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Old 02-03-2015, 06:50 AM
 
28 posts, read 28,622 times
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Hello

We are building a home and debating on what kind of hardwood floors should we go for .We are a family of 4 (2 elementary school age kids . No Pets. The reason we need hardwood instead of carpet is to keep allergens away and because of it's low maintenance.

We like the look of both kinds equally.


Can someone please throw some light on pros and cons of both ?


Thank you and have a gr8 day.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:32 AM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,208,300 times
Reputation: 4588
Glue down is most commonly used over a cement slab since there may be no wood subfloor to nail to and you don't want a bunch of nails going through your vapor barrier.
If there is a wood subflooring, then nailing is 100X quicker and cleaner than glue.

Are you doing it your self? If not, then whatever a reputable contractor does is the correct choice for your property.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:22 AM
 
206 posts, read 268,352 times
Reputation: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by maggy78 View Post
Hello

We are building a home and debating on what kind of hardwood floors should we go for .We are a family of 4 (2 elementary school age kids . No Pets. The reason we need hardwood instead of carpet is to keep allergens away and because of it's low maintenance.

We like the look of both kinds equally.


Can someone please throw some light on pros and cons of both ?


Thank you and have a gr8 day.
Hello maggy78,

Not trying to start a debate but most of the newer homes have nailed down hardwood floors. This is great but due to some personal preference we chose engineered in our current home 12 years back and it still looks like the day it was installed. We had two children grew up in it and a large dog. The reason we never liked the nailed down hardwood were

- Raises the height of the floor, so any neighboring tiled floors will not be leveled and look ugly
- So tired of seeing the standard white or red oak everywhere. Oak is hard with good janka rating
but most of the nailed down here is oak
- The nailed down is not as much structurally stable like a good engineered wood floor
- If the floor is being installed in an existing home, the doors have to be cut because of the extra
height from the subfloor
- In new builds, the most of the nailed downs I have seen they let it acclimatize for weeks before
finishing it but before the hvac is installed so basically the wood is exposed to mother nature.

Engineered has their drawbacks too

- Prefinished engineered never has square edges like site finished nail down, they have a beveled
edge to compensate any manufacturing defect. This will collect dust and allergens
- People argue this cannot be refinished to a level like the nailed down realwood

So to get best of both worlds we got unfinished engineered wood that was finished on site. These too might have drawbacks but now I think the only one I can think of is, it might be cheaper to install nailed down realwood. Back then the nailed down used to cost more so was not an issue.

With the unfinished engineered floor, the advantages are
- First and foremost structurally lot more stable than nailed down. Using nailed down the subfloor
is plywood and have you seen one water damaged, yikes...
- Existing homes the stain could be matched unlike prefinished
- The height is not raised unlike the nailed down
- Square edges unlike prefinished beveled edges
- I think ours is Owens with a wear layer of 5/8th inch which is the same as a nailed down. In
nailed down you cannot refinish beyond the tongue and groove anyway

We have not needed refinishing in 12 years and this can be at least refinished 4-5 times.

Only thing right now is nailed down might be relatively cheaper option than unfinished. By the way we are building right now and did not upgrade any floors for now. May be down the road once it wears out.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:20 AM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,208,300 times
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Forgot to add just for clarity: Nail down vs glue down is only an installation method, you can get unfinished or finished and different types of wood or whatever with each type, and plenty will accept either installation method - go to Lumber Liquidators or Floor and Decor for yourself and look at some boxes.

All wood has to aclimatize first, so that is no different.

Quote:
The nailed down is not as much structurally stable like a good engineered wood floor
This is untrue. What you are talking about is adding a underlayment layer of plywood with is basically just a surface to nail to - if your floor are of different heights, that has other factors than what type of flooring you chose (especially in a new build, less so in remodelling where many remoddelers are too lazy to raise the cabinets, built-ins or tubs). But engineered is simply a different type, and can be installed in many different ways, including floating (click together like laminate) nail or glue.

In any case, your flooring is not contributing much to the stability of your house. The under layers (cement, plywood, etc) are what provide stability.
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:19 PM
 
206 posts, read 268,352 times
Reputation: 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOverdog View Post
Forgot to add just for clarity: Nail down vs glue down is only an installation method, you can get unfinished or finished and different types of wood or whatever with each type, and plenty will accept either installation method - go to Lumber Liquidators or Floor and Decor for yourself and look at some boxes.

All wood has to aclimatize first, so that is no different.


This is untrue. What you are talking about is adding a underlayment layer of plywood with is basically just a surface to nail to - if your floor are of different heights, that has other factors than what type of flooring you chose (especially in a new build, less so in remodelling where many remoddelers are too lazy to raise the cabinets, built-ins or tubs). But engineered is simply a different type, and can be installed in many different ways, including floating (click together like laminate) nail or glue.

In any case, your flooring is not contributing much to the stability of your house. The under layers (cement, plywood, etc) are what provide stability.

Thanks Overdog. Always learn something new.
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:46 AM
 
151 posts, read 178,531 times
Reputation: 167
I have 3/4" select grade white oak nailed over 3/4" ply which itself is screwed to the joists through the 1/2" ply subfloor. That floor was installed 20 years ago, and it has ZERO creaks, cracks, or swelling. Hardwood installer applied two layers of polyurethane to it and told me to never wax it. Said if I don't wax it, then later when it's time for a refinish, he can merely do a screen sanding then apply new poly. I've never had to add a new finish yet.

I have the engineered stuff in a 400 sq foot in-law apartment. It's OK, but cheap looking compared to the select grade 3/4 oak. I once had a small water leak around the 3/4 oak and it made some of the edges rise slightly, maybe 1/16" inch or less. It eventually shrank back down. Whatever slight edge remains can be easily sanded when time to refinish. On the other hand, if I ever have a leak around the engineered cheap stuff, it will swell badly, and require some amount of replacement. And, due to the snap-together design, replacement of a small area will probably present unique problems.

I think the answer to which is better is based on available funds, intended length of stay, exposure to possible water leaks or damaging foot traffic. But I think that most buyers would be more impressed by "real" hard wood than the fake stuff.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Funky town
954 posts, read 1,511,237 times
Reputation: 646
To us a nailed always looked better than a cheaper looking engineered wood floors. One more thing is with an engineered wood, if there is a damage... You may have to replace quite a bit of the flooring and rematch it. With hardwood floor, you can simply sand and reapply the stain.
The nailed down one looks a little raised but whether it looks ugly is a personal preference.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:54 AM
 
526 posts, read 844,451 times
Reputation: 631
Quote:
Originally Posted by frenzyrider View Post
To us a nailed always looked better than a cheaper looking engineered wood floors. One more thing is with an engineered wood, if there is a damage... You may have to replace quite a bit of the flooring and rematch it. With hardwood floor, you can simply sand and reapply the stain.
The nailed down one looks a little raised but whether it looks ugly is a personal preference.
You are mixing up materials and installation methods. Nailing or gluing are installation methods that can be applied to either engineered or solid hardwoods. Done correctly you should not see any visual difference between the nailed and glued. It all depends the application which is best. If going over a wood sub floor nailing is the best choice most of the time.

As far as engineered vs solid wood: There is as a wide range in engineered floor quality. Some of the low end engineered stuff does look cheap. However, the high end engineered floors can look as nice as most solid hardwood done on site. Many times they actually have a more even and durable finish because it baked on under factory conditions that cannot be reproduced on site.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:59 PM
 
Location: 2744 Briarhurst, Houston, TX
1 posts, read 2,608 times
Reputation: 10
Thumbs up Nail Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by maggy78 View Post
Hello

We are building a home and debating on what kind of hardwood floors should we go for .We are a family of 4 (2 elementary school age kids . No Pets. The reason we need hardwood instead of carpet is to keep allergens away and because of it's low maintenance.

We like the look of both kinds equally.


Can someone please throw some light on pros and cons of both ?


Thank you and have a gr8 day.
Nail down is better especially you have kids. Just make sure it is properly installed. Glue Down is good but might not be good with kids below 3 years old.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:46 PM
 
769 posts, read 561,769 times
Reputation: 1786
Engineered wood gets a bad reputation because people confuse it with laminate (artificial wood).

Engineered wood is still real wood with an objectively superior finish (catalyzed and factory applied without dust nibs). The layered structure with perpendicular grain orientation makes it a lot more stable than simple wood planks.

But some people hear engineered floors and immediately think thin plastic foil over pressed wood dust. It's very ignorant.
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