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When to install a wooden flooring during renovations - DIY-SOS

Not finished with the wet work yet!During renovations or redecorations a lot of work has to be done; like cabling, plumbing, screeding, plastering, wall-papering, painting etc. When you also plan to have a new wooden floor installed it is very important to schedule this job at the end of the 'line'.

Basically you first have to do all the 'wet-work' in and around the room(s) you plan to have wooden flooring in, plus allow sufficient time for the excess moist of plastering and/or painting to evaporate.

BBC's DIY-SOS asking advice from Wood You Like Ltd We advised BBC's DIY-SOS team the same when we were asked if it would be possible for us to install one of our quality wooden floors (on short notice).

The short notice wasn't the problem, the fact we would have just one day to install it neither. The fact that there was going to be a lot of plastering and painting in the days before was the problem.
You really shouldn't install a wooden floor (wood-engineered included) straight after the last day of plastering or painting.

Wood You Like was looking forward to work with BBC's DIY-SOS team Since DIY-SOS is always working on a very tight time-schedule we advised the team to source another type of floor-covering. Of course, in the future we are more than happy to help them out - as long as their project doesn't involve massive plaster work beforehand.

In renovation projects like this it comes in handy when you have a hygrometer in the room(s) you're working in as a guide to when the moist of plastering and painting is gone. You can speed up this process with sufficient ventilation, where the excess moist in the air is drawn out of the room - even in winter, just open the windows for 5 - 10 minutes every hour.

For screed work (or new concrete) there is a practical 'rule of thumb': every inch (2.5 cm) of screed/concrete needs 30 days to dry-out naturally before any floor-covering (but especially wooden floors) can be installed without causing problems of expansion or cupping straight away. The moist in the screed/concrete should be around 2% - 2.5% tops before you can start the installation of a wooden floor.

When you install a wooden floor on a still too wet underfloor you will notice this pretty soon. The wood will absorb the moist of the screed/concrete (even when a combi-underlayment is installed) and expand very quickly.

So be patient and prepare your 'when-to-do-what-task' list carefully but practically.
Better safe than sorry.

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These are great tips. Thanks for an informative post. Installing flooring should always be one of the last projects you tackle.

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