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Old 01-23-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
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General what floor material to use question


I have a 60 year old cabin on a lake. Its build of wood on a block foundation with about a 2 foot craw a space over dirt. There is no vapor barrier over it or on the wood floor above it.
This is a single story cabin with plywood flooring over 70% and real particle board (small particles glued together, not strand or chip) over the other 30%.
All flooring is well screwed downed and very secure.
The bath room has new sheet vinyl in it and is what this flooring will be resting up against at the bath doorway.
The cabin is used in the summer only, in Southern Kentucky and almost never heated or used in the winter. So I winterize it in the winter and turn everything off as well.
Iím looking at around 650 sq. feet to cover the two bedrooms, Kitchen, and living room.
I want the real look of hardwood but not the work or cost.
Thinking Laminate or Vinyl of some sort.
Can you give me the pros and cons of each and recommend a underlayment if required.
There are a lot of seams in the wood flooring with gaps so I was think if using thin vinyl I would have to fill them in with something.
I guess I really want to know you recommendations on what material to use in the above situation.
Thanks in advance,
Mike

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Old 01-23-2013, 07:02 PM   #2
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General what floor material to use question


Very important you get a layer of 6 mil. plastic on the ground in that crawl space!
Got to get rid of that partical board, not a exceptable subfloor for any trype of flooring.
Once it's gone and replaced with Advantec subflooring concider engineeered flooring.

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:20 PM   #3
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Good points about the need for a vapor barrier on the ground and removing the particle board Joe.

Engineered hardwood would be a great choice, (and it would look like hardwood cuz it is), but the OP doesn't want to pay the price for it. Even regular hardwood is too much, sounds like.

Laminate or vinyl is about all that's left. Both can be found for under $2, certainly under $3. Lots of cons with those choices especially in an unheated cabin.

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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Thanks Joe and Jaz,

I really don't have an option with putting 6 mil plastic or any other vapor barrier down. The space varies between 12 and 18" and approximately 15 to 20 concrete blocks supporting the joist. Very old construction. Also has a 12X12 beam running down the middle that is impossible to get under to the other side. So option is to put vapor on top floor under the new flooring.

What do you think about that?

The particle board is very firm and I sank floor screws in every 8 to 10 inches, and sealed it with Kiltz this last summer.

I looking at interlocking vinyl planks (floating floor, Allure Ultra is very likely candidate) at this time.

Can I put the vapor barrier under this type of flooring?

Any experience with this or what other suggestions.

Thanks in advance, Mike
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:49 AM   #5
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General what floor material to use question


If you go with laminate, just read manufacturer's directions and they will tell you what kind of plastic barrier to put under the planks.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:18 AM   #6
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Putting vapor barrier over particle board and under vinyl planks is a recipe for disaster. Moisture will condense and rot out the particle board.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:26 AM   #7
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Putting vapor barrier over particle board and under vinyl planks is a recipe for disaster. Moisture will condense and rot out the particle board.
How is this different from any wood subflooring though?
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:39 AM   #8
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General what floor material to use question


Partical board soaks up moisture from any source like a sponge causing it to swell. In your case you have rising moisture from under the house that's to close to the ground. No constant temperture, no insulation under the floors.
Just a change in humity can swell it up.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:44 AM   #9
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But he talked about rot, not swelling. Of course particle board is an awful underlayment, but regular plywood will rot if it gets wet.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffnc
How is this different from any wood subflooring though?
It's way different. There's supposed to be a moisture barrier on the ground in the crawl space to reduce moisture in the space to protect the joists and subfloor. There also needs to be cross ventilation as required by local customs.

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Old 01-24-2013, 03:40 PM   #11
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It's way different. There's supposed to be a moisture barrier on the ground in the crawl space to reduce moisture in the space to protect the joists and subfloor. There also needs to be cross ventilation as required by local customs.
He talked about putting the moisture barrier over the subfloor, not on the ground. Ignoring the swelling issue, I don't see how a moisture barrier would rot particle board but not plywood.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffnc
He talked about putting the moisture barrier over the subfloor, not on the ground. Ignoring the swelling issue, I don't see how a moisture barrier would rot particle board but not plywood.
Yes I know, but without a vapor barrier on the ground you're likely to have too much moisture and PB will be affected more than plywood. Bad way to go with either ply or PB and no VB on ground.

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Old 01-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone,

Rusty, what floor would you recommend in a situation like this. I have no choice, I can't get a moisture barrier down with the limited space and supporting post all over the place. I also have little choice with the floors, they are a mix of PT and plywood. Some flooring product support guys are suggesting I use laminate wood over vinyl. I like the vinyl plank snapped together like Allure Ultra plank vinyl without any vapor barrier. What would you put down here?

Thanks
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:12 PM   #14
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General what floor material to use question


There should not be any pressure treated wood inside the house, anywhere.
Remove the partical board, install the vaper barrier while the subfloors out and install Advantec subflooring then with the right under layment you could lay just about any flooring you want to.

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