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Old 11-23-2011, 10:01 PM   #1
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


I have a new addition to the original house and everything is finished except the hardwood flooring now. I will be using the 2 1/4" oak flooring (to match my existing home built in 1957). It will be a nail on type on top of plywood subfloor. The new addition is a single storied ranch type house sitting on unheated crawl space.

My contractor was saying that I don't really need moisture barrier and that if I insist on putting one in, he'll use those 5mil black plastic sheets as moisture barrier.

But when I checked the sheets he is going to use, I found out that it says "only for laminate and engineered flooring". So any problems here?

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Old 11-23-2011, 10:28 PM   #2
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


When I installed the wood flooring on the main level of my house (2 story raised ranch) the product recommended felt paper as an underlayment and I haven't had any problems. It is very common for engineered and laminate flooring to require a substantial vapor barrier as these systems are considered floating above the sub-floor and are more susceptible to water damage. I would do some research online for the product you are using and see if there are some cut sheets for your particular circumstance. Good Luck!

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Old 11-23-2011, 10:33 PM   #3
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


vapor barriers...can be membrane or vapor resistant material..over the years when we installed harwood floors we used 15# feltpaper over plywood subfloor....
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:41 AM   #4
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


As others said, a felt paper should do the trick. When I had 2 1/4" 3/4" thick oak flooring put down, the contractor just used felt paper, which is all that's supposed to be used to my knowledge. I don't think the thick plastic sheets are for nail down hardwood floors, but I wonder if it would cause any issues vs. felt paper.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


I agree. Use 15# roofing felt overlapped 2 inches. It will do the job.
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:29 AM   #6
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


Have you added a moisture barrier to the gravel in the crawl space? That is rather important---

If the humidity in that crawl space is high you will end up with cupping of the boards.

Some one with more knowledge than me will help on this one---Mike----
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:22 AM   #7
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Have you added a moisture barrier to the gravel in the crawl space? That is rather important---

If the humidity in that crawl space is high you will end up with cupping of the boards.

Some one with more knowledge than me will help on this one---Mike----
Nope. But crawl space should not have too much moisture. My existing house crawl space is pretty dry. this new addition, judging from the grading and all that, should be also dry.
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:22 AM   #8
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


Most good hardwood floor installers have a moisture meter and will test the wood---the subfloor--and the crawl space for you----Mike----
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:28 PM   #9
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


I agree, felt paper works well.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Have you added a moisture barrier to the gravel in the crawl space? That is rather important---

If the humidity in that crawl space is high you will end up with cupping of the boards.

Some one with more knowledge than me will help on this one---Mike----
I'm not more knowledgeable but I can vouch for this being a concern. The house we just moved into had exactly that problem in an area of hardwood floor over an unconditioned...and "unbarriered" crawl space. It had been corrected along the way but there was cupping of the hardwood floor as a result which needed to be repaired.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:51 AM   #11
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What type of moisture barrier is needed for solid hardwood naildown flooring?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Have you added a moisture barrier to the gravel in the crawl space? That is rather important---

If the humidity in that crawl space is high you will end up with cupping of the boards.

Some one with more knowledge than me will help on this one---Mike----
I used to live in the SF Bay Area. Very little humidity there. But in any case, felt paper is what to use. Acts as a vapor barrier, but more importantly, cushions the flooring and prevents squeaks.

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