How do the thinner solid (not engineered) hardwood floors perform?

Old 03-10-05, 10:05 AM
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How do the thinner solid (not engineered) hardwood floors perform?

I saw a post comparing 3/4" solid to a 3/8" engineered. How does a 5/16" solid wood compare in performance?

We have been looking at a 5/16" solid prefinished strip for a few reasons - lower price, brand has scratch resistant coating, it has a better height match with existing floor, and it is still solid wood (not laminate or engineered).

Realisticallly I am not expecting to re-finish this floor more than once or twice in my lifetime (over the next 30-40 years). Is that realistic? Can you get a refinish or two out of that thickness? How much does a refinish job usually take off the surface? What happens when you get down as far as the tounge/groove part, I assume you are done?

Also if nailed/stapled or glued do you still avoid the hollow sound that laminate has?

Other advantages/disadvantages?

Old 03-10-05, 05:03 PM
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Thinner hardwood floors

Look at the back of a piece of solid 3/4" hardwood flooring. You will see where some grooves have been cut. Cutting out these grooves reduces the weight of the hardwood flooring. 3/4" hardwood has been the mainstay in the flooring industry. Some manufacturers and consumers have moved toward thinner hardwood flooring.

Thinner hardwood reduces freight costs. You can cover the same area of floor with a solid hardwood flooring product at less cost due to savings on freight. Manufacturers of thinner hardwood claim greater product stability than with 3/4" when exposed to fluctations in temperature and humidity. It's the same line of reasoning used when comparing the dimensional stability of 2 1/4" strip to wider plank flooring. The thinner and narrower tend to be more dimensionally stable when it comes to solid hardwood. Like 3/4" thick hardwood, 5/16" should be installed only above grade, not in basements. Manufacturer's claim the thinner strip products can be installed with mechanical fasteners or adhesives, rather than with nails required for 3/4" flooring. (Make sure there are no moisture issues with concrete.) They claim it can be glued directly on top of a concrete floor, eliminating the need for a plywood subfloor on on-grade slabs. The thickness of required transition pieces are reduced. Whatever flooring product you choose, follow manufacturer's recommendations to maintain any warranties. Many manufacturer's of thinner flooring claim that the flooring can be refinished as many times as 3/4" solid hardwood. Manufacturer's of 5/16" flooring claim their products offer a lifetime of performance like 3/4".

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