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Old 10-19-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
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I am working on a DIY project to install 800sq ft of engineered hardwood flooring. South Texas home about 15 years old with a concrete foundation. The floor is currently carpeted. The home is a great room layout and the wood will flow from the front door tiles all the way to the French open rear doors and connect to tile in the kitchen. Then down the hallway to the bedrooms. I want to float the floor with a barrier after I fill in the strip tack nail holes left from removing the carpet as well as any areas that need to be leveled.

I live in a large city that has many flooring merchants such as Lumber Liquidators, Lowes, Home Depot, Carpet World, FG Wholesales, and River City Flooring. All sell exotic woods such as Bamboo, Acacia as well as Walnut, Hickory, and Birch. There is also a Build Direct Outlet close as well.

My price range is $3.99 a sq foot. Several of the wholesalers have their own brand of product that range about $3.99 a sq ft. As well as leading brands Shaw , Mohawk, Bruce. Iím leaning toward a dark walnut 3/8 to Ĺ thickness and 5Ē in width with a minimum of 3mm wear layer.

I have a few questions regarding the engineered wood flooring products.

If the wholesaler has a brand I have never heard of or can research on the web is that a bad thing?
One brand was Hampton hardwood flooring. Another is FGW hardwood flooring. These range from $3.79 to $4.49 a sq ft.

Should I just stick with a brand like Shaw, Mohawk or Bruce? Is Shaw or Mohawk even a decent brand compared to Bruce or Anderson?

I was considering using a clip and lock type flooring instead of a tongue and groove because I have little experience doing this type of project. I also wanted to do a floating floor. I was under the impression that a tongue and groove requires the wood to be glued together even if you donít glue the hardwood directly to the barrier and the clip together type flooring does not. Is this correct?

If a engineered product is clip together does that mean it is an inferior product due to the manufacturing cost of clip together product compared to tongue and groove manufacturing cost?

Let me know if you need any additional information or links to the products.
Thank you all for your assistance.


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Old 10-19-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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How dry is it inside your home? The only issues I've heard of for quality engineered flooring delamination have been in desert climates. Still, with a 3mm wear layer you're (usually) talking a quality product.

In general, I've been satisfied with the samples I've seen from BuildDirect. Not so much those from the big box stores.

I believe that use of the click lock profiles incurs a patent cost per ft to the manufacturer, so you pay for that along with the product materials. Doesn't mean that they are bad or inferior products - companies like BR-111 make good stuff - but they are out of your price range, too.

Not all T&G flooring can be floated. And yes, to float it you glue it together at the tongue. You don't glue click flooring. While that sounds like an advantage, I've always found that click-type products are a bear to work around obstacles.

You mentioned dark walnut. Just be aware that, paradoxically, dark flooring can show dirt easier than lighter woods.

Another thing to consider is that the Bruce hardwood you buy at Home Depot might not be the same you get from River City Flooring.

I hope my opinions help you.

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Old 10-23-2012, 06:52 PM   #3
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I live in a dry area , South Texas. I'm going to go with a tongue and groove engineered hardwood floating floor. I'm not afraid to work with gluing the tongue and groove together. I was watching install videos and several contractors were using straps to hold the flooring together while the glue dries.

Would the members here recommend I purchase straps to use on my project?

The length of the floor is well over 25 feet.

Also is it recommended to get qtr round the color of your flooring or can you use a natural qtr round and match the paint to a gloss white same as the trim?

I was also wanting to ask if I am in too low of a price range at $3.99 a sq ft? Should I look at something more towards $4.99 a sq ft? I have several samples coming from Builders Direct in that range.

I went to a local Lumber Liquidators and was shocked to see them pedaling a 1.6 mm wear layer less than 1/2 thickness at over $5.00 a sq ft.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:51 AM   #4
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Never installed a glue down, so I'm no help there. On shoe molding, you can get almost a match with stain or a perfect match with paint. I'm going to paint mine to match the base molding.
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