Floating Hardwood floor (Tips?)


I am laying (floating) an engineered hardwood floor and so far its been pretty fun. Does anyone have any good tips on making things easier. I have all the basics down (expansion gap, tapping block, glue, etc) - but are there any good tips. I will give a couple of examples of areas where I think some tips from the pros will help - but I am open to any tips.
[1] Glue - when the excess glue pops out between the joints what do you use to clean it up? I am using a damp cloth and it works well, but I feel like I am spending too much time ensuring there is no glue showing between the boards. The flooring has beveled edges so I usually run my nail along the edge making sure it is absolutely clean. [2] Any tips on cutting around door edges or vents in the floor for heat/ac? I started with a skill saw and have since moved to my sliding miter and coping saw. I get it as close as possible with the miter and than cope the corner and it has worked out a 1000x's better than the skill saw. I was out of control with that skill saw. [3] Any tips on momentum - I would love to pick up some speed but it just seems like a slow process. [4] Any tips on when cutting end pieces to fit keep the splintering to a minimum? I have been using a pretty good blade (100T 12inch) and going slow and this has been working good, but occasionally I do get a bit of a rough edge.
I know some of those are basic questions and that putting in a floating floor is not rocket science, but with putting in my own (first) floor I just want to do the best job I can.
Amy
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Amy L. wrote:

Small block of wood? Run a corner of it wrapped with a single layer of wet t-shirt or old cotton shirt along the beveled joint.

Install it the way you want to install it - a quality job. It takes as long as it takes. Haste makes waste.

How is this a problem with end cuts? Just how much splintering are you going to get that won't be hidden by the base and quarter round or transitional T-pieces or nosing at the perimeter of the job?

Sounds like you're off to a good start. Take your time and by the time you're done, you'll have a good floor and the knowledge to take any shortcuts on the NEXT floor you install<g>
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100% of it is covered so far. I am not sure if any of it will be exposed. However, I know this will sound dumb, but even though it is hidden I still would like to keep it hidden. I guess one of my concerns is that maybe the splintering could cause cracks down the surface of the board with the changes in season.
Amy
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wrote:

Engineered flooring (or most any floating flooring) is like a plywood. There is some sort of substrate involved in addition to the money layer. That means cracks shouldn't be a problem, and in any event, any splintering you might get is going to be superficial, and in most cases extremely fragile. It can't "cause" anything.
--
LRod

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That won't help in the centre of the floor. It's not like all sections that run the entire length of the room, there's bound to be quite a few end cuts spaced all over the place.
Only things I can think of are for him to experiment with some scrap pieces and adjust his technique to see if he can improve the quality of the end cuts. If that doesn't help, next I'd have the blade sharpened. Other alternatives include a piece of masking tape on top of the cut line or a scrap of wood on top of the cut line to prevent tear-out.
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wrote:

Uh, the ends of the boards in engineered flooring have the same joints as the long edges. There is absolutely no reason to have end cuts anywhere but at the edges, at a doorway, or around a register. In all cases, the end cuts, splintered or otherwise, will be covered by something--trim, transition strip, register.
--
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Ok my mistake, obviously my knowledge of engineered flooring is limited. I'd have to agree then that quarter round or baseboard of some type would be amply sufficient to cover any minor tearout.
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Upscale wrote:

The OP is installing MANUFACTURED flooring. I'm thinking Pergo, et al.
Are not all the ends machined to interlock? Mine were. The only "raw" ends I had were at the walls (and the island) where the cut ends were concealed by the base molding.
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On 16/10/2005 10:27 AM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Actually he said "engineered" flooring which is not the same thing. But it does have tongue-and-groove ends as well as sides, just like solid hardwood and the 'manufactured' stuff.
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on 10/17/2005 7:37 AM Doug Payne said the following:

My mistake. Advise remains the same, however. No butt joints in the flooring system - all tongue and groove so there should be no need for any end cuts in the field.
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Knee pads
.

Use less glue. You realy need very little for a good bond so practic on justhow muc of a bead to lay donw on the edge.

When you say door edges, do you mean the trim? Did you cut the bottom fo the trim with an offset saw? Makes life much easier.

One person glues, the other sets the strip in place.

There should be about zero splintering with a good sharp blade. Maybe yours is not as sharp as you think. I bought a DeWalt CMS just to do the floor and the stock blade did a good job.

Take your time with the details and it will look good and you'll get a lot of satisfaction from a job well done.
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This will def. take practice - as I have no real idea on how much is too much or too little. I would hate to not use enough and have issues with that..

I removed the molding in the whole room and bought a dovetail saw to cut off the bottom of the wood that trims the inside threshold between the rooms so the floor would fit nicely under it. So I take it I am on the right track here.

One of my friends had an installer do there install. It took the installers probably 3-4 hours to slam in 250sq feet. That's just amazing... In 4 hours I had 4 rows of 3 1/2" flooring with only 30 more rows to go...
Amy
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Depends how many guys were working on your friend's floor. I had 340 sq ft engineered flooring installed (nail down) by one very good installer, he took 2 1/2 days and did a great job. I put down new baseboard myself, as I don't like the look of regular base plus 1/4 round, or shoe. Looks like someone added the shoe moulding rather than use thicker base. My installer kept the gap at the walls at 3/8 max, so I bought "1x2" (5/8 x 1 5/8) poplar, ripped it with the blade at an angle and the wood run on edge and routed a 1/8 roundover on it to make my own moulding. Only took a day to make and install, and looks much cleaner IMHO. Around floor registers, the lip at the edge of the register cover will cover your cuts. BTW, if you can get matching solid wood, and really want a nice cover, you can make your own. I had some stairs done in the same wood, and made my own cover out of the scraps from that, makes it blend right in with the floor. Good luck.
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Sounds like you're doing things right. Take your time. I tend to use a jigsaw and a Johnson 12" SpeedSquare a lot. That combinations follows me around the room. And as Mr. Confused mentioned, most end-cuts will be covered. "Steady as she goes and damn the torpedoes"
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wrote:

You _are_ cutting good-side down, aren't you? puts the splinters on the bad side. Since no one else has mentioned it, I'll remind you.
I just made new shoe moldings for my floating floor installations. The tiny ones installed initially wouldn't reach far enough. Of course, I'm cheap, and made all my thresholds and transitions rather than pay the horribly inflated prices at the store. Red oak is pretty cheap by the BF. Much cheaper than moldings.
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wrote:

bit hard to use at first, because the saw want to jump away from the work, but with a SpeedSquare held 'just so' on the edge of a 12" box..it is quite doable. I turn off the orbital function of the saw and run it at about 1/2 speed.

That's not a matter of being cheap.. that's being smart. First of all, those 'special' mouldings are 'stupid money' and secondly, the ones I make are much nicer and better suited for the particular requirements. I almost always have enough scrap from countertop edges lying around to make the trim I need.
Oh, and another thing, pre-finished floors look like ....ermmm.. pre-finished? Many of them are 'balanced' by semi-transparent stains showing normal wear and tear in an ugly way. Maybe that's just me.
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If you can, remove what would be called a 'throat plate' if you were using a table saw. I'm not sure if it is called the same thing on a (S)CMS. Then replace it with a block of wood or MDF that just fits in the void. An there you go... a zero-clearance insert that will minimize splintering.
-John
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Amy L. Wrote:

Which side are you cutting from? IIRC you should normally cut underside face up when using a powersaw or a tenon saw. You cut finish face up when using a panel saw or a reverse cut jigsaw blade.
--
tricky

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