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Old 02-17-2016, 09:28 AM   #1
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4" wide hardwood - to glue or not


Goodmorning,

We are planning to do 4" wide red oak hardwood throughout the above grade floors. This will be site finished work (ie not pre finished). The builder is asking whether I want the floors to be glued or not.

I thought gluing would be required in addition to nailing of course when you are installing 5" or greater width.

Is there benefit to gluing narrower hardwood? Obviously he is going to charge me more to do gluing.

Many thanks!
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:56 AM   #2
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What's the manufacture of the flooring suggest?
Follow there install directions to a tee or there's no warranty.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:05 AM   #3
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What's the common practice on 4" floors (real hard wood floors)? Is it common to see them nailed and glued on plywood?
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:49 PM   #4
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It's not common to nail and also glue 4" hardwood. But, the answer to Joe's question is much more relevant then what is done in general. However, if it is beneficial to glue the wood, I'd want to know which method and what type of adhesive the installer uses.

I have a feeling this builder/installer combo do not allow the flooring to acclimate correctly and therefore suggest the glue. Just an educated hunch.

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Old 02-18-2016, 06:51 AM   #5
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Thank you both for the replies. My builder isn't proving me much info but I will continue to probe starting with what the manufacture is stating and etc.

Builder was commenting that it's advisable to glue and nail and that I should pay extra for the gluing...
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Builder was commenting that it's advisable to glue and nail and that I should pay extra for the gluing...
Well, of course you should pay for the gluing if you decide to take their advice. Check with the manufacturer, but then make sure they acclimate and install per the directions.

If the builder and installer do their job right, this advice may not be necessary, but I give them credit for informing you that it might be beneficial.

Jaz
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:06 AM   #7
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I have worked in a ton of new homes being built, both average and high end homes and never saw 3/4 oak flooring glued at any width( not that it cant be done??)..I would ask to see manufactures install instructions or the brand of flooring you specified and contact them direct for your answer...could be he is looking to eliminate any future squeaks..and make sure the oak sits in the house for a minimum of several weeks, unwrapped and either unstacked or stickered between bundles...
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:13 PM   #8
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Are there any detrimental effects from nailing and gluing other than costs? Again, i will double check what mfg says.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatRnsdownhill View Post
I have worked in a ton of new homes being built, both average and high end homes and never saw 3/4 oak flooring glued at any width( not that it cant be done??)..I would ask to see manufactures install instructions or the brand of flooring you specified and contact them direct for your answer...could be he is looking to eliminate any future squeaks..and make sure the oak sits in the house for a minimum of several weeks, unwrapped and either unstacked or stickered between bundles...
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:57 AM   #9
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gluing real wood flooring to subfloor


Gluing wood floors is a tricky thing. The problem is that boards expand and contract across their width, but not along their length. Plywood (subfloor) does not do this. If you glue down 2 1/4 wide hardwood strips like you would glue down tile or something (mastic with a trowel) then Bad Things will happen. The wood will shrink and expand with changing humidity, and will do so with great force. It can warp the subfloor, even pulling the nails from the joists or delaminating the plywood, or at least split / buckle the flooring.
Wider boards make the problem worse.

Tongue and groove flooring nailed in the tongue normally avoids this problem by being fixing the tongue to the floor but allowing the board to expand and contract over it's width since the groove end is allowed to move, at least to freely contract. It's limited in expansion, but normally the wood looses moisture and contracts more than expands, and the wood does have a little give by compressing if it expands a little.

Having said this, I have successfully glued flooring to a good plywood base by running a thin strip of somewhat flexible wood glue down the center of the plank while stapling (flooring staples) the tongue. The wood is mostly fixed in place at the center of the board, and the staples are flexible enough that the slight movement from expansion and contraction over 1/2 the width of the board is tolerated by the staples. Not yet sure this is better than just staples, though.

I did try gluing 4 inch wide pine T&G boards to 3/4 inch plywood screwed to 2x12 12 inches on center once, under the assumption the subfloor was strong enough to keep things flat. I was wrong.

This is different with engineered flooring, because that's essentially plywood and very stable.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:07 PM   #10
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Sorry garycarroll, I can not agree with much of your theory, especially the first paragraph.

The manufacturers' instructions to nail/staple & glue wood 5" and wider (some say 4") is to help prevent the boards from cupping as much or at all under humid conditions from below the floor. The planks should be glued using a trowel covering 100% of the floor. If you'd notice the glue is a bit rubbery and it gives with the wood as it moves with the seasons, then pulling it back.

I highly recommend everyone follow the manufacturers directions for their particular species of wood.

Jaz
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