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Engineered hardwood floor installation on slab - float or glue?

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Engineered hardwood floor installation on slab - float or glue?

Old 08-16-2016, 07:04 AM
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Default Engineered hardwood floor installation on slab - float or glue?

We are having engineered hardwood floors installed later this week on concrete slab in Central Florida. The engineered wood we have selected can either be floated or glued. Which would be the preferred method of installation? (The installer says they will work equally well). I am leaning towards gluing because I have heard that it will be (somewhat) quieter when you walk on it with hard soled shoes.

Thanks.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:16 AM
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We put down the plastic/foam moisture barrier underlayment for the engineered bamboo in FL, then floated on top of that. Had a little give and in a very few places it creaked where the concrete wasn't flat.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:20 AM
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I am also having this done this week. My guy prefers the glue method so I returned the underlayment pad I had bought. They use an epoxy float after thoroughly cleaning the slab, and then they glue directly to this epoxy substrate. This guy comes highly recommended from a contractor friend that works on expensive houses, so I believe it is the preferred method.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CruiseToFish View Post
We put down the plastic/foam moisture barrier underlayment for the engineered bamboo in FL, then floated on top of that. Had a little give and in a very few places it creaked where the concrete wasn't flat.
Feels much better to walk on than glueing.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:30 AM
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The only thought I have is what if at any point you want to change it out? or some section gets damaged and has to be replaced?
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:48 AM
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I have had great luck with floating over underpayment. had some water damage a month ago, and was very easy to pull up and fix.

I am surprised you can go on a slab without some kind or vapor barrier.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:02 AM
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I just like walking on solid flooring... don't like that soft feel and "clap-clap" sound of some hardwood floors. Like any expensive purchase (especially one you have to live with for years) it pays to do your research. I also agree in FL engineered hardwood is the way to go.

Good luck!
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cjd View Post
I have had great luck with floating over underpayment. had some water damage a month ago, and was very easy to pull up and fix.

I am surprised you can go on a slab without some kind or vapor barrier.
Supposedly the glue they would use has built-in vapor barrier.

I am not a fan of the clomp clomp clomp of people walking on floated floors, but floating seems safer/easier from an installation and fixing perspective.

One of our neighbors had their engineered wood floor glued down and there were a couple of hollow/voids. The installer drilled small holes and injected some sort of glue that fixed those spots.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:13 AM
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glue is expensive! is it slab on grade? how old is the slab? how flat is slab? went through the same debate, but ended up floating ours. if its slab on grade I highly suggest floating. the concrete has moisture in it, and can easily be pulled into the flooring. could like others have said having to repair is a pain if its glued.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by johnboy114 View Post
glue is expensive! is it slab on grade? how old is the slab? how flat is slab? went through the same debate, but ended up floating ours. if its slab on grade I highly suggest floating. the concrete has moisture in it, and can easily be pulled into the flooring. could like others have said having to repair is a pain if its glued.
Slab on grade. 16 years old. Excellent ground drainage (sand).

They plan to use Shaw 4 in 1 urethane adhesive: http://productsdirect.com/shaw-4-in-...ane-hs091.html
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:46 AM
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Should you choose to float the floor on a vapour barrier, be sure to level the concrete slab first. There are often uneven patches, and that can cause the hollow sound as you walk over the floor. I used to use a fine sand and screed it over the slab. Takes a bit of care to level and keep level as you instal, but no voids under the flooring makes a much more stable job.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:51 AM
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If there aren't many voids, they can come back later and fill the voids with a different glue that is injected under the wood.

I've had two houses done with glue on wood. The first one required some floor repairs and the wood was removed the glue was scraped off.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:56 AM
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I did floating floor, I had to put down my dog last month an for a few months before he had several accidents in living room area I had bought a little xtra an I am replaceing the panels that were damaged myself ,don't think I coud do it if it was glued.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:01 AM
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I was cleaning one of the guest bathrooms, attached to a bedroom, and I knocked the compression fitting off the water supply to the toilet. About 3 inches of water hit the bathroom floor which was also wood like the bedroom. I managed to kill the water main, then ripped the entire room floor out, fanned the concrete for 3 days, wiped every board dry by hand, then stacked the bamboo under compression so they all stayed straight. Most went back down like nothing every happened. Replaced maybe a box of boards just cuz they were really soaked.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cjd View Post
I have had great luck with floating over underpayment. had some water damage a month ago, and was very easy to pull up and fix.

I am surprised you can go on a slab without some kind or vapor barrier.
The vapor barrier is usually under the slab.

Last edited by dmeswi; 08-16-2016 at 11:07 AM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CruiseToFish View Post
We put down the plastic/foam moisture barrier underlayment for the engineered bamboo in FL, then floated on top of that. Had a little give and in a very few places it creaked where the concrete wasn't flat.
^^^This^^^ is what we did. First tho, we floated the floor to ensure it was fully flat. Great feel...

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Old 08-16-2016, 11:18 AM
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another issue I have with glue down in this situation, is I can just about say with certain that the slab is not perfectly flat. so that means that in those areas the floor has avetter chance coming detached from the slab/glue...then you have a hollow sound on a glued floor. just my .02
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:19 AM
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If you float you may as well do a cheap laminate. That's exactly how it will feel and sound.

Glue if you want it to act like hardwood. Much less noise this way.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:28 AM
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So basically 50% are adamant that floating it best and 50% are adamant that gluing is best. Classic THT.

They are grinding high spots and floating any low spots before installing the wood floors.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:30 AM
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Floating floors are ghetto but sometimes all you can do ..

Glue down will sound and feel better. It can be repaired no problem.
Quality wood wont be ruined by a spill or 2 that is quickly cleaned up.
If you have a animal that pees and craps everywhere, well maybe vinyl is for you.
They cut out the sections and re-glue them. It sucks but is done all the time.


For the best job, Have the floor leveled with self-leveler first.
Make sure your installer uses the proper vapor barrier and glue for YOUR product otherwise the results can be catastrophic.

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