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Forum topic by Higgy posted 576 days ago 806 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Higgy

9 posts in 1898 days


576 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: flooring plank plank flooring oak boards oak question rustic

I am looking for any helpful advise anyone may have for the installation of plank flooring. I own a house that was built in the 1800’s with gorgeous center chimney. It was renovated in the 60’s but still need a lot of work. Right now I have plywood for flooring which my girlfriend says in not flooring. I argue that does the same think as hardwood flooring with out the cost. :-) So this brings me to my question. Since the house is an old cape that must have been owned by a farmer in the 1800’s I’m looking for flooring that would look the part. Living in CT has given my a chance to look in houses that are just as old as if not older than my house. We decided that we would like to install 12” wide oak plank flooring in the house. Now the issue that I’m worried about is how to install the boards. I was originally planning on just putting the boards down and surface nailing them. After looking through the web I have noticed that many people talk about the board movements such as cupping and expansion as wood does move. Others have even recommended gluing the boards down, which doesn’t seem right because the wood is going to want to move. Should I use a tongue and groove on the boards? Or router a groove and use a spline joint between the boards to prevent cupping? What about a vapor barrier? I thought I could even screw in from beneath the floor to further help with securing it to the sub-floor. Any information or past experience that you could provide would be helpful. Thanks guys
-Paul

-- Paul, Connecticut


11 replies so far

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1246 posts in 706 days


#1 posted 576 days ago

Vapor barrier is a must. tounge and groove is a must. I would recommend finding a source for engineered flooring. The 12” wide boards will be much more stable, possible economical, and greener. You can even get this made with reclaimed wood. Glue down floors is great for older houses. The glue would be a urethane glue, and allows for expansion and contraction, and also helps as a part of a moisture barrier system. usually in a house like that, strip down to the subfloor, lay 9mil plastic, go overtop with a substrate for glue, level the floor, and glue. If you go natural, boards should be back cut to prevent cupping and best if finished on back as well. Any how, your question is pretty broad so there are some of my thoughts.

-- Who is John Galt?

View teejk's profile

teejk

1208 posts in 1318 days


#2 posted 576 days ago

12” wide real oak? how much money do you have??? A board that wide will want to move, especially in CT so T&G would be a must. And in what we call “new growth” lumber, I doubt you’ll ever keep it flat.

So move to engineered (essentially veneer over plywood) or high quality laminates (essentially a “photo finish” over MDF). In our construction we decided on the latter…we have very sandy soil and we have dogs and we have radiant under floor radiant heat. All of those were part of our decision.

Maybe some people don’t like Lumber Liquidators but I am happy with their selection, quality and pricing. Their web-site is good also in helping in your choice.

View RonInOhio's profile

RonInOhio

720 posts in 1498 days


#3 posted 576 days ago

My vote would go for laminate flooring. Use a good underlayment such as Roberts. There are a
variety of underlayments depending on what you want from it. Most provide a vapor barrier but
also you can choose from acoustical sound blocs as well as cushioning.

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1752 posts in 1198 days


#4 posted 576 days ago

Not sure where in CT you are Paul, but I work for Lumber Liquidators in Danbury. I will tell you right now that TG is a must at least on the long sides, but would be best on all sides. Do not use plastic as joey was recommended, it traps moisture too much on a wood subfloor. At lumber liquidators we do not sell anything more than 5” wide as its too likely to cup and warp. I’d recommend if you do want to do a board that wide use a urethane based glue and nail it, but know that it will most likely cup in time. PM me with any questions, or even stop in or call the store.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View teejk's profile

teejk

1208 posts in 1318 days


#5 posted 576 days ago

Ben…used to live in Bethel years ago…

Being an old farmhouse, I would have to even wonder if glue would work. My experience in older stuff is that any part of the floor is only level in about a 2’x2’ area. Laminate has the foam backing on the higher end stuff but probably not enough to handle the peaks and dips…never thought about it but wonder if a floating laminate over a foam base might be the best solution?

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1427 posts in 995 days


#6 posted 576 days ago

Don’t worry about wood movement because you’ll never find 12” oak, or 12” anything else. Pine would be more in keeping with the age and style of the house. I just had a job done in 5” T&G pine from Lumber Liquidators. It was glued down over a radiant slab , but could also be nailed over the ply in your situation. Vapor barrier is unnecessary.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2869 posts in 1121 days


#7 posted 576 days ago

Plywood and cheap linoleum!

If you can even find linoleum (real linoleum) anymore, it would harken back to the early 1900’s.

You could always look around at some of the architectural recycle/resale places. I salvaged a house in Indiana that was built from pieces of a river boat in the 1800’s and the fellow I salvaged it for sold all of it to some place in NYC that sells only used stuff.
Some of the floor/deck boards were white oak, 16-24” wide and 25-30’ long.
They were also 2” thick and heavy as my ex mother in laws biscuits.
All of them were back hollowed with a draw knife to help prevent cupping. You could see the marks where the draw knife started and stopped.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1427 posts in 995 days


#8 posted 576 days ago

Real linoleum is available as the topping on laminated 1×3 snap-together planks called Marmoleum. I did a floor in it a few years ago. Great stuff.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1752 posts in 1198 days


#9 posted 576 days ago

It depends on how off the subfloor is. You could potentially use a floating engineered floor or floating bamboo with a thick quality padding. Also a high quality laminate with a padding attatched and you could add a secondary padding. If the floor is really out of wack you could potentially add some self leveling compound and then do the floating floor. Or if your joists run in the proper direction to work the dip then you could use narrow boards to slowly allow for the taper. No way to really know without more info from the OP.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Higgy's profile

Higgy

9 posts in 1898 days


#10 posted 575 days ago

Thanks for all the input. I’ll let everyone know what I end up going with and share the results.

-- Paul, Connecticut

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

1216 posts in 609 days


#11 posted 575 days ago

There is a company back east that makes wide plank flooring. I think it is Carlisle Wide Plank Flooring (been out of the business for a while). A lot of reclaimed barn materials. Usually the wide stuff is going to be thicker than 3/4”. They do have an engineered line also. Let me warn you though, this is some of the most expensive flooring on the market. Good luck.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

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