engineered floor: glue down vs. float


Old 07-16-08, 11:46 AM
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engineered floor: glue down vs. float

What are the pros and cons of glueing down vs. floating an engineered wood floor? Thanks.
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Old 07-17-08, 09:21 AM
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Some questions for you:
1) Do you have a cement slab you are installing over, or is it a OSB, Plywood, or Adventech subfloor?

2) What sort of climate changes do you experience (what part of the country do you live in? In other words; is there high humidity in the room(s) that you would be installing in?

3) Is the subfloor flat and free of Deflections? ALL manufactures of engineered flooring have specifications as to Deflection allowances (ie dips, valleys, peaks) over a certain span/distance. Visit some of the manufacture web sites and do a search for "deflection", (you will see requirements such as "Subfloor surface must be flat and maximum tolerance is 3/16 [5 mm] per
10 [3 m]"
- This is a Mirage engineered flooring deflection requirement, other manufactures/conditions may be different. Mirage has a brochure that explains more (this link is specific to Mirage's engineered floor)

My preference with engineered flooring, most of the time, is to go with a glue down... But it depends on the subfloor condition as well as the particular manufacture, the thickness of the engineered flooring and most importantly the Relative Humidity/Temperature changes with the climate. Of course you can control the RH (Relative Humidity) with humidifiers in the Winter and de-humidifiers in the summer.

My suggestion is to seek out a PROFESSIONAL installer in your area that is well versed with installing the particular kind of engineered flooring and get them to come to your house... most reputable companies will do a free estimate (get 2-3 estimates) - that way you will get a hands on EXPERT opinion as to your best senerio with glueing down or floating. There are MANY variables!!

A word of caution with floating floors - You can NOT put heavy furniture over the floating floor, this is for obvious reasons of restricting the floor from "floating".

Greg - Retired Hardwood Floor installer/finisher
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