Any recommendations on which flooring to install?

Old 08-13-01, 10:13 PM
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I am purchasing an older home (from the 50's) in Fort Lauderdale Florida. I would like to have wood flooring installed in much of the home. It currently has carpet or tile where I would like to install the flooring. Most homes in this area have concrete or terazzo floors underneath. I plan to be in this home for 15+ years and I have 2 small boys and 2 cats. I want something that is durable and will age with grace and be able to be refinished when necessary.

Some companies recommend engineered wood, others solid wood. Some recommend gluing the solid wood, others recommend plywood underneath and nailing. Some say avoid stained solid wood as that will show scratches much more than a solid wood with clear polyurethane.

I am confused and could use a little impartial advice.

Thank you, C
Old 08-15-01, 09:43 AM
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Hello C,

I'll try to provide some help where I can. Since we don't know what's underneath your carpet/tile floors, I'll have to be a little more general. Check with the manufacturer to see if the location is suitable for their product (above grade or below grade.)

Engineered vs. solid wood is a bit of a personal preference. While both can be refinished, solid wood will allow more sanding since it is all wood and not just the top slice. However, both can be very durable. I don't know the numbers on engineered wood, but solid hardwood floors should last as long as the house (100+ yrs.) if properly maintained (i.e., protected from moisture, etc.)

As far as the glue goes, I prefer to stay away from it. I just don't like the mess of constantly wiping up the excess which WILL squeeze out between the boards as you install it. Most manufacturers of engineered flooring make a snap-together product that doesn't require glue.

Scratches in the urethane finish on solid wood are white. Therefore, they would show less on a wood with a lighter finished color. These can be repaired rather easily, unless you have some major accident that goes all the way through to the wood. So it's really personal preference here whether you want a darker or lighter finish.

Hope this helps,
Old 08-16-01, 11:25 AM
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I have worked on jobs on the right coast and left coast of Florida 99% ceramic tile installations,some of the problems they have tere exist here in Texas also, SAND,we have been using a laminate wood product trade name ALLOC floorning, we have had all great experience with it, look around for a dealer, floors not dope, check it out.
Old 08-17-01, 01:45 PM
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I think you have laminates and engineered mixed up here? I'm not familiar with a snap together engineered, but I could be wrong and haven't seen the newest fashion.

A Terrazzo or concrete floor is a different animal in the case of a 50's Florida home. Of the ones I have seen and worked with, adding plywood and using a solid 3/4" as in c's case raises the vertical floor height far too much. Doors may have to be trimmed, including some that may not survive it. Baseboard will also have to be removed and reinstalled. I'm guessing the tile will be removed?

There are so many options available today that may please C. It does get confusing and if you don't talk with the right people a costly mistake can be made. Gluing a solid hardwood? Once again, another option as the Bruce Natural Reflections 5/16" is the only common one that comes to mind that a decent retailer would offer.

In this case I'll try to be impartial and suggest either a floating engineered floor such as or any other engineered floor glued down that has a healthy wear(top) layer that can be refinished several times over.

It's a huge learning experience for anyone And I'm still learning...always will for that matter.
Old 08-20-01, 03:16 PM
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Sorry abou the misdirection there. I had laminate in my head when I started and didn't get that one changed. I thought there were a few glueless engineered floors available (based on info from a "helpful" local dealer). I saw the stuff this weekend and found out that he didn't really understand the difference between "engineered" and "laminate." He was selling laminate and used the terms interchangeably.

Sorry for any confusion.


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