Flooring and Carpeting Hardwood Flooring, tongue and groove, virginia mill

Flooring and Carpeting Hardwood Flooring, tongue and groove, virginia mill

Flooring and Carpeting /Hardwood Flooring



QUESTION: we are looking at installing new hardwood flooring over concrete slab, approx 1600 sqft. I am having trouble deciding on which type to go with, engineered or solid. I initially started looking for engineered because I was told the glue down over concrete would offer the most stability, amongst other factors like not having to lay a subfloor to do a nail down. I thought easy enough, go to all the discount box stores lumber liquidators, floor n decore, floors n more and some smaller all in one stores, look for something that looked good and get some bids.

After further investigation, I find out things like Janka scale, HDF or Ply, and if Ply how many layers, are the layers made with too much «soft» filler wood, the thickness of the veneer, number of aluminum oxide/titanium dioxide coatings and on and on, just became too much overload.

I thought although the benefits of the aluminum oxide would be beneficial at first (due to having 6 and 7yr old boys, the odds of getting a refinish out of a handscraped engineered floor didnt seem possible.

I thought i had settled on lumber liquidators (yes i know you have issues with them), Virginia Mill Works 5/8 x 4 7/8 Castle Park Oak Easy Click, BUT, this is a newer item that has a click system tongue and groove and is recommended to be floated rather than glued.

Or going with a Bella Cera 3/8 5 ply with maybe a 2mm veneer engineered glue down better than a 5/8 solid floating floor? We are looking at doing our entire ground floor, not basement (in Dallas) approx 1600 sqft.

Im not opposed to either, just figured i could get a refinish or two from the solid once the kids have scratched it all up.

I have also heard to stay away from off brands, they seem to be great deals due to low price, but if you stay with say Bruce or Armstrong they have been in the business longer and you have a better chance of uniformity in their product (straight edges, matching tongue groove the likes)

Any insight you can offer would be helpful. We arent looking at the cheapest stuff we can find and i really dont want to make the wrong choice on a $15000 + investment.



Do you want to install this yourself? Or do you need purchasing guidelines?

This can be a very lengthy answer..and I am happy to correspond with you as much as you like. Let’s talk about the aspects of glue down on slab.

1the cost of the wood /floor prep / moisture barrier / and adhesive.

2 the flatness of the slab and the floor prep and how to achieve the industry spec of1/8 — 3/16ths allowable run out per 10 feet

3 the moisture barrier that trowels on like glue or rolls on like epoxy after you fix the slab.

Solid flooring is out of the question for glue down in my opinion. and I would never trust a ply wood sub floor over a slab. lots of future problems down the road. Let alone the present height issues.

The initial costs for a glue down engineered floor seem relatively painless at first. However if you look at all the extra items it can soar to nearly triple the original envisioned cost. Most manufactures also warn you to do a calcium chloride test or moisture measurement so you don’t void the warranty. 3lbs transmission is the allowed rating. with a moisture barrier applied up to 12 lbs can be prevented. I run across 4-5lbs often and use a 300.00 meter to test multiple locations on the slab. prices have gone up I see.

Test kits are cheap but you need 3 of them for your footage. Send them off to be weighed via mail. Wait for the report. Or buy a digital gram scale and weight the results at home.

Floor prep can be easy or daunting. Just depends on the floors run out. It’s worth 45.00 per hr + materials.

Budget 700.00 if it is wild and requires grinding.

Glue is running about 125-150.00 per 5 gallon pail which covers 200 sq ft. Or about 40 square per gallon Often less. it depends on the floor type and trowel notch.

Add the moisture barrier and that price will double. Works like glue and dries to a rubber membrane. But adds the life long security that moisture will not affect the floor unless you have a KATRINA storm or insurable flood/ catastrophe.

Engineered floors are wonderful and amazingly resilient, the warm/ darker colors are easily touched up with specialty pens made for touching up. Certain floor cleaning and polishing products will remove minor scratches.

I have always appreciated a satin finish vs. a gloss finish and more character means more hiding of the blemishes in the future. Micro Beveled edges. and hand scrapped are my favorites. With all the applied coatings and high tech heat and pressure treatments today. I assume you have read all about the technology. I would not worry too much about damage, unless you drag a sharp object across the floor. Most folks will use larger throw rugs in certain areas of play for children and bedrooms and install protection under the legs of heavy furniture. such as couches, hutches, cabinets and beds to prevent the legs from gouging.

I prefer certain brand names like Anderson/ junkers/Harris Tarkett/Virginia/Kahrs. the list is long, Armstrong and Bruce fall near the bottom for me. I have heard so many bad things about Armstrong since I have been on this web site I advise you to steer clear of any wood floor they offer. They were a premier hard surface company at one time (vinyl and commercial tile) But they diversified and branched out too wide IMO. As well as a lot of carpet companies that added wood floors to their line. they are just middle men.

LL is OK if you know what to buy and how to read lot #’s for color consistency. lots of reasonable choices and good reviews there online. would they allow a bad review??

Most of these species are BIRCH. check that on the hardness scale, about mid 1200’s(yellow Birch) red Oak is 1290

Floating the same type of floor is easier. less costly and highly recommended if you want to save time and money. The main concern is the underlayment and I recommend that you contact this company for a dealer near you. SCI

Don’t get cheap on the underlayment. call them and they will guide you in the right direction.

For your home I don’t recommend a laminate (clic lock) unless you insist.

Over all my years I have installed the cheapest and the most expensive floors all around Southern California. Dealt with top dollar clients and economy as well. If you buy what you like and can afford, take care of it, the floor will last a long time.

I had a whole cul de sac go nuts for an off brand Chinese clic lock floor which I enjoyed installing completely and it looked great! I was initially very skeptical and hounded the dealer until satisfied.

Of the 5 colors most went for the darker mahogany look or Cherry. I visited one family numerous times to continue various rooms and all the flooring looked fine the next tax refund season.

12mm thick almost 7″ wide named «Glorious Floors» (imported) I could never find it online. but for 1.69 per sq everyone was happy.

Contact me again ,

QUESTION: Thanks for the quick reply,

No, i will not be installing myself, i am a big DIY guy, but 1600 sqft of flooring would probably take me till next year to finish. The 5/8 solid from LL virginia mill i mentioned is a float floor, click lock, so would not be glued. If i went with the float i was thinking about using the SCI or 1/4 inch cork underlay.

The same clay soil that doesnt allow for basement constructions in Dallas would be my only reason for considering a float floor. Although we do not appear to have any foundation issues, i have noticed small hairline cracks running across the tile in our kitchen, and some spots of our dry wall, which leads me to believe there is «normal» movement in our slab, or poor install by the builder. Our house was completed in 2002. I was also told by several installers that the glue down engineered would be able to handle such expansion and contraction, and if you float just make sure they leave enough expansion gap around the edges. Dallas is not an overly humid place so im not too worried about moisture fluctuations during the seasons.

Floor prep is a completely different issue, if I go with the all in one purchase (buy the flooring and the install from the same place, using their in-house crew, no sub-contractor) I would feel more comfortable about them knowing the proper way to prepare my floor. Several other stores said «most» people buy the wood from them and find their own installer. The problem i see here is its probably more an decision of price. Anyone can install a floor, but not everyone can install a floor correctly.

I was also thinking about doing at least 5 moisture tests, one in each room and 2 in the «great room». I have been told by several different places that the moisture barrier is in the glue they would use. Even if this is the case is is still better to use and underlay and attach flooring to the underlay?

If i understand correctly the process should be, floor prep — glue (with moisture barrier)- underlay — glue — engineered hardwood.

the flooring we like is handscraped, im looking for a hickory, 7ply with at least a 2mm veneer and several layers of the aluminum oxide coating. (although ive read that i should be getting the titanium dioxide, if we try and get a refinish our of the floor the aluminum oxide released into the air is a carcinogen where as the titanium dioxide is not).

I find it unfortunate when i go to flooring stores and i know more about what im looking for that the person trying to sell me the flooring.

Thanks again,


Nice read, glad to hear that you are doing the research.

To answer the questions you posed specifically

1, Moisture tests are a good thing. although they state 1 per 1000 sq ft, more is OK

2, Yes Bostick is one of the adhesive manufactures that include a moisture barrier in the glue. But be warned, just because it is a urethane adhesive that is a moisture cure / setting does not mean it is a moisture retarding adhesive. Make sure you contact any manufacture for exact qualities and specs via their 800 #. Leave nothing to chance.

3, I would not use any additional underlay. slab. floor prep. moisture barrier / adhesive. or the all in 1 adhesive with moisture retarding agent.

If you choose to use an additional underlay for sound dampening, then again get a recommend from the manufacture of the adhesive and wood. I do believe cork is acceptable.

That is why I like the Bostick MVP 4 so well. it adds a great dampening factor as well as a moisture barrier.

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