Flash Flooring 

We take the stall out of install

Flooring FAQ


Should I expect colour variations in my floor?

Yes. Wood is a natural product and therefore you will find variations in planks regardless of the grade of wood, species or colour.


Does “hardwood” mean that my floor will not dent?

No. Wood is a natural product and it will dent if enough pressure is applied. 


Will my floor change colour over time?

Wood itself changes colour (“patina”) as it ages. Extreme sunlight will also affect the colour of your floor. Incorrect maintenance can affect the appearance of your floor leaving a residue or wax build-up. 


Can I glue down 3/4″ or 1/2″ thick solid flooring?

No  3/4″ & 1/2″ solid products are to be used in a nail down application only. We suggest nailing these products down over a plywood subfloor that is a minimum of 5/8″ thick. 


Can I nail down 1/2″ engineered flooring?

Yes 1/2″ engineered flooring  is versatile and can be easily installed using either nail, glue or staple-down applications onto plywood, concrete or OSB sub-floors. 


When gluing down 1/2″ engineered flooring, what adhesive should I use?

Satin Finish recommends using Multi-Stik adhesive and 1/4″ x 1/8″ square notched, metal trowel(s). 


If moisture were a concern, what kind of flooring would be recommended above or below grade installation?

First the subfloor must be assessed for the degree of moisture. If there was excessive moisture, any kind of wood flooring would not be recommended until moisture concerns are resolved. Laminated flooring – also called engineered flooring – would perform better because it displays far less expansion and contraction with moisture changes.


Why is laminated (engineered flooring) recommended?

Laminated or engineered flooring uses multiple layers of wood glued together, with the grain of each running at 90-degree angles to the layers adjacent. As the wood fibers absorb moisture and want to expand, each layer is restrained by the other and improved dimensional stability results. That is why it can be successfully installed in areas with wide humidity variations. It usually does not require full acclimation before installation.


How much can temperature and humidity affect the dimensions of a hardwood floor?

Let’s take a look at one 5- inch red oak plank board:

  1. Within “normal living conditions” (say, an interior temperature of 18 degrees and a relative humidity of 40 percent), the board has a moisture content of 7.7 percent and is 5 inches wide.
  2. If the relative humidity falls to 20 percent, the moisture content of the board will be 4.5 percent, and the same 5- inch board will shrink by .059 inches. Across 10 feet of flooring, that could translate to as much as 1.4 inches of shrinkage.
  3. If the humidity rises to 65 percent, the board’s moisture content would be 12 percent and the same 5- inch board would expand by .079 inches. Across 10 feet of flooring, this could translate to 1.9 inches of expansion.


What is Acclimation?

Acclimation is allowing the moisture content of the wood to adjust to “normal living conditions” at the site – that is, the temperature and humidity conditions that will typically be experienced once the structure is occupied.


How should a job site be prepared for delivery of the wood?

The structure should be fully enclosed, with doors and windows in place, and interior climate controls should be operating for at least 48 hours to stabilize the moisture conditions of the interior. Wood should not be delivered if the jobsite moisture conditions are excessive. Otherwise, one will absorb moisture from the other.


How important is it to test wood subfloors?

Wood subfloors are actually easy to check for moisture content. Just test for moisture at several locations in the room and average the results. In most regions, a ‘dry’ subfloor that is ready to work on has a moisture content of 12 percent or less. If excessively high readings are obtained, installation should not proceed until the origin of the moisture is identified and moisture problems are remedied. During the winter, an overly moist subfloor can be dried out by running the heat for a few weeks. Air conditioning during the summer will do the same thing. Before flooring can be installed, the moisture content of the subfloor should be within 2 percentage points of the flooring that will be laid on it. If the moisture content between the flooring and subflooring varies more than 2 percentage points the flooring should not be installed.


How important is it to test a concrete subfloor?

As concrete moves through its initial drying period, regular checking of moisture content can start after 30 days. In most cases it will take 60 days or more before the slab is dry enough for wood flooring installation to proceed. Excess moisture in the concrete will cause problems such as condensation or failure of the adhesive under the flooring. Moisture conditions in concrete slabs that ultimately create moisture problems in flooring are not the flooring contractor’s responsibility, but it is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that potential moisture problems are resolved before installation begins. A flooring contractor can begin his determination with some subjective and logical questions: What is the history of other homes in the area, as well as the history of the building, the quality of the building and the quality of the slab?

Also, what is the age of the concrete? (An installer should not accept a slab as “ready” on age alone.) What is the concrete’s visual appearance? (The colour of good, healthy concrete should be almost sugar-white. Any concrete that is gray, brown, tan or other such off-white colours should be suspected of having contaminants, admixtures or other problems unsuitable for flooring. It is virtually impossible, however, to judge a concrete slab’s moisture condition on the basis of colour alone.) Concrete slabs must meet a moisture specification when tested in accordance with the prescribed procedures, at the time of installation of the flooring, and also at any future date. The moisture specification shall be that the emission of moisture vapor from the floor shall not exceed 3 pounds per 1,000 square feet per 24 hours.

Concrete should normally be a minimum of 60 days old before wood flooring is installed on top, unless moisture testing indicates acceptable moisture content before that time. Anything short of that could result in moisture problems down the line. Rely on flooring manufacturers’ recommendations for your definition of what qualifies as “acceptable moisture content,” as well as for which type of moisture testing each manufacturer prefers. Testing for moisture in concrete can be accomplished using specially designed and calibrated moisture meters.

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