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Hardwood Floor Owners - advice sought

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by mrpackerguy, Dec 21, 2016.


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  1. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    We're going to go all in on our first floor with hardwood floors. Our situation is, it's just my wife and I, but our kids occasionally bring their dogs over, sometimes for us to sit for a couple days. Lab and a pit/lab mix. Also, we'll be out of our house within 10 years I'm guessing, so resale is a consideration so we don't have a floor that's too far out. Rooms to be covered will be foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen. We've got a local flooring store, mom and pop with a good reputation and floor installers that work for the store and are not independent contractors. It's about 950sq ft and our budget is maxed at $12,000

    I'm looking for some advice on

    type of hardwood
    Hardwood vs laminate flooring

    Thanks
     
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I bought 3/4" red oak and did the floors in our house myself. Downstairs in our house is little bigger than the area you are doing. We finished it ourselves too with a high impact finish to account for our dogs and two children at the time.
    Upstairs is a little smaller, but we went with prefinished there. Same stuff though, 3/4" red oak.
    This was around 2000. If I remember right, we paid about $1.50 a square foot for the oak raw (craigslist deal), and around $2.50 I think for the finished stuff.

    We have laminate in one closet upstairs. I didn't mind it at first, then we got the real hardwood. Now the laminate feels like we're standing on plastic.

    -Mike
     
    MattZilla and mrpackerguy like this.
  3. Fleebag

    Fleebag Quacker!

    Sep 7, 2013
    Illinois USA
    I've worked in flooring for nearly 20 years. My advice is forget laminate if your going to sell. Buy a 3/4" solid as opposed to the engineered wood floors unless your on a slab, and get the pre-finished type not the on-site finished stuff. Prefinished has a much harder wear layer than polyurethane. Also don't be surprised when the floors start looking beat up, that is the nature of them, they won't stay looking perfect and dogs and high heels will put dents in even the densest of woods. As for the hardness you can look up the janka rating of the different species of wood to get a relative idea of harness. The standard is northern red oak with a janka rating of 1290, some woods such as brazilian cherry are as high as 3000.
     
    GKon, Stumbo, Groove Doctor and 4 others like this.
  4. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    If you get a gloss finish on the hardwood, the dogs will scratch it. Been there, done that. With that said, real wood floor can be refinished when ready to sell house.
     
    Stumbo, DirtDog and mrpackerguy like this.
  5. Fleebag

    Fleebag Quacker!

    Sep 7, 2013
    Illinois USA
    Good advice, the more matte the finish the less scratches will stand out.
     
    mrpackerguy likes this.
  6. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I went with bamboo because it is harder than most hardwood. DO NOT go with engineered. We put an engineered hardwood floor in my wife's office. The wheels on her chair have created grooves.
     
    2saddleslab and mpdd like this.
  7. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    OP, $12 bucks per square foot is a fortune. I think you could choose just about anything that you want.

    @Fleebag, can you answer a question about hardwood over slab? I have a reno project that is slab on grade. I want to include a hydronic warm floor. If I insulate the entire existing slab with say 1-2" XPS and a pressure treat sleeper system, and then I pour an additional concrete floor to create the thermal mass, is it safe to install hardwood flooring over that?
     
  8. Fleebag

    Fleebag Quacker!

    Sep 7, 2013
    Illinois USA
    Sure, it's safe as long as it's stable. Personally I'd forget the sleeper and put the heating system down, then the concrete (assuming that's safe for the product) and spend the extra money on a higher quality engineered floor with at least 5-7 layers and a thick top ply and glue it to the concrete. The only reason to use the sleeper is to allow you to nail down solid hardwood which you can't do anyhow with that top layer of concrete.

    edit: or put the heater and sleeper and forget the top layer of concrete then nail down a solid wood.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
    MJ5150 likes this.
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Sweet, we have a flooring pro here in TBOT. Good to know. Thanks for sharing your professional advice with us @Fleebag.

    -Mike
     
    Radio and Fleebag like this.
  10. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Oh man, that is good to know, @Fleebag. We're going to be doing some work on our house next year... two bathrooms and maybe more, so I may hit you up for advice :D
     
    Stumbo and Fleebag like this.
  11. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Thanks Fleabag and everyone. Keep the comments coming.

    My mother has had numerous hardwood floors in her couple houses. Interesting that she recommended engineered, but the expert here does not. Mother doesn't always know best!
     
    Fleebag likes this.
  12. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    How do you know if you are on a slab? The 1st floor is carpet in the living room and dining room, then the rest (kitchen-hallway to foyer, the half bath and the laundry room is 12"x 12" white ceramic tile which we hate. The home builder didn't have the subcontractor seal the white grout and despite numerous cleanings, it always looks terrible. We were thinking, though, of keeping the bathroom and laundry room in the ceramic tile that's there because the grout never looks bad in those small areas.
     
  13. Fleebag

    Fleebag Quacker!

    Sep 7, 2013
    Illinois USA
    Engineered can be good. There are a lot of cheap ones out there that give them a bad name, you want one with at least 5 layers, 7 is better, and also one with a thicker top layer, as in the top layer of wood that is the actual wood you see (not the wear layer which is invisible). Cheaper ones have a very thin top ply which makes it hard to refinish. A better quality one with a thick top ply can still be refinished several times. You can tell how many layers and how thick the top is by looking at the edge of a sample of it. And don't float an engineered floor unless you have to, glue down installs are more stable and less likely to buckle.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
    dinoadventures likes this.
  14. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I already have the hardwood. Bought a reclaimed maple gymnasium floor for $0.75 per foot. The sleepers will be level with the top of the concrete. I'm thinking 16" centers, like a wall, and filling the bays between with concrete.
     
  15. Fleebag

    Fleebag Quacker!

    Sep 7, 2013
    Illinois USA
    Floor vents, pull one up and you can see what's going on. No floor vents? Most likely a slab.
     
  16. FingerDub

    FingerDub Banned

    Jan 8, 2016
    Women generally don't know best in general regarding these matters.
     
  17. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    ..so does the absence of a crawl space or basement.
     
    maxmaroon likes this.
  18. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    I am not sure what style the interior of your house is. My house is more of a Mediterranean villa style. The floor contractor took the hickory wood and put grooves in the surface in the same direction as the wood grain. Even though the floor was brand new, this gives more of a aged look to the floors. It has payed off as any scratches just adds the the look and makes the floor very forgiving for mishaps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah go with solid wood and then factor in a refin at the time of sale. A refin will be a fraction of the cost of new floors.
     
  20. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    No floor vents. Our vents start at the bottom of the wall by the baseboards and then slightly into the floor.
     

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