The Home Ownership Thread - Page 127
My handy stepfather installed wood flooring but I would say it took about 3x as long for him to do it as someone else to do it. A nail gun is a must.
We currently have glued flooring in our townhouse and it has a lot of gaps where I think the people who had it installed, didn't wait for it to dry. Plus the glue got on a lot of base boards. Cannot recall who has floating flooring that I know.
Can't help from a shopping standpoint but it did come up when we thought of replacing our glued flooring...it will cost about the same to remove the old flooring as it will cost to buy the new flooring per square foot.
As for our townhouse we are selling, we got an offer at 6.5% off asking. We are countering hoping to get a little more out of our place. Enough to cover a few things in the new place in addition to our down payment. So far we are at 22 days on the market with 2 weeks being over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
It's not hard to install, at all, but you need to be patient and methodical. You'll need a miter saw, a table saw to rip boards, a jig saw for complicated cuts, chalk lines, trowels, etc. You also need to be sure about moisture from the slab before do it. That means either using a moisture barrier (adds expense --something like $0.50 per square foot) or having the slab tested (hard to find somebody to do it right, and also kind of expensive). I wouldn't do a floating floor.
To glue it down you just chalk out 18" strips across the whole length of the room, trowel out that much glue, and lay down that many boards at a time. When you get to the end of the line you mark the boards in place and cut them, then install. It's a lot of bending over and getting up and down from your knees if you don't have a helper.
Shopping for the wood is easy since most of it is made by a couple companies. The best measure of quality is the thickness of the wear layer (that's the top veneer of hardwood in engineered flooring). You want to get a glue that's not water based and you need to figure out whether you need a moisture barrier. Some glues have it built in (but they're costly).
That's with the caveat that I would recommend buying all the wood at the same time, if the rooms are connected, otherwise you'll have problems with transitioning and matching finishes.
Basically what you want to look for with engineered is a thick wear layer and long random lengths. Most are about 4' max, which is OK; you'll pay a premium for longer boards. Width of boards depends on your preference. Likewise with the finish, but you should get prefinished wood.
A relative of mine owns a carpet store, and she says they don't make any money selling wood, just on the installation. Last time I got some, it was from Home Depot.