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Engineered flooring questions

Posted by katkatf (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 1, 11 at 9:17

DH and I are doing a kitchen remodel, which is leading to replacing the dark stained oak hardwood floor that runs through the mud room, kitchen, and dining room. I've had several floor guys out, and have been told the existing floors can't be reliably refinished. They've been taken down already, the floors have v-grooves, and the results would likely be very uneven and unsatisfactory.

We would like to install engineered, pre-finished floors. We're very handy DIYers (or at least DH is), but like the idea of easy. And, of course, budget is important. The house is 45 years old, and very solid. Floor joists are 16" OC and the subfloor is 1" thick. There is linoleum that we plan to leave where it's tightly adhered (most of it seems to be). We live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so humidity is not a huge issue. My dream is to have a floor that will really be fine for 20 years. We have no dogs or children.
So, my questions:
1) Is my dream of 20 years with no repairs/refinishing possible, assuming no accidents and proper care?
2) Can we get good results out of floating vs. gluing?
3) How much harder is it to glue install?
4) Is Columbia a good manufacturer? We like the look - and the sale price - of the Beacon Oak Natural Red Oak. Are there others who harvest/mill/manufacture in the US who are reasonably priced?
5) What else should I know?

TIA.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Engineered flooring questions

Check to see if the wood you choose has a Solid Sawn Hardwood Face as opposed to a rotary peeled or sliced. Solid sawn is supposed to be the best way to go.

We went with Lauzon engineered red oak natural (select & better). We have a concrete subfloor and did a glue down install (Dh is very good with diy projects, but said this was by far the most difficult). Floating would be much easier for diy. Some people don't like the sound when walking on a floated floor.

Our floor is almost 2 years old now and it's been great. We don't have any dogs, though.
-Laurie


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

Thanks, Laurie. I checked with Columbia, and their products (or at least the Beacon Oak) is rotary, not sawn cut. So, the search continues. :(

Any input from anyone else would be appreciated. Oh - I also prefer US product vs. China.


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

Columbia is a major player in hardwood. Rotary vs sawn shouldn't be a deal breaker. Fact Finished floors should last a long time assuming no abrasive, pivot points and proper floor care. Remember you can recoat without resanding.


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

I got the same floor as Laurie (except mine is micro-groove) and the Lauzon floors have a titanium finish that so far seems very sturdy. (The moving guys come tomorrow so that will be the acid test!) Although the floors are warranted for 25 years, I see no reason they wouldn't be able to last longer if they don't get heavy use. Even then they have two sandings in them (if you want to change color) and as many screenings as you'd like. I am certain they will scratch and dent but the kitchen forum people call it patina and that sounds so nice!


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

"Rotary vs sawn shouldn't be a deal breaker. "

Nothing looks as bad as the grain from rotary cutting.


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

jerzeegirl - What type of wood & color (Red Oak Natural?) did you get? Also, what board width did you choose?

Can you post pictures?

-Laurie


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

Laurie: I got the Lauzon Red Oak Natural with a satin finish and 3 1/2" boards - we were very impressed with your floor and used it as a guide. I will try to post pictures soon - we are moving in tomorrow! We got the microgroove because it was in stock and they could start right away (rather than waiting 2 weeks for the shipment from Canada) and I am very happy with it. It gives the floors a more traditional look. The Lauzon floors were a bit of a splurge but we knew we were going to have to do floors no matter which house we bought since people tend to use carpet down here and my DH is allergic.


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

Where is "down here"? Yes, carpet seems to hold on to dust, etc.

Can't wait to see your pictures : )

Good luck with the moving in!!! Such an exciting day!


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

Thanks, everyone for your input.

boxers and brickeyee - hmmm, you seem to have different opinions. In an effort to understand better, can you point me to information that would help me make my own assessment of whether I would be happy with rotary cutting?

Laurie and Jerzeegirl - your floors sound nice, and yours LOOKS gorgeous, Laurie.... I'm just afraid Lauzon is out of our price range. :( The other option I'm looking at is Shaw's Epic Symphonic in natural red oak. It needs glue to float, but has a lifetime warranty. I'm not sure if DH is up for a harder install job or whether we'll just take a chance that we won't have a problem with the floating click floor.

I'm hoping this is the last BIG and DIFFICULT decision I need to make in all this, I'm getting tired out! :)


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

katkatf - Have you looked at online store prices for Lauzon and other brands? At first, we thought Lauzon would be out of our price range when we went to local flooring stores. We found much better prices at a couple stores online. There are pros and cons to ordering online. Online is not always the best way to go for everyone. In our case, it happened to work out.


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

We just ordered Lauzon Nextstep Red Oak in the 5 3/16 boards. We plan to float it. Been reading the installation instructions and see that Lauzon insists that a European underlayment called Tuplex be used. I can't find it anywhere around here. Laurie and Jeezegirl, what underlayment did you use?


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

Patto - Lauzon has a toll free phone number for any questions, including technical support. I remember calling them a couple times. They were very friendly and helpful!
Do not hesitate to call them. I believe I got their number from their web site.

In our situation, we did not float the flooring. We did a glue down installation. One of the questions I asked them when I called was "Is it ok to use Bostik's Best Adhesive as opposed to the Lauzon glue (forget the exact name of their glue)" They said Bostik was good. I had already done research and knew that Bostik's Best was the way to go and that it was available at our local flooring supply store as well as online from where we purchased the wood. In my own opinion, I am sure that the "warranty" will not be fully valid but I am so extremely confident in Lauzon's quality that I am not ever expecting any need for future "warranty issues" or legal hassles.

Research an alternative underlayment for your floating install and call Lauzon.

Good luck and keep us posted on what happens. Please post pictures if you can. I would LOVE to see 5-3/16" boards.
It's going to be beautiful!! Is there going to be a color/stain on your oak or is it natural?

-Laurie


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

I'm still thrashing about with this decision - ARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!! :)

Lauzon is beautiful - I saw some at a local store yesterday, love the straight edges. But.... I can only find one store on line that carries it and it's still more than $6/sf. I'm needing to be more down around $4-5/sf.

Laurie - did you find it someplace for less than that?

Jerzee - what installation method did you do? Float, nail, staple, or what? How did move in go? Pictures please!!!!


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

We paid $5.89 a couple years ago. We were trying to decide between another place (don't like to say negative things, so I'll leave their name out) and Hosking Hardwood.

Looking back, I think we should have paid a little bit more and gone with Hosking Hardwood. They have a more reputable name and our order would have probably gone smoother. It all worked out for us in the long run, but there were a few snags along the way.

Don't forget to look into shipping costs & also sales tax.


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

Thanks, laurie, that sounds in line; the cheapest I could find it now is $6.49 or something like that - which is WAY cheaper than in any of the stores around here. But that is still a bit out of our budget. Too bad, cuz it is the prettiest stuff I've seen so far.


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

Just finished install of Lauzon Red Oak Amaretto, 5 3/16". Purchased from a company that starts with an H and rhymes with tosking. Spam protection restricts company names.

Photos attached.

Here is a link that might be useful: Patto's Floors


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

"In an effort to understand better, can you point me to information that would help me make my own assessment of whether I would be happy with rotary cutting? "

Go look at the grain in plywood.

Almost al the softwood plywood, and a decent amount of hardwood plywood, is rotary cut.

It produces a very distinctive grain pattern that is not seen in anything else.

If you do not mind the patter, go for it.

It looks bad compared to actual flat cut wood.


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

Here is a link. If you scroll down to the photos, the one on the right is rotary peeled. (Not to be confused with rotary sawn.)

(Note, I am not affiliated with this website, I just did a google search.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Rotary peeled


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

"rotary peeled. (Not to be confused with rotary sawn.) "

Better take this up with the veneer makers.

Rotary is sliced and not sawn.

The name does not refer to the type of saw, but to how the wood is cut into veneers.

Sawn veneer is thicker to survive the sawing process, and is not paired with 'rotary.'

The type of saw does not matter (gang saw or circular).


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RE: Engineered flooring questions

I don't need to take anything up with the veneer makers, thanks. I know what the name refers to.

The reason for my caution was that since the OP doesn't understand what rotary peeled is, if she does a Google image search using "rotary" and "flooring", she may get photos of wood that is cut with a rotary blade, which has nothing to do with rotary peeled veneer. That is exactly what happened when I searched for a link for her, so I thought I'd note it.


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