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Old 03-20-2008, 08:14 AM   #1
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


We are putting down 3/4" hardwood in our living room and dining room. Would using felt paper instead of another product (such as QuietWalk) be okay? Since its on the first floor, we are not really all that concerned with noise reduction. The areas we are doing are above a finished basement.

Thank you.

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Old 03-20-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


Just to clarify: When you say felt paper, are you referring to "Roofing Felt"?

Roofing felt is fine on two levels: For the flooring itself, in standard installation, and also for it being installed above a basement area.

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Old 03-20-2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


Normally Craft paper is used.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:03 PM   #4
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


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Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
Normally Craft paper is used.
Yes, it is.

However, when installing hardwood above a basement or garage, it is recommended that a treated paper, such as roofing felt be used.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:35 PM   #5
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


It doesn't really matter either way. Once you put thousands of holes in it installing the floor, it won't be much of a vapor barrier anyway.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:12 PM   #6
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


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Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
It doesn't really matter either way. Once you put thousands of holes in it installing the floor, it won't be much of a vapor barrier anyway.
Actually, it does in fact matter.

We have a current worker, that installed all forms of flooring professionally for 7 years for a company. He did a job installing hardwood in a room above a garage. It was properly acclaimated, yet, it ended up buckling. The flooring rep, and the supplier rep both looked at the floor. The determination was that, if roofing felt had been used, rather than rosen paper, the flooring would not have buckled.

In that case, the rosen (untreated) paper absorbed airborn moisture from the garage. Roofing felt is treated, and will not absorb moisture.

We make it a habit to just use Roofing felt for all hardwood and engineered wood flooring.

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-20-2008 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:20 PM   #7
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
Actually, it does in fact matter.

We have a current worker, that installed all forms of flooring professionally for 7 years for a company. He did a job installing hardwood in a room above a garage. It was properly acclaimated, yet, it ended up buckling. The flooring rep, and the supplier rep both looked at the floor. The determination was that, if roofing felt had been used, rather than rosen paper, the flooring would not have buckled.

In that case, the rosen (untreated) paper absorbed airborn moisture from the garage. Roofing felt is treated, and will not absorb moisture.

We make it a habit to just use Roofing felt for all hardwood and engineered wood flooring.
I guess so. I've used felt paper under the hardwood I have done, but I've heard mixed opinions. That installation you refered to, since it was over unconditioned space, would probably have benefited from the felt. But, since this install is going over a finished/conditioned area, it may be less of an issue.
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:46 PM   #8
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
It doesn't really matter either way. Once you put thousands of holes in it installing the floor, it won't be much of a vapor barrier anyway.
Thank you! You are 100% correct. All the paper is for is to eliminate any dust that may migrate upwards and get under the wood flooring causing squuks and grinding noise.

As far as a floor buckling how can the paper make a difference? The floor is NAILED down! Usually if the floor buckles its due to the fact that it was not allowd to move like if it were installed too close to the walls and not enough gap was left to allow for expension

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Old 03-20-2008, 08:12 PM   #9
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
..... But, since this install is going over a finished/conditioned area, it may be less of an issue.
The OP's never stated that the hardwood was over a "finished/conditioned space"?

They stated it was to be on the 1st floor.

That would mean that it is over the basement/cellar area. I believe that is the reason why they asked the original question, and made it a point to state that this was on the first floor level.

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-20-2008 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:17 PM   #10
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by USP45 View Post
Thank you! You are 100% correct. All the paper is for is to eliminate any dust that may migrate upwards and get under the wood flooring causing squuks and grinding noise.

As far as a floor buckling how can the paper make a difference? The floor is NAILED down! Usually if the floor buckles its due to the fact that it was not allowd to move like if it were installed too close to the walls and not enough gap was left to allow for expension
Regardless of hardwood flooring being nailed down, moisture and/or humidity can still cause buckling.

http://www.tricountyfloors.com/wood&wtr.htm

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load...315612187.html

http://woodfloordoctor.com/_ask_the_...e_content.html

http://www.home-smart.org/trouble_sh...ef=3901:TS_I_3

http://www.highlandhardwoods.com/faq.html

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-20-2008 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:19 PM   #11
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
Where in the OP's statement, did they say that this was over a "finished/conditioned space"?

They stated it was 1st floor.

That means that it is over the basement/cellar area.
"The areas we are doing are above a finished basement."
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:26 PM   #12
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


[quote=AtlanticWBConst.;109516]Regardless of hardwood flooring being nailed down, moisture and/or humidity can still cause buckling.
quote]

I am sorry, I neglected to forsee the problem of moisture getting into the wood. But yes, you could very well be right then as the rosin paper would absorb the moisture.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:28 PM   #13
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
"The areas we are doing are above a finished basement."
My bad, thanks for the correction.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:30 PM   #14
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


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Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
My bad, thanks for the correction.
No problem. But you're right about the moisture. It doesn't matter how it gets into the wood, it's still a problem. Best thing to do for any home is to try to keep the inside humidity at a constant level to avoid changes in the wood.
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:57 PM   #15
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Is felt paper a sufficient vapor barrier for hardwood floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
Actually, it does in fact matter.

We have a current worker, that installed all forms of flooring professionally for 7 years for a company. He did a job installing hardwood in a room above a garage. It was properly acclaimated, yet, it ended up buckling. The flooring rep, and the supplier rep both looked at the floor. The determination was that, if roofing felt had been used, rather than rosen paper, the flooring would not have buckled.

In that case, the rosen (untreated) paper absorbed airborn moisture from the garage. Roofing felt is treated, and will not absorb moisture.

We make it a habit to just use Roofing felt for all hardwood and engineered wood flooring.
It's a good habit to get into. My company does the same, because there is a difference.

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