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Installation Guide

Installation is the responsibility of the Installer, Turnkey Retailer, Contractor or End User. Lux Wood Floors assumes no liability for any installation. It is the responsibility of the Installer, Turnkey Retailer, Contractor, or End User to ensure the job site conditions and method/manner of installation meet all criteria acceptable to The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) as well as those listed in these instructions. See the link below to the most recent NWFA Installation Guidelines. Only a qualified professional hardwood flooring installer should perform your hardwood flooring installation. These installation guidelines should be followed carefully to ensure the proper installation of your new hardwood floor. 

 

Product Inspection

Beautiful hardwood floors are a product of nature and therefore, are not perfect. Lux hardwood floors are manufactured in accordance with accepted industry standards, which permit a defect tolerance not to exceed 5%. The defects may be of a manufacturing or natural manner.

It is strongly suggested that upon delivery of product to the jobsite, two or three boxes be opened and laid out before the purchaser and/or end user. The purchaser and/or end user should compare the contents of each box to their floor sample to verify that it is the expected product. If there is any discrepancy between what was expected/purchased and the actual product received, DO NOT PROCEED WITH THE INSTALLATION! Notify the retailer, dealer, contractor, immediately.

Individual wood products may vary due to dye lot changes in the staining process. Lux Wood Floors cannot honor claims due to a lack of on-site product inspection and acceptance by the purchaser and/or end user.

The purchaser and/or end user and the installer should perform a final inspection of the boxes to check on manufacturing and factory finish of the delivered product. The installer must use reasonable selectivity and hold out or cut off pieces with defects, whatever the cause and/or unacceptable grain patterns, etc, per the purchaser and/or end user. Lux Wood Floors shall not accept responsibility for the installation of flooring with visible defects and/or unacceptable grain variations. The use of stain, filler, or putty stick for the correction of minor defects during installation should be accepted as normal procedure.

Before installing Lux Wood Floors hardwood flooring, the installer and purchaser and/or end user should verify that the jobsite and sub floor conditions meet all installation requirements as outlined here. Lux Wood Floors Warranty does not cover flooring failures resulting from poor jobsite and/or poor sub floor conditions.

Tools Needed For Installation

Generally the tools needed for installation are: Power saw, rubber mallet, crow bar/pull bar, tape measure, pencil, chalk line, wood or plastic spacers, tapping block, adhesive trowel, carpenters square, proper urethane or polymer hardwood flooring adhesive as required by Lux Wood Floors.

CAUTION: WOOD DUST!

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified wood dust as a nasal carcinogen. The sawing, sanding, and/or machining of wood products can produce wood dust that can cause respiratory, eye, and skin irritations. Equipment should be equipped with a dust collector to reduce airborne wood dust. Wear an appropriate NIOSH designated dust mask to reduce exposure to airborne wood dust. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. In case of irritation, flush eyes or skin with water for at least 15 minutes. In cases of severe irritation; seek immediate medical attention.

Pre-Installation and Jobsite Requirements

All issues involving water or moisture should be resolved prior to the installation of Lux hardwood flooring. For any new construction or remodeling project, pre-finished hardwood flooring should be one of the last items installed. The jobsite must be monitored for consistent room temperature between 60° and 80° F and relative humidity between 30% and 55% and acclimate as necessary. Failure to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels may cause damage to your Lux hardwood floor. Such damage would not be covered under Lux Wood Floors limited warranty. Lux hardwood floors must not be stored directly on concrete or near outside walls. It is not recommended to install hardwood flooring in areas subject to repeated moisture, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms.

Lux hardwood floors are warranted for interior use ONLY, in residential or light commercial on-grade, below grade, and above grade applications. If installing your hardwood flooring below grade, such as a basement, a floating installation is recommended along with proper consideration for possible moisture issues, including the use of a fully warranted moisture barrier between the subfloor and Lux hardwood floor product.

Lux hardwood flooring is not warranted over radiant heat.

Acclimation Process / Jobsite Conditions

Do not open cartons of Lux hardwood flooring until the day of installation. Always store cartons on a flat surface. Protect the cartons from moisture. The jobsite should have a consistent room temperature of 60° and 80°F. The relative humidity should be maintained between 30-55%, before, during and after installation. Do not open the boxes or take the planks out until the wood floor is acclimated and ready to be installed. This process may take several days. Room temperature and humidity level in the installation environment is a major part of the acclimation process. The humidity level must stay within the required range during the life of the wood floor.

Do not have flooring material delivered to a jobsite that does not have doors and windows installed. Also, all “wet work” i.e. painting, drywall, concrete, masonry, plumbing must be completed and dry well in advance of delivery of hardwood flooring. Gutters and downspouts should be in place and the exterior grade complete to allow for proper drainage of water away from the building’s exterior perimeter. Lux wood floors should not be exposed to extremes of humidity or moisture. Permanent HVAC should be on and operational a minimum of 5 days prior to having the hardwood flooring delivered and maintained between 60° and 80°F and a relative humidity of 30%- 55% prior to delivery, during, and after installation of the flooring.

It is the Installer, Turnkey Retailer, Contractor or End User responsibility to ensure that the jobsite conditions and jobsite subfloor are environmentally and structurally acceptable prior to the installation of any Lux hardwood flooring. Lux Wood Floors declines any responsibility for failures or deficiencies of hardwood flooring resulting from or related to sub-floor, subsurface, or job-site environmental conditions.

Subfloors

Subfloors must be clean and free of dirt, curing compounds, sealers, drywall mud, paint, wax, grease, urethane, or other materials that may affect the integrity of the flooring material or adhesives used to install the flooring. All subfloors must be flat to a maximum height variation of 1/8” in a 6’ radius or 3/16” in a 10’ radius, dry, and structurally sound.

Concrete Subfloors

Concrete slabs should be of high compressive strength and constructed to prevent groundwater from permeating the concrete. All acceptable concrete slabs are those which have been cured for at least 60 days and have a minimum 6mil poly film moisture barrier between the ground and the concrete. Acceptable moisture tests for concrete slabs include:

*Calcium Chloride test. A moisture transfer reading that exceeds 3lbs/1000 square feet in 24 hours with this test requires the use of a warranted moisture barrier. Do not install Lux Wood Floors over any slab that gives reading over 6lbs/1000 square feet in 24 hours.

*Tramex concrete moisture encounter meter. Moisture reading should not exceed 4.5 on the upper scale.

*Relative Humidity probe test with a maximum reading of 75%.

*Perform at least three tests in different areas of the first 1000sf and one more for each 1000sf after that.

Remember:

A "DRY" SLAB, AS DEFINED BY THESE TESTS CAN BE WET AT OTHER TIMES OF THE YEAR. THESE TESTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A CONTINUOUS DRY SLAB. ALL CONCRETE SLABS SHOULD HAVE A MINIMUM OF 6-MIL POLY FILM MOISTURE BARRIERS BETWEEN THE GROUND AND THE CONCRETE.

Grind high spots or use a Portland-cement based leveling material (minimum compressive strength 3000 psi) to fill all low spots to a maximum height variation of 1/8” in a 6’ radius, 3/16” in a 10’ radius. Follow the leveling compound manufacturer’s instructions. Leveling compounds must be allowed to thoroughly cure and dry prior to installation of Lux hardwood flooring.

Lux Wood Floors engineered hardwood flooring can be installed on-grade, above, or below grade. In addition, it can be installed over above-ground, suspended concrete floors. The suspended concrete must be a minimum of 1-1/2” thick and must be structurally sound. The exception to this is lightweight concrete (which usually contains high amounts of gypsum) having a density of 100 pounds or less per cubic foot. Test for lightweight concrete by using a nail to scratch the surface of the concrete. If the concrete crumbles or turns to powder, it is not sound and you should NOT glue down the hardwood flooring. Instead, use the floating installation method ONLY for lightweight concrete subfloors.

Wood Subfloors

Test wood sub floors and Lux hardwood flooring for moisture content using a pin-type moisture meter. Take readings of the subfloor – minimum of 20 readings per 1000 sq. ft. and average the results. In most regions, a “dry” subfloor that is ready to work on has a moisture content of 12% or less and the Lux hardwood flooring should be within 4% of the subfloor moisture content.

Basements and crawl spaces must be dry. Use of a 6 mil black polyethylene is required to cover 100% of the crawl space earth. Crawl space clearance from ground to underside of joist to be no less than 18” and perimeter vent spacing should be equal to 1.5% of the total square footage of the crawl space area to provide cross ventilation. Tape the polyethylene together using waterproof duct tape.

The subfloor must be flat, meeting a maximum height variation of 1/8” in a 6’ radius or 3/16” in a 10’ radius. All subfloors and subfloor systems must be structurally sound and must be installed following local building codes. Keep in mind that local building codes may only establish minimum structural requirements of the subflooring system and may not provide adequate rigidity and support for proper installation and performance of a Lux hardwood floor. Check the subfloor for any loose areas and secure them down to minimize the chance for squeaking. Whenever possible install the planks perpendicular to the floor joists for maximum stability. Lux Wood Floors warranties DO NOT cover any problems caused by inadequate substructures or improper installation over said substructures.

Subfloor panels should conform to U.S. Voluntary Product Standard PS1-07, Construction and Industrial Plywood and/or US Voluntary PS 2-04 and/or Canadian performance standard CAN/CSA 0325.0-92 Construction Sheathing. Other CSA standards also apply.

Acceptable Panel Subfloors: Truss/joist spacing will determine the minimum acceptable thickness of the panel subflooring. On truss/joist spacing of 16” o/c or less the industry standard for single panel subflooring is minimum 5/8” 19/32”, 15.1 mm) CD Exposure 1 subfloor panels, 4x8 sheets. On truss/joist spacing of more than 16”, up to 19.2” (488mm) o/c, the standard is nominal ¾” (23/32”, 18.3 mm) T&G CD Exposure 1 Plywood subfloor panels, (Exposure 1) or nominal ¾” 23/32”, (18.3mm) OSB Exposure 1 subfloor panels, 4’x8’ sheets, glued and mechanically fastened.

Truss/joist systems spaced over more than 19.2” (488mm) o/c up to a maximum of 24” (610mm) require minimum 7/8” T&G CD Exposure 1 Plywood subfloor panels, (Exposure 1), or minimum 7/8” OSB Exposure 1 subfloor panels, 4’x8’ sheets glued and mechanically fastened – or two layers of subflooring or brace between the truss/joist in accordance with the truss/joist manufacturer’s recommendations and with local building codes. Some truss/joist systems cannot be cross-braced and still maintain stability. For existing wood floors, install new flooring at right angles to the existing flooring. Do not glue, staple, or nail down Lux hardwood flooring over particle board. Floating application is acceptable. Do not glue down new flooring over existing glued down hardwood floors.

Preparing for Installation

Undercut all door casings 1/16" higher than the thickness of the flooring being installed. To do this, use a scrap piece of flooring as a guide. Lay the flooring piece on the substrate and cut the casing with a handsaw or use a power jamb saw set at the correct height. Remove door thresholds and base moldings and replace after flooring installation.

Starting Installation

For aesthetic purposes, hardwood flooring is often laid to the longest wall. However, the end user should make the final decision which direction the planks will run. Most professional installers will begin installation next to an outside wall, which is usually the straightest wall and used as a reference point in establishing a straight working line. A good way to establish a working line is to measure an equal distance from the wall at both ends and snapping a chalk line.

Measure distance from the wall at the width of the plank plus another ½" or more for expansion space for establishing your working line. It is advisable to dry lay a few rows before actually using glue to confirm your directional layout decision and work. Adjustment of the working line may be necessary if the outside wall or other working line reference is out of square. This can be done by scribe cutting the first row of planks to match the wall and creating a straight working line.

Blending of Cartons

To achieve a uniform appearance across the entire floor, we highly recommend that you open and work from several cartons of Lux hardwood flooring at a time and dry-lay the flooring, mixing the planks from several cartons. This will allow you to blend the planks for maximum aesthetic appearance. It is imperative that you make certain the room is well lit to ensure color is consistent and that any defective or unacceptable planks can be seen and planks discarded or installed in other areas such as closets.

Match Transition Moldings

For best appearance, blend all transitions and moldings to planks that have similar color and graining. Set the moldings and matching planks aside for use as needed.

Layout of Flooring

“Racking the Floor” is essential to achieve a random appearance. Start by either using random-length planks found in the carton or by cutting four or five planks in random lengths, differing by at least six inches. As you continue working across the floor try to maintain a six-inch minimum between end joints. Randomly install different lengths to avoid a patterned appearance. Never waste materials; the end cuts from starter rows should be used at the opposite side of the room to complete rows or used to start the next row.

Expansion space

Expansion space around the perimeter is required and should be equal to the thickness of the flooring material. For floating installation the minimum is 1/2" regardless of the thickness of the material. For commercial installations use a minimum of 1/2" expansion.

Glue Down Installation

Prior to installing the flooring, secure a straight edge inside the chalk line to act as a guide and to prevent the row of planks from shifting during installation. The straightedge could be a straight piece of lumber or piece of flooring. Alternatively, the first row can be face-nailed with finishing nails into the wood subfloor or sprig nailed into a concrete subfloor.

Spreading the Adhesive

Using Taylor MS+ Advance adhesive, Dri Tac Supreme Green adhesive, or an equivalent adhesive, and the manufacturer’s recommended trowel, hold the trowel at a 45° angle to ensure proper spread rate of adhesive. Apply pressure to allow the trowel to leave ridges of adhesive on the substrate with little adhesive left between the ridges. This will help to achieve the proper spread rate of the adhesive. Temperature and air flow across the adhesive can have an effect on the open time of the adhesive. Urethane adhesives will have a longer open time in areas of low humidity and will have a shorter open time in areas of high humidity. (See the Taylor MS+ Advance, or Dri Tac Supreme Green, or equivalent adhesive, label for further information).

Installing the Floor

Spread the adhesive from the chalk line/straightedge out to approximately the width of two planks. Install the first row of starter planks along the chalk line/straightedge and secure into position with the tongue facing the starter wall.

NOTE: Proper alignment is critical. Misaligned starter rows can cause side and end gaps to appear in proceeding rows of flooring. When you have the starter row complete, you can begin the next row. When you are certain the first two rows are straight and secure, spread adhesive approximately 2 feet wide across the length of the room. As a general rule, never spread more adhesive than can be covered in 30 to 45 minutes. If the adhesive has skinned over remove dried adhesive and trowel new adhesive. Continue to install planks and push them into place. Place the tongue of the board into the grooves of installed boards and press into the adhesive. As you continue working across the floor try to maintain a six-inch minimum space between end joints. Randomly install different lengths to avoid a patterned appearance. NOTE: Never strike a rubber mallet or hammer directly on the flooring to engage the tongue-and-groove. This practice can damage the flooring and/or the finish.

Remove excess adhesive from the surface of the installed flooring as you work, using AR 2000 Adhesive Remover or an equivalent adhesive remover. This will help to save clean-up time. A damp rag with the appropriate adhesive remover will remove the excess adhesive. Frequently change towels to avoid leaving a haze on the flooring surface. DO NOT use water to remove Urethane adhesives from the flooring.

As you approach the end wall it may be necessary to cut the width of the last row – be sure to allow for the proper expansion space along the end wall. Once the final cuts are made, set planks into place. Once the flooring installation is complete, remove the straight edge and glue down the first two boards.

Roll and cross roll floor with a 100-150 lbs (45-70 kg) roller at the end of the installation to ensure proper transfer of adhesive. Restrict foot traffic for a minimum of 6-8 hours and wait 24 hours before permitting moving of furniture onto the floor. To remove excess adhesive that has dried, use the same glue remover but pay close attention not to mar the finish from excessive rubbing.

Final Inspection

After the floor has been cleaned, inspect the floor for nicks, scratches, gaps or planks that may have moved during installation, as well as any other imperfections that need attention. Touch up nicks and scratches with touch-up products. In typical climates, the new floor can accept foot traffic within 24 hours. In areas where additional curing time is required, more time may be needed.

Nail Down Installation

  • Additional Tools and Material Needed:
  • Drill
  • Tapping Block
  • Compressor w/air hose and in line regulator
  • Pneumatic Nailer/Stapler
  • 15 lb. Roofers Felt
  • Before you begin using the following instructions, please refer to the Pre-Installation Job Prep information above.

NOTE: Our products are not warranted against squeaking, popping or crackling when using staple-down or nail down installation methods. Some squeaking, popping or crackling is normal and possible when using staple down or nail-down installation methods. These symptoms may be aggravated in arid areas or during dry conditions.

Set Up and Use of Pneumatic Staplers and Nailers

Minor occasional noises within the flooring are inherent to all staple/nail-down installations and can change as environmental changes occur. This is not a manufacturing defect and is therefore not covered under our Lux Wood Floors warranty.

You can help reduce squeaking, popping, and crackling by making sure that the subfloor is structurally sound, does not have any loose decking or joists, and is swept clean prior to installation. You should also be sure that your stapler or nailer is setting the fastener properly, not damaging the planks, and that you are using the correct nailing schedule. When used improperly, staples or cleats can damage wood flooring. If your nailer or stapler tool is not adjusted properly the staples/cleats may not be positioned at the proper angle and cause blistering, peaking, squeaking, or crackling of the floor. Some models may require the use of an adapter to adjust for proper thickness. Test the tool on a piece of scrap material first - set the stapler/nailer flush on the tongue side of the plank and install a staple/cleat.

Should the staple/cleat penetrate too deeply reduce the air pressure; if the staple/cleat is not deep enough then increase the air pressure using an in-line regulator. The crown of the staple/cleat should sit flush within the nail pocket to prevent damage to the flooring and to reduce squeaking.

Lux Wood Floors is not responsible for damage caused by the mechanical fasteners.

Recommended Staples/Cleats for Lux Wood Floors Engineered 1/2”- 5/8”, 20-18 gauge, 1” – 1-1/2” length

Getting Started

After the subfloor has been properly cleaned and prepped cover the subfloor with 15lb. asphalt felt paper or an industry approved moisture vapor retarder such as Aquabar. This material will help to keep the floor clean and help to retard moisture from below.

Select a starter wall. An outside wall is best as it is most likely to be the straightest line and square with the room. Measure out from this wall, at each end, the overall width of the plank (board width + tongue + the space needed (1/2”- 5/8”) for expansion. Snap a chalk line from these points, parallel to that wall. Install the first row of starter planks along the chalk line/straightedge and secure into position with the tongue facing away from the starter wall (toward you). Drill pilot holes through the face of the plank every 6” (in the dark grain); approximately 1” from the back edge of the board and secure planks with 1” finishing nails. Fill holes with color putty or colored fill sticks. Remove excess filler from surface.

Blind nail at a 45° angle through the tongue 3”-4” from the end joints and every 6”-8” in between along the length of the starter boards (Pre-drill holes to make this easier). Depending on the width of the flooring it may be necessary to do this for the first few rows prior to using a pneumatic stapler/nailer. NOTE: Proper alignment is critical. Misaligned starter rows can cause side and end gaps to appear in proceeding rows of flooring.

Installing the Floor

Continue to install the flooring making sure to nail/staple 3”- 4” from the ends and every 6”- 8” thereafter. Make certain the tool is adjusted properly to ensure that the fastener is at the proper angle and is flush within the nail pocket.

As you continue working across the floor try to maintain a 6” minimum space between end joints. Randomly install different lengths to avoid a patterned appearance. If needed use a tapping block to help engage the boards together until the tongue-and-groove is flush and tight and no gaps are present between adjacent planks. NOTE: Never use a rubber mallet or hammer directly on the flooring to engage the tongue-and-groove. This can damage the flooring and/or finish.

As you approach the end wall it may be necessary to cut the width of the last row – be sure to allow for the expansion along the end wall. Once the final cuts are made set planks into place.

The last few rows may need to be fastened by hand. To fasten the final planks into place, you must either manually blind nail and/or face-nail through the surface on the final planks. Drill pilot holes at a 45-degree angle to the floor and blind nail using 1” finishing nails. Alternatively, drill pilot holes in the face every 6” (try to drill holes in darker portion of the wood) and install with 1” finishing nails. Countersink nails and fill with appropriate colored wood filler or fill sticks. Remove excess filler from surface with a clean rag and proper cleaner.

Floating Floor Installation Guidelines

  • Additional tools & material needed:
  • T&G Adhesive
  • Terry Cloth or flannel towels
  • Minimum 6 Mil Poly Plastic Sheeting
  • Tapping Block & Spacers
  • Pry/Pull Bar
  • 2-in-1 Foam Underlayment

Before you begin using the following instructions, please refer to the Pre-Installation Job Prep information above.

Minimum 6 Mil Polyethylene not required over a vinyl, wood, or a wood product sub floor. Minimum 6 Mil Polyethylene required over concrete type subfloors – on-grade or below grade. Do not install over carpet. If installing over vinyl, ensure that the vinyl is secure to the sub floor. Do not install over “perimeter-glued” vinyl. If installing over an existing hardwood floor, install the Lux Wood flooring at right angles to the existing hardwood floor. Secure creaking and loose floorboards with screws. Do not install over hardwood flooring glued to a concrete sub floor. Minimum of 1/2" of expansion space required at all vertical surfaces.

Note: Larger rooms require additional expansion 1/16” to the width of the expansion space for every 3’ the room extends beyond 25’. Dimensions exceeding 40’in length or width – it is recommended to use a T-Molding for proper expansion.

Getting Started

Remove all doors and shoe moldings. Undercut all door casings 1/16” higher than the thickness of the flooring and underlayment to be installed. Place a scrap piece of plank and a sheet of underlayment against the door casing to act as a guide and cut the door casing with a hand saw or power jamb saw set to the correct height.

After determining the direction to run the planks, measure the width of the room (the dimension perpendicular to the direction of the flooring). The last row of the flooring should be no less than 3-½” wide; if it is less, cut the width of the starter row to avoid a narrow last row.

Select a starter wall. An outside wall is best as it is most likely to be the straightest line and square with the room. Measure out from the wall, at each end, the overall width of the plank plus 1/2" for expansion. If the first row requires ripping then measure from the wall the width of the ripped board plus 1/2" for expansion. Snap a chalk line using a (brightly colored chalk) from these points.

Install Underlayment: Unroll the 6 mil. Poly sheeting overlapping edges 4” and seal seams with clear plastic tape. Allow the poly to run 2” up the wall and trim back after installation of flooring. Install 1/8” foam underlayment.

Note: Use of a floating floor 2-in-1 underlayment should be used. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for installing the 2-in-1 underlayment.

Prior to installing the flooring, secure a straight edge (starter board) inside the chalk line to act as a guide and to prevent the row of planks from shifting during installation. The straightedge could be a straight piece of lumber or piece of flooring. This is temporary and will be replaced as the floor is completed.

Installing the Floor

Insert spacers at walls to maintain the expansion space between the flooring and the wall. Before starting to glue planks, dry lay the first two rows of flooring. Working from right to left, install planks so that the groove faces the straight edge (starter board). When reaching the end of the first row, cut the plank as necessary to fit. On the first 4 rows stagger end joints a minimum of 16” and then 8” thereafter. Use the remainder of the plank from the first row to start the second row. If the piece is less than 8” long, cut a new plank in half and use that piece to start the second row.

Lay the remainder of the planks in the second row. Make sure that the rows are straight and no gapping exists on the sides or ends. Once you have dry laid the first two rows, remove all the planks in order. You are ready to begin. Begin gluing the boards; Run a continuous bead of adhesive along the groove of the short side (width) and the plank’s side groove (length). Proper alignment is critical. Misaligned starter rows can cause side and end gaps to appear in proceeding rows of flooring.

Install first row of planks with groove facing the straight edge. Work from right to left. Complete the first row. Make sure there are no gaps between the boards. Use a tapping block if need to close the boards together. Immediately wipe away any excessive adhesive with a clean, slightly dampened cloth.

CAUTION: Adhesive that is allowed to dry on the finish surface can be difficult to remove and may leave a haze.

At the end wall use an end pry bar, if needed, to pull the ends of the planks tight. Continue to install the floor working left to right, repeating the process until the completion of the floor. Continue to use the spacers on all vertical surfaces to maintain the 1/2" expansion. DO NOT USE laminate straps as they may damage the flooring.

The last row will most likely require cutting to width but it should be no less than 3-½” wide. To do this, lay the plank face up on top of the last full row installed. Trace the wall contour on the last plank using a scrap piece of plank and a pencil. Install cut planks and pull into place with a pry bar. Install spacing wedges between planks and wall. Remove the straight edge (starter row) and install the last row using the pry bar.

Allow floor to dry for a minimum of 12 hours before removing all spacing wedges and allowing foot traffic. Install trim and moldings the following day. Do not fasten transition moldings or base boards to the flooring.