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Atkinson & Kirby 15mm Honey Oak Brushed & UV-Oiled floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm White-Washed Oak Brushed & UV-Oiled floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm 3-strip Cherry Lacquered floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm 3-strip Beech Lacquered floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm Oak Brushed & UV-Oiled floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm Fineline Oak Lacquered floor
Atkinson & Kirby 14mm Oak UV-Oiled floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm Fineline Walnut Lacquered floor
Atkinson & Kirby 14mm Oak Lacquered floor

Atkinson & Kirby
prefinished engineered and multi-layered flooring

Installation and Maintenance Instructions


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Your Atkinson & Kirby floor is really simple to install!

A bit of planning, a bit of care and your floor will look as though it's been laid by a professional!


First of all
What sort of underlay should you use
Now you can start laying your floor
Radiator pipes
Before you do anything else
Allowing for expansion and contraction
The next row
Finishing off
Now condition your floor
Tongue and groove joints
The last row
Looking after your floor
What tools will you need
Valinge interlocking joints
Doorways and stairs
Repairing your floor

First of all

1. Take up your old carpet or carpet tiles. Do not lay your new floor on a carpet or any other kind of soft floor covering. If your existing floor covering is linoleum, pvc tiles, ceramic tiles or any other kind of hard floor covering, then you can lay your new floor on top providing the surface of your existing floor covering is not damaged in any way.

2. If you're replacing the skirting boards, remove those as well.

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Before you do anything else

1. Make sure your sub-floor is clean. Brush or vacuum up anything that will prevent your new floor from lying flat on your subfloor.

2. Make sure your sub-floor is flat. Get a two metre straight edge, lay it across the floor and if there is more than a 2mm gap between the straight edge and the sub-floor, you will need to rectify this before laying your new floor.

3. If your sub-floor is concrete and it's just been laid, make sure the room's properly ventilated and allow it to dry out for at least a week for each 10mm of concrete up to 40mm, and for at least two weeks for each 10mm of concrete over 40mm. With concrete screeds the residual moisture content of the sub-floor should not exceed 75% rh when using a hygrometer.

4. If you have underfloor heating, make sure that the heating-up phase has been properly carried out before laying your new floor. Under no circumstances lay your floor if the surface temperature of the concrete sub-floor exceeds 27C.

5. If your sub-floor is wood, make sure

(a) that any loose boards are nailed down properly and no nail heads are protruding

(b) that the moisture content of the wood does not exceed 10%

(c) that any cavity underneath the sub-floor is properly ventilated

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Now condition your new floor

1. Bring your new floor into the room where you're going to install it. Leave the floor in the packs for at least 24 hours and don't open them until you're ready to lay the floor. The ideal environment for laying a floor is a temperature of 18C and relative humidity of 45 - 60%.

2. Atkinson & Kirby floors may be laid over under-floor heating but you must ensure that the Atkinson & Kirby guidelines are followed. Click here for the guidelines for hot water under-floor heating and here for electric under-floor heating. Because of temperature control, Atkinson & Kirby floors are not guaranteed for use with electric under-floor heating systems.

3. Plan which way you are going to lay the floor. Most manufacturers recommend that you lay the floor in line with the light, the reason being that the header joints are not so visible, but if you want to lay it the other way or indeed diagonally, go ahead - it's whatever suits you. Try it out with some boards without adhesive if it's a floor with tongue-and-groove joints or if it's a floor with a Valinge joint, put some boards together and see what it looks like.

4. Give a bit of thought as to how you're going to deal with doorways and check that you're going to have enough clearance under the doors once the floor's been laid.

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What tools will you need

One of our installation kits is a great help when it comes to laying your floor.You get some 10mm plastic packers which give you the correct expansion/contraction gap around the edge of the floor whilst at the same time keeping the floor in position while it's being laid. Once you finished laying the floor though, make sure you remove these packers.

You also get a plastic knocking block which you should use with a hammer to tap the boards tight up to each other.

Finally you also get a pull-bar which is used to pull the last board in a row as well as the boards in the last row in the room tight into each other.Obviously you can't use the knocking block in these instances so you hook the lip of the pull-bar over the edge of the floor and use the hammer on the other end of the pull-bar to pull the floor in tight.

Apart from the 'specialist' tools in the installation kit, you will also need a hammer, a saw (either a fine-tooth handsaw or a jigsaw or a cross-cut saw), a set square, and a tape measure and pencil. A useful tip is to use a downward-cutting blade on a jigsaw.

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What sort of underlay should you use

You should make sure that wherever a damp-proof mebrane is used under the floor that the edges of the DPM go up the wall to be hidden behind the skirting boards once they are fitted.

Polyfoam is a 2mm white polyethylene foam with excellent sound insulation properties. It absorbs minor floor imperfections and is suitable for underfloor heating. It's lightweight and simple to install. Bear in mind that to comply with the manufacturer's warranty you will need to use a separate damp-proof membrane wherever the sub-floor is concrete.

Polyfoam Vapour Control is a 3mm green polyethylene foam with a built-in silver vapour control (damp-proof membrane) with a 200mm overlap for joint sealing protection, and excellent sound reduction properties of 18dB. As with Polyfoam it absorbs minor floor imperfections, it's suitable for underfloor heating and it's simple to install.

Polyfoam Sound is a 3mm black polyethylene foam with a built-in 100 micron black vapour control (damp-proof membrane) with a 200mm overlap for joint sealing protection. It has substantial sound reduction properties of 20dB and is a high-density foam for enhanced compressive resistance. It also absorbs minor floor imperfections, it's suitable for underfloor heating and it's simple to install.

Polyfoam Acoustic is a 5mm black polyethylene foam with a built-in 100 micron gold-faced black vapour control (damp-proof membrane) with a 200mm overlap for joint sealing protection. It has substantial sound reduction properties of 22dB and is a high-density foam for enhanced compressive resistance. It also absorbs minor floor imperfections, it's suitable for underfloor heating and it's quick and easy to install.

Timbertech 2 Original Extra is one of the highest quality acoustic underlays available. It is a 3mm thick rubber underlay with a silver vapour barrier film and a backing fleece. It has substantial sound reduction properties of 22dB and is suitable for domestic and commercial installations. It's not suitable for underfloor heating.

Quicktherm is a perforated high-density polyfoam underlay specifically developed to provide maximum heat transfer when used with underfloor heating systems. Just 1.8mm thick, it provides excellent walking noise reduction and impact sound insulation (19dB0, and it has excellent load bearing capacity making it ideal for high-traffic areas.

Fine Floor is a 5.5mm thick fibreboard panel (590mm x 850mm) which is loose-laid across the sub-floor. It considerably reduces noise in rooms and it limits heat-loss through the floor. It's also a natural product and easy to install.

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Allowing for expansion and contraction

Wood will move depending on ambient temperature and humidity so you must allow for any expansion and contraction to take place otherwise you will find the floor lifting up in the most unlikely places. You make this allowance by leaving a 10mm gap around the edge of the floor and the 10mm plastic packers in the installation kit above are ideal for this. Don't forget to allow 10mm around every edge of the floor - for instance, around radiator pipes and at doorways amongst others. Don't worry about this 10mm gap being visible when you've laid the floor - we'll deal with finishing off the floor later.

 

A guide for this allowance for expansion and contraction is 1mm per metre of flooring on each edge of the floor so be careful if your floor is greater than 10 metres in any one direction. Watch out also if you're running a floor through a doorway into another room without a break and the combined length of flooring in the two rooms exceeds 10 metres. In these situations you can either increase the 10mm allowance - for example, if your expanse of floor is 14 metres long, allow for a 14mm gap on both sides of the room - or put in an expansion profile somewhere, for instance across a doorway.

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Tongue & groove joints

Before telling you how to lay the floor, it's worth explaining how to glue the boards together so you get the perfect looking floor every time. You should apply the PVA adhesive all the way along the top edge of the groove as shown and then tap the boards gently together. The idea is that the adhesive gets chopped in half when the tongue of the adjoining board is pushed into the groove - one half goes to the back of the groove to form a bond and the other half gets pushed upwards to bond the top layers together. You should get a small bead of adhesive coming up out of the joint. Give this a few minutes to go off and then using a paint scraper to remove it in one long piece.

Here are a few tips.......

Get a couple of offcuts and put them together without any adhesive at all. You should have an absolutely perfect joint. Have a good look at it because that's the sort of joint you want when you glue the boards together. Take the boards apart and this time use the adhesive in the joint as described above. You should get a small bead of adhesive coming out of the top when you push the two boards together. If you don't get any adhesive coming out, then you haven't put enough adhesive in the joint. Correspondingly, if you can't push the boards together, then you've put too much adhesive in the joint.

Let the adhesive go off and then remove with a paint scraper and if the joint's exactly the same as it was without the adhesive, then it's perfect.

DON'T wipe the bead of adhesive off the top of the boards with a cloth. It'll leave horrible smear marks on top of the floor which are very difficult to get rid of, so let the glue go off and then remove it with a paint scraper.

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Valinge interlocking joints

There are two types of Valinge interlocking joints used in our Atkinson & Kirby floors - the 2G and the 5G. Rather than try and explain them, click on either of the two pictures and have a look at the videos which will show you exactly how these two jointing systems work.


Click here

Click here

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Now you can start laying your floor

Although in theory you can start laying your floor wherever you want, it's best to start in the left-hand corner of the room and work from left to right across the room. Doorways and radiator pipes can present a bit of a problem so give some thought as to how you're going to cope with them before you start laying the floor.

The first thing to do is put down the underlay and don't forget to use a separate damp-proof membrane on a concrete sub-floor if there isn't already one built in to your chosen underlay.

If you're installing a tongue-and-groove floor, the groove side of the floor should go up against the wall that you're starting from. Assuming you're starting off from the left-hand side of the room, cut the tongue off the header joint of the board - that's the end of the board that's going up against the wall on the left-hand side. This is purely to make it easier for you to put the plastic packers between the board and the wall so you get the correct 10mm expansion and contraction gap. If by chance you leave the tongue on the board and put the packers between the tongue and the wall, you will end up with a 14mm gap.

If however you're installing a Valinge-joint floor, it's the tongue side that goes up against the wall so again, to make sure you get the right gap between the edge of the board and the wall, cut off the tongue.

Once you've done that, put the first board in place and then put at least two 10mm plastic packers between the back of the board and the back wall, and at least one 10mm packer between the board and the wall on the left-hand side as shown in the diagram above.

Take the second board and using a knocking block if it's a tongue-and-groove floor, join the header joints of the two boards together as shown in the diagram opposite. If it's a tongue-and-groove floor, don't at this stage use any adhesive in the joints - you'll see why in a minute. If it's a Valinge joint floor, then put the boards together as shown in the videos above.

Don't forget to put two more 10mm plastic packers along the back wall and if it's a Valinge-joint floor to cut the tongue off as before so you get the right 10mm expansion and contraction gap.

Keep laying the boards in your first row until you can't fit any more full-length boards in the row. When you get to the end, you've got two options. The simplest way is to just measure the length between the edge of the last board you've laid and the wall; deduct the 10mm expansion and contraction gap; and then simply cut the board to the required length. Remember to cut the tongues off wherever you have to.

The other way is a bit more complicated but easy to do once you've done it once.

1. Turn the board you're going to cut to length the wrong way round, keeping the decorative surface uppermost, and lay it up against the leading edge of the last board you've laid as shown in the diagram.

2. Position the board tight up against the right-hand wall and insert a 10mm plastic packer so you get the correct expansion and contraction gap. If you've got a tongue there, do NOT cut it off because after you've cut the board to size, you're going to turn it round and you'll need the tongue to locate into the groove of the previous board. However, you must still allow for the 10mm gap so wherever you have a tongue against the right-hand wall, just sit the packers on top of the tongue and you'll get the right gap.

3. Using a set square, draw a line across the board in line with the header joint of the previous board as shown in the diagram, cut the board to size and put it in place using a pull-bar if necessary.

Congratulations - you've now laid the first row! ,

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The next row

Take the offcut from the end of the first row and unless it's less than 300mm in length, use it to start the next row, not forgetting to put a 10mm plastic packer between it and the left-hand wall.
Keep laying the boards in your second row, still not using any adhesive if it's a tongue-and-groove floor, until you can't fit any more full-length boards in the row and then cut the last board in the row as described above.

Here's another tip but only if you're laying a tongue-and-groove floor.......

Lay the first two rows without using any adhesive. It's most important at this stage that you have all the joints tightly closed up AND that the leading edge of the second row is dead-straight. If it's not absolutely straight, do not continue until you know the reason why. The most likely reason is that the back wall you've worked off is not absolutely true in which case you should adjust the packers. If the wall is badly out, you should scribe the rear edge of the boards to match the contours of the wall.

Once you're happy with the way the floor's going together, take it up and then put it back again but this time using the PVA adhesive. Use the knocking block or the pull-bar to make sure the boards are as tight up to each other as possible.

After you've laid the first two rows and you've checked the tightness of the joints AND the straightness of the leading edge of the second row, go off and have a cup of tea, giving the glue time to go off before you carry on laying the rest of the floor. This is just to give you a firmer floor to carry on working from.

From now on, apply the PVA adhesive to each board as and when required and tap the boards gently but firmly into place using the knocking block or pull-bar until you get to the last row.

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The last row

When you get to the last row, you will almost certainly have to cut the boards lengthways to get them to fit between the wall and the floor you've already laid. The simplest way to do this is to measure the gap, deduct 10mm for expansion and contraction and cut the board to size. You'll be surprised how often the walls of a room are slightly out so take the measurement at both ends of the board and in the middle as well if necessary.

The last row can be a bit fiddly to fit and this is where the pull-bar comes into its own. Use it on the longitudinal and the header joints wherever necessary.

If you're having any trouble getting the boards in the last row in place with a Valinge joint floor, shave the lip off the front edge of the groove with a wood chisel and glue the joints together.

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Doorways and stairs

Doorways take a little bit of thought, especially if you're running the floor through from one room to another without a break, but providing you plan ahead, they shouldn't be that much trouble.

Before you start laying the floor, or at the very latest before you get too close to a doorway, get an offcut of the floor and the underlay, position it against the door jamb and then use a handsaw to undercut any architraves and door linings as shown in the diagram opposite. Clear out any debris so the floor can move freely under the door frame once it's installed.

Check to make sure the floor with the underlay underneath can move freely under the door and if necessary undercut the door itself.

There are routing machines available these days to enable you to undercut both the door and the door frame without having to take the door off its hinges.

If you are planning to run the floor through the door without a break, you will need to cut the door linings and the architraves all the way through. If however you're stopping the floor at the doorway, just cut the linings as far as you're taking the floor.

You should end up with a gap at the bottom of the door jamb which allows you to slide both the floor and the underlay underneath, AND which at the same time gives you the 10mm expansion and contraction gap, now conveniently out of sight underneath the door lining.

When the floor reaches the doorway, you will have to cut the boards to shape so they fit under the door jamb. Don't forget to allow for the 10mm expansion and contraction gap wherever necessary. Remember also that the 10mm expansion and contraction gap running along the wall or skirting board will disappear under the door lining once you get to the architrave around the door frame.

Having cut the boards to shape, you then have the problem of joining them to the other boards already in place and sliding them under the door frame. With a tongue-and-groove floor, this is relatively straightforward but with a Valinge floor it's a bit more complicated. The answer is to chisel off the leading edge of the groove and use a PVA adhesive wherever necessary to join the boards together.

The boards can then be slid into position and using the knocking block or pull-bar, close up the joints as tightly as possible.
If you're stopping the floor at a doorway, or indeed wherever you're stopping the floor, you will need to use a threshold profile to finish the floor off and join it to whatever the adjoining floorcovering is. Use whatever profile is most suitable - click here to see the Atkinson & Kirby range of door thresholds and trims.
Flooring on stairs should be fully nailed to the tread of the stairs and either nailed or glued to the riser. Similarly, stair nosings should be either screwed or nailed in place. Click here for the Atkinson & Kirby range of stair nosings.

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Radiator pipes

Again, a little bit of thought well in advance will save you a lot of head-scratching when you come to radiator pipes. Try and plan the layout of the floor so that the header joint between two boards lies right across the centreline of the pipes.

Cut the board that's going between the wall and the centreline of the pipes to length and then mark the position of the pipe on the other board.

Join the two boards together and drill out a hole with a diameter equal to the diameter of the pipe plus an extra 20mm. This then allows for the 10mm expansion and contraction gap around the pipe.

If it's Valinge-jointed floor, you will need to chisel off the leading edge of the groove. Use a PVA adhesive with whichever type of floor it is to glue the boards together.

Use a radiator pipe cover to finish off around the pipe.

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Finishing off

Once you've finished laying the floor, make sure you remove all the 10mm plastic packers.

If you removed your skirting boards at the outset and you're either refitting them or replacing them with new ones, make sure that the thickness of the skirting being fitted is at least 12mm. Any less than that and the 10mm expansion and contraction gap may become visible at a later date.

Where the existing skirting boards have been left in place and you've allowed the 10mm expansion and contraction gap between the skirting and the floor, you will need to use a beading to cover the gap. Have a look at our range of skirtings and beadings on our Atkinson & Kirby accessories page.

Pin or glue the beading on to your existing skirting.

Do NOT under any circumstances pin or glue any beading or skirting to the floor. The floor must be allowed to move freely under the skirting or beading at all times.

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Looking after your floor

Your floor's biggest enemy is grit and the smaller the grit, the worse it is. The first thing you must do therefore is to put an entrance mat inside every external door to encourage people to wipe their feet, and hopefully that will prevent any problems from arising. If possible, have one outside as well and also, don't forget to clean your mats every so often.

Use felt pads under furniture legs to stop any unforeseen scratching and put castor cups under the castors on chairs and sofas.

You may notice a slight darkening of the floor after a period of time. This is entirely natural and is caused by the effect of sunlight on the floor.

For lacquered floors use a brush or vacuum cleaner to get all the loose dirt off the floor whenever needed. If necessary, use a very slightly damp cloth or mop but don't use too much water and always make sure your floor is wiped dry afterwards. Smear marks can be extremely difficult to get rid of.

Wipe up any spilled liquids as soon as possible. For more resistant stains, use white spirit or turps but use them very sparingly as they can cause damage in high concentrations.

For oiled floors, use a brush or vacuum cleaner for day-to-day cleaning. To refresh the floor, use our Bona Wood Floor Refresher which is a specially formulated water-born maintenance coating for all unwaxed floors which are dull, scratched or showing signs of wear.
For cleaning all our wood floors, use our WOCA wood floor cleaner. 1 litre covers 200 - 300 square metres.

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Repairing your floor

Small nicks and scratches can be repaired using a colour-matched filler but larger areas will require sanding and resealing which should be carried out by a professional with the correct equipment. If you think your floor needs professional repair, give us a ring on 01782 791503 or send us an e-mail and we'll put you in touch with a suitably qualified professional.

Alternatively, you can replace a damaged board. With a Valinge-jointed floor you can simply take up the floor back to the damaged board, replace it with a new one and then put the rest of the floor back. Sometimes however it's just not practical to do that, and obviously it's not possible to do that with a tongue-and-groove floor which has been glued together, but all is not lost. It's perfectly possible and relatively straightforward to replace a board without having to take up any of the surrounding floor. Give us a ring on 01782 791503 and we'll talk you through it.

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Atkinson & Kirby 15mm Honey Oak Brushed & UV-Oiled floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm White-Washed Oak Brushed & UV-Oiled floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm 3-strip Cherry Lacquered floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm 3-strip Beech Lacquered floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm Oak Brushed & UV-Oiled floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm Fineline Oak Lacquered floor
Atkinson & Kirby 14mm Oak UV-Oiled floor
Atkinson & Kirby 15mm Fineline Walnut Lacquered floor
Atkinson & Kirby 14mm Oak Lacquered floor
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