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General Installation Instruction

Every installation is different: room size, configuration of field/border/apron and dimensions of flooring and border. The flooring field should be laid perpendicular to floor joists, particularly in nail-down installations. In planning the layout of the floor, the field dimensions should work out that full widths of strips/planks of flooring will be used on both sides of the field.

Borders should be “dry-laid” before cutting or installing any material. Often, the border corners will determine how the border and the field will be positioned. When corner blocks are used, border lengths can be trimmed to match the field and overall installation. In these cases, ‘dry-lay” the corners and borders to preview the border/corner joints and determine if the pattern repeats are acceptable. Ask yourself:
- How far will the border be located from the wall (thereby determining the width of the apron)?
- Will the border be equal distance from all walls or will the border be a different distance from one set of facing walls than the other set?
- Will adjustments in border length be made at the corner or at the center between two corners? What effect does this have on the continuity of the pattern?

Be sure to allow 1/2” to 3/4” between the outside edge of the apron and the wall, for expansion of the floor. This expansion space can be located either under the base molding or the drywall. The apron can run either parallel or perpendicular to the border with several corner options (to be discussed later)

The border installation is dependent upon the structural integrity and layout of the field and the apron. Therefore the following instructions will highlight key steps necessary to install the entire floor:
 1, Planning the layout of the floor 
 2. Establishing center lines for the floor 
 3. Diagramming the field, border and apron 
 4. Laying the field
 5. Installing the border
 6. Installing the apron

1. Planning the layout of the floor

  We recommend that you plan your floor from the outside in and lay the floor from the center of the room out. First, determine the configuration and width of the apron, which will be used. This will determine the size of the border and the field. As you plan the floor layout, you should determine if the pattern of the border selected will repeat properly and transition in and out of the corners as you desire. If there is a problem, this is an appropriate time to adjust the width of the apron. This can be done on all four walls or two facing walls. Once the apron and border placements are resolved, the area that remains is the field. Again, it is desirable to use full widths of flooring.

2. Establishing center lines for the floor

  Before beginning to install the floor, an accurate diagram must be drawn on the sub-floor (or black felt or resin paper, if it is being used) to establish the starting points and layout lines for field, border and apron. Begin by measuring the distance between two facing walls and mark the mid-point. Do this at two or more locations between the same walls. Snap a chalk line over these marks to indicate the center line (line AB).

The next line must be exactly to this line and close to or at the center point of the room. We recommend the use of trammel points to draw the perpendicular line. Set trammel points 12” to 16” apart on a 3 to 4 foot long bar. (NOTE: Replace one of the steel points with a pen or pencil.) Insert the steel point at the center of your chalk line (line AB) and mark an arc that intersects the chalk line first on the left side of the center point and then on the right side. Then, extend the trammel points to the ends of the 3-foot bar. Place the steel point at the intersection of the first arc and chalk line. Scribe an arc first above line AB and then below this line (along an imaginary perpendicular line which intersects line AB). Then move to the intersection of the second line and line AB. Repeat the procedure. A chalk line can now be snapped using the two points formed by the two sets of arcs. This chalk line is now perpendicular to the original line and at the center of the floor.

3.  Diagramming the field, border and apron 

You are now ready to dimension the field, then the border and finally the apron. Using the dimensions of the field from your original plan and confirmed in your dry-lay” of the border, begin by measuring one-half of the width of the field, first from one end of line AB and then the other end of line AB. Snap a chalk line between these two points. Then, repeat the proce­dure on the opposite side of line AB. Next, working off line CD, you should measure one-half of the length of the field from two points on opposite ends of CD. Do this on both sides of line CD. The resulting chalk lines outline the outside perimeter of the field and the inside

perimeter of the border. Use the “3-4-5 method" at each corner to ensure that it is square. Again, trim­ming the width or the strips or planks should be avoid­ed if possible. (Width can be increased or decreased by adding or subtracting flooring).

To diagram the outside perimeter of the border, mea­sure the width of the border from the chalk lines you have just snapped. Do this on all four sides. Snap chalk lines. These lines form the outside perimeter of the border and the beginning of the apron. You should snap lines to indicate location of floor joists on sub-floor or black felt/resin paper. You are now ready to begin installation of the floor.


4. Laying the Field


Begin by attaching a straight edge (approximately 6’ to 8’ long) at one side of the center line AB. This will serve as a guide for installing the field. Attach another straight edge of approximately the same length to one end of the field, which is perpendicular to the direction of the strip or plank. These guides will allow the installation to be square on three sides. The fourth side will be trimmed later to square up your field. With these guides in place, nail or glue one-half of the field.


As you approach the fourth side of the field, extend the flooring over the chalk line keeping nails at least 1 to 2 inches inside the line and avoiding use of any nails or adhesive outside the line. Random lengths extending over line will be cut off. 


When the first half of field is complete, remove the straight edge positioned on line AB. Insert and glue a slip tongue or spline into the entire length of the floor­ing along line AB. This procedure will allow you to reverse the direction of the flooring, which reduces expansion of the floor by one-half in both directions.

Nail or glue the second half of the field out to the chalk me of the field. From the squared end of the field, measure and mark the exact length of the field in several places along the random end of field. Snap a chalk line to mark the cut line for the field and set a straight edge or guide on the flooring for the saw or router. To avoid chipping, make a cut line with a utility knife along this line. Then, cut these boards using a power saw with a new “cabinet-type” carbide blade or a router with a good pattern bit.


The field should now be squared and complete. If your floor is a nail-down, tongue-and-groove installa­tion, you must create a groove in the flooring on the side that was just trimmed. The groove is for a slip tongue to tie the field to the border. Create the groove using a router with an end matching bit. Insert the slip tongue the entire length of the groove. Slip tongue should be glued into the groove and then nailed through the tongue in nail-down installations. Grooving and insertion of slip tongue is optional for glue-down, engineered flooring installations.


5. Installing the Border


The first step in installing the border is to “dry-lay” or fit the border sections to the perimeter of the field. Trim section lengths as required. Or, other adjust­ments can be made to adjust the field or floor to ensure proper pattern repeats of the border:


(1) The field can be picture-framed” with flooring. This will add equal amounts of length and width to the perimeter of the field. Any width flooring can be used.

(2) Up to 1/4” of width can be trimmed off the width of the outer strips or planks. End-match the flooring, if the field is trimmed.

(3) Up to 1/8’ (1/16” on each side) can be trimmed from the width of the border. This should be accom­plished with a good table saw and guide fence. 

At this time, cut out your floor paper in the area where the border will be installed. Spread a high quality wood flooring adhesive (We recommend Franklin 811 Plus or Bostik’s Best urethane wood floor adhesive) either on the underside of the border or on the sub-floor where border sections will be positioned. Be sure to use the trowel size and trowel profile recom­mended by the adhesive manufacturer.


Lay the first section of border with corner making sure that the corner extends beyond the field. Go to the next corner and lay another border section with cor­ner. Repeat this procedure until you have one bor­der/corner section attached at each corner and along each side.


Then, use border sections without corners to fill in gaps. The border section which mates with the next corner may have to be trimmed to fit. Fill gaps on all four sides with border sections until border installation is complete.


NOTE: To complete the installation up to the wall or your expansion space, you should top nail (or glue) the last frame around the apron. Use base moulding to cover nails.

Additional Tools/Materials Required;
- A good grade of wood construction adhesive and caulk gun
- A plunge router or power saw
- End matching bit (to route floor edge)
- Chalk line and marking pencils
- Carpenter’s tape measure
- Straight edge1 6-8’ long
- Carpenter’s white glue
- Utility knife
- Sharp chisel
- Hammer
- Misc. materials for installation of floor

The decorative border must be acclimated to the relative moisture level of the job-site prior to installation. We recommend that the border be unpacked and allowed to sit for one week before installation (at job-site, but not on concrete) along with the hardwood flooring.

Installation begins with a good sub-floor, whether it is slab or wood. Decorative borders must be installed over a sound and level sub-floor in compliance with recommendations from the National Wood Flooring Association, 16388 Westwoods Business Park, Ellisville, MO 63021 (1-800-422-4556). Or, contact your flooring distributor for information.

Medallion installation into new construction floor

1. Set medallion in desired location on top of subfloor. Draw around medallion onto the subfloor. Measure from the wall to medallion for placement. Remember these measurements, you will use them in a later step. Set medallion aside.

2. Begin installation of hardwood flooring. When you reach the drawn medallion outline, overlap it with the flooring by an inch or two. Be sure to use adhesive at the ends of the flooring, up to the drawn medallion outline. Do not put any nails/staples or adhesive inside the drawn medallion outline. Any nail/staples and adhesive must stay on the outside of the drawn medallion outline.

3. Nail the installation template to the hardwood flooring, so the hole of the template is directly above the drawn medallion outline. Use your measurements from Step 1 to guide you. Try to place your nails in inconspicuous places such as joints or grooves of the hardwood flooring.

4. Using the top-end bearing router bit, begin routing out the hardwood flooring that overlaps the drawn medallion shape. The bearing on the bit will ride on the edge of the hole of the template. Make several shallow passes with the router, adjusting the router to cut deeper each time. After the cut is at the appropriate depth, remove the template and fill the nail holes with the matching wood putty. If necessary, use a sharp chisel to clean out needed areas.

5. Dry fit the medallion. The medallion should be flush and level with the surrounding hardwood flooring. Remove medallion from hole.

6. Apply wood flooring adhesive, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, to the subfloor within the hole.

7. Place the medallion into the hole and secure the medallion by placing weights onto the medallion. Let set based upon the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations.

8. After it is set, use wood putty in the appropriate places between the medallion and flooring. Allow putty to dry. Sand and finish along with the rest of the floor.

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