Match existing or install new?

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  #1  
Old 11-16-12, 07:37 AM
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Match existing or install new?

I would like to install hardwood throughout the first level of my home. So here's the rundown of the existing conditions:

On one end of my 1950's house, I have an original 3/4" x 2-1/4" oak floor laying on 1x8 planks over 2x10 joists. Both the underlayment and hardwood run perpendicular to the floor joists (so it appears that the underlayment and hardwood run parallel to one another).

On the other end of the house, I have carpet and linoleum that sit on 5/8" plywood over 1x8 planks over 2x10 joists. I originally thought that the 5/8" was resting directly on the joists, but that does not appear to be the case.

I'm considering either a) installing unfinished oak to match dimensions of the existing hardwood and hiring someone to come in and refinish both new and existing, b) installing prefinished oak in the new area and hiring someone to refinish the existing to match the new, or c) installing new prefinished hardwood/engineered over the existing hardwood and existing subfloor in the carpeted/linoleum areas.

Here are my concerns:

1) The existing hardwood will likely be at a lower elevation than any new floor I install. I'd like a seamless transition, but I'm not sure it's worth pulling up the plywood in the new areas. Frankly, I'm not convinced the proper way to install any hardwood/engineered flooring is directly over and parallel to 1x8 planks.

2) What kind of trouble might I run into by installing new floors directly over the existing hardwood?

3) Appearance, cost-effectiveness, speed, and proper installation are all factors in my decision making process. Also of note, I have a pregnant wife at home, and the fumes/dust associated with refinishing an entire house are a concern. We're not looking to move out for a long stretch. For that reason, I've been leaning against option A, even though it may be the best option for appearance and longevity.

I appreciate any help I can get. I've been mulliing this over for weeks and haven't been able to come to a decision.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-17-12, 08:57 AM
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Not sure I like any scenario, not because of your desire to get a consistent floor throughout the house, but because I hate both cases of subfloor materials construction.

Optimally you want the following - Joists topped by 1/2" Ply glued down, 15# felt topped by 3/4" T&G subfloor screwed down, topped by 3/4" hardwood nailed down. Of which you have neither in either portion of the house. In your case, the 1x8 planks would suffice for the 1/2" bottom layer.

Easiest solution is to float an engineered floor over the all of the existing. If it was me as a contractor, I would recommend doing it correctly and that is to rip everything out and build it correctly. Otherwise, I don't think I could warranty the install.
 
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Old 11-17-12, 02:56 PM
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Forgot that there is 15# felt under the hardwood as well.....sorry.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 07:30 AM
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If I were to pull the hardwood up and install a layer of 5/8" plywood to match the subfloor in the other areas, would that be a better solution than floating an engineered hardwood over the entire floor? I don't like the idea of installing anything over the existing hardwood, given the amount of movement I have noticed in the 5 months I've lived in this home.

It seems to me that 1x8, 5/8" screwed down, 15# felt would be a solid (maybe not optimal) subfloor for hardwood or engineered. Please correct me if I'm wrong, that's what I'm here for.
 
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Old 11-20-12, 05:09 AM
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There is usually 1/4" luan under the vinyl so I suspect that 5/8" is not the norm throughout the rest of the house. The reason I recommend 3/4" tongue and groove is that it locks the whole subfloor together and will result in a stronger install than a loose lay 5/8". I usually screw it down with exterior decking screws 2 1/2" directly into the joists.
 
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Old 11-20-12, 07:14 AM
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I can confirm that the underlayment is 5/8" in the carpeted areas, as I have checked in two separate rooms. As for the kitchen, I am just going by the original blueprints that the previous owner left me. Unfortunately, plans from the 1950s left a little to be desired in terms of detail. In any case, it's a small area, so I can replace it if need be.

According to the manufacturer of the flooring I have selected, 5/8" is the minimum requirement for underlayment. As long as the existing 5/8" under the carpet/linoleum is in good condition, I will match it in the other areas. If it's in poor condition, I'll probably just pull my hair out. Or go with 3/4" T&G throughout.

Thanks, czizzi, you've been a huge help.
 
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