Engineered or Solid? Kitchen install ok? Lower level install?


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Old 07-05-11, 11:55 AM
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Engineered or Solid? Kitchen install ok? Lower level install?

I'm buying a split level townhome that's in need of new flooring throughout. We plan to live here for a couple of years and then turn the property into a rental.

I installed laminate in my existing home, and I don't really think it's a great idea for a rental because I don't see how it can be repaired without removing virtually all of the flooring.

On the other hand, solid wood floors can be repaired, refinished and last for decades.

My thought is to go with a common, unfinished, inexpensive species so that even if the manufacturer goes out of business or stops producing our particular product, we should still be able to match it for years.

So here are my questions..
1) Can engineered floors be repaired & refinished like solid wood?
2) If the engineered product we pick is discontinued, would we be able to find a match 10 years from now?
3) I've gotten mixed information on whether wood flooring is a good idea in the kitchen. Any thoughts?
4) My expectation is that the existing subfloor is 2x6 or 2x8 at 16" with 3/4 OSB. Can I lay directly on that or should I add another layer of plywood?
5) The layout of the home requires that the flooring be installed in a certain direction. Can I install parallel to the joists if I add another layer of plywood?
6) The home also has a finished lower level. I wouldn't call it a basement because the floor is only about 4' below grade. Solid and engineered floors would still be a no-no here, right? What would be a better choice?

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-05-11, 01:30 PM
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We had vinyl in all of our rentals when they were built and have been replacing it, when needed, with ceramic.

I would not put wood of any kind in a rental, but that's just my opinion.
 
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Old 07-05-11, 02:08 PM
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1) No. You are nailing down the oak, the engineered will be click lock most likely.
2) Always buy 10% more than the job calls for, keep the left overs protected until "that day".
3) Wood flooring is not my first choice. Any water problems you (or your renters) encounter such as leaking faucets they forget to tell you about will manifest itself in solid wood via warping.
4) Without knowing exactly what you have it would be difficult to tell. Sometimes adding an additional 1/2" plywood is a good stabilizer.
5) While it is always best to lay hardwood perpendicular to the joisting, I have had the same situation that dictated the opposite. No problems after 5 years, so I'd say you would be fine.
6) Opposite. I would recommend engineered flooring over a good manufacturer's recommended vapor barrier. Click lock works great. Ceramic tile is also a good choice for below grade.

I have to agree with Mitch, however, kitchen=ceramic. Almost bullet proof.
 
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Old 07-05-11, 02:20 PM
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Awesome answers, guys..

Ceramic in the kitchen & baths, then solid wood in the living room and hallway upstairs.

The wife wants a cozy, rustic look downstairs so ceramic probably wouldn't work. Plus, the floor would be pretty darn cold in the winter. Engineered would be my next choice, but it wouldn't match the solid wood upstairs and again, I'd like something that I could repair & refinish..

I hate to say it, but it sounds like we might have to do carpet down there..
 
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Old 07-06-11, 07:44 AM
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We have carpet in the basement of all of our rentals, hasn't been a problem - you just have to make sure you don't have moisture problems down there.
 
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Old 07-06-11, 02:03 PM
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Well, our decision just got a little simpler.. Or maybe more complicated depending on how you look at it.

As it turns out, the townhome association does not allow rentals. That's not the end of the world for us because we should be happy enough living here for 2-4 years and buying SFH rentals.

Anyway.. This means that long-term life or "repairability" isn't as big of a factor to me. So it seems like engineered might be the way to go since we could match the upstairs & downstairs. It also sounds like engineered installs like laminate, so I won't have to buy or learn how to use any new tools.
 
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Old 07-06-11, 03:02 PM
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If you use the click lock engineered flooring, you will be surprised how fast it goes and how well it looks. I have a 3 man crew with one cutting and one fitting and me looking at them work . Did 800 sf in a two day span....2 bedrooms, main room and a hallway.
 
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Old 07-06-11, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
. I have a 3 man crew with one cutting and one fitting and me looking at them work .
I hope you were at least doing some pointing Chandler.
 
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Old 07-07-11, 05:03 AM
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Basically that's all they let me do any more. Their instructions...."don't let us run out of material and don't let us run out of jobs...other than that stay out of our way". I got a good crew.
 
 

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