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Old 07-02-2015, 08:02 PM   #1
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Engineered flooring, Float or Nail?


We just moving into a house and my wife really wanted to put hardwood flooring on the main floor of our house which is a split level, so it consists of the kitchen, dinning, living room, coat closet and a half bath, about 600 sqft. So we've ripped up all the old flooring and found the stuff she wanted and ordered it. I thought I had everything figured out for installation but today when I was reading through the manufacture directions I came across something that is going to give me grief. The sub floor across the whole main floor is 2 layers of 1/2" plywood, except in the kitchen the top layer is particle board. I am not sure why it is there, but I no know that you shouldn't nail into particle board.

So my options are to rip out and replace the top layer of sub floor and replace with plywood to match or to lay the flooring in a floating fashion. I am worried about durability and longevity doing the floating method. The flooring is 1/2" Engineered Hardwood with typical T&G, not locking.

What should I do, just float the whole floor, or replace the sub floor and nail the whole floor like I originally planned?

Is it a possibility to nail everything and just float the kitchen? I highly doubt it but figured I'd ask.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:05 PM   #2
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Another question that I came across today is can you use a sound deadening felt underlayment if you are going to nail down the flooring?
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:17 AM   #3
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What you do depends on the floor material you select.

Read the install instructions. They will tell exactly what to do and what to use under it.

As a 'general' rule, if the pieces are the 'click and lock' type, then it will be a floating floor. Because all the pieces are 'clicked' to each other, you don't have to worry about them coming apart and you put them on a floating floor. This type of flooring will typically be thinner.

If the pieces to not lock together, then you will typically nail the strips down. In my case, I used 5/8" thick bamboo flooring....it gets nailed. Under it I used tar paper.
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Old 07-03-2015, 11:24 AM   #4
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Almost ALL engineered flooring today can be installed in the floating method, read the instructions of the manufacturer of your flooring though, also give some thought to having to do a repair down the road, when it's nailed it will give you grief as opposed to glued and floating.
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