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Thread: RE: OT . . . Engineered wood floor

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team2hunt View Post
    The manufacturer will not recommend particle board for 2 reasons. First there are many variations of the product out there and 2, particle board is NOT a stable material suitable for wood flooring of any type. Even laminate, engineered, and real hardwood strip flooring. It will be up to you to examine the subfloor to see if YOU think it will be suitable. Once you lay the flooring do not go back to the manufacturer for a warranty. Looking at where you bought it, you already know you will be getting a warranty anyways. DO NOT GLUE IT DOWN!! EVER!! Not in a older house such as yours. Trust me on this one. Try to staple it and see if they hold. Your older house is going to be moving during the seasons, ( no not to Florida for the winter), and that movement in the floors would buckle the flooring if you glue it down. And that would destroy all of your hard work. At least if you nail it you might get a few pops but after snagging your socks on them just simply re-set them. The only approved subflooring would be a BC grade plywood, at least 4 layers, or 5/8" thick. Lay the plywood down with the voids toward the joists so the top layer is smooth. Or as we say......Clean, flat and level. And do not forget to acclamate the flooring in the room you will be installing it in for at least 72 hours before installing it.

    Hope this helps.
    Wow . . . good stuff Gary . . . very helpful and very reassuring. One might actually think you work at a large hardware store dealing with large volumes of wood flooring even.

    You've confirmed something my very wise wife suggested might be true . . . all particle board might not be created equal. As I mentioned in another post the particle board I have shows some evidence of water with watermarks (most likely from carpet shampooing over the years and one spot where a design flaw with a bad foyer allowed water to leak into the house for years) and yet the wood shows absolutely zero signs of swelling or deterioration (i.e. delaminating into a crumbly pile of sawdust). What you've said leads me to think that I might have got a bit of luck and the former homeowners might have not bought the cheaper stuff which I have personally seen swell up with the slightest amount of water, disintegrate into a pile of sawdust, etc.

    Since this area will not be shampooed, we don't track in stuff (shoes go off in the mudroom . . . I even make Hiram and Medawisla do so when they visit since they've now been to our house several times and are no longer considered guests, but part of the family ) and the faulty foyer has been fixed I'm thinking that short of a flood moisture issues may not be a problem with this subfloor. In addition, I'm thinking putting a sealant down might also be a good idea as some added insurance.

    You convinced me on the glue deal . . . I think I might try Vic and your suggestion to try stapling the floor down and see how it holds. Based on the fact that it took Hiram and I some work to remove the carpet tacks and my wife is still working hard at digging out regular ol' staples from where the former owners stapled down the carpet pad I'm thinking the holding power might be OK as well . . . providing I don't have to rip up the flooring at a later date since I suspect that would cause the particle board to no longer be any good.

    Acclimation . . . check. I've been letting the wood acclimate in the house for over a week now . . . I talk to it occasionally, pat it's glossy finish . . . you know just to make it feel at home.

    Manufacturer warranty . . . as you might have surmised buying this stuff at "Mah-dens" basically means there is no manufacturer warranty which I realized from the get-go. Couldn't pass up the wicked good price though . . . for the price I couldn't have even bought mid-priced laminate, much less paid for pricier wood flooring.

    Subfloor . . . if this was me and I was building a home today there is no way I would ever go with particle board in a home . . . I detest the stuff for many, many reasons . . . definitely plywood or possibly Advantek OSB (which is what a contractor used when we fixed the leaky foyer.)
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram357 View Post
    nope, that's the kinda stuff he has, and you can see the areas that have swelled from water damage.
    Actually there is no swelling from what I can see . . . just some watermarks. I suppose it's possible the wood might have swelled and then shrunk back to its original size . . . but all the particle board I have ever seen that has swollen due to water penetration and has remained warped and it is very obvious that water has penetrated it.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake View Post
    Actually there is no swelling from what I can see . . . just some watermarks. I suppose it's possible the wood might have swelled and then shrunk back to its original size . . . but all the particle board I have ever seen that has swollen due to water penetration and has remained warped and it is very obvious that water has penetrated it.
    what about those high spots where the boards came together by the window? wasn't that some swelling?
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram357 View Post
    what about those high spots where the boards came together by the window? wasn't that some swelling?
    I'm not sure there were any high spots there . . . I'll take another look though.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  5. #15
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    Jake I checked with my son Paul today and he did use engineered plywood flooring from Marden's in his new bedroom. He bought it a couple of years ago, left it in the room for a month prior to laying it down. I helped him put it down, we floated the floor, and it came out great. So I thought anyway. Seems that he's had all kinds of trouble with the product that I wasn't aware of. The hardwood veneer seems to contract and expand at a different rate then does the plywood. This makes the floor curl up at certain times of the year. He said that at times it lays back down and looks as good as the day we put the floor in.

    Thought I would pass this on to you.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicbiker View Post
    Jake I checked with my son Paul today and he did use engineered plywood flooring from Marden's in his new bedroom. He bought it a couple of years ago, left it in the room for a month prior to laying it down. I helped him put it down, we floated the floor, and it came out great. So I thought anyway. Seems that he's had all kinds of trouble with the product that I wasn't aware of. The hardwood veneer seems to contract and expand at a different rate then does the plywood. This makes the floor curl up at certain times of the year. He said that at times it lays back down and looks as good as the day we put the floor in.

    Thought I would pass this on to you.
    Hmmm . . . interesting . . . since most of the literature says the engineered stuff is usually one of the best options if you're looking for a "stable" wood floor vs. laminate or hardwood.

    Does Paul know what brand the flooring was?

    Knowing this . . . and from what I've read in other places right now I'm either leaning towards stapling the floor down to the particle board and risking it (although as I have mentioned the particle board doesn't really show any signs of swelling) or biting the bullet and ripping out the particle board and replacing it with plywood and then stapling the floor down (a bit more of an expense in time and money, but long term reassurance.) I've just got to price 5/8 plywood today and see what the extra costs would be.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake View Post
    . . . or biting the bullet and ripping out the particle board and replacing it with plywood and then stapling the floor down (a bit more of an expense in time and money, but long term reassurance.) I've just got to price 5/8 plywood today and see what the extra costs would be.
    Hey Aaron . . . interested in some more house "deconstruction"?

    Actually, at some point in the next month or so you, me and Steph have got to head up to Jackman and finish off our maps. Unfortunately, this weekend is out due to other commitments . . . the 25th will also be out due to a stupid Open House I'm organizing at the BFD.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  8. #18
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    Default depends on how it was installed

    Engineered flooring due to how it is made. A thin veneer of wood attached to a base of (usually) multi-ply, it is one of the most stable products in the industry. It is the only one that can be recommended to install below grade, like in your basement. But! If not installed properly, ( and I'm not infering that Vic did not install it right ) the floor STILL has movement, and when your house moves, the floor can buckle at the joints. Living in Maine with the extreme temperature swings all of our homes have some movement. The floor needs to be installed with that movement in mind. If the floor is floated or attached it needs a minimum of 1/4" gap around it's entire perimeter. And the movement of your home needs to be taken into consideration here. If the gap ever closes the floor will buckle and not stay flat. Even if you staple it to the subfloor you still need to maintain that 1/4" gap. There are several ways to accomplish this. The easiest, would be use 1/4 round to cover the gap. Around wet areas ( kitchens and baths ) you will need to fill the gap with 100% silicone to prevent water from seeping into the subfloor. Another way to hide the gap is to undercut the sheetrock to the same height as your floor and install the flooring 1/4" off of the studs. The baseboard when reinstalled will now make for a much cleaner look. But....a lot more work. Remember to maintain that 1/4" gap around the ENTIRE perimeter, door jambs seem to be the most common place that homeowners fail to do this.
    Why not live life like it is your last day....instead of pretending to be a member of the Peter Pan Club and believing you will be around forever.

  9. #19
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    When installing any floating floor system in a room with baseboards already installed we generally leave a 1/4-3/8 spacing and cover this with base shoe.This seems to solve the problem with out all the work of taking the baseboards off and reinstalling them. Door casings are another problem which can be solved by under cutting them with a pull saw, using a piece of flooring as a guide.

    The problem with Pauls floor isn't that it's expanding aganst the walls, there is still proper spacing everywhere. Individual piece's seem to curl and some of the veneered surfaces actually crack open especially near the heat.

    Paul also agrees that engineered flooring is suppose to be the best flooring. But cheap flooring is cheap flooring.The stuff he bought was cheap, thats why he drove all the way to Lewiston to buy it.

    In all fairness this floor is installed in a room that doesn't have a basement under it, only a crawl space. We built the floor system with 2x10's, use nailing strips at the bottom of each to hold 2" styrofoam panels over which we used 6' fiberglass insulation, topped off with advantech. The room has a monitor heater which radiates heat right across the floor. Any of this could be the problem.

  10. #20
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    After doing some more research I'm beginning to lean towards going the slighly more expensive route and taking up the particle board and replacing it with OSB . . . which the manufacturer (Mannington) says is suitable for underlayment. I figure for a little more than $100 and some time I will have piece of mind.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

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