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Wide board flooring


kurt
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OK, I'm sure everyone knows what a pain in the ass wide board flooring is......need advice.

I'm consulting a gig on all sorts of technical issues, and wide board flooring is one of them. Right now, the spec is what's called "Brazilian cherry" in Chicago; it's one of the 30 or so reddish tropical hardwoods used extensively around here. Brazilian Cherry my ass........

We know wide boards move and open up joints after a while. The flooring guy's talking gluing and nailing to the subfloor (plywood). I'm not a glue down flooring guy, because I like the float. I've installed thousands of SF of various wood flooring, looking for experience, not necessarily mfg'. spec's.

Oh yeah, soundproofing......either flexi-cork (rubbery cork stuff), or acousti-tech (an air entrained membrane stuff). Gluing and nailing complicated by soundproofing.

I'm checking the flooring install websites as I type.......

What's the carpentry brotherhood think about gluing (and nailing) wide board flooring?

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5 1/2" x 3/4" T&G over plywood.

Don't glue it.

The secret to dimensional stability will be climate control. If they don't want it to move all over the place, they should install a system to keep the humidity within a narrow range.

I've never used the cork stuff.

How's Acoustitech different from Gypcrete?

Why not control sound with hat channel or a double layer or GWB on the ceiling below (or both)?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Acousti-teck looks like a fibrous packing material; it's remarkably good at soundproofing. The cork flooring just dampens sound ever so slightly.

Still talking resilient channel, but for some reason, there's resistance to it from the contractor from a "cost basis".

I was already talking another layer of drywall, but like all these things, everyone's got an opinion, and we're weighing them all.

Yep, no glue (never liked the idea in the first place). I'm thinking humidity control, and they live with the bit of movement they get.

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5 1/2 isn't that wide. If the manufacturer says it's ok to glue it, it's ok, but most solid wood floors are not designed to be glued. If it's glued down just what are the nails for? Nailing the floor will likely defeat any sound proofing between it and the subfloor, just too many bridge points to be effective.

What about clips? I've never used them, but there are clips that tie solid wood together in a click/lock floating application. It will likely mean switching to a different board machined for the system, but "Brazillian Cherry" sounds trendy enough to be available that way. The flooring supply should know for sure (or maybe you need to find a supplier that knows this stuff). I'm not fond of floating floors, they feel funny under foot, but it would work better with the sound proofing mat and eliminate the idea of glue.

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Yesterday's house had white pine 1x10 (just common #2) butted edge to edge and nailed three nails per board to what appeared to be every other floor joist throughout the whole house. It was actually pretty nice, but would have been much nicer if they had used something other than 8d clipped head gun nails. That floor has been down for several years and is holding up remarkably well.

I have samples of ipe and garapa 1x6 decking on my desk.

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Different animal.

Folks into wide pine flooring are usually into reclaimed materials, knots, and the sorts of things I think make flooring cool looking.

Then, there's the urban dwelling customer that wants a "perfect" floor. We know how that works. 1/32" lippage can put them apoplectic. I have a job related to minimizing or eliminating apoplectic from the process.

We've installed tons of 6" ipe decking, if by decking, you're talking about an exterior deck. That's also a different animal. Pretty much gone to only doing that with the back clipped method; no exposed fasteners, and on floating rails. And it's an exterior deck; there's "gaps" aplenty.

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Acousti-teck looks like a fibrous packing material; it's remarkably good at soundproofing.

Is it loose? How's that work?

Still talking resilient channel, but for some reason, there's resistance to it from the contractor from a "cost basis".

What? Has he ever used it. There's practically no cost.

I was already talking another layer of drywall, but like all these things, everyone's got an opinion, and we're weighing them all.

The second layer of drywall will do more than anything else to deaden sound -- unless they want to fill the joist bays with sand.

Yep, no glue (never liked the idea in the first place). I'm thinking humidity control, and they live with the bit of movement they get.

If the wood is well adjusted to the humidity before it goes in and the humidity is controlled, there shouldn't be much movement afterward. Around here, there's a product called Brazilian cherry that's been around for the last 20 years or so. It looks nothing like cherry, of course, but it's hard, stable, & fairly easy to work. Though it tends to be a little dark for my taste, I like working with it better than oak.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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I know, I know......we're in agreement on everything near as I can tell, but this is about "consulting", which means there's a dozen egos out there all saying different things.

I'm just stacking up reference material for my salvo. On my side, I've got the ear of the customer; I'm in because they've been through the building process before, and understand the underbelly.

I'm the guy watching the underbelly.

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5 1/2" x 3/4" T&G over plywood.

Is that solid wood flooring being installed over plywood or an "engineered" product (as in B.cherry over a plywood base)?

I did my 2nd floor after our remodel with SunFloor's 5½ "engineered" Brazilian Cherry, glued together (not down) and floated over cork panels. 3 rooms, a hallway and a walk-in closet. I made my own transitions, thresholds, etc. 3+ years later and not a gap or a cup anywhere.

Glue down was an option for the product but seemed like it could be very messy. The glue together/float method let me take my time. I'm fairly certain that glue & nail was not a recommended option for that particular product.

This was my one and only experience installing wood flooring of any kind, so I'm no expert, but I'm very happy with the result.

BTW, "Brazilian Cherry" is actually Jatoba, a very, very hard wood. It's holding up well to my 100lb dog's nails.

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Solid wood. Not an engineered product.

I thought "Brazilian Cherry" was a generic name applied to a about 2 dozen species that have similar color, hardness, and grain. Jatoba is just one of them.

That's what my wood guy told me. Maybe I got it wrong.

I'm sticking with what I know, which is nailed, floating, a single layer of acousti-tech, and it's going to move a little regardless. What wood floor has anyone ever looked at that hasn't moved somewhere?

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