Jump to content

Input on Wood Floors


Recommended Posts

Hi all, I am installing new wood floors in our kitchen and dining room coinciding with new cabinets and I am looking for input on pros and cons with the different types that people have experienced. The only absolutes so far are I am going with pre-finished, 5" wide plank, and no "painted" surface laminate. Needing to figure this out before I start cabinets so I can place the proper sleeper height under the cabinets. Was planning to use MDF under the cabinets for height of floor installed, recessed back from toe kick to allow me to tuck the floor under.

I was originally going with 3/4" solid, standard nailing down. However now I've started looking at some of the engineered hardwoods (with the hardwood wear layers) since it has more consistent quality in the pieces, expands and contracts less requiring less expansion gap at edges, and is $1.50+ sq. ft. cheaper for the finishes we are going with, and can still be refinished, albeit only 1 or 2 times.

If I go with engineered, I was hoping to do staple down with either 3/8" or 1/2" thick. However, we've found one we like that is bamboo with very high surface hardness rating and is 1/2" thick and interlocking. Only problem with this specific one is that it isn't rated for staple down, and can only be glued or floating per manufacturer.

When I was inspecting, I couldn't stand floatings as I could always feel the "give" in them and the hollow sound, and I prefer the solid feel. However with the glue down, would assume it will be harder to replace a piece if needed, with subfloor having to be damaged to get it out, not to mention the glue cost and mess.

So, anyone have experience with a 1/2" floating? Does it still have the same issues I noted above, or is some of that eliminated with the thicker 1/2"?

Any other input on gluing down?

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to provide input. Kevin

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've shown up on new constructions where the flooring guys were trying to rip up fully adhered vinyl and could see that they were having a hard time at it. Despite that, I plan to replace all my peel/stick with fully adhered vinyl planks (works better for rolling loads) because my slab is too uneven and I don't want to mess with patching.

Engineered planks are good stuff AFAIK as long as there is no MDF or mystery laminations in them, and the top layer is thick. If I could afford it, I'd love to fasten it in whatever way the manufacturer says...except float.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like the only problem with the bamboo product you like is that you're concerned with the process of replacing sections of it in the future.

If that's the case, you can always build a jig and use a router to hog out any damaged sections with no risk of damage to the subfloor or to adjacent strips.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bamboo is excellent material. I've seen it hold up great in a couple showrooms in Chicago (Lightology @ Franklin & Wells) that traffic in hundreds of customers daily, tracking in street grit. It should hold up in a residential kitchen. I don't know why you'd have to replace it.

If you did have to replace a chunk (which I doubt), we've cut out sections with "buzz" saws (commonly called oscillating saws ala Fein, Festool Multitool, etc.) easily. Don't need a router anymore.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the bamboo, but you will want to glue it.

I have floating engineered Maple floors in dining and living room on underlay and plywood subfloors. This wood expands and contracts with the humidity. I don't know how it would react to being nailed or glued but I imagine it will cup and shrink if it can't expand towards the walls. 5" planks will be more dramatic than 3" I suspect.

I had nailed Maple in a previous house and it would shrink when the heat was on and tighten up in the summer months.

When we replaced the stinking carpets in this place the first floor we laid down was 1/2" interlocking laminate. She-who-knows-best declared it made the room too dark and so a year later we took it all up and laid it in the bedroom and a hallway with a few planks left over. That is what I like about the interlocking planks. They are flexible and almost fun to work with.

They say in Europe when people move out of an apartment they take the flooring with them.

The true laminate we have does not shrink or expand, while the engineered Maple hardwood does.

Link to post
Share on other sites

They say in Europe when people move out of an apartment they take the flooring with them.

They take the flooring and the whole steenkin' kitchen. Sometimes bath fixtures, especially fancy valve handles.

The kitchens are really cool. Modular rack mounts. Plug in and out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input. I've never dealt with glue down, so that was my main concern with this specific one. Kinda figured I'd still notice it was floating even with the thicker 1/2". Several others allow staple down for 3/8" and 1/2" just not this particular one.

If I don't find another I like that allows staple down, will probably do this one and glue it.

Anyone ever install glue down engineered? Thanks again

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone ever install glue down engineered? Thanks again

I installed one about 8 years ago; I swore I'd never go that route again. It turned out really well, but I made a mess.

Yeah that was kind of my concern. Have read several posts at other sites where people said go that route as a last resort.

Has anyone been on a 1/2" floating? Is it anywhere near as bad as laminate or thinner floatings with the squishy feel or hollow sound?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bamboo is excellent material. I've seen it hold up great in a couple showrooms in Chicago (Lightology @ Franklin & Wells) that traffic in hundreds of customers daily, tracking in street grit. It should hold up in a residential kitchen. I don't know why you'd have to replace it.

If you did have to replace a chunk (which I doubt), we've cut out sections with "buzz" saws (commonly called oscillating saws ala Fein, Festool Multitool, etc.) easily. Don't need a router anymore.

Thanks, I have the tool, was just concerned with the condition the subfloor would be in if I did have to, but suppose I could just use filler if it came to that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. The miracle of epoxy and microfiber filler can solve just about any mess.

Personally, I'd glue it even though I have my reservations about glue down. Installing engineered flooring always seems to involve making choices between lesser evils.

Engineered flooring always results in me being peeved about some less than satisfactory thing that I get to revisit every day.

The mess of traditional installation results in net end benefit, i.e., it's for a 100 years and it doesn't go bad unless I make it that way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...