I just bought a one story 50-year old house in the bay area that is on
a concrete slab. I would like to install a hardwood floor, I would
like to see what you recommend. Installing over concrete, I know I
need an engineered floor. What is the best way to install it,
glue-down or floating floor?
With a floating floor, I can place a vapor barrier and pad between the
concrete and engineered floor. I assume this will make it a little
softer to walk on. The glue-down method would have the wood directly
attached to the concrete, therefore much harder to walk on. I assume
installation of the floating floor is much easier.
You must use a barrier and float the floor if it is on or below grade. I
use Mannington and had great results. It is just over a year now. Check
out www.mannington.com and you can see the instruction manual.
A couple of hints:
Buy knee pads
Buy a dovetail saw for $10 to cut the bottom of the door jambs. It was $10
at Home Depot.
Miter saw is nice to have for the cutting.
Carefully remove the baseboard, mark them for location, clean and paint as
needed and you can easily put them back in place.
Check the manufacturers installation procedures, many wood laminates (not
the formica or pergo types) can be glued directly to concrete at or below
grade. Make sure you use the recommended adhesive as well. Floating is a
lot less messy and the fumes from some of the adhesives used to glue down
floor can be pretty strong.
I glued directly to the concrete slab with no problems. I used Bruce
engineered flooring and also their glue. No problems after 3 years.
However, if I were doing it again, I think I would glue a cheap linolume
(sp) down over the slab (non wax, and sand it first), and glue to that.
Just as an extra point of saftey.
How is the feel of the glued down floor? Is it a little too hard to
walk on? I am leaning towards installing a floating floor so that I
can have the pad underneath to make it softer.
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