/1000sf/24 hrs (2.27 kg/ 92.9sm/24 hrs) prior to the installation of the floor covering.
  2. Concrete substrates shall be finished using a flat trowel. The surface shall be sound, true and level to a tolerance in plane of ¼’’ in 10 feet (6 mm in 3 m) for floors.
  3. The installer shall be responsible to complete a humidity test and provide the general contractor and/or the architect with the written results prior to the execution. A humidity test has to be done at least 96 hours (4 days) prior to commencing work and the results shall not exceed 5 lbs/1000sf/24 hrs (2.27 kg/ 92.9sm/24 hrs) with the anhydrous calcium chloride test.
  4. All new concrete surfaces should be steel trowel finished. A moisture barrier with a permeance of less than 0.2 metric perms as measured according to the ASMT-96 standard must be present under concrete slabs that are on or below grade. This barrier must be resistant to deterioration as well as to puncture during construction and must remain intact and continuous.
  5. Any repair to the concrete substrate shall be made using the proper surface preparation product specified sub-paragraph 2.1. Where self-smoothing surface preparation material is required, the concrete shall be bead blasted or scarified. Where a fast setting screed mortar or fast setting polymer-modified premixed mortar the concrete shall be scarified.
  6. Neutralize any traces of strong acid or alkali prior to application of the surface preparation product or the adhesive.

Wood Underlayment

  1. Particleboard, strand board and flake board are not RFCI-recommended underlayment’s, therefore are not recommended for use as a substrate for Fluent Floors flooring.
  2. Plywood substrate and underlayment shall be group 1, exterior grade plywood, CC plugged or better conforming to APA classification and U.S Product Standard PS 1-95 or a select or (SEL TF) COFI classified.
  3. The installation of wood underlayment shall comply with ASTM F499-84 standard.
  4. All wood underlayment shall be new and acclimated for at least 24 hours to the job site condition prior to installation.
  5. When required, the wood underlayment shall be filled and patched to correct seams, cracks, indentations and other subfloor irregularities using the proper products. PLANI/PATCH: Fast setting cement-based polymer modified patching compound and PLANI/PATCH PLUS: Acrylic latex additive for use with PLANI/PATCH are recommended. Other types of levelers, such as calcium sulfate/plaster/gypsum based compounds are not recommended.

Old Substrates

  1. Existing cement terrazzo, ceramic tile, vinyl composition tile, non-cushioned mineral fibrous felt-back sheet vinyl shall be sound, solid, well adhered, flawless, stripped or sanded clean and free of dust, wax, grease, soap residue or any deleterious substance that may reduce or prevent adhesion.
  2. When installed with an approved luxury vinyl adhesive, Fluent Floors Dry Back Glue Down Vinyl may be installed over a single layer of non-cushioned resilient flooring provided the following conditions have been met:

    A. The existing flooring must be fully adhered and well-bonded;

    A. The sub floor or underlayment that is under the existing resilient floor must meet the requirements of Fluent Floors.

    B. Any cuts, gouges, dents or other irregularities in the existing floor and any existing embossing or texture must be levelled to prevent telegraphing.

    C. Embossed vinyl flooring shall be properly levelled with the MAPEI PLANI/PATCH PLUS System and entire floor skim coated to ensure adhesion.

    D. Any waxes or finishes must be completely removed and rinsed with clean water; and

    E. If existing floor has been installed over concrete, on a below grade, one calcium chloride moisture test must be performed for every 1000 square feet. The results of the test must meet the requirements of both the existing floor and the Fluent Floors floor. Moisture tests should be conducted over an area where the existing floor and adhesive have been completely removed.

Adhesives

  1. Use an approved adhesive for luxury vinyl when applying Fluent Floors Dry Back Glue Down Vinyl over porous subfloors, such as concrete or wood.
  2. Use an approved urethane adhesive for luxury vinyl that is pressure sensitive when applying Fluent Floors Dry Back Glue Down Vinyl over non porous surfaces and existing vinyl floors or when used in wet use areas.
  3. Please consult your Fluent Floors Representative for your particular application.
  4. Do not install over concrete floors that are excessively cold.
  5. Spread the adhesive with the recommended notched trowel to assure enough adhesive coverage to achieve 95% transfer to the backing of the floor covering.
  6. Work in small enough area to ensure that Fluent Floors Dry Back Glue Down Vinyl planks are laid into adhesive immediately before it skins over or dries. The adhesive working time is approximately 20 minutes under normal conditions. Position the plank at proper position in the adhesive without sliding and pressing firmly down, paying special attention to the tile edges and corners and that the ends of the planks are staggered for best visual appearance. Periodically check by lifting a tile to make sure that at least 95% of the adhesive pattern has been transferred to the back of the plank or tile. If adhesive starts to set up or skins over, scrape it up and reapply fresh adhesive.
  7. Fluent Floors Dry Back Glue Down Vinyl planks installed next to each other shall be in consecutive lot numbers.
  8. Roll each section in both directions immediately upon completing with a minimum 100 lb. three section roller or a hand roller in smaller areas. Re-roll the entire area after one or two hours. Promptly remove adhesive smudges with a clean cloth dampened with water while adhesive is still fresh and mineral spirits when dried.
  9. Ensure that all tile and planks are free from general traffic for 24 hours after installation.
  10. Do not wash or polish the floor for a minimum of 48 hours after installation.
  11. The manufacturer or supplier will not be liable for any loss, damage or complaint of any kind if the specific laying procedure described in this guide is not followed.

Protection

  1. Protect the floor covering installation against dirt and other trades.
  2. Do not allow traffic over the installation before 24 hours after work completion.
  3. Do not wash the floor thoroughly with water before 30 days. Wipe with a Damp mop during the first month to allow adhesive to cure.
  4. Temperature and humidity during and after the floor covering installation will have a direct effect on the drying time of the adhesive, therefore ensure that room temperature is kept at a minimum of 65°F (15°C) and relative humidity of no more than 65% for a period of 72 hours after the completion of work.

ENGINEERED VINYL PLANK INSTALLATION

Environmental

Controlling floor temperature, room temperature and direct sunlight exposure, plays a very important part in ensuring that your floor performs as expected. Floor temperature and room temperature can be very different and you cannot assume that they are the same at all times. Direct sunlight magnified through a window will cause your floor temperature to rise significantly.

Preparation of the floor

Sub Floor (wood or concrete) must be structurally sound, clean, smooth, dry and free from dust, dirt, wax, grease or any other foreign matter that would interfere with flatness. Remove any curing agent from concrete surface, level any high spots and fill any cracks, holes and minor depressions then sand until smooth, grinding is required for uneven surfaces. Only a well prepared subfloor can lead to a successful installation. The moisture content of concrete subfloor should not be over 5%. Higher moisture rates will lead to all types of problems. Room temperature is about 70-75 F.

Proper acclimatization is also of importance. We recommend at least 24 hours of acclimatization so the floor substrate and the Vinyl plank are exposed to the right conditions.

Installation

Vinyl plank flooring has always been easy to install, but today’s no-glue vinyl plank systems are even easier. The planks lock together at the edges to form the surface of the floor, with nothing attaching them to the subfloor, so you can lay them over any solid, flat surface. Vinyl lock planks are formed to look like wood, with a patented locking system.

  1. Remove the floor trim from the perimeter of the floor with your hammer and prybar. Don’t break it. Set it aside.
  2. Lay the first row of this vinyl planks alongside your starting wall, locking them together at the ends. Put shims between the planks and the wall, to create a (1/4”) space that will allow for floor expansion. Lay all the full planks that will fit.
  3. Measure the space at the end of the first row of planks. Use your utility knife to cut a tile to size, running the knife alongside a straight-edge to score it, and then snapping the plank. Lay it with the cut side facing the wall.
  4. Lay the next courses of planks alongside the first building out in courses. Start each course at the opposite end of the room as the previous course, so the ends of the planks don’t line up between courses. Lock the planks together by their long edges, pushing them in at a downward angle, locking them, and then dropping them into place. Cut the ends as necessary.
  5. Cover the whole floor. Cut the final course of plank length-wise, so they fit against the wall with a small gap there(about ¼”).
  6. Nail the floor trim back in place, using your hammer and finish nails, to seal off the spaces by the walls. Nail the trim into the walls and not through the flooring.

Protection for Your Floor

  • When moving appliances or heavy furniture, lay a plywood panel on your floor and “walk” the item across it. This protects your floor from scuffing and tears.
  • Use floor protectors on furniture to reduce indentation. As a general rule of thumb, the heavier the item, the wider the floor protector needed.
  • Be careful with rolling casters. They can damage the floor. Therefore, we do not recommend them. If you choose to use them, the double wheel types are the best option.
  • Place a walk-off mat at outside entrances to reduce the amount of dirt brought into your home. We do not recommend the use of rubber or latex backed mats (except where noted) because the chemical (antioxidant) used to keep the backing from becoming brittle can permanently stain your floor. We suggest a non-staining vinyl backed mat or a woven rug that is colorfast. Most of these products are identified “colorfast” by the manufacturer.

Maintenance

  • After the flooring is completely installed, all dirt and construction derbies should be removed and the floor swept clean. Immediately clean up all spills with a damp rag.
  • Vacuum or sweep the floor regularly to remove all soil, girt, and sand. Do not use vacuum with a beater brush.
  • For regular maintenance sweep dirt and damp mop regularly with warm water and vinyl floor cleaner. Do not use soap based detergents or abrasive cleaners. Instead use neutral floor cleaners.
  • To avoid possible permanent indentation or surface damage, proper floor protection devices must be used under the furniture and appliances. Exercise care when removing or replacing furniture or appliances.
  • Always use clean equipment! Dirty equipment only will redistribute the dirt.