Floating engineered wood floor with open staircase/balcony

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Old 02-17-16, 07:33 AM
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Floating engineered wood floor with open staircase/balcony

We recently bought an early 80s ranch home that came with carpet everywhere. Including bathrooms. So, naturally we've ripped all that out and are planning on putting a wood floor throughout the entire main floor (aside from the bathrooms, which will be tile).

The subfloor of this home is two-layered with the bottom layer being made up of 1/2" plywood. The top layer is 3/4" plywood in about 1/3 of the home and particle board (not OSB) in the rest. This is both glued and stapled to the lower layer.

Given the makeup of the subfloor, it seems like our best option is to float something on top of it. My wife and I have found an engineered wood floor that we love and are planning to go with that, but the real part of my dilemma lies with the open staircase in our home.

Near the front of the house, there's a staircase to the basement with 3-open sides. These sides have a sill-plate that's flush with the subfloor and posts/balusters that are mounted to the side of the landing. We plan on redoing the railing with something a bit more modern (maybe cable/rail, or something).

So my question is... how would you lay engineered flooring around a staircase like this? Especially when floating.

Would you attach stairnose to the subfloor and start floating (glueing the tongue/grooves together) from there? This would effectively make the floor not-floating around the staircase... Could this present any buckling issues in the future? I know that engineered wood is less susceptible to expanding and contracting, but I dunno by how much. I'm also not sure how this would be any different than if we were actually attaching the entire floor to our subfloor. To me, this seems safe-ish.

Otherwise, I suppose we could build up a sill plate around the staircase that has a notch routed out of the bottom for the floor to float under...

Or we could bite the bullet and rip out the whole subfloor and install plywood... but we're looking at 1,500sqft of floor, so I'd really like to avoid doing this.

Any professional thoughts would be extremely helpful! I've installed nailed down hardwood flooring, glued down engineered flooring, and floating laminate flooring, so I've got some experience with flooring, but have never been in a situation like this.
 
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Old 02-17-16, 08:06 AM
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Post a picture so we can see what your seeing.
Why would you install engineered flooring as a floating floor?
Big mistake not removing that particle board.
 
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Old 02-17-16, 09:37 AM
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Thanks for your reply, I'll get photos this evening.

The only reason I was going to float the engineered floor was to avoid tearing out and replacing the particle board subfloor. However, the floating floor obviously presents challenges with the stairwell that I posted about earlier. I'm definitely not in love with the idea... (especially about having t-molds in every doorway) but it seemed like the best option given my situation.

To break it down a bit, I've got ~900 sqft of 3/4" particle board (in the living room and bedrooms) mixed in with ~600sqft of 3/4" plywood (in the kitchen, dining, and baths). This is all sitting on top of a 1/2" layer of plywood.

I understand that replacing the particle board with plywood is the best way to do this. I was just trying to figure out if there's a reasonable way to avoid all that work!

Maybe gluing is a better option? Since particle board is effectively just glue anyway? heh.
 
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Old 02-17-16, 01:57 PM
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The particle board is a ticking time bomb in the event of a a water issue. I've seen PB damaged just from watering plants in the general area. Also, the most popular variety of particle board was 5/8" thick and not 3/4" so you want to make sure that is what you have. While we await pictures how about sending us a link to the actual flooring your plan on installing so I can glance at the specifics.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html Keep in mind that pictures will have to be scaled down to web quality and are then uploaded one at a time.
 
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Old 02-17-16, 02:27 PM
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This is the flooring I'm looking at: https://kentwoodfloors.com/us/produc...d-oak-ragstone

They recommend nail down, glued, or floating over plywood or OSB. Obviously no mention of particle board.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 07:02 AM
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Alright, excuse the mess!

Here's an image looking into the living room from the kitchen. You can see the stairwell to the right (the railing+balusters will be replaced) and the transition from plywood to particle board. To the left, you see an old addition with a subfloor set 1.5" lower than the rest of the house. I'll be bringing that up to the same height as the kitchen.

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Here's another view of the stairwell. The carpet you see is temporary, as are the railing and balusters. To the left is the main entry into the house and beyond the stairwell is a room that'll serve as an office. This will all be covered in the same engineered flooring.

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Old 02-19-16, 05:43 PM
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Sorry for the delay getting back, life sometimes gets in the way. Thanks for the pictures, it helps put things in perspective. If it was me, I would opt for a nail down engineered. Around the staircase, you would trim out the base under the balusters and butt the wood up to that. You could then incorporate a stair nosing as well. I know you desired to not have to deal with the particle board, but in all honesty, get rid of it. It is the right thing to do and then move forward with your floor.
 
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