hardwood vs enginereed help needed, plz


Old 06-10-10, 10:06 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 2
hardwood vs enginereed help needed, plz


I'm new here and in fact new to the remodeling scene altogether.
We just bought our first home after 3 years of looking for the perfect nest that we can see ourselves in.
We were specifically looking for a recent construction house preferably 2000's not too big with nice modern finishes & stainless appliances, good school.. blah blah blah..
We ended up with a 1997 house that is extremely outdated and needs major remodeling. I don't know where our mind was when we signed the contract.. but let's not rub salt on open
So, to cut the story short, we are going to have a series of remodeling projects one a time. we will start with the floors.
We currently have engineered 2 1/4" wood in our first floor. we really really really don't like the look of it nor the shine it shows when the light falls on it.
We live in Houston TX, and I got to tell ya, we have humidity all year long and it gets sticky and muggy in summer beyond imagination.
We have been all over the place looking for good solid wood and we asked and consulted a lot of people from self employed contractors to nice A/Ced expensive offices and from
Internet offered services to local stores, and each one of those gave us a different opinion that opposes what the other said.
At this point WE ARE EXTREMELY confused and don't know what is right and what is wrong , what to do and what to not do. PLEASE HELP ME with your experience.

1- Do you recommend we sand & refinish our current engineered floors, since it the least costly option? some said we can others said no.. what is the verdict on re-sanding engineered.
gotta tell ya ours look old & thin.

2- if we go with the solid wood option, what is GOOD solid wood & what is an OK one? we like the look of the Brazilian cherry (expensive though) but we heard that we
should stay away from soft pine and stick to OAKS, is that right? also, there are all kinds of oaks? what is the best not so expense option of wood.

3- some told us, do not replace your engineered with solid , but replace with another better engineered instead, because it will be on first floor
and it will absorb moisture and no look good after a few years? a Myth?? or a truth?

4- NOW here is the latest bomb we received, one contractor said he's gonna install solid wood on our engineered without taking it out!

then he will cut the doors to be able to close! when we told a local store that he laughed and said never do that? what is right and what is not?

5- what is the good qualities of engineered anyways that it is becoming trendy & trendy each year. The one we have is awful looking especially that it is shiny,
do you think they polishes it with a clear coat?? and if yes, why?

I have more & more questions, but for now will wait to read your replies, if you ever made it to the end of my post.
I will extremely appreciate your help.

Thank you all
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Old 06-10-10, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: nj
Posts: 117
In my opinion, since you state you plan on doing major remodeling, one project at a time - I'd worry about new floors last. Otherwise, for every project that you're going to do you're going to be spending a lot of time and energy protecting the new floors and as we all know, no matter how careful you try to be something always happens.

Welcome to the world of the never ending "Honey-Do" list.

Beer 4U2
Old 06-11-10, 06:54 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Thank you for the advice but I'm not sure if moving in with our furniture before changing the floors is the best idea, since we have huge sectional that will need to de assembles & reassembled.
we will try to cover the floor with vinyl covers and tape and protect it as much as we can but I totally see ur point.

Why is no one else answering my questions.. plz advice on any of the questions, we are very stressed because we don't have enough time left to look for more options so we need to decide ASAP, but we don't know what is right and what's not.

Old 06-11-10, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: nj
Posts: 117
I think some of the reason for the lack of reply is because the answers to your questions are all 'it depends.' And similar to what you've already encountered we may all have different opinions based on experience as well as the standards and practices that are used in the part of the country we're from. I'm in Northern NJ - solid 2 1/4" red oak with a clear/natural finish is what is found a lot around here. You're in Houston, what did you see during your house hunt?

Is the floor going down over a concrete slab or a wooden subfloor? If wood subfloor is it over a crawlspace or a basement, if basement is the basement a finished conditioned space (AC/heat) or unfinished and damp?

Can you refinish engineered floor - yes if the wood layer is thick enough. Again - depends on the quality of what was installed, some engineered floors can be refinished 2 or 3 times depending on the thickness of the top finished layer. Have you been able to pull a piece up out of a closet perhaps and have an installer give an opinion?

Stick with the harder species of wood on your floor such as oak. Oak is typically avaiable in red or white oak with grades such as common or select. Select being the more expensive - less knots, however some prefer a more rustic look and would choose a #1 common (a step below select).

I'd avoid going over the existing engineered with a new floor but that may be a common practice in some parts of the country.

Have you met any of your neighbors yet and spoken with them about their floors or about contractors/flooring stores that they have used? What about friends and family in the area?

Again, I'd rather invest the time to disassemble / re-assemble my sectional rather than rush into a decision about my floors that I might come to regret and have spent a lot of money on. You may find as you live in the house and gain experience doing work on your own home your opinions and thoughts on what you like now will most likely change. What happens if you put the floor down now and then realize 6 months from now after living in the house for a while you want to take a wall down between two rooms?

Good luck.
Old 06-14-10, 12:33 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Dirty South, USA
Posts: 109
I would agree...I would hold off on doing floors as long as possible. And if you "must" do them now, do NOT cover them with vinyl or any other synthetic covering. If it must be covered, use construction paper or rosin paper, something that can breathe. Even then , the longer you leave it covered, the more likely you are to trap moisture or see effects from uneven exposure to oxidation and uv light.

What is the subfloor? If it is on slab, I wouldn't advise doing solid wood without removing the engineered product, installing a moisture barrier and then a wood subfloor, and nailing to the subfloor. You're best bet would be to stick with an engineered product.
Old 06-16-10, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cottage Grove, MN
Posts: 239
I'm a 10 year veteran of the wood flooring business. I've resanded many engineered floors, and about 1/2 the time you can have them sanded and not sand through the wear surface (top wear layer). Sometimes we end up sanding through. It depends on how thick the veneer is and how flat the floor is. If its pretty thin, you're better off to tear it out and replace it.

If you decide to install a new floor: Tear out the old floor. If you install a factory finished floor, most often the warranty will be voided if you install over anything other than a sound subfloor.

Also - just about every wood product on the market (solid and engineered alike) should be acclimated before installation. (opened up and spread out in the area to be installed.) This is tedious, but it is most advisable in a humid climate. This is more critical with Solid hardwood. Engineered products are designed to be more stable, so acclimation isnt as big of an issue however I would still do it for a few days to a week at least. This gets the product to do its "moving" before getting installed..

I hope I answered at least a couple of your questions.

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