Florida Engineered over slab. Glued or Floating?


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Old 04-23-07, 03:40 PM
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Florida Engineered over slab. Glued or Floating?

I've removed the tile and thinset. Just got a few spots (ok, a lot of spots) where the hammer dug in a little and I'm going to fill those in with self levelling (smoothing?) cement. Was just going to pour some down and quickly try to move it around as much to fill in all the chips.

Anyways, now trying to decide between glued and floating. I'm doing it myself.

Glued:
Pros - Solid Feeling
Cons - Harder to install. More expensive, need lots of glue. Slab needs to be prepped very well for good adhesion.

Floating:
Pros - Easy to install. Much much less glue needed but then need plastic and foam. Still net result is you'll save some money.
Cons - Will it creek 'too' much?

With floating, I know I've got a good vapor barrier between slab and wood. With glue down, it seems the vapor barrier is in the glue but what about those spots that the glue doesn't expand too? Our house was a mix of tile and glued down much thinner engineered wood. When I pulled up that wood, I could see how they troweled the glue down, but there were still lots of small areas where the slab was still visible.

Being in florida, my biggest concern is obviously moisture. But then I see more and more wood flooring down here. We just had our ac replaced with a carrier infinity that is suppose to be the best at controlling humidity, but what if a hurricane hits and we're without power for 3 days?

So the main question:

Is one type of install better able to cope with higher humidity (cupping boards?) or it really just doesn't matter.
 
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Old 04-23-07, 04:22 PM
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If done properly, a glue down installation is a very stable one. If concrete is not seriously flat and clean, then flooring can 'pop' where adhesive breaks its bond. All adhesives, sealers, and other contaminants on concrete must be removed to assure good adhesion of self-leveling compound and adhesive. It's also important to use a cement-based self-leveling compound to fill in low spots.

Although engineered would floors are touted to be more dimensionally stable than solid hardwood (which cannot be installed over concrete below grade), there will still be expansion and contraction. With glue-down installation, individual boards expand and contract as temperature and humidity fluctuate. With floating installation, the entire floor expands and contracts together rather than as individual units, thus eliminating concerns about gaps. Floating installation is considered to be more stable than glue down. If properly installed, the concerns about popping and creaking associated with glue down are eliminated. Too, foam underlayment helps to compensate for minor imperfections in subfloor. Concrete still needs to be as flat as possible.

Floating floor installation is very popular among DIYers because of ease of installation. Whether you choose glue-down or floating installation, follow manufacturer's recommendations for subfloor prep, acclimation, and installation in order not to void warranty.
 
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Old 04-23-07, 05:02 PM
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Thanks for the reply!

We are doing approximately 3000sqft. Right now, the plan is to lay it all as one.

Floating Concerns:

If we floated it, technically the floating floor would reach from one end of the house to other (going through doorways, halls, etc.).

1) Is this ok?
2) If one section of floor didn't want to 'move' as much as another (heavy furniture? Length of continuous run of wood?) could this cause the floor to 'pop' or buckly up?

Glue down concerns:
1) The popping you mentioned. This has already happened in one spot of the current floor I'm removing. Haven't actually gotten to that spot yet to see what might have caused it.


How tolerant is engineering flooring of high humidity? House without power for days? This current flooring we have (thin engineered glue down) seem to handle well that the house was without power for 3 months before we bought it during summer.

Florida installers: Do you see an increase in damaged floors after the hurricanes due to loss of ac and humdity control?
 
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Old 04-23-07, 07:04 PM
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Length of run without transition likely varies among manufacturers. Check with manufacturer for specific recommendations. For example, Armstrong recommends for T-moldings: "Use in areas where the room is larger than 40′ in board length (12.19 m) or wider than 26′ in board width (7.92 m). Also use where the flooring continues through a doorway or passageway into another room."

Never roll or slide heavy furniture or appliances across floating floors. Heavy items such as counters, kitchen islands, and large stoves or refrigerators should be in place prior to the installation of a floating wood floor. Excessive weight tends to compress floating floor against subfloor and inhibit the floor’s ability to expand and contract with changes in humidity and may cause gapping or cupping. Check with manufacturer for specific recommendations.

Engineered wood is more dimensionally stable than solid hardwood and fairs better in humid conditions such as basements. As you indicate, your engineered wood floor did well for three months in an unconditioned area with high humidity.
 
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Old 04-24-07, 06:52 AM
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I will have to look deeper into the specs for floating. She wants the whole house wood and we would then have two paths through openings where there would be continuous wood up to 60' length or width'. Are the T moldings like those moldings used to separate tile floor from wood floor? If so, that wouldn't work or look good. Since glue down the boards are individual, I assume I can do the whole house and not worry about continuous runs of wood.

The price difference is about $600 more to glue down. Of course, glue down, I've got to prep the floor better and make sure to fill in the chips as properly as possible and make sure the self levelling is properly set so it doesn't pull up. But I'm trying to leave price and installation out of the equation and really chose the method that is best with a long term outlook and that will have the least number of possible future issues. Right now it seems like glue down.

My current glue down did pop in one spot. How are issues like that fixed? Drill a small hole and inject glue?

So if difficulity of installation and price difference were irrelavent between the two types, what method would most installers recommend on a slab?

Thanks for the help!
 
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Old 04-24-07, 07:44 AM
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I'd glue it.

Floor prep for floating and gluedown, over concrete, is identical. Both have flatness requirements of 1/8 of an inch, in 6 feet
 
 

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