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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
~600 sq.ft., 1 Bdrm condo with kitchen/living room combo.

Concrete sub-floor, located on the 5th floor of a 45 year old high rise. Moisture doesn't seem to be an issue, though it hasn't been tested.

Looking to do hardwood everywhere, except the bathroom.

Don't want to loose ceiling height by installing plywood sub-floor.

Not opposed to floating, but probably going to glue, unless you can talk me out of it.

Leaning towards some type of distressed wide plank flooring. I like the looks of the solids, but am told using engineered over concrete is less problematic.

Every vendor I speak to gives me contradicting information regarding what type of wood I can and can not glue down.

Let's start with the big questions first:

1) Can I glue down wide plank, solid hardwood over a cork underlayment that is glued directly to a nicely leveled concrete sub-floor?
Or, should I spare myself any potential grief, and only consider gluing engineered?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quit thinking that way. You can have any look you want. Remember, it's a visual deal. It's not holding the place up.


You should check out Kährs.
I like the look of floors on an old mill building that's been converted into lofts. That type of vibe. Maybe a 5" distressed plank?

What would you suggest I do about the concrete sub-floor? Solid or engineered?

Thanks again.
 

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It's not a concrete subfloor, it's gypecrete poured on top of the wood subfloor. It's required in condos and apartments to give you a fire rating between units. Each flooring type has it's own installation specs, some need glue, some don't. You need to read the specs on whatever flooring you choose. If you're new at installing pre-finished flooring then I'd suggest buying at Lumber Liquidators. They have an 800 number with a useful tech support. They also buy from more reliable manufacturers and distributors than other flooring stores I have found.

As far as what to choose, there are lots of different flooring types that will work over the gypecrete. I advocate the HDF engineered click style flooring, you can get it for about five dollars a square foot. All you need is a padded underlayment and it can sit right on top of the gypecrete. I like it because you won't have squeaks and you won't have shrinkage, which are the two most common problems in hardwood flooring. If you want to save some money then go with the laminated flooring, it basically looks the same but has a really thin top veneer so it's not as durable. Or if you want something nice there's another kind of engineered click style with a really thick top veneer for about $8/SF, thick enough to be resanded and finished if needed. That's probably overkill for a condo though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's not a concrete subfloor, it's gypecrete poured on top of the wood subfloor. It's required in condos and apartments to give you a fire rating between units. Each flooring type has it's own installation specs, some need glue, some don't. You need to read the specs on whatever flooring you choose. If you're new at installing pre-finished flooring then I'd suggest buying at Lumber Liquidators. They have an 800 number with a useful tech support. They also buy from more reliable manufacturers and distributors than other flooring stores I have found.

As far as what to choose, there are lots of different flooring types that will work over the gypecrete. I advocate the HDF engineered click style flooring, you can get it for about five dollars a square foot. All you need is a padded underlayment and it can sit right on top of the gypecrete. I like it because you won't have squeaks and you won't have shrinkage, which are the two most common problems in hardwood flooring. If you want to save some money then go with the laminated flooring, it basically looks the same but has a really thin top veneer so it's not as durable. Or if you want something nice there's another kind of engineered click style with a really thick top veneer for about $8/SF, thick enough to be resanded and finished if needed. That's probably overkill for a condo though.
Thanks for the detailed response. My subfloor is actually precast concrete panels, if that influences your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If it was me, I'd go engineered. 3 1/4-4" glue down. If you want quieter, go over 1/4" cork.
Why do you choose 3-1/4", as opposed to a wider engineered board? For increased stability, or personal preference?

Most people have said cork is the best underlayment to use. Please tell me more about gluing cork & engineered to a concrete subfloor.

Thanks
 

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Condo_Guy said:
Why do you prefer floating, over gluing, on concrete? Thanks
that's how most of them are, I can't remember which ones require glue. Research it and find out which ones need glue, I don't know why you'd want to glue them though.
 

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Engineered rather than solid wide plank in that situation. Even though humidity is stable in most larger condo buildings, I'd be concerned about movement. In the end, though, you could refer to the manufacturer's warranty.
 

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CarpenterSFO said:
A glued down floor feels and sounds more solid. Floated doesn't need to be clacky and cheap, but there's still a difference.
I've always thought of it to be the opposite. Every floating floor I've put in is dead quiet and doesn't move while walking on it. If it does, someone did something wrong on the install.
 

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You can get an engineered floor with dry sawn veneers. Plenty of people do it now. Kährs, Mirage, Lauzon, and plenty of others. There is no benefit to a product being solid. Plenty of backwoods witch doctors would try to convince you otherwise, but the truth is what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So, 5" engineered, glued to cork, glued to concrete it is.

Can anyone recommend the best brand/source for distressed 5" engineered?

Thanks, once more.
 
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