Laminate vs. Hardwood, vs. Glue down hardwood


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Old 02-26-07, 09:00 PM
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Laminate vs. Hardwood, vs. Glue down hardwood

Building our first custom home, 4500 SF. with 2000 SF that we want to use hardwoods in.

High humidity area, and the builder prefers to build on raised slab because of potential mold/mildew problems in the future in a crawl space.

Our current house we have engineered flooring, I think its pretty thin armstrong stuff, that dents REALLY easily and the finish is crap, even being VERY careful with water a small spot left on the surface for about 3-5 minutes resulted in the finish hazing.

Our experience with nail down, real hardwood has been great in the past, maybe it was the type (harness of the wood) of wood, but it seemed much more durable.

Question is this: Is there a DURABLE, engineered glue down product (prefer 3 inch planks or so) that anyone recommends? Price is really not an issue, looking for a QUALITY product.

Has anyone had any luck with GLUING down real 3/4 inch hardwood? has there been any improvement in glue technology that makes this possible? I believe that subflooring with plywood eventually leads to sweeks/etc...is this true??

i've gotten so MUCH good advice here on every other DIY project, and for this I am not DIYing! but would love some expert advice! Thanks!
 
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Old 03-11-07, 11:21 PM
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If the subfloor is thick enough AND flat AND and properly secured (glued + screwed every 6 inches) AND the hardwood is acclimated properly AND installed at an average humidity level for your home AND you keep the humidity range relatively small due to heating/cooling/humidifying, you will likely never have squeeks and the floor will feel rock solid. Lots of conditions in there though...
 
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Old 03-12-07, 07:11 AM
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I'd stay away from laminates and 'engineered'. Cost isn't an issue, I see laminates at $3/sq ft and solid oak (3/4" planks) at $3/ sq ft. Why would you spend the same money on something that could never be refinished and is essentially a paper facing on scrap wood when you could have real, solid wood.

As noted, allowed to adjust before installing and then being properly installed are key for any wood (or wood product) floor.
 
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Old 03-12-07, 10:04 AM
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I agree with that, I also think solid planks feel so much nicer under foot.
 
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Old 03-12-07, 02:11 PM
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IMO, nothing and I mean nothing compare to the look and feel of real solid 3/4" hardwood floors. However there is a time and a place for different types of wood flooring. You will not find any laminates in my home, period.

Engineered woods are good in higher humidity areas as the engineered wood floor and the way it is made (like plywood) is less susceptible to swelling or shrinkage. That is not talking about the finish just how the wood substate works. Also engineered, while having a real veneered wood, wear layer, still does not match solid 3/4", again my opinion. In any event you should get a high quality engineered if you are going that route.

Now if money is not an issue I would go with a solid 3/4" hardwood. Probably an exotic wood that has high points on the wood hardness scale. There are domestic woods that are very hard and look nice, but the exotic woods are my taste.

If you are going 3/4" on slab, you should check the moisture content of the cured slab. Then I would never glue down a wood floor on slab. Maybe I am old school and there are a lot of glue companies claiming great things but, I personally wouldn't do it. I would put down a moisture barrier and then put down 3/4" CDX plywood that is kiln dried, to nail the hardwood into. Provided you solve the possible moisture issue through the slab getting into the floor, the slab will have no flex issues and be a good nailing surface once the plywood is secure.

I would leave the appropriate expansion gaps and leave a dime sized gap between runs of boards about every 30". Also as mentioned controlling the humidity within the home is a very, very good thing. Also, I said, I would do all of these things. Well as a matter of fact, in my home, I did.
 
 

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