With hard surfaces flooring, you have several different installation options: Nail Down, Staple Down, Glue Down, and Floating. Some Shaw hard surfaces can be installed using more than one of the techniques described below.
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This installation technique is required for SOLID HARDWOOD construction. Using pneumatic or manual nailers, you or a professional installer will project cleats through the wood, fastening it directly to a suitable subfloor. SOLID construction, like it sounds, is milled from a single 3/4" thick piece of hardwood. Because of its thickness, a solid hardwood floor can be sanded and refinished over several generations of use. One of the characteristics of solid wood flooring is that it expands and contracts with changes in your home's relative humidity. Normally, installers compensate for this movement by leaving an expansion gap between the floor and the wall. Base molding or quarter round is traditionally used to hide the extra space.
This installation technique may also be applicable for ENGINEERED HARDWOOD construction, including EPIC, depending upon the product. ENGINEERED wood is produced with three to five layers of hardwood. Each layer is stacked in a cross-grain configuration and bonded together under heat and pressure. As a result, engineered wood flooring is less likely to be affected by changes in humidity and can be installed at all levels of the home.
This installation technique is an optional installation technique that can be used for both SOLID and ENGINEERED HARDWOODS. Using pneumatic staplers, you or a professional installer will project staples through the wood, fastening it directly to a suitable subfloor. This method is slightly simpler than the nail-down method.
This installation technique is an optional technique that that can be used for ENGINEERED HARDWOODS. You or a professional installer will use an acrylic-based or urethane adhesive to adhere your new hardwood to a suitable subfloor. After applying the adhesive with a trowel, you should also use adhesive between the seams of your hardwood floor to complete and stabilize the installation.
This installation technique may also be applicable for dry-back RESILIENT TILES. You or a professional installer will use a special adhesive to adhere your new resilient tiles to a suitable subfloor. Some resilient tiles may be grouted, depending on the design of the product.
Standard RESILIENT SHEET vinyl requires the application of a full-spread adhesive that firmly secures the floor in place onto the subfloor. Expect moisture testing and some preparation of subfloors, according to their condition.
This installation technique is an option on certain ENGINEERED HARDWOODS. Rather than being attached directly to the subfloor with an adhesive, the flooring "floats" over an underlayment placed between the wood and the subfloor. Shaw floating engineered wood floors must be glued together at the tongue-and-groove joint to complete and stabilize the installation. This installation technique allows the floor to expand and contract. Shaw offers a variety of underlayment options for your specific installation.
This installation technique is also applicable for LAMINATE flooring, plank construction in tile or wood designs. This type of "floating" laminate floor is engineered so that the edges of the planks fit together and lock into place without glue or hardware. (Note: Some products require adhesive on the end seams of the first row only.) Since those floors are "floating", proper expansion space must be maintained at all vertical surfaces. Expect moisture testing and some preparation of subfloors, according to their condition.
Shaw also has a floating version of RESILIENT LVT flooring. Our StaTite planks and tiles stick to each other, not the floor. Expect moisture testing and some preparation of subfloors, according to their condition.
TILE AND STONE
To install CERAMIC TILE, PORCELAIN TILE, or STONE, a layer of adhesive (thin-set) mortar is applied to the proper subfloor with a trowel, and the tiles are set into it, leaving a consistently sized gap, or joint, between each one. After the adhesive dries, a special grout compound is packed into the joints, filling the spaces and creating a smooth, finished surface. Expect moisture testing and some preparation of subfloors, according to their condition.
You'll want to consider your installation options as you make your product selection. Your dealer will be able to help you decide what method will work best for your specific needs.