Laying, upkeep and useful suggestions WOOD AND PARQUET
Thanks to its excellent strength and resistance, wood has been the most widely used building material for centuries.
A natural material, it has a fibrous structure, where the fibres mostly run in a single direction, parallel to the growth of the tree. Its physical and mechanical properties, as a result, vary depending on the way the grain runs. ?The natural colour of wood depends on the colour of the cell walls and the colour of substances inside these cells. The colour of wood changes with the years: exposure to air and light involves changes (sometimes quite marked) in the colour of the cell walls (oxidation).
The special features of wooden flooring include good thermal insulation, sound insulation, wear resistance, hardness and spring.
In addition to creating a warm, elegant and welcoming atmosphere for any room, a wooden floor lasts a lifetime: all you need do is gently sand it down to restore its original beauty.
European standard UNI EN 13756 (concerning solid or layered wood products) defines parquet as a wooden floor with a surface layer of noble wood to a thickness of at least 2.5 mm before laying.
In early 2004, the UNI body published a series of European standards that now forms the essential point of reference in the field of wooden flooring. One of the most significant aspects was a review of the principal methods for classifying floors based on the characteristics of the wooden items making up a parquet floor.
There are three classes used to classify the visual appearance of the wood used to produce parquet: the class defined using a circle (?), providing maximum limits for natural defects in the wood (such as knots, variations in colour and biological alterations); the class defined using a triangle (?), which allows for such defects to be slightly more accentuated; and the class defined by a square (?), which further increases the possibility of defects. There is also a “free class”, which does not impose any particular classification for the manufacturer and includes all wood species that can be used for wooden flooring.
The screed can be formed using various materials (the most common is cement-based, though other materials used are wooden panels, sand, pre-existing flooring etc.).
The cement screed must be at least 5 cm thick and have been left to harden and cure for a suitable time that can vary (from 15 to 90 days or more) according to the type of cement (chemical quick-setting or traditional), its thickness and site conditions. A ringing sound must be heard when tapped with a hammer; the surface must be perfectly even and homogeneous, must not create dust or be friable and under no circumstances must there be any damp spots or marks. It must be deep enough to ensure rigidity and strength and to withstand the envisaged static and dynamic loads on the floor without deformation.
It should not have pipes running through it (these are best laid in the lower layer) and a vapour barrier should be placed between the last layers (a sheet of polyethylene 0.5 mm thick to prevent rising damp).
Residual humidity in the screed must not exceed 1.7 - 2%. ?During the design stage, it is a good idea to distance the screed from the walls using appropriate construction joints, as well as providing appropriate contraction joints at the thresholds.
Wood is a healthy solution for heated flooring. Naturally insulating, this material prevents direct contact with the heat emitted by the heat radiating panels, thus greatly improving comfort (the heat is constantly and “gently” distributed) and ensuring a more suitable level of atmospheric heat.
Certain measures are, however, essential at the design stage.
Provided that the heating system has been installed in a workmanlike manner and that the heating pipes in the floor are covered by 3 cm cement screed, before laying the parquet it is essential to run the heating system, gradually increasing the temperature until approx. 20-25° ambient temperature is reached and maintaining it for about 15 consecutive days. After this gradually reduce the temperature over the next 7 days and then switch off.
With a screed more than 5 cm deep, it is advisable to repeat the above procedure a second time.
The floor should be laid with a bonding system using adhesive, avoiding any air gaps between the screed and the floor boards, since they reduce the efficiency of heat transfer. The wood elements must be fully bonded to the substrate.
A floating floor should be laid over a suitable mat/membrane that transmits heat.
As a general rule, we recommend laying a parquet floor with a total thickness of not more than 16 mm, as thicker floors transmit less heat. NB: wood is a natural form of thermal insulation.
Floor heating can cause shrinkage as the heat passes through the wood, thus creating gaps between boards (regardless of the species of wood used) and visible cracks on the surface. The right environmental balance helps significantly in avoiding or minimising this problem. More specifically, humidity levels should be kept within 45% and 65% (using humidifiers or humidity regulators).
Not all types of wood can be placed over underfloor heating systems: it is not recommended to use particularly hygroscopic wood, such as Beech, Wengè, Afromosia, Maple, Larch and Pine.
This technique involves laying the wood planks by gluing them to the substrate. After choosing the side of the room you want to begin from (taking into account aesthetic effects), lay the first plank with the groove (female joint) facing the wall. Use special wedges to distance the parquet from the wall by 10 mm around the perimeter.
We advise laying a few rows of planks without adhesive to decide on the layout (open several packs to choose the best planks) and pattern (width and length) and any cutting that may be necessary at the ends.
Now remove and stack the planks in the same order just outside the area to be laid and evenly apply the suitable adhesive over the substrate using a spreader.
Then lay the wood elements as decided previously, taking care not to get adhesive on the exposed surface.
We recommend applying some glue on the groove side at intervals.
The floating system consists of laying the wooden planks on a mat or sheet and just gluing the joints together. This system lets the entire floor “float” as the wood naturally settles.
First you need to lay a foam or felt mat (about 2 mm thick) in order to ensure even contact between the floating parquet and the floor and to prevent the creation of areas with different sounds. The mat should extend up the wall, behind the skirting-boards.
The density of the mat must be sufficient to withstand the static or dynamic loads envisaged for the intended use of the floor.
After choosing the side of the room you want to begin from, lay the first plank with the groove (female joint) facing the wall. Use special wedges to distance the parquet from the wall by 10 mm around the perimeter.
In the case of rooms measuring more than 4x4 metres, we recommend interrupting the laying of the planks and inserting expansion joints. This is also recommended at points where the parquet floor meets other floors or thresholds (using profiles and joint covers).
The parquet must be stored in a dry place, in a horizontal position and without removing the packaging. Do not store in sites where floor heating is switched on.
Prior to laying the parquet, use a hydrometric instrument to measure the moisture content of the substrate and the abutting walls in the various areas where the parquet is to be laid.
Make sure that the walls, plaster and fittings are all perfectly dry before laying the parquet: residual humidity must not be more than 2%. The relative atmospheric humidity (R.A.H.) must be between 45% and 60%. The room temperature must not be less than 14° C. Windows, shutters and external doors should be fitted and working properly. The room where the parquet is to be laid must be well aired and protected against the weather or sudden jumps in temperature.
To guarantee top results, we strongly recommend that the parquet is only laid once all building work has been completed (apart from hanging internal doors and fitting the skirting-boards).
It is always advisable to apply a suitable vapour barrier to protect the wood against moisture in the substrate and perimeter walls.
See the technical sheet enclosed with the shipping documents to see whether the laying system you intend to use (gluing to screed, floating on a mat or nailed into position) actually suits the type of parquet in question.
If the parquet is supplied unfinished, the fitter must arrange for the subsequent professional finish.
In the case of supplies of pre-finished parquet flooring, finish as indicated in the instructions provided inside the packs.
In the case of a pre-finished parquet floor using oil/wax/varnish, the protective hard finish is achieved approximately 20-30 days after laying with exposure to light and air in an environment with constant humidity (45-65%) and room temperature (16-22°). It is advisable to take great care during this period and wear soft, if possible felt, footwear.
If further building work is required, you must protect the parquet by covering it was a thick, soft and non-sticky breathable material to ensure that the pre-finished parquet is not scratched, damaged or becomes dirty.
In the case of pre-finished parquet flooring using natural oil or wax, let it settle for 8-10 days and then apply a coat of undiluted protective liquid emulsion, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will ensure that the wood is properly fed and extends the time before it needs renewing.
For routine cleaning, remove dust from the parquet floor using a vacuum cleaner fitted with appropriate parquet brushes or electrostatic cloths. The floor may be washed or revived by following the instructions given in the information sheet in the pack, using a neutral detergent and suitable protective restorative emulsion. Avoid using any foam, abrasive, acid, corrosive or similar substances, whether chemical or natural, that could harm the surfaces.
Do not use too much water: there are tiny gaps between each plank, allowing excess water to penetrate.
Trapped humidity causes the wood to swell and change.
Oil-treated parquet flooring periodically needs reviving (once or more a year), depending on wear and tear or the oil that has been used. This is a very simple operation.
Varnished surfaces can be revived by applying a polish or wax emulsion to keep the varnish in good condition.
Always contact a qualified operator when a varnished surface needs special care (sanding and re-sealing with varnish).
Cadorin planks are supplied with a veneer layer of 4.5-5 mm that means any future sanding can be done without problems.
- Make sure rooms with parquet floors are well aired
- Keep the room temperature between 15 and 22° C
- Keep the relative humidity of the air between 45% and 65%
- Avoid covering the parquet for a long periods with carpets and avoid using non colour-fast rugs
- When washing the parquet, do not pour water directly onto the floor, but always use a damp cloth
- Protect the parquet during building work and repairs
- Always use the cleaning and maintenance products recommended by the suppliers
As foreseen in the Italian Consumer Code, the consumer must be handed the product sheet issued by the manufacturer (Italian Law No. 126 of 10 April 1991 “Standards for consumer information” and Italian Decree Law No. 101 of 8 February 1997 “Regulations for implementation”).
This sheet accompanies the goods on delivery, being attached to the shipping document provided in the packs together with the information sheet.