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Nail down engineered on top of subfloor


dgipson's Avatar
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11-07-12, 05:23 PM   #1  
Nail down engineered on top of subfloor

We're having a subfloor put in called Barricade which is 2'x2' panels of 5/8" of OSB over 5/8" XPS foam. Their installation guide allows you to put carpet direct on top, says you can float the hardwood direct on top or says you can put 1/2" plywood down for a solid hardwood to be nailed to.

We have engineered hardwood and would like to nail it down (or glue it down but that is more expensive). We like to solid sound of a nailed down floor and we don't like the raised transitions between hardwood and tile that usually come with floating a floor as well.

My question is whether you all think the plywood is necessary. We have issues in multiple areas that we don't want the floor to be 1/2" higher (stair height, plumbing, fireplace, etc...). I would like to just staple the engineered hardwood to the 5/8" OSB and be done with it. Do you think this will work ok?

 
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11-07-12, 06:21 PM   #2  
Welcome to the forums! Is this in a basement? Just wondering why the XPS. How is the Barricade applied to the XPS? Glued? What thickness of engineered floor are you planning? Do they make a click lock version of the floor you like? Much faster, just as solid and you won't need the other layer.

 
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11-08-12, 02:33 AM   #3  
Minimum standards for a nail down is 3/4" optimally you want more. It has to do with the amount of "bite" the cleat or staple has on the wood. It doesn't matter whether it is solid or engineered flooring. Too much of the nail will protrude on the other side of the wood without enough grip to the wood itself. Eventually will lead to a noisy floor.

 
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11-08-12, 05:02 PM   #4  
Yes this is in a basement (very dry). The Barricade system uses a thin amount of foam to provide a bit of thermal barrier between the cold concrete and the hardwood. Yes it's thin and not HUGE R-value but much better than nothing.

The barricade floor is foam glued to the back of OSB. I think each are about 5/8" thick. I was thinking 5/8 vs 3/4... thats a very very small amount for forcing me to put down plywood on top and re-build a staircase due to the bottom stair height. Not to mention losing 1/2" of ceiling height in an already low height ceiling.

The engineered wood is 1/2" thick and not click together. I had installed the same engineered wood as a floating floor upstairs in one small room (as a test room) and I hate the hollowness of it. It does not feel SOLID because it is floating. We also wanted a smooth transition to the bathroom floor which we can do if there is no plywood. I'm told smooth transition is best with a schluter on the tile and nail down hardwood to prevent the two surfaces from moving apart and creating a gap.

 
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11-09-12, 02:47 AM   #5  
http://www.crescenthardwood.com/nofma/hfim.pdf

Here are the Wood Flooring Association Manufacturing Installation Guidelines. As a contractor, I follow these to insure a successful installation. Are there contractors out there who will do whatever to get the floor put down, yes. As a homeowner, you may follow whatever procedures you like. Here, we want your project to be as successful as possible and it is always best to do it right in the first place.

Ask the Barricade people if they a 3/4" inch offering as well as the 5/8".

 
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11-09-12, 07:37 AM   #6  
Upon further thought... It you are putting a floor over a subfloor with foam backing, I think that the nail down will sound just as hollow as the click and go that you did upstairs. Might be easier and quicker and cause less headaches to surrounding obstacles if you just floated the floor. The only time a floating floor sounds hollow is if you drop something on it. I've installed my fair share and never really noticed it as a problem from my (or my clients) perspective.

 
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11-09-12, 11:38 AM   #7  
Thanks czizzi

1) the floor is tongue and groove that we bought on sale for cheap a year ago. So no clicking and going. It's only 1/2" thick which is one reason for the hollow sound because there's no MEAT to it. By securing it to 5/8" tight it then becomes a 1-1/8" thickness which sounds more solid.

2) Good suggestion with calling the barricade people regarding the thicker floor. They unfortunately do NOT make a 3/4" thickness OSB.

3) They did tell me that we could staple the floor down to the barricade system as long as we didn't use nails that would be so long they would hit the concrete. But I think you're probably more knowledgeable than they are with respect to the floor squeaking and whatnot.

 
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11-09-12, 01:43 PM   #8  
Flooring cleats and staples are usually 2" long and applied at an angle through the tongue of the wood flooring. 5/8"(OSB)+5+8"(foam)+1/4"(eng. flooring) = 12/8" or 1 1/2"....will be close with regard to hitting the concrete. I think that the staples will be at a deep enough angle to clear, but not sure off the top of my head.

 
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