Pre-Finished or Finished On Site

Discussion in 'Hardwood Floors' started by wcheaib, Nov 25, 2018.

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  1. Nov 25, 2018 #1

    wcheaib

    wcheaib

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    I'm about to buy engineered hardwood for my basement and I'm debating between installing (glued down to concrete) unfinished wood and staining it on-site or simply getting pre-finished. My main and upstairs are finished on site (pic attached) and would love to have the whole house flow with the same look. My GC is recommending against finished on site as he is suggesting that any damage to a board and the whole area would need to be re-stained. With pre-finished you can remove the board and replace it. Any recommendations here? Thx
     

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  2. Nov 25, 2018 #2

    Nick

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    download.jpg On site is the best .. Why can't you just stain one board ??
     
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  3. Nov 25, 2018 #3

    Dan

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    The National Wood Flooring Association even has tutorial videos detailing how to remove and replace a single board, including staining and finishing the board to blend in with the rest of the floor.
     
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  4. Nov 25, 2018 #4

    wcheaib

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    I’ve had two reputable hardwood contractors come quote the job and both also suggested that pre-engineered is the way to go. Same thing - they said if you damage a board and replace it, the stain won’t match the rest of the hardwood.

    If I go with finished on site engineered, how thick a layer should i get of real wood so that I can have the option for a few sandings? Thanks.
     
  5. Nov 25, 2018 #5

    Nick

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    That's Bull.. Go with a base coat and two top coats .. I sanded Bowling Alleys for 14 years with big heavy machines and we only took off 1/8th of wood ..
     
  6. Nov 25, 2018 #6

    wcheaib

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    Even on engineered that has 3-4mm of actual solid wood, you can sand multiple times?
     
  7. Nov 26, 2018 #7

    highup

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    3 is about 1/8", so I don't think you would be sanding that multiple times. There's a product called Sheoga. Its a 13 ply with about 1/4 inch top layer. You can but it unfinished. I suppose once installed you'd only need to screen it.
    Resurfacing a wood floor isn't an annual event. Maybe once every 20 years?
     
  8. Nov 26, 2018 #8

    wcheaib

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    Thanks Highup. Sheoga carries the width I am looking for at 4 1/4" and the thickness at 3/4". I just emailed them to see if their product is available in Toronto.
     
  9. Nov 26, 2018 #9

    highup

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    The floor is concrete I assume?
     
  10. Nov 26, 2018 #10

    highup

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    ....and it's not the cheapest on the market.
     
  11. Nov 26, 2018 #11

    wcheaib

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    Yes the floor is concrete. I intend to glue it down.
     
  12. Nov 26, 2018 #12

    highup

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    You probably want to do a moisture test. They make a lot of moisture limiting adhesives and coatings. Ernesto has a lot of experience with them. Hopefully he'll chime in.

    What's on the floor now?
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
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  13. Nov 26, 2018 #13

    wcheaib

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    I had a company come in to self level the concrete floor. They poured Portland base over the concrete. I duct taped some clear plastic sheets and left them over the concrete for a few weeks to see if there was any water beading. It was dry. In the summer my humidity reading does go up to 70%. What product is recommended that acts as an adhesive (glue) but can also act as a vapour membrane?
     
  14. Nov 26, 2018 #14

    Ernesto

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    I have reservations about gluing to a basement floor even with the best the all in one adhesives. Hope that slab has a really good vapor barrier and water proofed walls.
    Your going to have to document a moisture test that most hardwood manufacturers require.
    That said the catch 22 is that even though an adhesive manufacturer says its a 100% vapor blocker and a test is not required the wood manufacturer does most of the time.
    If it fails who is going to pay for it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
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  15. Nov 27, 2018 #15

    highup

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    Does your house set on the top of a hill with the ground sloping away on all sides, or on the side of a hill, or on flat ground? Is the entire basement below grade?
    Looks like you plan to install some fairly pricey flooring. I'd find someone to do some moisture testing. Plastic sheeting doesn't tell the whole story. It can tell you if a moisture problem is really bad, but it doesn't tell you the emissions rate.

    Ernesto, you think he ought to find a floating product and use a good poly membrane?
    Is it possible to apply a vapor emission retarder, then use an adhesive that has those same performance qualities? .......a double down just to be sure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  16. Nov 27, 2018 #16

    Ernesto

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    Yeah well even Franklins Titebond 531 Plus twp part epoxy system will not warranty it below grade. Their system is one of the best.
    Read this very carefully. And especially the warranty part at the bottom of the page - Exclusions from Coverage
    Then since he had SLC put down it needs to conform to this:
    "If filling/flattening compounds are used, they must be Portland-based cementitious material and have a compressive strength equal to or greater than 3000 psi when cured. When using cementitious materials, they must be rated for the moisture content in the concrete slab. Always use the highest rated materials for moisture because the moisture levels will change."
    Even their best all in one adhesive thats rated for below grade - the warranty also states "Exclusions from Coverage
    The above warranty does not apply if: (1) all instructions regarding preparation for, installation and use of flooring products and this Product are not strictly followed (2) the Product is used as an adhesive and moisture control for below-grade applications;"

    Always read the fine print.

    Now Stauf has a Level-Seal ULC 500 that says nothing about NOT using it below grade whoever you better consult with their technical dept. They also have a product called
    ERP-270 Perma-Seal.
    http://www.staufusa.com/index.php/259/@.html?articleID=9500&action=detail

    I'd say that if I were going to touch this job I'd do sealer, plastic then float. I've done sealer, plastic,felt then floating plywood with a nail down solid wood floor successfully. But that was built into the side of a leaky mountain, not totally below grade.
    If there's NO vapor barrier under the slab fahgetaboutit.
     
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  17. Nov 27, 2018 #17

    wcheaib

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    Highup - I'm on flat ground. The basement is entirely below grade. There is no vapor barrier underneath the concrete - they pour directly over gravel. Its not code to have a vapor barrier and a lot of houses don't use it. My basement has 2 sump pumps. You're right, its not cheap. The quote I received was a price of $6.25 psf for the unfinished red oak wood + $4.85 psf for the glue down installation + $4.85 psf for the staining. Overall on 1,500 sf, this will cost me around $25k.
     
  18. Dec 6, 2018 #18

    joshua Turbeville

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    hope to see your work done sir
     
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  19. Dec 7, 2018 #19

    highup

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    There's a company named UZIN. They sell kinds of self leveling products, and they have an epoxy primer. One of the reps came to town to help me apply their epoxy primer and self leveling concrete in a local museum. The primer can be put over concrete that is just 3 days old and stop vapor emissions.
    Is there a way to find out what self leveling product and what primer your contractor used?
    I contacted the UZIN rep to see if their primer can be used in your situation and especially about the below grade issue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  20. Dec 8, 2018 #20

    highup

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    The rep said no like Ernesto said for below grade. He also said their primer and self levelers would function properly if it was poured on your old concrete, but not over the self leveler you already have on the floor. He said the wood flooring needs to be floated, not glued direct.
    Not that gluing with a good vapor retarder adhesive won't work. It might not fail in 3 months or 6 months or maybe a year or more, but if it fails somewhere down the road, it will be very costly to you.
     

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