NWFA Guidelines Introduction and Notice
One of the many benefits of wood flooring is that, when installed and maintained properly, they are the only flooring option that can last for hundreds of years. In fact, there are documented wood floors in Europe that date back more than five centuries. Wood flooring can be maintained and restored to its original appeal after decades of wear and use.
Even the finest carpets will wear out after only a few years of traffic. Tile and stone can crack or chip when something gets dropped on them, and grout can crack and stain over time. Plastic and vinyl flooring can suffocate the home, and are generally designed to be disposable.
Those who work with wood floors for a living know that installing them is not a DIY job. You have to have the right tools, the right subfloor, the right jobsite conditions, and the right skills to have a successful installation. Wood flooring professionals who receive the proper training, and have the necessary industry knowledge, will be well-prepared for nearly any job they encounter.
Wood flooring is available in a wide range of options, including species, widths, thicknesses, shapes and sizes, and even different levels of hardness and dimensional stabilities. Each of these options necessitate an understanding and careful consideration for proper installation of the products. There are a number of processes that must be correctly undertaken in order to achieve a floor with the performance and appearance that is of professional standards.
These Guidelines outline the industry-accepted methods and procedures for wood flooring installations. The information included has been organized in a way that will contribute to a successful installation.
The National Wood Flooring Association assumes no responsibility and accepts no liability for the principles or techniques contained in these guidelines/methods. These guidelines and methods for the installation of wood flooring were developed by the NWFA Technical Publications Committee, together with leading industry authorities, through review of longstanding installation principles, along with research and data regarding wood flooring installation. These guidelines and methods address a variety of ancillary products and components related to the installation of wood flooring, but are not intended to address issues arising to or from those components directly.
While every effort has been made to produce accurate and generally accepted guidelines, the principles and practices described in this publication are not universal requirements and may change. The recommendations in these guidelines/methods are directed at the North American market in general, and therefore may not necessarily reflect the most-accepted industry practices in other geographic areas. Some installation methods and materials may not be suitable in some geographic areas because of local trade practices, climatic conditions, or construction methods. All wood flooring installations must conform to local building codes, ordinances, HOA CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions), trade practices, and climatic conditions.
In addition, manufacturers’ recommendations for installation of specific products should always supersede the recommendations contained in these guidelines.
It is recommended that all wood flooring products be installed in accordance with the NWFA Installation Guidelines and all applicable manufacturer instructions by an NWFACP Certified Installer, NWFA member, or equivalent.
© Copyright 2019. National Wood Flooring Association. St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. All rights reserved under both international and Pan American copyright conventions.
The National Wood Flooring Association would like to gratefully acknowledge assistance with information for these guidelines/ methods by the following: