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Old 09-02-2019, 11:37 AM   #1
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Questions about installing engrd hardwood floor

We're going to redo almost all the floor coverings in our entire home soon. It's built on a concrete slab at grade, so we'll probably go with what I refer to as engineered hardwood (about 3/8" thick), not the thin buy-by-the-box snap-together sheets and not true 3/4" thick hardwood nailed to an underlayment on top of the concrete because that'd raise the finished floor elevation way too high compared with the nice tiled areas we'll leave as is.

Right now, all the flooring we'll replace is carpeting. There is typical baseboard over the carpeting along the walls but no quarter round. Is it typical for an engrd hardwood installer to remove and then later reinstall baseboard over the new wood flooring? Is it typical to install quarter round over the wood floor also?

Is it better to glue the engrd hardwood or to let it float? I help Habitat for Humanity occasionally and when we use the thin snap-together pieces we buy at Lowes/Home Depot it floats, and frankly it seems to me a little cheap. I'm inclined to go with something fastened more securely to the concrete. Is this sensible or overkill?

Finally, if it's glued, is it essential for the installer to use a 100 lb roller over the entire floor after it's all put in place? I.e., should I NOT hire an installer who does NOT include that in his scope of work?
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:03 PM   #2
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Re: Questions about installing engrd hardwood floor

1) I have installed engineered a few times and have removed the baseboard, installed the flooring, and replaced the baseboard a touch higher. No quarter-round (and the real carpenters around here will soon bash you for suggesting quarter-round instead of shoe-molding). Probably depends on exactly what you have for baseboard. Something to discuss with installer.

2) You can sometimes feel/hear movement with floating. I think most people will agree glue down is preferred to floating.

3) Roller or not depends on if it is on the instructions of specific glue being used.

I am no expert on installing over concrete slab, but you might be needing an adhesive that is also spec'd as a moisture barrier. I think these are typically moisture cure urethanes (good stuff, but not cheap). Research or discuss with installer. Mapei web site is good resource for adhesives info.

Carpet can hide a lot of sins. You flooring install instructions will have specs for maximum out-of-flat condition for sub floor. You might need to level it before install (Self Levelling Compound).

The other thing to remember is that since engineered is real wood, you can expect random lengths. So if you buy just enough for you project, you will have a bunch of 14" lengths on your floor. Buying extra is the price you pay for having longer lengths on your finished floor.


Last edited by SPS-1; 09-02-2019 at 12:15 PM.
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