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Thread: Wood floor help

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    Wood floor help

    I am thinking of switching to wood floors in my basement and have a few question that I thought the locals may be able to help with. The current area has carpet, which I will be removing. I'm thinking of getting some kind of engineered/laminate hardwood flooring with the tongue and groove type application. No water issues in the basement.

    #1 I'm only going to be doing about 500 sgft. How hard is this stuff to install?

    #2 How does this flooring attach to the cement?

    #3 Will I need to remove the wood baseboard trim along the bottom of the floor? How do I go about doing this?

    #4 I'm not looking to spend a lot of money. Any recommendations on brand/type?



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    Re: Wood floor help

    I am not an expert on this, but installed Pergo in my old kitchen. It was really easy to install. Pergo is a floating floor so it doesn't attach to anything. What I had purchased had the pad already on each piece which was nice. I think most different brands do that now also. I picked Pergo becasue at the time Lowe's had rebates on it. I would say that you would definitely want to remove the trim as you would want the trim to be on top of the floor after you put it back on.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    Have installed 3 floors now of this type...

    1. It's easy to install
    2. No, it does not attach
    3. No, you do not remove the trim. You will need to add the quarter round trim after installation.
    4. I have used a few different brands. I just helped my brother install his on Sunday and can't recall the brand, but it was nice and for just over $2/square foot from Lowes. It also had the pad already on the bottom of each panel.

    Big thing to do is read the directions. Make sure to use the spacers and keep them there. Keep an eye on your edges at all times to make sure your floor is not shifting/twisting on you. Also, make sure to alternate your seems - directions explain this.

    Having a table saw makes this project go much, much faster - as does having one guy lay the floor and another make the cuts.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    Quote Originally Posted by dmclone View Post
    I am thinking of switching to wood floors in my basement and have a few question that I thought the locals may be able to help with. The current area has carpet, which I will be removing. I'm thinking of getting some kind of engineered/laminate hardwood flooring with the tongue and groove type application. No water issues in the basement.

    #1 I'm only going to be doing about 500 sgft. How hard is this stuff to install?

    #2 How does this flooring attach to the cement?

    #3 Will I need to remove the wood baseboard trim along the bottom of the floor? How do I go about doing this?

    #4 I'm not looking to spend a lot of money. Any recommendations on brand/type?
    1. Depending on the product, it usually requires flooring nails, and/or glue. Also, might want to get yourself some knee-pads if you are doing it alone.

    2. If applying directly to the cement...gluing or floating is usually the process (again, good to check with the installation guide for the specific product).

    3. Most likely unless you think you can butt the flooring up against it perfectly and are ok with not having a baseboard, since it will be covered.

    4. That I can't help with, but you are correct in picking an engineered wood. Regular hardwoods would not be recommended to be installed directly over concrete.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    I installed engineered bamboo in my condo which has concrete floors between units. It's what they call a "floating" floor. Essentially, when all clicked together, the floor's own weight keeps it in place with out the need for any kind of adhesive. I'm by no means handy, but put it together in no time. All you really need is a saw to cut and a mallet to get the pieces snug together.

    I took off the baseboard...it's easier to install that way and you don't have to worry about their being any gap.

    I spent about $3.50 per square foot on sale. The engineered is kind of a happy medium between laminate and solid wood. Definitely want to put a moisture barrier above the concrete even if you don't have water intrusioin issues...it will still get damp underneath and weather/temperature changes.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    Keep in mind the wood floor will be considerably cooler than the carpet. Pads help some, but not a ton. We put one of the new thicker pads (that really looks exactly like a carpet pad, just firmer) in our basement. It's ok.

    You can spend a lot of money on radiant heat, can be very nice. Rugs are cheaper.

    Use kneepads when installing!!!

    I love wood floors, let me know if you have any other questions.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrods79 View Post
    3. Most likely unless you think you can butt the flooring up against it perfectly and are ok with not having a baseboard, since it will be covered.
    Do not, do not, do NOT do this. While there is not water in your basement, like any wood, your floor will expand/contract some. If you butt it up to the baseboards, you'll have a disaster on your hands.

    Use spacers and quarter round.

    Also, it's recommended to let the floor sit in your basement a day or two before installing.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    1. The new glue less stuff is a snap to install, takes hardly any time at all.

    2. Other than where its held down by quarterround at the edges it just floats above the concrete and underlayment.

    3. Probably will not need to remove, depends on the situation though.

    4. We had pretty good luck with a brand called Mastercraft


    Last edited by Iastfan112; 11-10-2009 at 01:19 PM.

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    Re: Wood floor help

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUFan22 View Post
    Do not, do not, do NOT do this. While there is not water in your basement, like any wood, your floor will expand/contract some. If you butt it up to the baseboards, you'll have a disaster on your hands.

    Use spacers and quarter round.

    Also, it's recommended to let the floor sit in your basement a day or two before installing.
    +1

    Absolutely do this. Have to let the wood acclimate to the climate and it will expand/contract (especially over concrete). There is usually a rating on each product that show's the expansion. For example, it might say it will expand 1/16" foot...meaning for each 16 feet stretch of flooring it might expand and contract an inch which means you need to account for a 1/2 on each side of the room. Plan your baseboard accordingly.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUFan22 View Post
    Do not, do not, do NOT do this. While there is not water in your basement, like any wood, your floor will expand/contract some. If you butt it up to the baseboards, you'll have a disaster on your hands.

    Use spacers and quarter round.

    Also, it's recommended to let the floor sit in your basement a day or two before installing.
    You're correct...you'd want a spacer, I should have added that. I was trying to get the point across that the whole purpose of a baseboard is to hide imperfection, and it is going to be hard to get it perfect. I am not in the camp of leaving baseboard on during a new wood install. Very bad detail, and as you've pointed out...even with proper spacing...wood baseboard is potentially a problem.

    Important to let it acclimate.


    Last edited by Rods79; 11-10-2009 at 01:33 PM.

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    Re: Wood floor help

    [quote=isunorth;1342303 Definitely want to put a moisture barrier above the concrete even if you don't have water intrusioin issues...it will still get damp underneath and weather/temperature changes.[/QUOTE]

    Whatever brand you buy should have a test thing that will tell you what the moisture level is. You tape the specific piece from the kit on the concrete and leave it for the specified period of time.)

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUFan22 View Post
    Also, it's recommended to let the floor sit in your basement a day or two before installing.
    Again, follow the directions that come with the package. Don't be in a hurry to start/finish, or you'll end up pulling up pieces that don't fit and doing it all over again.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    If you go with the snap together type, make sure that you are satisfied with how it feels/sounds when you walk on it. Some look good to the eye, but feel cheap when you walk on them. They don't feel solid and have an annoying loudness when you walk on them.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    The baseboard trim can most certainly be left and - IMO - should. Otherwise you've got another thing to redo. Likely the baseboard gets damaged or at best you have new holes to fill on on the trim.

    As noted, just did my brother's floor and the trim was already there (put it on top of linoleum tile). We just took off the quarter round, left the baseboard trim, put the floating floor down and put on new quarter round.

    Done.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    I am in the process of laying laminate in my kitchen right now. My legs and hands are wrecked. This is the 2nd time Ive done it even though I swore after the first time I would have someone else do it. It can be frustrating but is fairly simple to install. Have someone help you to lessen the amount of time and stress on you. Installing on your own can suck.



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    Re: Wood floor help

    Quote Originally Posted by bostinelosd View Post
    I am in the process of laying laminate in my kitchen right now. My legs and hands are wrecked. This is the 2nd time Ive done it even though I swore after the first time I would have someone else do it. It can be frustrating but is fairly simple to install. Have someone help you to lessen the amount of time and stress on you. Installing on your own can suck.
    Yup, especially if you install about 2000 square foot of it, mostly by yourself. And I made a couple mistakes, all correctable. One was not leaving proper space between the wood/wall.

    Sunday we installed floor into what equates to a good sized bedroom. Started putting wood down just after 10. I was leaving his house by 5 and that was with about an hour lunch to eat and catch the end of the early games. The two of us flew through it. I only wish I had that kind of help doing mine.

    I'm still sore today though. But, it's worth doing yourself if ya can get some help.

    Just do it right, don't cut corners (pun intended) and make sure you put in exactly what you want. Also, know that you'll make mistakes cutting. Not just wrong measurements, but it's easy to cut the wrong end off the board, (taking off the tongue end vs the groove end).

    Another thing I'd recommend, start with the tongue end and when you have full pieces that you start your row with, trim off the tongue.



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