Wood Floor – Help me make a decision
I realise this is a nit-picking doesn’t really matter thread but I just can’t make a decision so thought I would take the advice of STW instead – plenty of opinions and quite a lot of DIYers.
I am having an engineered wood floor laid downstairs in my house. It is a small victorian terrace with concrete floor. The plan is to fit the floor by sticking it down directly, sanding then oiling.
Found a fitter who is a good guy. We agreed he would supply a square edge engineered oak flooring. The price is good at £30 and the quality seems good, it is 5mm oak on 13mm of ply. When I pulled out a couple of strips I was surprised to find the edges were not square but had a small bevel, here are a couple of pictures:
So I asked the fitter if he could swap it for a square edged version of the same but his supplier does not do square edged in engineered only solid floors (which would cost £150 extra) and considering it is an oldish house and being stuck down I think I should stick to engineered.
So then I looked for an alternative myself. From another thread on here I found British Hardwoods and ordered a sample of the square edged oak engineered. The price is the same but the make-up is 3mm of oak on 12mm of moisture resistant MDF, here it is:
Now I’m not sure which to go for, I think I will prefer the look of the square edged as in a small house I think the bevels might look a bit twee or rustic but will they also help hide any unevenness in the floor? Will the square edge look smoother and fit the small house better or will the joints be just as obvious as with the bevels? Also is there much difference in MDF versus ply base and as I don’t plan to live here forever do I really need a lot of thickness to the oak layer?
I know it doesn’t really matter and I should just get on with it by tossing a coin to pick the winner but before I do that any opinions welcome to help me make a decision!Posted 5 years agofootflapsSubscriber
You only need thickness if you plan to sand it every few years to get back to a new surface. If you look after it well and regularly clean and treat it, you won’t need to sand it. I went for a 12mm solid beech floor, but sadly neglected it and now it has loads of ingrained dirt and needs a proper sanding to get it back looking half decent.Posted 5 years agograham of redmarleyMember
we laid oak boards on concrete glued joints 7 years ago. Little bit of movement with a few joints opening up but its wood & wood moves. We love it wouldn’t change a thing. Oil it every 12 months & it takes everything we throw at it with kids, Dogs & wife.Posted 5 years agodeadlydarcyMember
What’s your sub-floor OP? Concrete? Chipboard?
You might want to ask your fitter if he has the kit to sand the square shouldered floor “flat” once it’s laid. I can’t understand him supplying a micro-bevelled floor when you asked for a square shoulder. It’s a pretty fundamental difference.
EDIT: oops, just seen that you have a concrete floor.
I’m not that sure about gluing an mdf backed engineered floor directly to concrete. Also, even if you’re fitting engineered flooring, you ought to be using a liquid DPM that’s mixed and rollered/troweled on before sticking a floor down.Posted 5 years agoscousebriMember
The first floor you chose is more hard wearing, 5mm vaneer onto ply. The second will not be as tough,3mm vaneer onto mdf. It depends on the use of the floor. Say for instance it is going into a childs play room ,entrance hall ,then 5mm ply backed is what i would go for. If its little used or light use then go for the 3mm. It’s to do with durability .Posted 5 years ago
Deffo go for ply based mate,… The ply is sooo much more stable than mdf. Any wet spillages etc and the mdf witth swell like a sponge & blow some boards (even though moisture resistant, it aint water PROOF, i know i use it a lot being a cabinet maker),if it was me i would certainly have the bevel edged,thicker veneered,ply based product,it should be no trouble after has been layed & will look just as a solid wood floor. ;))Posted 5 years agoBearBackMember
Concrete victorian subfloor?
Have you had a moisture test? Any hydrostatic pressure?
Unless thats slabs relatively recent and has been insulated, its going to be one huge heatsink!
I’d skip mdf at every opportunity. Air quality fin addition to points above.Posted 5 years agodjgloverMember
Almost went with the exact same floor from British Hardwoods.
In the end my fitter pursaded me to go with a pre treated ply based with a thicker layer of wood on, from a brand he is installs.
It actually works out cheaper too, oiler or lacquered. I chose lacquered, which may turn out to be a mistake given its a hall and I have 2 young kids…!
The brand is Xylo.Posted 5 years agomoniexMember
Won’t dirt get stuck in the beveled one? We are considering a new wood floor (have original pine boards sanded at the moment, but are taking a wall out). Choice for me is easy: Junkers 1 inch solid oak. We are not planning to move and my mum has this floor…….
Put down in 1981
Survived everything I have thrown at it as a Tom boy (wooden train set tipped on top of it, metal roller skates etc etc)
Not treated with appropriate stuff every year etc like you are supposed to (probably only a handful of times in 32 years)
Sanded and re varnished only twice in that time – last time (2011) when my mum changed the floor in her hall and open plan kitchen to match the living room. New Junkers floor bought which perfectly matches the one bought in 1981. Some taken up to make sure floor is in one piece and the whole lot sanded and varnished.
2013 looks like new
This floor will be in her will……
This it what I would have, and nothing else I’m afraid. May be a little more expensive to buy, but installation costs will be the same. If you are not moving I would get the best materials you can get, it will be much cheaper in the long run.
SimonePosted 5 years agoel Gato NegroMember
We had one laid recently
5mm oak on 10mm ply. From http://www.oakbydesign.co.uk
The fact its on Marine ply means shrinkage/ expansion/warping due to moisture isn’t an issue. Its laid on a existing wooden floor (nailed) in one room and on a yorkshire flag floor (floating). The floor is over a cellar so moisture a was big concern to us. Not anymore though!
We had the wood smoked for 8hrs to speed the ageing process (darker). Then applied junkers clear oil.
Ours is bevelled. Looks much better (IMO- we looked at both) but dust does catch in the groove. Lazy Wife 😉
The best thing… I ripped the existing skirting board off and new ones to covers the gap around the edge rather than have bead around the edge which looks really naff!Posted 5 years ago
Keppoch, Im a wood floor fitter and I lay this type of engineered boards regularly, the 18mm board fully stuck down would last a life time, the MDF backed boards are usually made to be floated over a DPM backed underlay. However as pointed out by others, you would 1st need to check moisture levels in the concrete sub floor and in the base of the walls where they meet the sub floor, the relative humidity of the room @ 20 degrees should be between 45% and 65%.Posted 5 years ago
A liquid DPM such as Sika MB or Lecol sealer should be rollered out and left over night to dry, then use the addesive from the same manufacturer.
The boards with bevelled edges are usually pre sanded so would only need a light sanding after installation and the best lacquer for a hall would be Bona Traffic, comes in matt and satin finish too.
But to be honest here, the chap you have to fit this, should be telling you all of this if he has any idea what he is doing.
Thanks all, really useful stuff and loads of points to consider especially the thoughts of someone who has had both fitted at some point. Having read all this I am minded to go for the micro-bevelled one. Opinion seems to be that it will look good and is a better bet should there be any small movement in the floor.
To confirm the floor is unfinished and the floorer will be sanding then oiling.
The point on damp and humidity is a good one. I will make sure to mention this. Just for my information how do you measure it? is it using one of those dampometer things using two prongs?Posted 5 years ago
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