Working Backwards 3/8" Engineered Hardwood

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Old 02-11-15, 11:56 PM
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Working Backwards 3/8" Engineered Hardwood

I think I've got myself in a tricky situation.

I have Shaw Epic Heartland 3/8" engineered hardwood.

I am stapling down the flooring and will have to work backwards into one of the bedrooms, and a few other small places.

Now, I have installed 3/4" solid flooring and have used a spline to reverse the direction and work backwards just fine before in another house, however with this wood you staple into the groove instead of the tongue. Ideally, I'd have something like a double-grooved piece of flooring but I don't think that exists(?)

Any ideas on how to deal with this? I am starting to wish I were using the glue-down method for this type of flooring.

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Last edited by drewbody; 02-12-15 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 02-12-15, 01:13 AM
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My original post wasn't completely clear, I plan on installing the engineered hardwood all throughout this floor with the exception of the bathrooms. Preferably without transitions between the bedrooms.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 03:28 AM
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Welcome to the forums! You will have a difficult time with flooring that will not accept normal reversing splines, etc. It will necessitate you using transition strips to reverse the flooring or move from one room/hall to the next. If you have the choice, you may want to opt for click lock flooring. I have done a number of floors using click lock engineered flooring, and it is a breeze to install. I would only relegate stapling/cleating to full size 3/4" flooring. The latest click lock does not have locking ends, but, instead utilizes overlay type ends which is held in place by the next piece of wood. Makes perfectly good sense.

We started in our 12x16 bedroom at 0800 moving furniture, pulling carpet/pad/staples/tack strips and had the entire floor laid, including a closet by lunch. It even surprised me.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 05:42 AM
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Lay out your pattern such that the transition to changing direction happens between the doorway to the bedroom so that you are working on a smaller surface area. You will need a table saw with a dado head blade to remove the tongue off of one board without leaving a cut edge. Nibble off the bottom 2/3rds of material so that the old tongue will marry with a new tongue. For that small section, 2 pieces, butt them up to each other and glue those two pieces to the subfloor. You may have to face nail them near the door jambs and put weight on them until the glue sets up. Then continue your installation.

The tongue must be pretty brittle to not be able to nail through it. Test out on a couple pieces of scrap if available to make sure the stapler you use adjusts to this odd configuration. In the instructions they call out a specific gun to use. Not sure if it is a universal depth that all guns can accommodate. You do not want to over or under drive the staples.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 01:24 PM
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They are calling HDF core flooring "engineered" nowadays, so that is why the tongue is brittle. It isn't actually engineered flooring, but "better" laminate.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 03:03 PM
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I didn't get HDF core flooring from reading the PDF version of the installation instructions, but it makes sense. It also is somewhat telling about potential issues with this type of flooring.

Hey Larry - Did you use the words Better and Laminate in the same sentence? .....I'm gonna have to make note of the date and time.....
 
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Old 02-12-15, 04:11 PM
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That was a total Freudian slip. Should have never happened.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 11:25 PM
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Thanks guys, this gives me some ideas for sure.

Do I really need a Dado blade to make the new groove, or can I just trim the tongue, and use the table saw to make a few cuts to form a new groove?

I realize if I do this, I will not have the bottom part of the groove, so gluing the pieces to the floor and face nailing them makes sense.

The only areas I'd have to do this are the master bedroom doorway and the dining room if I begin in the kitchen. Making much sense?

Yes, in retrospect this flooring was not ideal.
 
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Old 02-13-15, 03:43 AM
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A dado blade will make it a safe one pass cut with the stock laying flat on the table saw. Making several passes with a standard blade where one of the passes is with the stock standing on end is dangerous. If you ever have had a piece of stock unexpectedly kick back at you, you would have a better idea of what I am saying. Thin stock also sometimes rides down into the blade when the leading edge passes and gets caught up in the cut out for the blade. Consider rigging up a jig to help you keep the stock steady. I also have attached a wider piece of wood to the fence to allow more vertical stability.

Check with your flooring supplier to see what kind of transition moldings are available with your floor. A 3" tongue and groove threshold that is flush with the rest of the floor and engages the floor would be perfect for between the kitchen and dining area. I don't mind the butt/glued transition at a doorway. You propose the same across the whole of the dining room. I'm less comfortable with that.

If in fact this is a high density fiberboard core as Larry has pointed out, it may not be the best candidate for use in the kitchen.
 
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