In houses or apartments with the hot water underfloor heating system, we recommend installing 2-layer prefinished parquet floor, while 3-layer prefinished parquet is also suitable. 2-layer prefinished parquet floors are advisable due to their thickness, which ranges from 10 to 11mm (from 0,39 to 0,43 in) and the construction of the board. The base can be made from plywood, high density fibreboard or a layer of spruce. Such board construction results in the expansion and contraction of the wood affecting the base, rather than the visible surface of the floor. However, due to the properties of the wood, beech, courbaril, olive or Canadian maple parquet is unsuitable for installation over the hot water underfloor heating system. When heating, avoid quick changes in temperature and make sure that the floor temperature does not exceed 26 °C, while the home humidity level should remain between 50 and 60%.
Most parquet floors are not suitable for installation in humid rooms. Thermally treated parquet floors are an exception to this rule as they can also be installed in bathrooms or saunas. By heating the wood to more than 200 °C, the moisture content of the wood reaches almost 0%, which severely reduces contraction and expansion of the boards when the humidity level in a room changes. We recommend that the floor surface in bathrooms is protected with oil finish.
Parquet floors can be coated with oil or varnish. Both solutions require avoiding excessive use of water when cleaning the floor surface. When using a wet cloth, the latter should be well wrung out, leaving no water on the floor. If the floor is coated with a water-based varnish, the water from the cloth can penetrate through the varnish and cause a stain directly on the wood surface. Since the latter is located under the coating, it can’t be removed. For cleaning and maintenance, we recommend that you use specialised agents for maintaining oiled and varnished surfaces, which can be purchased from Alpod d.o.o.. We will help you find the right cleaning and maintenance agent for any type of parquet floor.
3-layer parquet floors can be installed floating and can therefore be laid on any flat surface that is solid, dry and clean enough. If you are not sure whether you can install parquet floor over your existing floor covering, make sure to consult your flooring retailer or your flooring fitter. Gluing parquet floor on ceramic tiles is possible, but the surface of the tiles must be grinded first.
The parquet floor can be installed if the moisture content of the screed layer does not exceed 2%. As the drying time of screed can vary, it is important that the surface is moisture-tested before the parquet installation. It is possible to expedite the drying of screed with specialised drying equipment, which can also be purchased from Alpod d.o.o.. The installation process can also be expedited by doubling the amount of the dispersion primer, which makes the adhesive more effective and acts as a vapour barrier.
Prefinished floor coverings can be varnished or oiled and the coatings of both types are generally resistant to wear or small impacts. In the case of oil-coated parquet floors, oils with a high solid particle content can be used for further oiling, which will increase the resistance of the floor surface. The second factor contributing to the resistance of the floor to mechanical damage is the indentation hardness of wood, which is shown on the Brinell scale.
Due to their ability to be protected with highly resistant oil finishes, especially oil-coated parquet floors are suitable for business premises, catering facilities or hotels. Given proper care and maintenance, parquet can be a beautiful and long-lasting flooring solution even in rooms with heavy use.
Laminate floors can be installed over hot water underfloor heating, but it is of utmost importance that the pipe network of the underfloor heating system is located as least 3 cm (1,18 in) under the surface and that the water temperature in the pipes does not exceed 28 °C.
You should always follow the instructions given by the manufacturer of your underfloor heating system and the instructions for the installation of the laminate floor over the underfloor heating system, which can be provided by your floor retailer.
It is also advisable to avoid drastic changes in temperature when turning the underfloor heating system on and off.
Laminate floor is not suitable for installation in a kitchen, sauna or any humid room as the humidity would cause the boards to swell.
Laminate floor is suitable for all residential applications (except for bathrooms, saunas or cellars with high humidity level) when the wear rating of the chosen laminate floor corresponds with the intended use of the room. For rooms with heavy residential use, the laminate type with the wear rating 32/AC4 is suitable. In case of liquid-spill accident, the floor should be mopped immediately.
The cleaning of laminate floor is easy. Solid dirt can be removed with a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush whereas for stains, water, possibly with some laminate cleaning agent added, will suffice. The cleaner, used in concentrated form, will remove even the most persistent stains. While cleaning, you should not leave any water on the floor surface, which means that you should thoroughly wring out the cloth before cleaning.
Laminate floor can be laid on any flat surface that is solid, clean and dry enough. This means that ceramic tiles, parquet and other solid flooring solutions represent a suitable basis for laminate installation (if flat enough), but a suitable noise insulation should be used under the laminate floor. Soft floor coverings (carpets or fitted carpets) should be removed.
The drying time of screed can vary (it depends on the thickness of the screed layer). However, it is always necessary to wait for the screed to have fully dried out, before installing the laminate floor.
The average drying time is as follows:
• One week for one centimetre (0,39 in) of screed layer with the overall thickness under 4 cm (1,57 in)
• Two weeks for one centimetre (0,39 in) of screed layer with the overal thickness over 4 cm (1,57 in)
Before the start of installation, the moisture content of the screed should be assessed. The latter should not exceed 2%.
Regarding their durability, laminate floors are divided according to wear ratings ranging from 31/AC3 to 33/AC5. These mark their suitability for installation in residential as well as in business areas. However, laminate floor can never be totally resistant to mechanical damage, which is most often caused by heavy or sharp objects. Shoes with high heels or soft rubber wheels on office chairs are not considered problematic (when pressure is put on the surface at certain points only, we recommend using felt furniture pads). The floor surface can be scratched by granules or pebbles, which can be prevented by laying quality door mats in front of the entrance.
Class 33/AC5 laminate floors are suitable for installation in high-traffic public areas. Due to the extraordinary resistance of their surface and their thickness (up to 12 mm/0,47 in), these floors are also extremely stable. They come with integrated noise insulation and an anti-static layer.
All laminate floors that comprise the product line of Alpod d.o.o are manufactured according to the European directives regarding the contents of dangerous substances. Laminate floor is also a great choice for allergy sufferers as it is hostile to mites.
It is best to lay the boards in the direction of the main light source in the room. Thus, you achieve the best visual effect, while making the best of hiding the joints.