Structural damage caused by water and/or high humidity must be resolved prior to installing ALSTON StoneCoreX® flooring.
Ensure that exterior grading is complete with surface drainage offering a minimum drop of 3" in 10' to direct exterior water sources away from the structure where the flooring will be installed inside.
Crawl spaces should be a minimum of 18" high, insulated per latest building code requirements, with a minimum 6-mil ground cover vapor barrier. Crawl spaces should offer cross-ventilation air vents equivalent to at least 1.5% per 100 square feet of floor space.
Moisture issues must be detected and corrected before installation. ALSTON StoneCoreX® floors are waterproof but are not intended for use as a moisture barrier.
The jobsite should be enclosed and climate-controlled. HVAC systems must be fully operational with a consistent room temperature of 65°- 85° F and relative humidity levels of 35%-55% before the flooring is delivered or installed, and throughout the lifetime of the flooring installation.
Do not install Waterproof StoneCoreX® floors where they will be subject to extreme hot or cold temperatures at any time. Do not install cabinets or heavy fixtures directly onto ALSTON StoneCoreX® floors.
To eliminate potential trade-related damage, Alston recommends that its StoneCoreX® flooring be one of the last jobs completed.
The quality and preparation of the subfloor over which your StoneCoreX® floors will be installed is critical to a successful installation.
Acceptable Subfloor Types
- CDX Plywood
- Concrete. Minimum compression strength of 3000 PSI
- Existing resilient tile, sheet vinyl (one layer) or ceramic tile
Minimum subfloor requirements for all installations:
- Structurally sound, smooth, clean and free of debris, including but not limited to, staples, nails, wax, grease, paint, sealers and old adhesives.
- Level and flat to 3/16" per 10'.
- Dry throughout the lifetime of the installation.
Wood subfloor must be:
- Tested for moisture not to exceed 11%.
- Nailed or screwed down every 6 inches along the joists to remove subfloor squeaking.
- Leveled with high spots sanded down and low spots filled with a leveling compound. Leveling material should provide a structurally sound wood subfloor.
Concrete subfloor must be:
- Fully cured for at least 60-90 days prior to StoneCoreX® installation.
- Tested for relative humidity, moisture and pH. Relative humidity tests should not exceed 85% (RH); Calcium Chloride Test for moisture should be no more than 8lbs per one-thousand square feet in 24 hours MVER (Moisture Vapor Emission Rating) and pH tests for alkalinity levels should register between 7 and 9.
- Installed properly with a minimum 6-mil poly film moisture barrier between concrete and ground below.
Resilient tile, sheet vinyl or ceramic tile requirements:
- No more than one layer.
- Well secured to structural subfloor.
- Grout lines of any depth should be filled in with a cementitious leveling and patching compound to assure a smooth, flat surface.
DO NOT INSTALL STONECOREX® OVER CUSHION BACKED GOODS OR ANY OTHER FLOORING THAT IS NOT COMPLETELY ADHERED TO THE SUBFLOOR.
Floor coverings that must be removed prior to StoneCoreX® installation, include: Carpet, needle felt, cushion vinyl, floating floors of any kind; parquet, solid and engineered hardwood over concrete; sleeper substrates. Do not install over existing wood flooring glued to concrete.
Radiant Heat Guidelines
Installation General Guidelines
Our SPC flooring products are recommended as a floating floor which should never be nailed down to the substrate. It can be glued to the subfloor if desired but we do recommend to remove the foam padding to ensure proper adhesion to the substrate. It should be laid flat and fully supported during shipping and storage. It should be stored away from direct sunlight and installed in a climate controlled indoors locations with average temperature between 55°F (13°C) -- 85°F (29°C). It can be installed Above Grade, On Grade or Below Grade. Post Installation indoor temperature range need to be between 32°F (0°C) -- 100°F (37.7°C). Use of drapes/blinds is recommended during peak sunlight exposure hours.
Lightly textured or porous surfaces. Well-bonded, solid floors. Dry, clean, well-cured concrete (cured for at least 60 days prior). Suitable surfaces include wood floors; CDX Underlayment Grade Plywood (minimum of 5/8" thickness); Underlayment Grade Particleboard; OSB (minimum 3/4"/23/32" thickness); Ceramic or porcelain tiles with grout lines filled with floor leveler. All surfaces must be clean and dust free.
Rough, uneven surfaces including carpet and underlay. Rough, heavily textured and/or uneven surfaces may telegraph through the SPC vinyl and distort the finished surface. Do not install this product in areas which are exposed to long term direct sunlight such as sun rooms or solariums.
WARNING: DO NOT REMOVE OLD RESILIENT FLOORING. THESE PRODUCTS MAY CONTAIN EITHER ASBESTOS FIBERS OR CRYSTALLINE SILICA, WHICH CAN BE HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH.
Radiant Heated Floors
Our SPC flooring products can be installed over hydronic radiant heated floors or electric radiant heated floors that use embedded cables under the subfloor. DO NOT INSTALL over any electric heating mat that is installed on top of the subfloor. Do not turn surface heat above 29°C (85°F). To avoid overheating, the use of an in-floor temperature sensor is required.
Our SPC flooring products are recommended to acclimatize to room temperature (approx. 20°C/68°F) for a minimum of 72 hours prior to installation. Carefully check planks for any defects before installation. Remove any traces of glue or residue from the previous flooring surfaces.
New concrete floors need to dry out for at least 60 days prior to installation. Wood plank floors require a plywood subfloor. All nail heads must be driven down below the surface. Securely nail all loose boards. Scrape, plane or fill uneven boards, holes or cracks using floor-leveling compound if sub-floor is uneven - over 3.2 mm (1/8”) within a span of 1.2 m (4’). If installing over existing tile, use a floor levelling compound to skim coat grout lines. Make sure the floor is smooth, clean, and free of wax, grease, oil or dust, and sealed as necessary before laying planks.
TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
Utility knife, Straight edge, tapping block, rubber mallet, spacers, pencil, tape measure, pull bar, ruler, ¼” spacers, chalk line, safety goggles and hand saw for cutting door frames.
INSTALLING THE FIRST ROW
*Please check for visual defect PRIOR to installation, any plank that has been installed will be deemed acceptable to the owner.
Start in a corner by placing the first plank with the tongue side facing the wall. Use spacers along each wall to maintain an expansion space of 8-12 mm (3/8"-1/2”) between the wall and the flooring. Diagram 1.
NOTE: This spacing must also be maintained between the floor and all vertical surfaces, including cabinets, posts, partitions, doorjambs and door tracks. You will also need to use transition strips in doorways and between rooms. Failure to do so may cause buckling or gapping.
Insert the end tongue of the second plank into the end groove of the first tile at an angle of approx. 15-20 degrees. When lowered the plank will click into place. The planks should be flat to the floor. Diagram 2.
WARNING: Failure to properly line up the end joint and attempting to force it in while out of alignment could result in permanent damage to the end joint.
Continue connecting the first row until you reach the last full tile. Fit the last tile by rotating the tile 180° with the pattern side upward, place beside the row. Draw a line across the new plank with a pencil, score with an utility knife and snap off. Attach as described above. Diagram 3.
It is important to ensure that the planks in the first row are straight before beginning installation of the second row. Use a rubber mallet and tapping block.
INSTALLING THE SECOND ROW
Begin the second row with the offcut piece from the first row to stagger the pattern. Pieces should be a minimum of 150 mm (6”) long. Remember to use spacers along each wall to maintain an expansion space of 8-12 mm (3/8”-1/2”) between the wall and the flooring. Diagram 4.
NOTE: It is faster to assemble planks into a new row at the ends and then attach the entire row to the previous row on the long sides.
To start your second row, lay your first plank on the subfloor. Take your second plank and insert the end tongue into the end groove of the first plank at an angle of approximately 15-20 degrees. When lowered, the plank will click into place with light pressure. The planks should be flat to the floor. Make sure gaps are as small as possible. Continue assembling the planks this way until you have your second row complete.
To attach the second row to the first row, tilt and push the side tongue into the side groove of the first row at an angle of approx. 15-20 degrees. When lowered, the planks will click into place and be flat to the floor. To ensure a strong seated joint, carefully use a rubber mallet and tapping block to lightly tap into place. Line up edges carefully. Continue laying remaining rows in this manner. Diagram 5.
INSTALLING THE LAST ROW
To fit the last row, start by using the offcut piece from the previous row. Lay the plank on top of the previous row. With the tongue to the wall, use a ruler to draw a cutline. Don't forget to allow room for spacers. Cut the plank and attach into position. Diagram 6.
DOOR FRAMES AND HEATING VENTS
Door frames and heating vents also require expansion room. First cut the plank to the correct length. Then place the cut plank next to its actual position and use a ruler to measure the areas to be cut out and mark them. Cut out the marked points allowing the necessary expansion distance on each side. Diagram 7.
You can trim door frames by turning a plank upside down and using a handsaw to cut away the necessary height so that the plank slides easily under the frames. Diagram 8.
Remove the spacers once the floor is completely installed.