Need help with decision


Old 02-10-08, 06:52 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Need help with decision

My wife and I are going to settle on a "new" townhouse in March. We won't have a lot of money after closing to play with but we know we want to do two things for sure: Paint and Hardwood floors.

The hardwood floors is obviously the problem. Our heads are spinning with options and different people at different stores telling us different things.

Our situation is basically we're residents that will be finishing residency in 3.5 years. We're only looking to stay in this townhouse for 4-6 years. SO, we don't want to get CRAZY with the best MIRAGE hardwood out there but we want something that is sturdy, looks nice and will give the place a little extra value when comes time to sell.

Two of our biggest questions are:

1.) 3/4" thick hardwood vs 5/16" or 3/8" engineered?

2.) Self-install vs cheap installer (who does mediocre, but fast/cheap job)

The first question- The cheapo installer we are thinking about going with thinks we are foolish for considering engineered floor to go on our 2nd and 3rd floor (plywood subflooring), because he said engineered should only be used on concrete. We have had others say that 3/4" hardwood would be stronger and "give less" under the feed because it's thicker. Bottom line is if we go engineered we'd probably do BR-111 Timborana from Lowes for $3.79/sq ft and if we went solid wood we'd do Lumber Liquidator's Bellawood Brazillian Walnut 3/4" for $4.89/sq ft.

The second question- the cheap installer we found that has done other townhouses in our area (actually the exact same floor plan in another place we saw), left some small gaps here and there at the ends of the boards. BUT he only charges $2.50/sqft and agreed to do our place (almost 1000 sq ft 2nd, 3rd floor + stairs) for like $2500 in labor which is insane even for a mediocre job. My brother and family have offered to help do it myself but we have A LOT of time constraints and 1000+sq ft over two stories is a lot of flooring that I'm worried we won't finish in the 10-14 days of vacation time people are offering to help.

Basically I think it comes down to go ultra cheap and FLOAT install the BR-111 engineered myself or pay the mediocre dude to do the entire place in the solid walnut.

Can you guys think of any other route I should go?

Recommendations welcome. Thanks a ton!

P.S. My wife likes dark wood that is not "reddish" and not crazy photsensitive like brazilian cherry.
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Old 02-11-08, 08:32 AM
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Anyone have any thoughts on the engineered thin stuff not be study enough on a wood subfloor. Ever since my wife talked to that installer she insists he knows what he's talking about and we should do solid hard wood for the most sturdy floor.

We do have a 500-600 lb piano we'll be putting on the floor somewhere.

Subfloor's only 3-4 years old.


Thoughts on the post above (below?) thanks!
Old 02-11-08, 02:52 PM
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Hardwood by far is the best floor for ABOVE grade installations. I would pick a 3/4" hardwood over a engineered floor anyday.

600lbs is nothing. Floors can handle this weight, but can your subfloor support it without flexing?

Don't go with the lowest bidder installer. I love the saying, "you get what you pay for".
Old 02-11-08, 03:08 PM
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Thanks for the tip...

I went to that store the cheap installer recommended today and the salesman (3rd in a row now) told me that thicker solid wood will have a better feel and stability to it than the thinner solids and engineered.

I think we're going to do the 3/4" brazilian walnut from lumber liqidators...

guess we should just pay this guy to do it too :-/

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