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Choice of vapor barrier material under hardwood flooring

Choice of vapor barrier material under hardwood flooring

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  #1  
Old 03-08-09, 07:23 AM
L
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Choice of vapor barrier material under hardwood flooring

Hi.

We're getting ready to install some hardwood in a 2nd floor bedroom. We were told by the supplier that felt paper was the best underlayment, versus general construction paper or rosin paper. I have an issue with installing something coated with TAR in a bedroom.

Can somebody provide some measurable pros and cons of each type of underlayment? How much "vapor" can uncoated paper really repel? Seems it would collect vapor and eventually grow mold. The bedroom in question is right over the kitchen.

One more question: Anybody know what "Dream Home Quiet Walk" underlayment is made out of? Any tar/chemicals?

Thanks!!!
 

Last edited by Leetie; 03-08-09 at 08:48 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-08-09, 09:39 AM
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Just my opinion - the paper is just there to help the floor from making noise. Nothing to do with a vapor barrier. Especially on the 2nd floor.
 
  #3  
Old 03-08-09, 03:35 PM
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What he said, but rosin paper is usually better. They used to use felt in the way back days. Either will provide a break between the materials.
 
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Old 03-08-09, 05:52 PM
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If you use 15 lb. felt, be aware of the difference in thickness should you decide to use an overlap. It will make a difference. As stated earlier, it is there as a cushion more than a vapor barrier, although it does to some extent. I don't overlap the edges. It makes laying the floor much easier.
 
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Old 03-16-09, 08:06 AM
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The felt has no vapor barrier properties, it's just wool.
Unless the first floor is a sauna or something similar, I don't see any use for a vapor barrier.
The felt must have been suggested rather as a sound barrier or for comfort.

I have seen thin cork underlying used in Europe as sound barrier.
 
  #6  
Old 03-16-09, 10:10 AM
L
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Thanks everyone.

The floor is installed and looks lovely. We went with the rosin paper just so we'd have something between the hardwood and plywood subfloor. I'm not sure I've heard any consistent reasons for having anything there whatsoever... but that's what we did.

And again, felt paper is not just wool - it is infused with tar, which makes it repel water (this is why it's used on roofs). And it smells like tar.
 
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Old 03-16-09, 02:26 PM
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There you go....dig them spurs in!! Don't keep us in the dark. Post some pix on a site such as Photobucket.com and copy/paste the HTML code to your reply post.
 
  #8  
Old 03-16-09, 04:08 PM
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Well... the floor wasn't a "DIY" job, but the rest of the room is/will be. Removing wallpaper and prepping the walls for paint was a chore and a half. I still have lots of painting and trimwork to finish. But anyway... <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3360591633/">here is my new floor</a>! We're pumped to do the floor in the next room ourselves. So in the immortal words of the Governator, I'll be back.
 
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