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Old 02-19-2008, 05:46 PM   #1
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Is foam needed when floating hardwood floor?


Just came back from Home Depot and picked up some plastic moisture barrier for the hardwood (not Pergo) floor that I'm going to float over concrete. The guy at the store told me I would also need some foam underlayment. Is this true?
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:23 PM   #2
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Is foam needed when floating hardwood floor?


Yes, you need a laminate underlayment, absolutely.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:37 PM   #3
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Is foam needed when floating hardwood floor?


Thanks. Can you tell me what the foam is for? It would seem to me that you would want the floor to feel as solid as possible without any "bounce". Wouldn't foam cause the boards to bend when you step on them?
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:47 PM   #4
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Is foam needed when floating hardwood floor?


it should be a thin foam.

the floor is made to "bounce" a bit.
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Old 02-20-2008, 04:03 AM   #5
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Is foam needed when floating hardwood floor?


Once it's installed, the foam actually gives the floor a "solid feel". It mimics the feel of walking on hardwood.
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:25 PM   #6
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Is foam needed when floating hardwood floor?


Just for clarification, I will be installing real hardwood, not laminate. Does this make a difference?
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:42 PM   #7
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Is foam needed when floating hardwood floor?


I could be wrong but I think you're looking at a potential disaster by attempting to float solid hardwood. Although engineered hardwood is more expensive, I would certainly recommend going with it over a concrete slab. Normal hardwood will expand and contract much more than more stable engineered hardwood and I think you'll end up with some serious separation and possibly lifting/bubbling in the floor. I have seen very very experienced flooring guys install solid hardwood on concrete although they painstakingly leveled the floor and glued everything down which in my opinion is very difficult for your average DIYer. A local flooring company who my father in law has worked with on many home builds says they have never had a glued down hardwood on concrete floor fail in over 10 years of installing this way.

I am in the process of installing 600sf of Robbins Fifth Avenue 1/2"x3" engineered oak in a floating installation and so far it's looking great. I went with a roberts underlayment which has a red poly moisture barrier with small white foam dots for sound absorption and insulation (Sold at Home Depot). With the foam, the floor sounds much more like a wood on wood subfloor installation as opposed to the hollow sound I got when I tested wood on poly sheet only on concrete or even just the 2in1 less expensive blue foam.

I would seriously get some more feedback from members here before going ahead with your install.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:35 PM   #8
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Is foam needed when floating hardwood floor?


I don't believe there was any mention of solid hardwood funktional.

But still a good post...!
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Old 02-24-2008, 06:16 PM   #9
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Is foam needed when floating hardwood floor?


If it's real hardwood, don't float it. If we are talking about laminate, that's alltogether different.
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