Installation Guide

Wild river timber floors are constructed from the best European Oak for the veneer and bonded onto a multi-plywood base. This ensures stability and longevity. All boards are manufactured with tongue and groove on ends and sides. Our boards are pre-finished and are available in a wide range of colours and finishes. All timbers require an oil & buff upon completion.

Different thicknesses are available depending on the product chosen. We offer both 15mm and 20mm boards.

Colour variation occurs with all-natural timbers. Due to the process of colouring our boards you can expect greater tonal variation than a stained product, but a more natural look.

The quality of our boards is exceptional in appearance and trueness. High quality engineered floors can be laid without restrictions that apply to a solid product. For example; shrinkage and movement is greatly reduced.

Wild River Timber recommends qualified floor layers be used to install our floors & also accredited trades persons to oil & buff upon completion.

Pre-installation considerations

Wastage allowances: We recommend a minimum wastage factor of between 5%- 10% and up to 20% for the herringbone pattern.

Moisture & Environment: We recommend ATFA, Pre- installation requirements; DOWNLOAD HERE

Pre-finished Boards: All boards require and oil and buff upon completion. We recommend Whittle waxes natural oil and hard wax oils. (Refer to WRT care and maintenance)


Wild River Timber offers tongue and groove stair nosing’s for all board profiles. They come as raw solid American oak. These can be professionally stained to tie in with the colour of your floor or alternatively can be left raw and coated with oil only (depending on the colour of your floor this can act as a safety measure as the nosing’s differ in colour and accentuate the individual steps).

Note that it is acceptable to have some variation in a set of stairs and nosing’s may not be an exact match to flooring colour.

Stairs must be installed to Australian Standards (AS1657)

Installation Method

The flooring system must be installed by an accredited flooring installer in accordance with AUS/NZ standards.

All Wild River Timber installations must be installed via glue down/direct stick method. Failure to do so will void the warranty.

Installing over a concrete slab

Preparation of the slab: The concrete must be structurally sound, dry (no more than 5.5% moisture content), level and cleaned of waxes, adhesives dust etc.

Apply a moisture barrier sealant to the slab to ensure no moisture rises to the surface.

Slabs must be level with no more than a 3mm deviation over a 3-metre radius. If deviations are greater than above, use a self-levelling compound or grind the slab to level the surface within the above tolerance.

It is important to consider the possible risk of sub slab water ingress from surrounding areas. A relative humidity & moisture content reading is required prior to installation; please document readings for your records. If moisture content is more than 5.5%, please contact us for further advice.

Installation of boards by direct sticking the boards to the slab: Over a prepared slab (see above re: slab preparation). Glue the boards with Sika Bond-T55 (J) to the slab using a 3 – 6mm notch trowel. Spot weight across the floor and weight any hollow areas to ensure floorboard and sub-floor contact.

Installation of boards onto ply over concrete slab: The minimum thickness of ply which can be used over a slab in order to secret nail is 9mm. Over a levelled slab lay thick polythene sheet as a moisture barrier. Overlap each sheet by 150mm and attach the overlaps using a 50mm wide double sided tape. Lay the ply over the polythene sheet in the opposite direction (cross laminate) to the intended direction of the floor, for example; place the long length of the ply perpendicular to the direction of the boards. Attach the sheets to the slab using pre-drilled sleeve pins only, at a rate of 28 pins per 2400mm x 1200mm sheet. Level ply as necessary by plane or sanding. Adhere boards glue Sika Bond-T55 (J) SF applied in either a 80% snake pattern individually to the back of the board or applied by 3-6mm notch trowel to the ply. Secret nail every 100-200mm. The same adhering process can be performed when sticking directly to the moisture barrier above the concrete slab- 3-6mm notch trowel or min 80% coverage via snake pattern.

Installation of boards by direct sticking to slab with acoustic matting: The matting system is a requirement in multi-residential developments to reduce noise transfer. Over a prepared slab (see above re: slab preparation) The matting will need to be applied to the slab with Sika Bond-T55 (J) using a 3mm notched trowel and allowed to dry to the manufacturer’s specifications. Glue the boards directly to the matting with Sika Bond-T55 (J) also using a 6mm notched trowel. Spot weight across the floor and weight any hollow areas to ensure floorboard and sub-floor contact.

Underfloor Heating Options: In-slab and above-floor heating systems can be used under our flooring. In-slab heating uses either electric or hydronic heating elements which are embedded in the slab. If using in-slab heating, we recommend our direct stick to slab method (above). It is vital that any underfloor heating system be fitted with a cut-off thermostat set no higher than 22 degrees Celsius when measured under the timber flooring. Irreparable damage to wooden floors occurs if it is subjected to temperatures above 22 degrees during normal operation periods. Even heat distribution is vitally important as hot spots can cause greater board movement (shrinkage or cupping) in some areas of the floor compared to others. Likewise, seasonal operation of the system can cause some gapping or board shape changes. It is best to run the heating system prior to install for around 2 weeks to ensure slab dryness.

Wood is a natural product and reacts to the conditions of the room in which it is installed. Shrinkage or cracking can occur when the humidity is too low. The best condition for a wooden floor is a relative air humidity of between 35% and 55%. Shrinkage may occur when the relative air humidity is lower, therefore we strongly recommend a humidifier. Regardless of the above, it is possible that gaps, cracks or checks may appear in timber installed over in floor heating.

Sub-floor temperature should be checked prior to install and should not exceed 22°C. Relative humidity should be in the range of 35 to 55% at a room temperature of 20°C. Then turn off the heating for at least two days where you can then install the flooring as per above. Once completed, gradually turn the heating up in stages over a period of 10 days in increments of 2°C per day then maintain at desired level for 2 weeks. Gradually increasing and decreasing the temperature for operational use will help the timber to acclimatise and minimise disturbance to the floorboards.

Installation over structural timber flooring or existing timber strip flooring
  • Installation over structural timber flooring (eg. Chipboard or Yellow Tongue): Rough sand the timber substrate if joins are peaking or level is greater than 3mm over 3m. Glue using Sika Bond-T55 (J) applied in either a snake pattern individually to the back of the board or applied by 3-6mm notch trowel to the ply. Secret nail every 100-200mm.


  • Installation over existing timber strip flooring: It is important to ensure that existing floors are sound and free of rot etc prior to installation of new timber over top. If running the boards in the opposite direction to the existing timber floors, the boards can be glued and secret nailed directly to the substrate. If installing in the same direction as existing flooring, a 4mm ply must be pinned down over the existing floor to create cross lamination. This minimises movement between the existing timber floor and new timber floor. Rough sand ply and glue using Sika Bond-T55 (J) applied in either a min 80% snake pattern individually to the back of the board or applied by 3-6mm notch trowel to the ply. Secret nail every 100-200mm.
  • We do not suggest the installation of our boards directly over battens, bearers & joists, or as a floating floor. Please call us to discuss further if you have any questions.
Post-Installation Considerations
  • Caulking: As the boards are engineered, the need for expansion allowances is minimalised. We suggest a 3mm gap be left between boards & skirting. Caulk out the gap in a colour to match the floor or skirting (applicable when floor is installed direct stick only) 
  • Transitions: In most cases a 3mm aluminium flat bar is used as a transition between timber and other floor finishes.
  • After installation/Builders Clean: If dust is present, vacuum immediately, do not mop. Moisture can set plaster dust into the low grain of the timber making it very difficult to remove if not impossible. After all dust has been removed, use Whittle waxes floor care in conjunction with mopping (see care and maintenance).
  • Floor Protection during construction: It is preferred that the boards are laid as late as possible in the project to prevent the boards from being damaged by other trades as they are pre-finished. Should further work need to be done on the project after installation has been completed it is essential that the floor be protected using a 2mm foam underlay and a 3mm or 4mm MDF sheeting over top that is securely taped together (do not apply tape to the finished floor) or other protection method. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance: Ensure to use Whittle Waxes floor care concentrate, in conjunction with Whittle Waxes oils. (Refer to our “Wild River Flooring Care and Maintenance” guide)
  • Underfloor Heating Options: Irreparable damage to wooden floors occurs if it is subjected to temperatures above 22 degrees during normal operations. Have your floor re- oiled every 12 months as a minimum to ensure longevity and richness of colour.
Timber Finishing
  • All Wild River Timber products require an oil finish, in order to preserve and protect the material, therefore it is imperative that all products must be finished with an oil coating.
  • Supply list: Vacuum, Recommended floor cleaner, Foam mop, Water, Bucket, Moisture meter, Oil finish, Oil dispenser/Spray bottle, White nylon fleece pad, Rags/Cloths, Buffing machine.
  • Ensure that Wild river timber products have been installed to “Wild River Timber Installation Specification” DOWNLOAD HERE
  • Mop the floor with the recommended wood floor cleaner (Whittle waxes floor care) and a foam mop. Allow the floor to dry completely (typically one to three hours). Use a high-quality foam mop and have a bucket of clean water available to clean the mop as you go.
  • It’s best to check the floor with a moisture meter to confirm the floor is dry before proceeding.
  • Oil is then applied liberally with an oil dispenser or spray bottle.
  • Next the floor is buffed, using a buffing machine with a nylon fleece pad. Those pads are coarse enough to knock down the grain while also driving in the finish.
  • On a distressed floor, it may be necessary to use a brush pad on the buffing machine, or simply by hand.
  • All perimeters should be cut in by hand, using a rag or nylon fleece pad
  • The white pad is used to polish the floor until the finish has an even sheen. Now the oil needs to harden, which typically takes about six hours.
  • For a slightly lower sheen, the floor may be buffed once more using a white pad with a polishing cloth underneath.
  • The floor is ready for traffic in six to seven hours.

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+613 5972 1111


61-63 Access Way
Carrum Downs 3201