There are two methods of installation. We will advise you which is best for your situation at the quoting stage.

Installed over a reasonably level subfloor of any material, this method can reduce the amount of subfloor preparation required. A moisture proofing underlay is laid onto the subfloor to protect the timber. Sound proofing and insulation underlays can also be used, adding to the warmth and comfort of your home (see below). This system was developed to allow the natural movement within a timber floor to take place without restriction and for it to adjust to climatic conditions. It is softer to walk on, marginally quicker and considerably cheaper to install. The total thickness is approximately 16-18mm from the subfloor, depending on the type of timber chosen. A floating installation is held down at the skirting edge and by the weight of furniture placed upon it. However, it is not appropriate where heavy fixed items (e.g. kitchen cabinetry) are being installed on top, as these will prevent the natural movement of the timber. In such cases, it is recommended that the flooring is laid up to the edge of the fixed item and that skirting, toespaces or trims are used.

Direct Fix
Once the concrete or timber subfloor has been prepared (see below), the flooring is glued with either a rigid or flexible glue, depending on the type of installation, subfloor, etc. A glued down installation has every board firmly fixed to the subfloor and relies on the stability of the timber, with appropriately placed expansion gaps to allow for seasonal movement. A glued down floor has a more solid sound when walked on and the total thickness is generally 14-19mm from the subfloor, depending on the timber chosen. Some timbers and subfloors are not suitable for the direct stick method. We will advise you as to which is the best method for your specific floor, in order to ensure no cupping or shrinking occurs.



Timber flooring can be laid onto a variety of subfloor types.

Concrete Subfloors
Due to contaminates on and in concrete, it is necessary to grind all subfloors. Contaminates, such as chemicals, paint, glue etc., used throughout the building process, have a detrimental effect on the adhesive quality of the glue we use and therefore on your timber flooring. Furthermore, as concrete is of a porous nature, all concrete slabs have to be sealed against moisture prior to laying a timber floor on top. Moisture in the subfloor can cause an adverse reaction within the timber, as well as affect the adhesive qualities of the glue used to secure your floor.

Swinard Wooden Floors will grind and seal your concrete subfloor to ensure it is finished to the appropriate level required for timber flooring. We design our flooring installation systems to be as strong as possible, however sometimes other elements within the system, such as the concrete substrate, fail earlier than the glue or the timber. We endeavour to prepare concrete subfloors to as high a standard as possible. If the concrete is of poor quality or is uneven and requires the addition of levelling compounds, then this introduces a potential weakness which can reduce the range of moisture content the floor can cope with. It is very important that when the concrete subfloor is poured the finished surface is level (approximately 3mm variation over 3m is allowable). This will minimise the cost of flooring installation and improve its strength by removing the need for levelling compounds. Any levelling work must be done after the floor has been ground and sealed. Levelling compound, if applied underneath the concrete moisture sealant, may be weakened by the presence of trapped moisture in the concrete slab. If levelling systems are used which do not meet the rigid tensile strength requirements for timber flooring, our guarantee will exclude problems relating to subfloor failure. The use of moisture barriers over concrete subfloors, to help prevent moisture migration, is an important aspect of installing a timber floor. If an approved moisture barrier is not used our guarantee will exclude problems resulting from moisture gain.

Wooden Subfloors
Wooden subfloors will be pre-sanded to ensure a level uncontaminated surface for the glue to adhere to. Should the subfloor be new, and in pristine condition, it may not require any preparation.

Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating can be used beneath wooden flooring. The maximum temperature for this is 24°C or 75°F. Heating temperatures must be adjusted GRADUALLY as any extreme temperature change can damage the floor. For this reason we recommended that any manual control units are enclosed and positioned so that only experienced people have access to them. Each time the heating is turned on it must be increased gradually. Starting at 15°, increase the temperature by 1 to 2 degrees per day over a period of 7 days, until the required level (below 24°) is reached. It is recommended that you reduce the temperature in the same manner. The moisture content of the floor should still remain within the acceptable range (9-13%). Should you be considering a water controlled system, it is important that the unit is controlled by the temperature of the floor, NOT the temperature of the water in the system. Experience has shown that misuse of temperature controls will prove too much for any wooden floor and will eventually lead to floor failure

Sound Proofing
Various underlays can reduce the impact of noise by acting as a cushion between the wooden floor and the subfloor. It can reduce sound within a room, as well as between levels.

Various underlays can insulate your home. Different products are used depending on your environment and your needs. These can be discussed during the quoting process.


©Swinard Wooden Floors Limited, PO Box 7134, Christchurch 8240     T 03 329 9669     F 03 329 9660     M 027 432 4946