Engineered wood flooring - prep and install over concrete

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  #1  
Old 12-13-14, 01:15 AM
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Engineered wood flooring - prep and install over concrete

I'm helping my daughter remodel her 2 Bed/2 bath 1,100 sq ft condo in SF Bay Area. We'll be covering concrete that is in very good condition. The existing carpet has been removed. Being above ground level over the building garage, we hope moisture will not be an issue.
The two bathrooms will be tiled. We have purchased Engineered Wood, 1/2"x5"xRL Maple HS Dark Green by Kylin for use in the bedrooms, dining room, living room and the kitchen.
In this area, no cooling system is required. We have radiant heat in the ceiling (not in the floor).
We were initially thinking of floating the floor over some underlayment. Our remodeling contractor is proposing to seal the concrete subfloor with some kind of paint and then glue the flooring it down.
Our questions are:
1- What is the preferred method for installing engineered wood flooring in the circumstances described above? Floating or glued?
2- If floated, what products would you recommend for underlayment?
3- If it is to be glued, what are some recommended products? Is it the same glue that would be used between planks?
4- Is there any need to do the 'painted sealing' and if so, what are some recommended products?
5- We've heard different numbers for acclimating the flooring materials to our environment. Our GC says 24 hours will be sufficient for engineered floor. Some places say 72+ hours. Is there a standard for this (ANSI?) that we can refer our contractor to?
Looking forward to learning from the experts.
Best regards.
 
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Old 12-13-14, 02:27 AM
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Kylin seems fairly vague and strick at the same time in its warranty on the flooring. The quote from the flooring warranty states the following:

...properly installed by a licensed C-15 contractor. Improper installation or workmanship is not covered.

So first, I have to recommend that you talk to Kylin and make sure you are using their recommended installation techniques as they pertain to your situation. Not sure what a C-15 contractor is, but worth asking yours if he qualifies.

Anytime you have wood in direct contact with cement, you have the potential for issues, thus, your contractors recommendation to seal (not paint) the slab. Perform proper moisture tests for piece of mind that there is not a moisture issue. Can be done with moisture meters or a simple test is to tape down a garbage bag to the slab and let it sit for several days. Any accumulated moisture under the bag indicates moisture issues.

Once you seal and glue a slab, you restrict the type of things that can be done in the future. It may limit the ability to tile someday down the road should a change be desired. The non pourous slab slathered with glue residue is a headache we deal with fairly regularly. With floating, you use a moisture barrier underlayment cushion that maintains the slab in pristine state should a change be desired. You will not really notice the difference from a visual point of view. The floating floor will sound hollow if you drop something on it (like a coin or piece of flatware). But other than that, you will be hard pressed to notice the difference.
 
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Old 12-13-14, 09:55 PM
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I had called Kylin floor and wasn't able to get much information from the person on the phone because his command of the English language was worse than mine. My installer is not C-15 licensed (which happens to be California Flooring and Floor Covering Contractors License).
My installer is planning on using RedGard Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane (Model# LQWAF3) as water proofing membrane on concrete slab. According to the manufacturer, RedGard can be used as a slab-on-grade moisture vapor barrier under all types of floor coverings. I probably improperly used the term paint since this membrane will be spread with a roller.
He will then install flooring with Roberts Model 1407-1 Engineered Wood Glue Adhesive.
I'm confused and in the hands of a contractor who doesn't seem to know any better.
 
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Old 12-14-14, 04:10 AM
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After reading the first post again, and noting the concrete is above grade considerably, and Redgard is a horribly expensive product to use as a moisture barrier on a floor that most likely won't have moisture problems like a shower will, I would get another contractor who is familiar with this. Do the moisture test as Z indicated to see if you have any potential for moisture. I like Robert's products as underlayment. I use the red underlayment with white dots for many installations. I would never glue an engineered floor to a painted surface, even with redgard. Does your flooring come in click lock floating? Much quicker and cleaner installation. Now, that's just an opinion, but based on having to go in and replace glued down flooring over painted floors.
 
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Old 12-14-14, 07:15 AM
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Here is a tech bulletin from Custom Building Supplies on how to use RedGard to waterproof a concrete floor - http://www.pacificislandfloors.com/P...B/E-Cap_TB.pdf.

While interesting, I have yet to find approval to do this as a glue down installation for flooring. Everything I have researched this morning regarding wood floor installation points to floating floors (either click lock or glue together and float). However, as Larry pointed out, it would be an expensive alternative to 3 in 1 foam underlayments traditional to floating installations that serve the same purpose of moisture barriers. So to float over a slab with RedGard, you would ALSO have to install the foam underlayment.
 
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Old 12-14-14, 10:17 PM
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Thank you all, again. I have calls into Kylin Floor and Roberts tech support to confirm whether RedGard is an acceptable layer below the adhesive. My preference would have been to float the floor and gluing the joints but the installer insists on gluing it to the substrate. Hope to have their recommendations by the morning and will share what I find out.
 
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Old 12-16-14, 11:36 AM
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Roberts recommended against using RedGard. We're going with floating floor. Any recommendations for underlayment when noise is not an issue?
 
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Old 12-16-14, 12:17 PM
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Roberts red with white dots OR whatever the flooring manufacturer recommends to maintain warranty.
 
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Old 12-16-14, 12:46 PM
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Make sure it is a vapor barrier as well as a soft step cushion. Differ to the Manuf. recommendations as Larry has advised. In this case, thicker is not always better as thick could allow excess movement between the boards.
 
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Old 12-29-14, 08:39 PM
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We decided to go with floating installation and chose QuietWalk underlayment. The company customer service was responsive and knowledgeable.
We hired a C-15 Licensed contractor to install our flooring. It has been an interesting experience. Their installers were clueless and wanted to install the underlayment upside own even though the vapor barrier side said 'This side up" in English, Spanish and French. They 'had always done it' the other way.
Our 30+ years old concrete substrate is also a bit shiny and the installers went cheap in using the wrong product for leveling it. It developed cracks when it dried and popped up.
The good news is the contractor has decided to correct the matter. He is having his crew do scarification of the substrate followed by application of primer and then the correct self-leveling compound. We'll see how it goes and will report back.
 
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Old 01-04-15, 10:46 AM
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Now we're facing another challenge. Neither we, nor our flooring contractor checked the substrate clearance to the entry door threshold. Looks like we may not have the 5/8" available (1/2" engineered wood+1/8" underlayment). The entry door is steel clad so probably it is not a good idea to cut it at the bottom. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 01-04-15, 10:59 AM
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Shoot us a picture of the area if you could. It helps me come up with ideas. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...rt-images.html

Is the lack of clearance across the whole door swing, just at the apex, just at the threshold? Describe if you could what you see.
 
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