engineered wood flooring

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Tim Lamb

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May 23, 2012, 4:52:34 AM5/23/12
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I know this has been covered before but I would appreciate a *refresh*
of experience.

I have two rooms to do each linked by an area of (proposed ) 300x300
ceramic tiling at door thresholds. Skirtings are not yet fitted so this
is not an issue. I am rather nervous of my ability to do a good job of
the tiling so this may be farmed out.

The floor screed (underfloor wet heat) looks nice and flat but what sort
of irregularities are significant?

How important is *acclimatising* the floor material before laying?

Price seems to vary with wood thickness, plank size and manufacturers
name. Any advice?

Click together systems to avoid?

regards
--
Tim Lamb

Roger Mills

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May 23, 2012, 5:56:13 AM5/23/12
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I got mine from a BM. I think it was made in Germany, but not one of the
well known (=expensive) brands. Overall thickness is 14mm, including
about 3mm of beech on the top surface. This seems ok.

If it's a new floor, make sure that the screed is totally dry before
laying the wood - you don't want moisture coming out under the flooring.
The flooring manufacturer usually defines the required flatness of the
sub-floor - mine was something like 1 or 2 mm (can't remember exactly)
per metre. Use the special underlay with a plastic barrier sheet and a
couple of mm of foam. This will absorb any slight irregularities.

If the planks have been shrink-wrapped, it's fairly important to open
the packs and lay the planks out for a day or two to adjust to the
humidity of the room in which they will be installed.

Mine sort of snapped together, but also required a bead of glue along
the joints. Even so, they tend to come apart a bit if any water gets
between the planks - so you have to be careful how you clean them!

It's worth buying an installation kit, with ratchet strap clamps and
wedges etc., to get the right expansion gaps and hold it tight together
while the glue dries.

You say that the skirtings are not yet fitted - which is good. You'll
also need to undercut the door frames and architraves, and slide the
planks under them. It pays to plan the order of installation very
carefully so as not to end up in any impossible situations.
--
Cheers,
Roger
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Nospam

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May 23, 2012, 6:06:24 AM5/23/12
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On 23/05/2012 09:52, Tim Lamb wrote:
... snipped
>
> I have two rooms to do each linked by an area of (proposed ) 300x300
> ceramic tiling at door thresholds. Skirtings are not yet fitted so this
> is not an issue. I am rather nervous of my ability to do a good job of
> the tiling so this may be farmed out.
... snipped

Floor tiling is even easier than wall tiling. I taught my non-DIY son to
do it a couple of years ago when we tiled an area of 2m x 2m just inside
the front door. He made a good job of it but Dad got to do the grouting :-(
A suggestion: it looks far better if you lay them as diamonds rather
than squares (when viewed from the primary direction) - downside is the
need to do 45 deg cuts around the edges but they're not really any more
difficult and both the quantity and the awkwardness can be minimised by
thinking carefully about where to start from.
I found a chalk line useful to snap two perpendicular reference lines to
start from; once you've done that just fix the tiles with opposite
corners on the lines. Use a long straight bar to make sure you get them
level and use tile spacers in the corners to make sure that rows don't
diverge. We PVA'd the screed to give a longer working time but I don't
know if that's really necessary.
For the transition to carpet I used some gold effect threshold strips
that are made for the purpose, and for going to an existing (oak-effect)
laminate floor I made-up some oak threshold strips.
Simples!

Dave

Tim Watts

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May 23, 2012, 6:07:33 AM5/23/12
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Tim Lamb wrote:

> I know this has been covered before but I would appreciate a *refresh*
> of experience.
>
> I have two rooms to do each linked by an area of (proposed ) 300x300
> ceramic tiling at door thresholds. Skirtings are not yet fitted so this
> is not an issue. I am rather nervous of my ability to do a good job of
> the tiling so this may be farmed out.
>
> The floor screed (underfloor wet heat) looks nice and flat but what sort
> of irregularities are significant?

Couple of mm in a metre can cause bouncy spots or creaking joints.
Have a look at Kahrs

http://www.kahrs.com

(http://www.1926woodflooring.co.uk is a good place to buy IME, no
affiliation etc)

Even if you do not buy Kahrs, they have some very detailed installation
instructions that specify acceptible level variances over a range of
distances - which should be a good guide for most engineered products unless
Manufacturer X says different for their product.

You can compensate for localised lows with the classic bits of cardboard - I
tend to buy a few A2 sheets of 1mm and 2mm card for this purpose if the
screed is a bit out.

> How important is *acclimatising* the floor material before laying?

Leave it for a day or two perhaps - but I don't think this is hugely
important as you will lay with an expansion gap all around so it can settle
down in situ (unless you are bonding it down).

> Price seems to vary with wood thickness, plank size and manufacturers
> name. Any advice?

I like Kahrs - nice and thick veneer layer, will take 1-2 resandings in the
future if it ever gets really knackered.

Click feature works well (hint - hoover the joints just before knocking
together, the joints are pretty tight so sawing chips can stop it going
together right.

> Click together systems to avoid?

Dunno - only used one product - but I suspect the cheap ones will be more at
risk of "get what you pay for".
--
Tim Watts

Tim Lamb

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May 23, 2012, 7:05:42 AM5/23/12
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In message <a23r4t...@mid.individual.net>, Nospam
<Nom...@hursley.ibm.com> writes
>On 23/05/2012 09:52, Tim Lamb wrote:
>... snipped
>>
>> I have two rooms to do each linked by an area of (proposed ) 300x300
>> ceramic tiling at door thresholds. Skirtings are not yet fitted so this
>> is not an issue. I am rather nervous of my ability to do a good job of
>> the tiling so this may be farmed out.
>... snipped
>
>Floor tiling is even easier than wall tiling. I taught my non-DIY son
>to do it a couple of years ago when we tiled an area of 2m x 2m just
>inside the front door. He made a good job of it but Dad got to do the
>grouting :-(

Umm.. This is entrance, lobby and shower room. So getting on for 10m2.

>A suggestion: it looks far better if you lay them as diamonds rather
>than squares (when viewed from the primary direction) - downside is the
>need to do 45 deg cuts around the edges but they're not really any more
>difficult and both the quantity and the awkwardness can be minimised by
>thinking carefully about where to start from.

Yes. My wife insisted on this for our existing hall/utility area. Lots
of tile cutting. The first thing the tiler did was to ask me to
accurately cut him a square of plywood equal to the tile diagonal
length. The trick was to place the tile to be cut exactly on top of the
full tile next to the wall and then butt the plywood template to the
wall and mark off the cut.

>I found a chalk line useful to snap two perpendicular reference lines
>to start from; once you've done that just fix the tiles with opposite
>corners on the lines. Use a long straight bar to make sure you get them
>level and use tile spacers in the corners to make sure that rows don't
>diverge. We PVA'd the screed to give a longer working time but I don't
>know if that's really necessary.

OK

>For the transition to carpet I used some gold effect threshold strips
>that are made for the purpose, and for going to an existing
>(oak-effect) laminate floor I made-up some oak threshold strips.
>Simples!

Right Ta.

--
Tim Lamb

Tim Lamb

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May 23, 2012, 9:36:26 AM5/23/12
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In message <5gpu89-...@squidward.local.dionic.net>, Tim Watts
<tw+u...@dionic.net> writes
>Tim Lamb wrote:
>
>> I know this has been covered before but I would appreciate a *refresh*
>> of experience.
>>
>> I have two rooms to do each linked by an area of (proposed ) 300x300
>> ceramic tiling at door thresholds. Skirtings are not yet fitted so this
>> is not an issue. I am rather nervous of my ability to do a good job of
>> the tiling so this may be farmed out.
>>
>> The floor screed (underfloor wet heat) looks nice and flat but what sort
>> of irregularities are significant?
>
>Couple of mm in a metre can cause bouncy spots or creaking joints.
>Have a look at Kahrs
>
>http://www.kahrs.com
>
>(http://www.1926woodflooring.co.uk is a good place to buy IME, no
>affiliation etc)
>
>Even if you do not buy Kahrs, they have some very detailed installation
>instructions that specify acceptible level variances over a range of
>distances - which should be a good guide for most engineered products unless
>Manufacturer X says different for their product.

Yes. Huge detail. I think that answers all my technical concerns.

Residual queries concern the choice of finish. Oiled or lacquer? I note
a big saving elsewhere for *unfinished* boards.

regards

--
Tim Lamb

Peter Johnson

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May 23, 2012, 11:43:31 AM5/23/12
to
On Wed, 23 May 2012 09:52:34 +0100, Tim Lamb
<t...@marfordfarm.demon.co.uk> wrote:


>Click together systems to avoid?

B&Q own brand, even the hardest grade. (I thought I was being too
sniffy but thought if would be OK in a secondary room. I was right to
be concerned; it does not lie extractly flat and there are tiny
ridges, one piece next to another. Got some Belgian stuff for the
kitchen and utility and that is fine.)

Tim Lamb

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May 23, 2012, 2:02:17 PM5/23/12
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In message <431qr7tec0uuf7tli...@4ax.com>, Peter Johnson
<pe...@nospam.narrowgaugeuk.co.uk> writes
Right. Noted.

regards

--
Tim Lamb

David WE Roberts

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May 24, 2012, 5:10:33 AM5/24/12
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"Tim Lamb" <t...@marfordfarm.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:aU5Iw9ES...@marfordfarm.demon.co.uk...
We have been advised by a couple of different people to avoid real wood
floors altogether because they are so susceptible to damage.
One friend had an oak floor and has said "never again".

It looks as though we will probably end up going for a better quality
laminate because we have had laminate floors before which have performed
much better than the real wood ones we have seen.
I see from wandering round the sheds that real wood is now at least as
popular as laminate and remarkably cheaper than it used to be so perhaps
this is the new fashion trend, laminate being so last
week/year/decade/century. ;-)

We have heard much the same about wooden worktops - loads of work to keep
looking good, mark easily, go black around the sink....yet there are loads
of them on offer with kitchen firms.

Looks like we will be voting for hard wearing plastic coated stuff.

The main issue with any new flooring is the difficulty in taking it up over
a suspended floor.
Houses with floorboards will have loads that have been cut, lifted, then put
down again as plumbing/wiring has changed.
Any lock together floating flooring, especially if glued, is not really
designed to be taken up and then put down again like the traditional carpet
and T&G floorboards.
Not sure how we are going to get round this one.

Cheers

Dave R
--
No plan survives contact with the enemy.
[Not even bunny]

Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

Tim Watts

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May 24, 2012, 5:30:00 AM5/24/12
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David WE Roberts wrote:

>
> "Tim Lamb" <t...@marfordfarm.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:aU5Iw9ES...@marfordfarm.demon.co.uk...
>>I know this has been covered before but I would appreciate a *refresh* of
>>experience.
>>
>> I have two rooms to do each linked by an area of (proposed ) 300x300
>> ceramic tiling at door thresholds. Skirtings are not yet fitted so this
>> is not an issue. I am rather nervous of my ability to do a good job of
>> the tiling so this may be farmed out.
>>
>> The floor screed (underfloor wet heat) looks nice and flat but what sort
>> of irregularities are significant?
>>
>> How important is *acclimatising* the floor material before laying?
>>
>> Price seems to vary with wood thickness, plank size and manufacturers
>> name. Any advice?
>>
>> Click together systems to avoid?
>
>
> We have been advised by a couple of different people to avoid real wood
> floors altogether because they are so susceptible to damage.
> One friend had an oak floor and has said "never again".
>
> It looks as though we will probably end up going for a better quality
> laminate because we have had laminate floors before which have performed
> much better than the real wood ones we have seen.

I'm not sure I see the logic in those claims... Laminate may be harder, but
once the surface is worn for chipped through, the result is likely to look
bad as the MDF substrate will be visible.

A good quality engineered wood will have 3mm +/- of surface which will take
a lot of damage to break through. To my mind, scratches and dints add
character and whilst they may look "bad" on a new otherwise perfect floor,
once you get a random buildup and you re-oil or otherwise "refresh" the
surface coating, minor scratches mostly disappear except on very close
inspection.

Even after that you still have 1-2 major sanding treatments available.

Given the cost differences between a decent wood and a decent laminate
compared to the work required to lay them (same in both cases) I don't think
the cost difference is that great and I'm very happy we went with the wood
option (having had laminate in a flat before).

I do also notice that the wood is less slippery with socks on than the Pergo
laminate I had, so functionally, it's better for us with kids.



> I see from wandering round the sheds that real wood is now at least as
> popular as laminate and remarkably cheaper than it used to be so perhaps
> this is the new fashion trend, laminate being so last
> week/year/decade/century. ;-)
>
> We have heard much the same about wooden worktops - loads of work to keep
> looking good, mark easily, go black around the sink....yet there are loads
> of them on offer with kitchen firms.
>
> Looks like we will be voting for hard wearing plastic coated stuff.
>
> The main issue with any new flooring is the difficulty in taking it up
> over a suspended floor.
> Houses with floorboards will have loads that have been cut, lifted, then
> put down again as plumbing/wiring has changed.
> Any lock together floating flooring, especially if glued, is not really
> designed to be taken up and then put down again like the traditional
> carpet and T&G floorboards.
> Not sure how we are going to get round this one.
>
> Cheers
>
> Dave R
--
Tim Watts

David WE Roberts

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May 24, 2012, 6:03:11 AM5/24/12
to

"Tim Watts" <tw+u...@dionic.net> wrote in message
news:olb199-...@squidward.local.dionic.net...
Yes - all a matter of perception.
If you like the worn look of real wood then real wood is fine.
If the scratches, dings and marks tend to annoy, then a synthetic surface is
probably better.
We have been fortunate with our laminate in that we have never had a major
ding which goes through to the substrate but as you say that can look far
worse than naturally worn wood.

A flooring guy was waxing lyrical about Karndean flooring - which turns out
to be a bit like upmarket lino tiles shaped like short planks of wood.
Seen some down in pubs, and it looks to be O.K. and hard wearing.
Also seen some down in an extension we went to see when interviewing
builders.
He was saying how easy it was to lay, and also to replace parts if there was
damage.
However turns out that over a suspended floor, even if it is chipboard, you
need 6mm ply under it to give a stable flat surface.
So this doesn't get round the problem of lifting the floor, just the problem
of lifting bits of the covering to repair damage.

I assume the same applies to real wood flooring - it all clips together and
then unclipping a small part of it could be a challenge.

NT

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May 24, 2012, 5:57:31 AM5/24/12
to
On May 24, 10:10 am, "David WE Roberts" <nos...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> "Tim Lamb" <t...@marfordfarm.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>
> news:aU5Iw9ES...@marfordfarm.demon.co.uk...
>
>
>
> >I know this has been covered before but I would appreciate a *refresh* of
> >experience.
>
> > I have two rooms to do each linked by an area of (proposed ) 300x300
> > ceramic tiling at door thresholds. Skirtings are not yet fitted so this is
> > not an issue. I am rather nervous of my ability to do a good job of the
> > tiling so this may be farmed out.
>
> > The floor screed (underfloor wet heat) looks nice and flat but what sort
> > of irregularities are significant?
>
> > How important is *acclimatising* the floor material before laying?
>
> > Price seems to vary with wood thickness, plank size and manufacturers
> > name. Any advice?
>
> > Click together systems to avoid?
>
> We have been advised by a couple of different people to avoid real wood
> floors altogether because they are so susceptible to damage.
> One friend had an oak floor and has said "never again".

That's quite an unusual view. Oak in particular is very tough.

> It looks as though we will probably end up going for a better quality
> laminate because we have had laminate floors before which have performed
> much better than the real wood ones we have seen.
> I see from wandering round the sheds that real wood is now at least as
> popular as laminate and remarkably cheaper than it used to be so perhaps
> this is the new fashion trend, laminate being so last
> week/year/decade/century. ;-)

Real wood can be much cheaper than decent laminate. It doesnt have as
much stability. If you buy sawmill reject oak, eg off ebay, its
remarkably cheap, but you have to cut it to remove defects and to
size, and finish it - but you also end up wth lots of oak left over
and lots of money still in pocket.

> We have heard much the same about wooden worktops - loads of work to keep
> looking good, mark easily, go black around the sink....yet there are loads
> of them on offer with kitchen firms.
>
> Looks like we will be voting for hard wearing plastic coated stuff.

If you want tough & durable, go for tiles, and keep a few as spares.

> The main issue with any new flooring is the difficulty in taking it up over
> a suspended floor.
> Houses with floorboards will have loads that have been cut, lifted, then put
> down again as plumbing/wiring has changed.
> Any lock together floating flooring, especially if glued, is not really
> designed to be taken up and then put down again like the traditional carpet
> and T&G floorboards.
> Not sure how we are going to get round this one.

No difficulty there with real wood.

> Cheers
>
> Dave R

NT
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