5" solid hardwood best practices. Glue nail or both?

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Old 03-04-17, 07:15 AM
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5" solid hardwood best practices. Glue nail or both?

Hi
Getting ready to install 5" hickory solid 3/4" hardwood on the first floor of my 1990s era 2 story colonial with basement. I'm located in Massachusetts so we get some fairly distinct seasons humidity wise.
Looking for advice on best installation practice. My subfloor is a 3/4" plywood. Mfg says over 4" wide (mine is 5") they suggest apply glue in serpentine pattern on back of boards and blind nail them. A few folks I've talked to said that is WAY overkill and glue is very messy to work with. So I see I have 3 options (will leave 3/4" gap or more under baseboard radiators for expansion for all options)
1. Install aquabar barrier over subfloor and blind nail floor in traditional style
2. Don't put any aquabar and follow mfg recommendation with glue to back of boards and blind nail
3. Hybrid approach. Layout aquabar perpendicular to hardwood and leave about a 1" gap between sheets. Apply a bead of glue between gap and blind nail floor


Looking for feedback and suggestions on my thought process.
 
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Old 03-04-17, 01:12 PM
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I have installed 5" 3/4" maple using cleats with superior results. No glue. Underlayment is your choice, but using standard 15# roofing felt is adequate and much less expensive.

What you will need to get us is the span of your joists, and unsupported span under them so we can give better advice as to the 3/4" subflooring. It may be adequate, it may not.
 
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Old 03-04-17, 02:08 PM
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I've always nailed my flooring, so why are you going the glue route?
 
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Old 03-04-17, 03:01 PM
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If the mfg recommends it, it is probably because they know their product. Wood tends to cup when it is over a certain width, so that is what the glue is supposed to help prevent. If you skip the glue, expect some pieces to cup. (Meaning the floor may not always lay flat, but it will want to cup or raise upward in the middle. The cupping might also want to act in reverse, raising the outer edges, creating a dip in the middle which might eventually loosen the nails on the edges) A solid wood floor is a natural product and as such, it is impossible to control or predict... so they are trying to protect their back side by recommending the glue. If water ever gets spilled on such a floor, it would surely warp without the glue. With glue it might stand a chance of drying out without irreparable damage.

Not all wood acts the same, some species are more stable than others. Some boards of the same species act differently than others, depending on where on the tree it came from. (Think steak vs hamburger) What may work with one may not be best for the other. Other factors include the moisture content of the wood prior to its installation, and the varying RH inside the home after it is installed. If you can't accept the unpredictable nature or character of a solid wood floor, that's why they make engineered flooring.

I find myself going back to the old addage, "always follow label directions". Yeah you might think you can do things differently, but there is usually a reason why they put it in the directions. Its usually only much later that you find out why. Also, "better safe than sorry" is a good one that also might apply.

Problem I see is, what good does it do to glue things to the Aquabar barrier if it can stretch and move? I would want a representitive of the company to explain that one to me first!!! What method do they suggest when gluing is necessary?
 
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Old 03-04-17, 06:29 PM
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Thanks for all the responses guys.
So the gluedown method would involve not using any aquabar or any other underlayment. I had an idea of using underlayment and leaving a few gaps between sheets for glue as a hybrid approach. But I honestly think as much more labor as it is to apply glue to back of boards, I can at least rest easy knowing I followed what mfg is saying. Seems like wider plank boards are all in style now. And there is not a ton of info about how different they behave versus traditional thinner width flooring. The glue in some way makes sense because with a 5" wide board you are using half the fasteners you would with a 2.5" hardwood.

Any danger in a floor being too secured? I.E. the movement damaging or crushing the boards?
 
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Old 03-05-17, 04:22 AM
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I agree with Brant to follow the manufacturer's instructions. 5" boards are usually scored underneath to accommodate some movement, but that will void the warranty if you don't follow the instructions. Yep, no underlayment, which means you will have movement. How much?? Anyone's guess. What is under this floor? Another room? Basement? Crawl? Is it insulated?
 
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Old 03-05-17, 07:27 AM
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Send us a link to your exact flooring that we can review recommended installation options. You also want to lay the floor perpendicular to the joists. Hickory ( interchangeable with Pecan) is some pretty tough stuff. It will give your cutting blades a workout. Start with a new blade and keep an eye on performance. Double check your floor thickness, not uncommon for 5/8" ply to be used and get fooled when trying to measure thickness.
 
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Old 03-21-17, 11:40 AM
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Thanks for all of the advice. I ended up installing with no barrier, and went with the glue and nail approach.

I was careful and left 3/4" gap around the room and even 1" under the hydronic baseboards (no one can see under there!) to help give the floor any room to move.

Now that the floor in my living room is in, im getting ready to go into hall and dining room.

My question is about transitions. I love the look of flat/non raised transitions.

I see images of folks butting the hardwood right against tile and caulking the gap. I like the look but how does this allow for expansion?

I also will need to change direction in the dining room because my floor joists run the other way from hall/living room. I would love to just butt the ends up in the doorway and change direction for a nice seamless look. How is that done to allow for expansion? Or is the doorway too small of a space that you can get away with no expansion there?
 
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Old 03-22-17, 02:30 PM
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How wide of a room is the part that you already have completed. Expansion is often controlled by working from the center of the room out in both direction by using a spline to turn your starter row into a double tongue set up.

Final rows up against walls and hard transitions are face nailed instead of blind nailed.
 
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Old 03-23-17, 05:32 AM
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Room that is completed is 14 feet wide (living room). I started from hall door to exterior wall. Will place a spline and start going other way into hall and dining room
 
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