Tricky installation advice...


  #1  
Old 07-25-00, 04:41 PM
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I am beginning to finish a one-and-three-quarter story extension to my residence and need some wood flooring installation advice. My problem is that I need to lay down solid wood flooring on a variety of subflooring types and down some stairs. The area starts at the top with a concrete slab landing (about 7' wide x 3' long and a part of the existing house). The landing steps down to the right onto another landing that enters into a WC (new construction). Both the lower landing and WC subfloors are 1" plywood on 2x6 joists 16" OC. On the left side, the concrete slab landing steps down onto a stairway (also new construction) that leads to the lower level (also new construction). The stair steps are 1" plywood on 2x4s set on three stringers evenly spaced and about 38" wide...

I know that I will have to install a vapor barrier over the slab but I am not certain how I should be securing the hardwood flooring (or whether it should "float"?), and I am not certain how I should be transitioning the installation from the slab to the first plywood step. What kinds of materials should I be looking at to go between the subfloor and the flooring material?

I have done just about everything else in this project but I have never installed flooring before. Any tips and warnings about installing this stuff on stairs would be appreciated. Also, I'm wondering: Is wood flooring installed so that the commode in the WC sits on the flooring or is the flooring cut around the footprint of the commode? The first option makes sense by I have never actually noticed...

Thanx for any advice...
 
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Old 07-26-00, 08:58 AM
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I can't comment on all your problems, but here's something.

On concrete floors, you have two options: (1) Install some kind of wood floor on top of the concrete (one or two layers of plywood with or without 2x4 sleepers) and nail the hardwood to that, or (2) Use an engineered flooring (essentially a thin layer of hardwood on plywood) which floats (i.e., tongue and groove glued with no attachment to subfloor). In both cases, you'd use a vapor barrier directly on the concrete (probably 15# roofing felt taped at the seams with duct tape). Consider what effect these approaches will have on the height of each step and the height of the last step. You don't want the last step to be higher than the others, or you'll trip every time (and the building inspector will never go for it).

Put the toilet on top of the hardwood (the same as you'd do with ceramic tile). It'll look much better.

Most transitions are improvised. Do anything you think will work and look good. Hardwood manufacturers make a special stair nosing.

 
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Old 07-26-00, 02:35 PM
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You also have the option of gluing an engineered hardwood directly to the concrete and to particle board over the plywood areas. You need to perform a moisture test on the concrete (not a bad idea for the whole installation area), and use a quality urathane glue like Bostiks Best. Also, choosing a quality 5 ply engineered hardwood is good insurance over concrete, as they are very stable. I'm not a big fan of hardwood in w.c's, unless there are no men in the house (I'll leave it at that). I would highly recommend using solid hardwood stair components on the stairs, not flooring components. The latter is prone to squeeking and is basicly just cheesy.

If you have basic finish carpentry skills, tools, and experience you should be able to install your own floor. Good luck

Scott www.stephensfloor.com
 
 

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