Installing 3/4" Engineered Hardwood over Particle board

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Old 07-11-09, 02:38 AM
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Installing 3/4" Engineered Hardwood over Particle board

Hello,
I want to replace my carpet floors with hardwood. Under the carpet is particle board over plywood. I have seen many references saying that you should NOT nail or staple hardwood flooring onto particle board. As an alternative to replacing the particle board with plywood, I have chosen to look at a floating hardwood floor solution. I wanted to install something that had the same look, thickness, and feel as ¾” hardwood. While searching for such options, I found the Bruce Westchester line of ¾” Engineered hardwood floors (Westchester) which supported “glue or staple or floating” installation methods.

To my surprise, the possible installer (from the store, a major regional retailer, I would buy the wood) recommends to staple it onto the particle board/plywood and NOT float it. This is because this line of engineered flooring is tongue and groove requiring glue to hold the planks together, and not click and lock like you see on most engineered and laminate floors, and he feels that glue will not keep the joints tight-fitting because of thickness and mass of these planks. I pointed out to him that the actual Bruce installation manual recommends not to nail or staple into particle board and does recommend floating.

So, my first question is – Should I listen to this installer ignoring Bruce installation instructions and most of the negative feedback on nailing/stapling hardwood on particle board, or find another installer?
My second question – Does anyone have any experience (especially floating it) with this new line of Bruce ¾” Engineered flooring?
My third question – can you recommend other ¾” thick engineered or solid floating floors? (ie Floor & Décor have a proprietary clipping system that allows you to float their ¾” solid hardwood)

Thanks for your time…
 
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Old 07-11-09, 04:56 AM
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Since the manufacturer says NOT to do it, and they and they alone are the people standing behind the product, who is the installer to controvert those warnings? The installer will be gone in a few years and you will be left with a questionable installation that the manufacturer will turn their heads on.
I know it is a formidable task, but you can remove the particle board by cutting along the perimeters with a reciprocating saw and pulling it up. Then replacing it with Advantech or comparable subflooring material will give you the substrate you need.
I agree with the installer that the 3/4" stuff could be less stable when glued than if nailed, and would opt myself to nail it. It is more solid.
Doing the job right may entail quite a bit more work, but it is the final product you are looking for, and you will have to live with it for a long time.
Let us know if we can help further.

Larry
 
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Old 07-11-09, 10:54 AM
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Installing 3/4" Engineered Hardwood over Particle board

Thanks for the feedback.

I guess I'm still a little confused. On the one hand you say to stick with the manufacturer suggestions regarding the particle board, then you agree with the installer that the manufacturers instructions on floating the floor using glue between the planks would not be stable.

I do want to do the job right, but at least cost. Following the manufacturer's floating installation guidelines I thought was doing it right. But I guess you're suggesting that you would never opt to float this kind of floor, only nail it.
 
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Old 07-12-09, 02:47 PM
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I have never installed 3/4" flooring where it is glued up. I can't conceive it's stability on edge. The floor will be flexing slightly, and in my experience the glued joints would fail. Now, if the manufacturer makes a glue that will hold and will guarantee its hold over a number of years, so be it. That is why I differed in my opinion. Can you give us the name and style of the flooring to which you are referring? I would like to do more research so you will have a good opinion to go with.

Larry
 
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Old 07-13-09, 10:20 AM
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The flooring I'm looking at is Bruce Westchester line of ¾” Engineered hardwood floors (link to Bruce web page in original question submission).

The specific floor is Oak, Gunstock product code EWC3201.

Dimensions: 3/4 IN X 3 1/4 IN X Varying Lengths: 10 - 66 IN.

thanks
 
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Old 07-13-09, 02:54 PM
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Is it actually particleboard, or OSB? OSB is fine, go ahead and staple or glue. If it's particle board, rip it out, do not glue or nail to it....not dense enough or stable enough to attach to.

3/4" engineered is perfectly fine to float, and the glue WILL hold. Sounds like you should get another installer who has dealt with glued-joint installs though, this one obviously hasn't worked with them before.

Either way, I wold still recommend removing particle board, even if you know you're going to float the floor, because you are far more likely to get squeaks/creaks with particle board subfloors.
 
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