Solid, laminate, or bamboo for high-humidity on concrete?


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Old 08-07-06, 01:31 PM
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Engineered wood for high-humidity area over concrete?

Hello all,

I've been reading the DIY.com forums for a long time now, but finally have a reason to register and post. I live in Houston and even with our AC running constantly to keep the house at 74 degrees, the humidity as measured by a cheap humidity gauge is between 60-70%. I say this all, because we want to put wood flooring of some sort in our bedroom and dining room over our concrete floor but I am unsure as to what type of material to use.

My current plan is to hire a contractor to level the concrete floor using a self leveling concrete, then I'll install the floor myself. I plan on floating the floor using an engineered wood click flooring with no glue and square edges. I plan on using quiet walk underlayment for moisture barrier and sound deadening.

I'd like some opinions on the decisions I've made so I'll list them out 1 by 1.

1) Engineered wood - dimensionally stable for the high humidity summer and low humidity winter

2) Click flooring with no glue - ease of installation, no glue to mess with. I can glue if it is needed, though I have no prior experience gluing. ( Is Kahrs the only maker of glueless click-lock?)

3) Square edges - I prefer the look and feel of square edges but if beveled edges are a great benefit I'd consider changing

4) Quiet Walk - I'd like to use a pad that adheres directly to the engineered wood for increased "deadness" like laminates, but that obviously isn't an option. I figure Quiet Walk is the next best thing. Would this be a problem with the warranty if QuietWalk isn't specifically mentioned in their installation instructions?


Any thoughts? Good plan, bad plan?

Thanks,

Russell
 

Last edited by trpltongue; 08-15-06 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 08-11-06, 11:23 PM
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I've just installed laminate in our condo in HI.

1. I have no experience with engineered wood

2. I used Quick-step Eligna laminate flooring..no glue and went together fairly easily. Many others make glueless laminate; Armstrong and Pergo to mane 2 others.

3. Beveled edges are your choice. Beveled edges for Quick Step were about $1.50 more per sf. Not worth it to me.

4. I'd use what manufacturer specifies in the warranty which is usually their own brand. Just think about it; if you use other than manufacturer specs and have problems, they have a great reason to not honor the warranty.

Regardless of what you choose, installing the flooring is the easy part. Making the floor flat is a PITA and took three times as long.
 
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Old 08-14-06, 06:13 AM
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Thanks for the info!

I imagine I'd probably hire a pro to float the floor as that is such an important and difficult part of the install.

Russell
 
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Old 08-15-06, 01:10 AM
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Humidity in home should be maintained between 35-55%. This can be monitored with a hygrometer (sold where thermometers are sold.) Dehumidifiers can be used to remove excess humidity that can not be controlled by running HVAC system. Installation of floating engineered wood over concrete requires a moisture barrier. Engineered wood should be acclimated per manufacturer's instructions to adjust to temperature and humidity in the home.

Engineered wood does offer greater dimensional stability than solid hardwood flooring which tends to expand and contract as temperature and humidity fluctuate.

Click flooring is very popular among DIYers due to ease of installation. There are many manufacturers of click flooring. Shop around.

Most prefinished solid hardwood tends to have beveled edges. Beveled edges tend to be more forgiving of a less than perfectly flat subfloor. This is likely not the case with engineered wood planks

If sound 'deadening' is an issue, using a product that has the cushion attached to the flooring tends to better minimize sound issues.

Read and follow manufacturer's instructions carefully in order to avoid warranty issues.
 
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Old 08-15-06, 06:45 AM
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Thanks for the tips twelvepole!

Regarding humidity in Houston, unfortunately it's very difficult to keep humidity at or below 55% in Houston. There was an independant study done by the US department of energy and Pulte homes where they analyzed 20 different homes with 8 different de-humidifier arrangements varying from stand alone in the house to parralleled with the AC unit in the attic. You can see the results here:

http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy05osti/36643.pdf

Basically, none of the setups were able to keep relative humidity below 60% all of the time.

Having said that, my home spends most of the time at about 65% RH. Occasionally it will rise to 70% or dip to 55% but never below 55%. When I posted 70% to 80% earlier I was going by memory and was wrong. I am looking into dehumidifier options to help keep the RH down but don't want to put a stand alone unit in the bedroom or living room as they tend to be noisy and my wife doesn't like the noise.

Russell
 
 

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