Installation - the difference between average and excellent

If you want a top-class wide-plank installation, time, expertise and unstinting meticulousness are essential ingredients.

Exceptionally Engineered – Wide-Plank

The changing of the seasons and modern heating and cooling systems, most notably under-floor heating, mean that 21st-century wide-plank wood floors are constantly subjected to extreme changes in temperature and humidity.  Given that wood is substantially composed of water, this has consequences: principally that it will expand and contract when subjected to these changes.  Unequal stresses within sawn timber will cause otherwise flat planks to expand, contract and exhibit curved distortion, seen as gaps between the planks, cupping and warping.  The degree to which wood planks move, is entirely determined by the type and construction of the planks.  Only a well-engineered wide-plank wood floor can offer complete stability…..

An Element7 Benchmark 3 layer wide-plank construction uses the same wood species on both the top and bottom layers.  It also incorporates a softwood centre core that is made from softwood blocks.  This Element7 “blocked and balanced” construction is recognised worldwide as the most stable engineered wide-plank construction available.  Element7 is one of the very few companies never to have had a failed floor.  We have often been asked to replace other companies failed floors.

Installation – Wide-Plank

At Element7, not only do our in-house installation technicians have to be time served, but more importantly, they operate to our own exacting standards and fastidious installation methodology.  The result is that an Element7 installation guarantees perfection, whereas the installations of many others, frequently aim at best, to hastily achieve an arguably acceptable standard only.

Some installers are simply not aware of the correct methodology and refinements necessary to install a floor to the highest of standards.  If their clients are not told that the floor could have run seamlessly from one room to another without door thresholds, or that the cut wide-planks at each side of a room should be of identical widths for aesthetic balance, or that the floor should be inserted beneath a door frame, not cut around it, or that an inlaid electrical floor socket should be grain-end-matched, or that the cheaper glue option is not always the right one (radiant heating), or that an obvious gap between planks is unacceptable – the list of such refinements goes on – their clients might remain unaware of this lack of finesse.  The average Element7 client however, would notice.

Our philosophy does not distinguish between more and less observant clients: an Element7 installation is the difference between average and excellent.  Floors installed by Element7 are fully guaranteed.

All Element7 floors are fully bonded to the sub-floor with full spread adhesive (never floated) i.e.  the bottom of the plank is fully covered with adhesive and then installed.  We do not spot-glue, this is where an installer puts small dabs of adhesive on the bottom of the plank, every foot or so, in order to save on adhesive costs, but also to speed up the installation.  This is a false economy for many reasons, not least because it compromises the bond, but hollow noises can also result from it, and if done above radiant underfloor heating it will affect the thermal conductivity.

Sub-floors for Wide Plank

Sub-floors are the wide-plank wood floor’s foundation.  If a sub-floor is in any way compromised, it can seriously affect both the look and structural integrity of the wide-plank wood floor above.  It is therefore essential to ensure that the sub-floor has been properly prepared prior to beginning installation of the floor.

As you would expect, Element7 ensures that sub-floors are correctly prepared.  Liaising with the main contractor and overseeing the correct preparation of the sub-floor is a key part of our installation procedures.

Download detailed sub floor requirements: Sub-floors PDF (73KB)

Radiant Underfloor Heating – Wide-Plank

Not only are Element7’s exceptionally engineered wide-planks specifically constructed for use with radiant under-floor heating, but our fully bonded installations, when combined with the thermal conductivity of our boards, maximise the system’s efficiency.  We never float floors above radiant under-floor heating.

Owing to its inherent characteristics, any type of wood flooring, wherever it is to be used, must be carefully specified, selected and installed.  This is never more critical than when it is to be installed over a radiant under-floor heating system.  The close proximity of the heating source and the use, in effect, of the floor as a large radiator can give rise to serious problems.  Because floor planks expand and contract dramatically across their grain with corresponding increases and decreases in moisture content, they are liable to distortion and can generate enormous compressive forces; and the wider and longer the plank, the greater the distortion proportionally.  Radiant under-floor heating tests a wood floor to its limits.  In such conditions both non-engineered solid wood and poor-quality engineered wood flooring variants regularly fail.  The technical supremacy of an Element7 engineered wide-plank wood floor, provides the dimensional integrity necessary for a wood floor to withstand the extreme humidity and temperature changes, caused by radiant under-floor heating.

Element7’s exceptionally engineered world-class wide-plank wood floors, have been the informed choice for use above radiant under-floor heating for more than 40 years worldwide.  Our reputation with radiant under-floor heating is unrivalled as is our guarantee.  We have never had a failed floor.

Noise Control – Wide-Plank

When you carry out refurbishment or new-build work, there are a number of building regulations governing the minimisation of airborne and impact noise.  Element7 can guide you around the pitfalls to ensure that you comply with the regulations and achieve the most practical and aesthetically harmonious solution.

The two most popular options are, first, to use acoustic sub-floor panels which are sound and impact noise-rated: in this case, the wood floor is bonded to the sub-floor in the normal way.  Second is to float the floor: this involves gluing only the tongue-and-groove of the floor, not its under-surface, in order to form a single raft of wood.  Decibel-rated acoustic insulation is then laid between the wood floor-raft and the sub-floor.

Floor Protection – Wide-Plank

Protect your investment.  Once installed, wood floors need to be temporarily protected from the damage that they will almost certainly incur as other trades complete their works.

The cost of replacing, repairing or refinishing a floor after it has been damaged far outweighs the cost of floor protection.