Hard wood, Engineered Wood, Tile, Slate, Stone

There are so many quality materials of flooring to choose from. Which product is right for your application? Primary residence, second home, rental usage? So many variables to take into consideration. Think of the traffic use and area for maintenance in the long term.

Personally, I like the engineered floating floors they allow for expansion and contraction are less likely to buckle, with an outstanding finish and not have to worry of a refinish or a wear pattern in high traffic areas. They are more comfortable to walk on than the traditional hard wood floor, tile stone or concrete.

Use of a moisture barrier underlayment prior to any wood floor installation shall be used. Some underlayment’s can help greatly with sound deadening.

Choice of underlayment’s range from

  • Felt paper; can be used as a moisture barrier on. Not too use the roofing felt paper otherwise you may have an asphalt oder from.
  • A felt paper with pad; this has a moisture barrier as well recommended with floating floor installations.
  • Cork underlayment; can help with sound transfer, the thicker the product the better for sound deadening. This product comes in rolls of 1/8 thickness, or squares at 3/8 thick, for a greater deaden sound transfer. This procedure is not a 100 percent deadening or soundproofing but does help eliminate noise.
  • A moisture barrier is still recommended with and use of a cork product.

Of the local condominiums here in our area, majority are on a post and beam construction with a 2 ¼ tung and groove solid pine, with a 1 ¾ jib crete or of 2 layers of ¾ ply build up. As well most HOA’s will not allow a wood floor specifically of the upper levels. A way to work with this policy is with use of a cork underlayment and floating floor. Not to say your HOA will allow but may consider allowing.

If you are considering a wood floor in this type of application on jib crete that is damaged you may be able to have a floating wood floor with an underlayment and eliminate the added cost of jib crete removal if you wanted to use a tile or solid wood floor instead.

What is a Gypcrete?

Gypsum concrete is a building material used as a floor underlayment used in wood-frame and concrete construction for fire ratings, sound reduction, radiant heating, and floor leveling. It is a mixture of gypsum plaster, Portland cement, and sand.

Over a period of time in high traffic areas this breaks down and is not adequate for laying of tile or other bonding flooring. The jib crete will have to be removed and built back up to accommodate even transition of flooring.

In addition with the dry climate that is encountered over the years since its installation majority of property late 70S-80s this product breaks down and loses its strength with cracking initiated.
If there is any sort of water damage over jib crete this excels is life exptancey and turns into a sand.

When considering a flooring replacement. Keep in mind of the following,

  • In the kitchen area unless changing out cabinetry the elevation may change with the dishwasher placement. Meaning that to remove the dishwasher and install the new flooring underneath for future replacement. Or there may not be enough adequate space in height and then you may be stuck with the dishwasher unable to be removed or installed.
  • There may be a difference of elevation with new flooring to the existing baseboard trim. Keep in mind that it is best to remove existing baseboard trim and have new flooring wall to wall and then replacing baseboard trim. This does contribute to another issue if the existing base trim can be re used, the paint line from the base trim is exposed and may or may warrant the need to replace or re paint trim and walls.
  • Doors and door jambs may need to be cut to accommodate elevation change.

Solid wood flooring can be more of an expense and does require an aging and drying process prior to a complete proper installation. It is suggested for use in new construction for there is more plus factor of a proper sub floor and with mouldings stone work, cabinetry etc. installed after the flooring. Solid wood flooring should be glued and nailed if applicable. Bostik’s Best Wood 5 Gal Moisture Cure Urethane Adhesive a suggested floor bonding material to be used.

There are many ceramic/porcelain/slate tiles in today’s market that mimic the same color and texture as a wood floor. This can be idea in areas of patios, entry ways, hallways, bathrooms and transitions from wood. They are very durable and most do not require a sealer. Can be used in addition for an elegant mosaic to a wood floor.

As with all products it is best to follow the manufactures installation and maintenance procedures.

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