Berlin Flooring follows the guidelines set forth by the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) to make sure you receive a floor that will stand the test of time.
Subfloor: we inspect your subfloor to make sure it is suitable for the type of hardwood floor we are installing. Plywood and OSB are screwed down to eliminate squeaks. Fortifiber Aquabar-B paper or asphalt paper is used as vapor retarder over wood subfloors with a crawlspace below. Concrete slabs will be leveled to meet the specific tolerances required for hardwood floors and may require sealing or priming for moisture control.
Acclimation: wood is a hygroscopic material that expands and contracts with changes in relative humidity throughout the seasons. Hardwood floors should be installed at temperature and relative humidity levels that match your normal living conditions. We check the moisture content of the wood and subfloor to make sure it is ready for installation. When necessary, we will acclimate the wood in your home prior to installation. Hardwood flooring in our dry, Colorado climate should generally be installed at 6% moisture content.
Prep: we will remove your existing flooring (carpet, tile, etc.) to install new hardwood. We remove and re-install your baseboard trim and can supply new base shoe when necessary.
Wood milling: we purchase hardwood flooring from quality manufacturers with precise milling and grading standards. When matching existing flooring, we pay close attention to match the color and grade of your floor. For example, we do not purchase northern red oak to match your existing southern red oak floor.
Fastening: hardwood floors can be nailed, glued, or floated, depending on the product used and the type of subfloor. We use staples or cleats and pay careful attention not to under-nail or over-nail the boards, which can both cause a loose floor. Strip flooring under 3″ wide is nailed every 8-10″. Plank flooring over 3″ wide is nailed every 6-8″. Glue-down applications require specific adhesives and spread rates. Floating floors require an underlayment pad and specialized, flexible adhesives to glue the tongue and groove of the planks together.
Staircases: we install solid treads and solid risers on staircases. Veneer risers are required in curved applications. Staircase riser heights are installed to meet building codes, so 1″ or 3/4″ thick treads are used. One popular design element is to have wood treads and painted white risers. In this case, we use 3/4″ solid, paint-grade poplar wood risers. Homeowners are responsible for painting the risers.
Radiant Heating: solid or engineered hardwood flooring can be installed over radiant heating. The installation method will depend on the type of radiant heating system used and the type of hardwood floor. Solid hardwood flooring over radiant heating performs great! Don’t believe the online hype that says engineered flooring is necessary over radiant heating: engineered wood is susceptible to “dry-cupping” in Colorado.
Flush mount vents: flush mount vent registers sit flush with 3/4″ solid hardwood flooring. They are designed to lay flat with the surface of the flooring, providing a smooth and seamless look. The flush mount vent consists of a frame and removable vent in the same wood species as your flooring. They can be installed in new floors and cut into existing floors to replace your standard metal vent registers.