Wooden floorings: the importance of installation
Magazine Profile :
Proper wood flooring installation involves aspects which only professionals can take into account to provide a state-of-the-art result Wood flooring has always had great appeal due to the warmth and natural look they bring into every room, especially thanks to the latest finishing materials which enhance the beauty of raw material. Compared to other floorings, wood needs particular care during the installation stage, since wood is a "living" material and grows "old" through the years. Therefore, installation should always be carried out by experts because they can evaluate the state of the floor, wood type chosen by the customers, the room in which it is installed to provide a state-of-art work.
Following reviews are taken from the "Wood flooring installation manual for civil use", published by Edilegno/Federlegno-Arredo, currently a point of reference within this field in Italy. Compared to Northern Europe, in Italy there are no schools for installers with a certification following an introductory training in order to practice the profession. Therefore, there are lots of improvised installers leading to negative consequences for installation.
TYPES OF INSTALLATION
Substantially, parquet can be installed in three ways: glued installation, raised or floating installation, nailed installation on slats dipped in concrete screed or on joists, or on a wooden floor installed on joists or solid-wood or wood based panels. We will consider in detail the first type of installation since it's the most popular for both solid flooring (traditional) and multi-layered floorings (p finished).
Besides being the base on which wood flooring is installed, screed is the key element for the installation to be successful. There are three main types: traditional concrete screed, anhydrite concrete screed and fine blacktop concrete screed. There are also other installation surface types: installation surfaces consisting of old floorings, and installation surfaces consisting of wood-based panels. Usually, installers work on the concrete screed laid by the construction company, or more rarely now, by experts in this field. Therefore, before the installation process, it's hugely important to check the screed conditions, such as compactness across its thickness, adequate thickness for detached screed, rigidity and surface hardness. Moreover it's important that screed has no cracks and splits, and it is dry, protected from water and steam infiltration and diffusion, smooth and properly cleaned and leveled. Let us discuss in details what is fundamental for installation: seasoning, humidity, protection against water and steam infiltration and diffusion.
Every screed, according to the material it's made of, needs a proper hardening time and then a proper seasoning time in order to achieve its hygrometric balance corresponding to a certain residual humidity related to climate conditions.