Help with hardwood flooring install

NE_LouAugust 24, 2011

Hello - new to the forum here...

I'm installing about 500 square feet of 5" wide, 3/4" thick, yellow birch flooring. It'll be on the first floor, over a partially finished basement, where only half of it is heated.

The area originally had 1/2" subfloor, 3/4" particle board, and carpet. I removed everything down to the subfloor, then installed 3/4" tongue-and-groove OSB as the "real" subfloor, essentially treating the original 1/2" as an un-needed spacer.

During install of the OSB, the original 1/2" had a lot of low spots that I shimmed with 30# felt paper. Some areas have none, some have several layers. Should I still use 15# felt under the birch? I don't want to trap moisture in the OSB between the two layers.

And during install of the birch, I had planned on using 2" powercleat nails. Should I also use glue - i.e. Bostik's Best, or similar? I've read both sides...some articles say that planks this wide need glue, and some say that planks this wide move a lot with seasonal changes, and would just eventually break any glue bond.


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I would glue and nail especially going over the basement you are describing. Bostik's Best is a urethane glue that will stay flexible and do you very well both in helping to keep your floor flat and by moving with the seasonal humidity changes. Be aware that birch does move more than many woods, even if glued.
A side note; gluing a floor can easily add .75 per foot to your cost.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 6:16PM
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As woodfloorpro said, birch does move more and should be glued and as a side note birch is much softer than most hardwoods. I would keep pets and small childrens toys off it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 7:12PM
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thanks to you both.

after i originally posted, i was reading the NWFA install guidelines for installing plank flooring. it said that there were 3 options: screw and plug the ends; make relief cuts; use glue.

i think the birch boards already have relief cuts...there are 4 of these cuts running parallel on the underside of each board. each cut is wide (about 3/8") and shallow (about 1/16" deep).

are these relief cuts? and even if they are, would you still recommend glue?

thanks again

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:39PM
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