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Installation Guidelines

Installation Guidelines

INSTALLATION CONSTITUTES ACCEPTANCE of hardwood flooring, subfloor, substrate, the jobsite (including the ambient temperature and relative humidity), and all other variables that may affect the performance of wood flooring.
Subfloor Types and Conditions (NWFA Installation Guidelines, Sec. II)


The subfloor must be clean, dry, flat (within 3/16″ in 10’), and structurally sound. Correct any joints or areas that are not flat. Secure any loose boards or panels.


CD Exposure 1 plywood and OSB Exposure 1 subfloor panels are appropriate subfloor materials (grade stamped US PS1-95). Solid board subfloors should be 1″ x 6″ nominal, Group 1 dense softwoods, #2 Common, KD. Minimum single layer subfloor thickness is 5/8″ on 16″ o.c. joists or 3/4″ on 19.2″ o.c. joists. The flooring must run perpendicular to the floor joists, or additional subfloor thickness is required. (refer to NWFA Installation Guidelines, Sec. II, Ch. 4)


Concrete should have a minimum of 3000 psi; refer to NWFA for details and alternate installation methods. Concrete must be tested for moisture. If a concrete moisture meter or other test indicates moisture presence, perform a calcium chloride test. Moisture content must not exceed 3 lbs./1000 sq.ft./per 24 hours. Moisture barrier systems must be used correctly and must be compatible with the adhesive used. Check with the moisture barrier manufacturer for details. (also refer to NWFA Installation Guidelines, Sec. II, Ch. 5)

Many critical decisions must be made at the installation site, and therefore are the sole responsibility of the installer and/or owner. These include, but are not limited to, proper storage and handling of flooring, complete evaluation of site conditions including moisture testing of the site and flooring, acclimation of flooring to normal living conditions, site preparation, flooring layout, milling, grade and color, proper installation methods, and cleanup. DO NOT INSTALL if there is any question as to acceptability, including stain color consistency and sufficient quantity to complete the job.

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, and maintain a flat stack. Record flooring moisture content upon delivery and at time of installation, and retain these records. Acclimate Aurora Hardwood flooring to proper site conditions. (refer to NWFA Installation Guidelines, Sec. I, Ch. 2)

HVAC must be in operation before, during, and after installation. A temperature of 70 degrees F +/- 10 degrees and a relative humidity between 35-55% is recommended. Heating units or uninsulated ductwork close to the flooring or subfloor may cause “hot spots” which must be eliminated prior to installation. (refer to NWFA Installation Guidelines, Sec. I, Ch. 1, Part 1)
Moisture testing is critical. 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. (refer to NWFA Installation Guidelines, Sec. I, Ch. 3)

Installation Maintenance Guide

Download our installation maintenance guide.