Shaw Engineered Planks; Float, Glue or Nail?

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  #1  
Old 03-19-15, 09:06 PM
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Shaw Engineered Planks; Float, Glue or Nail?

I plan to install about 450 s.f. of Shaw Epic 3/8 engineered hardwood floor in a second story game/theater room. It can be glued, nailed or floated. My original plan was to nail it down. Now I notice Shaws instructions state not to nail into particle board; they suggest a plywood overlay if the subfloor is particle board. I have an OSB subfloor. In my mind OSB is in between plywood and particle board for nail retention. Theres no way Im laying plywood over my OSB, so I need to know what my best option is. Im wary of glue, or shall I say my own ability not to make a mess doing a glue-down. After switching from carpet to a different wood product floated in several rooms on the same level, I became impressed with the sound-deadening qualities (in rooms below) of a 6 mm foam underlay made by Windsor. After hearing footsteps on the bare subfloor compared to wall-to-wall carpet, I was concerned that sufficient sound dampening could be achieved. But Im happy with the results from the Windsor underlay in the other rooms. It feels good underfoot too. In the new project room, I have no concern for sound below, as it lies 100 percent over the garage. I just want it to feel and sound good underfoot. Unfortunately (for my glue aversion), the Shaw float instructions mandate side and end glue on each plank.

So my questions are: 1) which install method sounds best for my situation, and 2) Since nail-down is clearly in my comfort zone, would it be okay on OSB?

Thanks.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 04:15 AM
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Does the floor click lock? I don't understand the "float" method if it doesn't. I would never glue it, nor would I nail it down if the click lock method was available. You will be fine with OSB if you do decide to nail it down, however. No additional plywood would be necessary. Be sure to use an underlay approved by Shaw so you can keep the warranty in effect. Wrong underlay, void warranty.

Nailing it down will require purchase or rental of a special nailer. I am certain their flooring will come in a click lock version that you will like. I would look into that first. OH, good choice of engineered over laminate
 
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Old 03-20-15, 06:02 AM
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OSB requires a minimum 3/4" thick for nail down. Has to do with the holding power of OSB and the nails blowing out the underside of the OSB. For Plywood, 5/8" thick is the minimum for nail down. Particleboard is not suitable for anything other than carpet, and even at that it fails if it gets wet.

For the Glue option, you get engineered flooring glue (looks similar to elmers but specific for flooring). It comes in a tube with a small spout. You run a bead of glue into the bottom groove on the flooring and on one end and marry the two surfaces together. You will use the same underlayment as for a standard floating floor. You only apply glue to the free piece you are to install and the other side stays dry until the next installed piece with glue is married to it. A little more time consuming than click lock but same relative skill set needed. Keep a wet rag handy of you get some ooze of glue. After the first couple of boards you will get the hang of it so you don't make a mess. After you get a couple of rows together, you use blue painters tape to hold them in place until the glue sets up.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 08:53 AM
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Chandler, Ozizzi answered your question regarding glue in a floating installation, and clarified it for me.

It does have a shaped tongue and groove that lock-in when level. But I wouldn't call it a "click" like most laminates. IT's a smooth mating as they draw together while the second board is pushed flat. Nonetheless, it would be difficult to separate the boards unless an angle is re-introduced. That's why I'm wondering about the necessity for glued joints; it seems secure already. However, I respect the manufacturer's instructions, and will comply if I go that route.

I do have a flooring nailer that I bought just for this project ... nothing pro, just Harbor Freight, which should be fine for my lifetime of flooring installs.

So lets say the cost is about the same (we're talking nails vs. glue), except my underlay is about .40 per s.f., call it $200 with waste. An inconsequential amount if it provides a superior result. And lets assume I'm on equal footing with my skills to nail vs. float with glued joints. What is going to sound/feel the best on second floor 3/4" OSB (again, sound below does not matter as it is not living space); nailed planks or the float with 6 mm underlay?

Thanks for you comments so far, and any opinion on how either install method will turn out.
 

Last edited by zippinbye; 03-20-15 at 08:53 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 03-20-15, 02:46 PM
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Can you provide the actual name of the flooring you are anticipating. I would like to see if the lock is click lock or not. I just don't like gluing flooring down. Some don't mind it. If it click locks you will be a happier camper.
 
  #6  
Old 03-20-15, 08:43 PM
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Shaw Epic engineered flooring. This link should get any specifics that might help:

https://shawfloors.com/flooring/hard...5_sw119/merlot

Toward the bottom of the page there are clickable PDF files, including installation.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 08:58 PM
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Looks to be the HDF core flooring that requires you to nail through the groove instead of the tongue. It is not click lock, but merely a T&G type flooring so glue is necessary to float per my original instructions for that method.
 
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Old 03-21-15, 09:36 AM
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So you would float on a good underlay instead of nail down to the subfloor?
 
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Old 03-21-15, 10:05 AM
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Read the installation instructions in your own link for nail down. They do not warranty the installation from squeaks, cracks and popping with a nail down installation. These sounds are to be expected as a normal course of events.

When they say it is going to sound like crap when you install our product this way, pretty much makes up my mind for me. If it was me, I would continue my search for a "true" engineered floor not a High Density Fiberboard filled laminate wannabe. True engineered looks like plywood layers on the cross section and is nailed through the tongue, not the groove.
 
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Old 03-22-15, 08:20 AM
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Point well taken regarding what the instructions reveal. My gut was saying float, I was just a bit apprehensive about the glue. I'll practice a couple first, and then I'm sure I'll be rolling.

I have the product already. Of course there's always something on the wish list I'd like better ... but this was excess from a contractor that I picked up for about $1 per s.f. Plenty of worse options, along some nicer ones. With underlayment and miscellaneous stuff I should have pretty decent flooring in a 30 x 15 room for under $800.

Thanks for your thoughts Czizzi.
 
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