Somerset recommends its products be installed by a qualified hardwood flooring
specialist. Many important decisions affecting the performance and appearance
of the installed floor must be made on the installation site, and therefore are
the responsibility of the installer and/or owner. These include, but are not
limited to, complete evaluation of site conditions including moisture testing
of the site and flooring, acclimation of flooring to proper site conditions,
site preparation, flooring layout, milling, grade and color, proper
installation methods, and clean up. DO NOT INSTALL any flooring if there is any
question as to acceptability. INSTALLATION OF FLOORING CONSTITUTES ACCEPTANCE.
Additional installation information can be obtained from the National Wood
Flooring Association at www.nofma.org,
or the National Wood Flooring Manufacturing Association at
Site Conditions, Handling, and Storage
Somerset 3/4” solid flooring should be installed on or above
grade only. Never install below grade.
Somerset floors must be installed after all other construction
that may affect them has been completed.
Keep flooring dry at all times
Provide good air circulation around pallets, bundles, or cartons. Do not stack
flooring bundles or cartons more than three layers high.
Factory finished flooring is finished wood work, and should be
handled with care to avoid damaged edges, corners, etc.
Permanent HVAC must be in operation before, during, and
A temperature of 70 degrees F +/- 10 degrees and a relative humidity
between 35-55% is recommended. Before beginning installation, flooring must be
acclimated a minimum of three to five days. More time may be required if the
sub-floor and finished floor moisture contents are not within acceptable ranges
(see sub-floor types and conditions).
Moisture is the most critical of all factors.
Confirm proper drainage exists around the structure. In crawl spaces, exposed
earth must be fully covered with minimum 6-mil polyethylene sheeting. Crawl
space vents must be open at all times, and must equal at least 1.5% of the
total square footage of the crawl space. Basements must be dry and remain dry.
Heating units or un-insulated ductwork close to the flooring or
sub-floor may cause “hot spots” which must be eliminated prior to installation.
Sub-Floor Types And Conditions
Wood: Exterior Plywood or OSB (oriented strand
board) is recommended. The subfloor must be dry (within 4% of hardwood flooring
moisture content for strip flooring, 2% if flooring is 4” or wider). Minimum
single layer sub-floor thickness is 5/8” on 16” o.c. joists. The flooring must
run perpendicular to the floor joists, or additional sub-floor thickness is
required. Refer to the NWFA for more details.
Concrete: Somerset hardwood flooring may be
installed over concrete slab foundations by first installing a sub-floor or
screed system. See NWFA installation instructions for specific details.
Radiant Heat: Only 2-1/4” and 3” Somerset
hardwood flooring may be installed over modern radiant heat systems. We do not
recommend wider planks (4”+) be installed over radiant heat. For more specific
guidelines, please consult the NWFA.
The sub-floor must be clean, dry, flat (within 3/16” in 10’),
and structurally sound. Sand any joints that are not flush. Fasten any loose
boards or panels.
Always allow 3/4” expansion space between the wood flooring and
any walls or other vertical objects. Undercut any door jambs, casing, drywall
or moldings as needed. A clearance of 1/16” above the floor is recommended so
the floor fits underneath and allows for proper expansion space.
Over the sub-floor apply 15 lb. building felt, overlapped 4” at
the seams. After the felt has been applied, mark joist locations with a chalk
line to assist in achieving the proper nailing schedule.
Where possible lay the floor parallel to the longest direction
of the room, but always across the floor joists unless special sub-floor
conditions are met (see wood sub-floors). While each job is unique, it is
always best to establish a primary line for the entire job (usually through the
longest continuous area on the job) and reference all flooring layout from that
Always rack to avoid clustered joints and repeating patterns.
Work simultaneously from several cartons to achieve good color distribution.
Use caution to avoid edge and face damage during installation.
Special footer plates are available for most flooring tools to protect factory
finished flooring faces and edges.
Use backer boards of 1/2” plywood ripped to an appropriate
width to establish straight lines. Backer boards should be screwed securely to
the sub floor and into floor joists, and carefully aligned with starter lines.
We recommend 2” fasteners (cleat or staple) unless installing
over plywood attached to concrete, where 1-1/2” fasteners should be used to
avoid penetrating the moisture barrier. Fastening should follow a standard
NOFMA nailing schedule (8” to 10” spacing, and 2” to 3” from ends of boards).
Face nail only as required with 7d or 8d flooring nails or
cleats on 10” centers, 1/2” to 3/4” from the groove and 3-4” from each end.
Pre-drilling the nail holes helps prevent splitting. Face nails need to be
counter sunk and covered by molding or filled with matching filler. Blind nail
by hand wherever possible to avoid face nails until you are clear of walls or
When installing plank 4” and wider, it is advisable to use both
adhesive and fasteners to minimize movement. Omit the 15 lb. felt when
installing with adhesives. Use a quality urethane flooring
adhesive, and either full spread or apply beads of adhesive on approximately 6”
centers. Follow the adhesive manufacturers recommendations for spread rates,
trowel notch size, etc. Dry rack 8 to 10 rows, then mark the sub-floor only as
far as flooring has been racked, spread adhesive, then install into the
adhesive and fasten. Avoid allowing urethane adhesive residue to dry on the
face of the flooring. Special cleaners are available (from the adhesive mfgr.)
to clean off any residue. More aggressive solvents may cut into the finish, so
test any cleaner for finish compatibility before using it on installed
Cut ends on hand scraped flooring should be pillowed to blend
with 100 grit abrasives and blended with wax as needed.
Somerset offers five standard molding profiles factory finished
to blend with your Somerset wood floor. These moldings will address most trim
and transition situations quickly and cost effectively, and should be ordered
with the flooring to avoid needless delays in closing.
Fill any nail holes or small cracks with the proper filler
(Somerset Touch-Up Kits are available). Leave the touch up kit with your
customer for their use as needed.
Clean the floor thoroughly and remove all scraps and debris.
Leave care and maintenance information for the consumer. A Somerset floor care
kit makes a good closing gift, and starts them on the right maintenance
Wax finished hand scraped flooring should be buffed after
installation to remove scuffs.
Note: Applying additional finish over the
factory finish may cause problems and does not improve durability or seal the
joints. Since this is totally out of Somerset’s control, any materials used
that are not recommended by Somerset Hardwood Flooring will void your warranty.
If you have questions about proper installation, contact your
nearest Somerset distributor or the National Wood Flooring Manufacturers
SOMERSET HARDWOOD FLOORING
A DIVISION OF SOMERSET WOOD PRODUCTS
P.O. BOX 1355
SOMERSET, KENTUCKY 42502
NO WARRANTIES APPLY TO ANY PRODUCTS NOT SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSED IN
SOMERSET’S WRITTEN WARRANTY DOCUMENT.
Thank you for choosing Somerset Brand wood flooring products