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National Wood Flooring Association Installation Guildlines

Download the Wood Flooring installation technical booklet here.

Installation Tips

Adapted from instructions for a 140,000 project in a desert environment. Adapt as necessary to suit other climates. INSTALLER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL FINAL DECISIONS AND RESULTS.

Urgent Note: Oily rags and debris cause fires.  A LOT of fires.  Don’t leave anything to chance.  Follow all precautions.  Do not throw oily rags into open dumpsters or fires will result. Double bag, fill with water and tie off air-tight all rags, left over paste, filler, oily blocks, even clothing before disposing of in air-tight container.  Fires may erupt in hours, not days.  A lunch break is a ‘get rid of rags’ break.

Do NOT leave any oily materials on site.  Major fires have resulted, often, not occasionally. Our own shop has had numerous ‘near misses’, with smoking rags.

A large gym recently burned hours from full completion; cause? Burning oil soaked rags.



Wood blocks should be kept in a clean, dry, well- ventilated, shaded area and protected from moisture, excessive heat and other extremes of climate.

Blocks will be in boxes or strapped in bundles and these should be opened to the air to prevent any mildewing or molding. Blocks in boxes, will be marked and labeled as to size.

The blocks will be adequately dry upon leaving the factory, but they may well need to be acclimated somewhat. A level of 6-8% is preferred but this will vary depending on the moisture level expected in the structure at normal occupancy. In use, blocks will likely measure between 6-12% moisture.

Bring blocks into the building where runs will start and end and where stock should be built up. Floors must be of course, cleaned, prepped and ready before the blocks are brought in. The floor must be thoroughly clean in front of the person laying glue and blocks


Substrate requirements:

Slab must be dry, sound, flat, clean, and fully stable.

Thoroughly cleaned immediately before installation. General area within 10 meters should be swept clean and the radius of cleanliness maintained.

Level: Flat to 5mm of a straight edge in a 3M radius

Slab should be the dry to industry standard levels, (3.5%)



Wood blocks act as bio-hygrometers.

Higher than normal fluctuations in humidity call for increased spacing between blocks, Old Wood Magic Cork may be used therefore and proper filling will create a homogenous look.  Final filling must be adapted to filler to be used.  Contact us for guidance.


A 3-5 mm expansion gap may be included at 5-10 meter intervals along the longest axis of installation, however if blocks are not too tightly laid, this can be at the minimum rather than the maximum. The gap is to be filled with Magic Cork filler and may be replenished as necessary.



Grids should be created using chalk. On LONG RUNS, establish waypoints every 5 meters. Check and approve layout before installation

See sketches and visit mockup site for more explanation on this.

GLUE: Use only a water-cured urethane adhesive in accordance with the manufacturers directions.

The proper trowels MUST be used or this may be a disaster. The size of the notch and its shape will define the adhesion model. 3/16ths, 1⁄4” spacing is good, and must be kept clean at all times when not in use, blocked notches are NOT allowable.

If a moisture barrier adhesive is to be used, follow trowel and installation instructions specific to glue to be used.

How to Spread Glue:

Glue shall be neatly spread with the proper notched trowel no more than one half meter in front of the current ‘Lay’. Never lay more glue than can be well covered and used within two minutes or less. Glue left open to the air longer than this or until it develops any skinning must be cleaned up and re-applied.

Glue should be spread so neatly and with such care that there is never more than 1- 1.5 CM of glue showing beyond the edge of the blocks. Even this small amount MUST be cleaned up, a line of wet glue cannot be allowed to harden as it will cause the next lay or line of blocks to be ‘humped up’.


Follow the approved pattern, ensure only very small gaps and none larger than 3mm maximum unless perhaps on an edge. By all means avoid gaps in the middle of the sight lines.

DO NOT jam blocks them up as tightly as possible but to allow each block to have a tiny bit of “wiggle” room. If a given block has a rough edge or some irregularity, unless it is excessive, allow that space to become a built in expansion/contraction gap.

#1:Setting Blocks: Set, Wiggle, Tap.#1: Set the block into its proper space, wiggle it a bit, tap it for good measure. Check size. Check alignment. Check for size.


More than 1mm below the surrounding blocks should be replaced immediately with a thicker block. If a low block is accidentally installed and the glue allowed to harden, place a piece of colored tape onto that block so that later on you may come back with a palm sander and smooth and taper any edges that may be present both prior and after overall floor sanding.

#2: Wiggle: This is intended to break any skin that may have formed on the adhesive to assure contact with wet glue on the back of the block and to check alignment and orientation of the block.

#3: Tap: A white rubber mallet or other non-marking hammer should be used on each end every block to assure all are fully and properly bedded into the adhesive substrate.

Recommended Crew:

Teams of three: one to spread glue, one laying and tapping blocks and the third bringing blocks, cleaning or sweeping/cleaning ahead.

ROLLING: A one hundred pound roller (50kg) is recommended for a flat, well bonded appearance.

LEVEL AND STRAIGHT: Extreme care must be taken to look back over the blocks just laid.

Blocks can be adjusted fairly well minutes after laying but a half hour later it can be quite difficult. Keep the overall lay flat and level. If a given block is low or high, either adjust it or get rid of it. Low blocks are the hardest to fix as a LOT of sanding has to be done to get the surrounding floor level with the lowest one. To fix this it is perfectly acceptable to pop the block up and add a touch more glue or if it is more than 1 mm low, discard the block. High blocks can of course be easily sanded. If you see a low block fix it fast. GLUE cures fast.

Keep the pattern random or as indicated.

CURING TIME: A minimum of 17-24 hours is required between gluing and first sanding or other traffic and operations or a per glue manufacturer’s instructions. More time is better.

SANDING: Wood blocks are prone to marking from poor sanding. If sandpaper is too coarse it will leave lines that may not appear until oiling so be careful to fully sand out the previous grit with the next grit in line and don’t make excessive jumps from coarse to fine, i.e. 60-80 is alright but 60-100 will leave marks from the 60 grit that will appear on oiling.

Random vibratory sanding is recommended however a master sander with a drum sander can get great results. Drum sanders leave lines that must be finally removed with random sanders.

60 Grit will do in most cases for first cut. If low areas are to blended in, then 36/40 grit may be desirable but it will take more work to remove the lines.

Sanding should progress in even passes in reasonably sized areas.

Final cut should be made with a 110 or finer screen. Final finish sanding may go as fine as 200 grit. Finer papers may be used as well if desired.

FILLING/SANDING: Sanding fines are desirable and should be retained and used as filler agent to be mixed with and used with the Old Wood House Oil Blend mixture of oil and Limonene. Collect all sanding fines, keep them clean and dry.

Extra fines may be provided with the oil blend but if care is taken with sanding fines the sanding process itself will produce enough fine powder to fill the floor.

As sanding takes place, a man with a soft broom can follow on gently sweeping the fines using a dappling effect, up and down with the broom, to encourage the fines into the cracks between the blocks. The subsequent application of the Old Wood House Oil Blend will impregnate these fines and within days cause them to catalyze into a cork like material that can be sanded and oiled.




Dry fill with fines first. This is critical. Work this into cracks as much as possible even compressing material in to any larger voids using a spatula edge or fine trowel.

Next, broom in fines. Take care not to sweep fines out of the cracks.

Wet fill with Old Wood Magic Cork blend.

This is a site mixed blend of sanding fines mixed to a wet paste with Old Wood House Oil Blend. This paste is made by filling a two liter pail or larger and mixing in adequate oil to create a wet slurry like paste to be able to express enough oil from the paste to achieve full absorption of oil into the block surface.

Mix oil and Citrus Solvent at 1-5 ratio.

A plastic trowel, metal plastering trowel or round nosed spatula, will be used to press the paste down into the cracks. Do not allow air bubbles to form.

Take extra care to assure that Magic Cork is fully pressed down into all gaps, voids, fills all depressions including any spots that may show as white due to dry powder which has not been fully oiled

Oil: apply the House Oil Blend mixture by spraying, wiping or using staining pads. A squeegee can be used. Do not do anything to wipe the fill dust out of the cracks.

Apply enough oil that some residual is left over on the surface.

Look back over your surface to see what areas may have absorbed more and need re-applying. This first ‘full soak’ application is vital. Apply enough oil to do the job well but avoid waste.

If gaps persist, use the end or edge of the trowel to press filler in and get a good fill on any gaps.

WIPE AND TOUCH UP: Touch up dry spots. Re-fill as necessary. Look, at each and every block carefully. Touch-up oiling may go on for days and weeks on such a large area. Keep the surface fully oiled and buffed, but not wet.

Take care on recently finished floors NOT to wipe out fill as you wipe on more oil mixture.

Keep fill level flush with surrounding blocks until the mixture has time to set up, usually two to three weeks before it is completely cured

MAINTENANCE: Regular application of oil every time it begins to look a bit dried out. Some touch up with Magic Cork filler will likely be required as well periodically.

This will take place every few months for approximately one year.The oil will begin to get some ‘build’ to it and cure into a smooth hard finish.

Keep Old Wood House Oil Blend and Magic Cork on hand for re-coating and touch up.

CLEANING: Use Old Wood House Oil Blend mixed at 1:4, Citrus/Oil. If found appropriate, a cleaner of 1:2 Citrus/Oil is a stronger cleaner. The citrus is a strong cleaner and at this concentration take care not to take the finish off of the wood.

Additionally for light cleaning you may use Murphy’s Oil Soap. Oil finishes can be lightly damp mopped as long as care is taken to never wet the blocks or allow actual water into the finish. Damp is alright; wet is bad.

DO NOT USE overly caustic or concentrated soap mixtures. If Murphy’s is not available, use a light mixture of the most basic white soap. Use enough to make a solution that will barely foam. Less is better.

ACCIDENT CLEANUP: If at any time actual water is allowed to pool or soak into the floor, take all measures to dry it immediately. This would include the use of mops, rags, wet-dry vacuums, and plenty of fans and air circulation. Failure to dry the floor immediately can cause block failure.

In the event of a large floor area failure, new blocks can be easily replaced into the old structure. Contact Old Wood for further details on repairs.

REPAIRS: Loose blocks, cracked or otherwise defective blocks may be removed using a hammer and chisel or by sawing out larger sections using a circular saw. The removed area is to be cleaned with the chisel or other method and new blocks, properly stained and filled are then to be replaced. More extensive repair work will be covered during installation training.

Technical: Refer to our website:





OLD WOOD MAGIC CORK FILLER and OLD WOOD HOUSE OIL BLENDMixing and use:The base for the Magic Cork Filler (MC) is Old Wood House Oil Blend (HOB) .

The HOB is made is made by mixing the oil (may be one part or multi-part depending on specification) with the Citrus Solvent component at a base level of two ounces to one gallon. This can be increased to as much as 4:1 Oil/Citrus.

For filling, the dry wood dust powder and or collected sanding fines from actual sanding operations are mixed with the Oil and then thinned and catalyzed by the Citrus Solvent.

The amount of Citrus to use will vary on the use and application. In order to get a fully catalyzed cork like reaction in Magic Cork Filler within one week it is recommended that a mixture of at least 8:1 be used. More will cause a quicker reaction and may be necessary to properly thin the mixture for use.

For Magic Cork Filler, blend the HOB, mixed at about 1:5 into your sanding fines, mixing thoroughly.

The paste should be oily as appropriate for filling and/or oiling. As the paste is used, some remainder will accumulate across the surface of your floor. If the floor was clean as it should be, you can return this dried out mixture to your pail and add more oil.

It should be oily but not oozing. It will ooze as your press it into the cracks and if it gets too dry, re-mix or add new blend. You want enough oil present to fill the dry filled material underneath the filler you are applying.

Never make more filler than you plan to use within a half a day as it will rapidly set-up in the pail making it unusable for most filling.


MSDS sheets are available online from the manufacturer for both products ( Look under Linseed Oil, Boiled and under d-Limonene. Additionally information may be found at for both products.

Always wear personal protection equipment and prepare and use the products as recommended. The oil is quite benign but the Citrus solvent may burn eyes readily and after extended exposure may cause skin difficulties. See MSDS safety literature. The Citrus is not considered toxic



Tribal Wall Panels

Installation and up-fitting your panels: depending on the size and shape, your panels will most likely come on a custom made pallet, well packed in cardboard etc. Be sure to reclaim or reuse the packing materials as you are able. Carefully cut any banding using a sharp knife or cutters. Watch your eyes when doing this, these bands can snap dangerously open.

*Assess your installation; be sure you know which panel will go where.

*The rounds are usually laid to the edge but not over it for installation reasons. This is so they will go up cleanly and butt up to each other without breaking or overlapping blocks.

*You have been provided with spare blocks and probably the glue needed to make the panels appear seamless once installed. Take a look at those and be thinking how you will use them.

*Trimming: If you need to size the panels to fit, we recommend a fine toothed joinery blade on a table saw. 80 would be appropriate. Be sure to keep the blade up high enough that the descending tooth is pressing the panel into the saw table, not trying to kick back at you. Follow all instructions and safety precautions such as eye protection and don’t do this without supervision or previous knowledge of the process of running a table saw.

*Repair, replace, adjust: use the blocks and glue provided to cover gaps, replace broken or missing blocks.

*Finishing: if you plan to finish the panels, use a simple sprayer method (simple but good hand spray bottles work usually) to apply Old Wood House Oil Blend or other thin oil finish.

Old Wood House Oil Blend has a lemony aroma and can be thinned to suit very easily.

Be careful not to make them sticky with too much oil. They are already a bit challenging to keep clean. See cleaning instructions below!

You may opt to spray them with a water based polyurethane. If so, consider cutting the product with clean water to make it spray more easily. Call us if you have questions.

*Drill and screw: drill holes appropriate for the screws to be used or alternately mount any plate or bracket type hardware to be used in mounting the panels. If mounting with wood screws, drill your holes, as possible, in gaps between the blocks. You’ll never see them again. They’ll be hidden.

Six or eight screws ought to be adequate but you are responsible so do a good job!

*Cover Up time! Get your favorite politician mask out…JK! After the panels are mounted, you can get creative yourself and use the provided blocks and glue to cover the lines between panels, expand the edges to give a more ‘wild look’ or just have fun. Don’t go overboard; less is more with these things. The eye wanders around but seldom settles and nobody is looking for perfection on these. You can build castles and strange alien landscapes; remember, less is more.

*Cleaning: a vacuum cleaner with that brush thingy attachment that your Mom used on the venetian blinds. That or swap the hose around and use the shop vac as a blower. You can also use a soft ‘butler brush’ to keep them tidy looking. Repair any missing blocks as you do this.

If you catch your least favorite nephew breaking blocks off the wall, … let his little sister do the repair; that way she’ll have all the fun. Seriously, a hot glue gun is handy for repair work as it sets rapidly so you won’t have freshly glued blocks falling off the wall right after you let go.



GUARANTEE: All our wood is carefully selected, sawn, dried, machined and processed (some seconds and lower grades as well as discounted product excepted) and all orders are filled with adequate wood to complete the order as stated and paid for.Orders should be carefully inspected upon receipt for quantity, quality, damage, defect, suitability, dryness and all other normal considerations. Any claim for damage must be made with the freight company on site at point of delivery. Orders should not be received or installed during inclement or rainy weather. Amounts should be verified upon receipt, as Old Wood LLC is not responsible for subsequent shortages, which are often due to wood ‘walking off the job’ and are wholly beyond our control.We carefully tally each order and keep documentation to this effect to avoid this type of problem.We work with and sell wood and it is subject to the full range of character and traits of the material and we are in no wise responsible for it’s behavior as such.If you are unhappy with any board for any reason return it freight pre-paid to Old Wood LLC, 425 Bibb Industrial Avenue, Las Vegas NM 87701 and we will replace it, no questions asked. For entire order returns restocking fees will apply as well as charges for damage, open bundles, re-drying in some cases as well as other charges applicable to the return. We strive to avoid these problems at all times.Every effort will be made to solve problems in advance and defective product should NEVER be installed. It is up to the installer and owner who are the final arbiters of a board’s suitability for the job intended. We are not responsible for installation and removal costs or the cost of any discomfort, distress, accommodation, chemicals, stains etc. or other inconvenience due to defect in our boards. Actions and statements of agents of sale, freight, distribution, installation and finish are not binding upon Old Wood LLC or its heirs and assigns.We strive for honest, open business relationships and to that end; we are always available for consultation. Please, call if you have any questions. Avoid mistakes in advance by doing your homework. Remember this is wood, not injection molded plastic.No two boards are alike but therein lies the beauty of it. We work hard at making wood flooring all-day every-day and we sincerely want you to have a great result with our wood!

The installer will be the final warrantor and responsible party for all matters related to failure of glue bonds, inappropriate blocks and other defects not attributable to negligence or intentional lapses. No unusable block should be used.  We are available: 888-545-9663

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