Installing your Kentwood Floor

Installation Instructions

Installation instructions vary by product style, so please be careful to select the correct set of instructions for the product you are installing. We recommend Kentwood floors be installed by a qualified hardwood installer.

Technical Assistance / Contact

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Choosing and buying a hardwood floor

1.What are the benefits of hardwood versus other types of flooring?

Hardwood has been a popular flooring material for centuries and continues to be the flooring material of choice for many good reasons.
It’s durable – well-made hardwood floors can last a lifetime and longer. While the initial cost may be higher than with other types of flooring, hardwood’s longevity makes it an excellent long term investment.
It’s comfortable – real wood has a natural warmth that no artificial material can replicate and makes a very comfortable living surface.
It’s uniquely beautiful –hardwood has a beautiful appearance and, as a natural material, every piece will be completely unique.
It’s a great Investment – real hardwood adds value to your home.
It’s authentic – real wood has special value and appeal over artificial materials
It’s sustainable – wood is a naturally renewable resource

2.What’s the difference between solid and engineered and laminate floors?

In a solid wood floor, every board is made from a single solid piece of hardwood. This is the most traditional form of hardwood flooring. It is installed over plywood subfloors using nail down installation.

In engineered flooring, every board is made from several layers of wood, with valuable hardwood used only for the surface, or ‘wear’ layer. The other layers may be plywood, common softwood or even high density fiberboard (HDF). Engineered floors are generally more stable than a solid floor, and they are more versatile too, as they can be installed in practically any situation with a variety of different installation techniques.

Laminate floors are made with entirely manufactured materials and contain no real wood (although the main component of many laminate floors is HDF, which is a wood-based product). Laminate floors have an image of wood (or other material) imprinted onto the surface, to give the appearance of a wood floor.

3.What is a Janka rating?

A Janka rating is a guide to the hardness of any given wood species. The Janka rating indicates how many pounds of force are required to embed a small steel ball into the surface of the wood to a depth of half the ball's diameter. The resulting number is used as a rating to indicate the hardness of the wood; the higher the Janka rating, the harder the wood.

4.How important is the hardness of the wood?

Many people choose a wood species based on its hardness, thinking that a harder wood will be more durable and resistant to wear and damage. While this is true to some extent, the fact is that all hardwoods can be dented and scratched, even with the toughest finish. So it’s more important to choose a floor based on its visual appearance.

5.What are the different installation options?

There are four basic installation techniques for hardwood flooring.
Nail Down – the boards are fastened to a plywood subfloor using cleats or staples
Glue Down – the boards are glued to the subfloor with a special wood flooring glue
Floating – the boards are glued to each other, but not to the subfloor below. The entire floor ‘floats’ on a cushioned underlay.
Glueless – a popular variation on floating installation in which the boards have a specially designed joint system that allows the boards to be ‘clicked’ together without glue or fasteners.

6.Which species makes the best flooring?

Again, all hardwoods used for flooring are suitable for the purpose, so it’s better to choose a species and color that suits your individual lifestyle and tastes. For example, generally speaking lighter colored floors and heavier grained woods like oak will be more forgiving of daily wear (dust, footprints, etc) and will require less maintenance than darker floors and clear grained woods like maple. Exotic woods tend to be less tolerant of changes in climate than domestic woods.

7.I live in a strata building and want to put hardwood in my suite – anything I should be aware of?

Many strata councils have regulations regarding the installation of hardwood flooring. One of the most common is that an acoustic underlay, such as Kentwood Kuiet, be installed under the wood flooring to minimize sound transmission between floors. Check with your strata council to find out what specific requirements they may have.

8.I have infloor radiant heating in my house – can I install hardwood flooring over it?

Most styles of Kentwood engineered floors are approved for use over radiant heat. (Solid wood floors, and certain wood species such a jatoba and maple, are not suitable for use with radiant heat systems.) There are some special considerations when installing over radiant heat and the temperature of the floor must be kept within recommended levels to avoid damaging the floor. For more information, read the Special Instructions for Installations over Radiant Heat brochure, available in the Literature section.