Amish made hardwood

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 Post subject: Hardwood over multiple layers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:34 am 
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Hi,

I have a very old home and am trying to get a hardwood floor down before our newest child is born (in the next couple weeks).

The layers of the floor are many, here they are from the top-down:

1. thin sheet vinyl floor
2. ~1/2" underlayment (not sure if particle board, but some sort of particle board-like sheet material)
3. thin sheet vinyl floor
4. 3/4" T&G Hardwood (2 1/4" wide)
5. wider plank hardwood subloor (~6" wide)

The vinyl and underlayment are all glued to each other, and it's glued to the original t&g. Due to asbestos concerns, limited availability to have my family leave for an extended time, and my own limited time to do this project, I am strongly considering nailing down used 3/4" T&G hardwood (2 1/4" wide) over the existing floor layers.

I am expecting many to say this is not the best idea, but I am in a less than ideal situation, and am looking for a way to make this work, if it can. Tearing up the glued down flooring isn't an option in my current situation, and since I already have the hardwood to lay down, I don't want to re-invest in floating engineered or laminate, etc.

My thought is that if I use 2" nails, it will get through the first three layers and into the original T&G hardwood. Does this make sense, am I missing anything? Are there any other thoughts on how I can make this work? Are their any fasteners longer than 2" that can be used with a floor nailer?

Any help would be appreciated, I'm a handy person but am new to flooring.

Thanks!


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Amish made hardwood

 Post subject: Re: Hardwood over multiple layers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:02 am
Posts: 88
Glue down might work - staples and nails won't hold over time.

Its not an ideal situation but you gotta do what you gotta do. I wouldn't touch your project without a big ol' waiver however :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood over multiple layers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:11 pm 
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Thanks for the tip. Here are two thoughts I'm having:

1. Could I glue down old 3/4" t&g flooring? It's birch that's at least 80 years old. Should I glue and staple? Just right on top of the vinyl?

2. I'm considering sacrificing some height and putting down a 1/4" plywood subfloor on top of what's already on the floor. Is that adequate for nail down, and do I just screw it in to the existing layers?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood over multiple layers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:55 am 
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Best advice is to be prepared to do it all again anyway when it fails. You are not preparing the subfloor according to industry recommendations and you are reusing material so you have no chance at any warranty or anything. So your situation is what we call "lay and pray" and hope for the best. Sometimes its better to pay more money now and do it the right way then to cut corners and save money now, only to pay it all again plus more for removal down the road.

If you put down a the plywood first that will help the glue take and should be enough the get the job done. Your responsibility afterward will be to ensure the space is constantly monitored for excess moisture or excessive dryness as you will likely have failure once boards start expanding and contracting. Aim for 45% RH and keep the dehumidifer running in the summer. Humidifier in the winter if necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood over multiple layers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:31 am 
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Thanks, I appreciate the feedback on this.

Do you think if I lay down 1/4" plywood first, that would be adequate to nail the flooring into?

Being a used floor, we know there are going to be imperfections, facenails, etc... we are ok with the 'old' floor look and feel, I just want to make sure it's secure and doesn't fall apart.


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood over multiple layers
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:18 am 
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Even with the 1/4 plywood I wouldn't trust the nails to hold through all those layers of junk vinyl and particle board. Because you can't see the 3/4 inch hardwood that's underneath you can easily fire nails into gaps, or existing fasteners and it becomes a hit and miss thing. You'd be tempted to put way more nails than usual which can also lead to problems down the road. Also, you should be installing this floor perpendicular to the existing hardwood.

If I were you, I'd toss or maybe you can sell/trade the old material you have and get some floating engineered floor in there. Floating will allow the new product to move separately from the existing floor, and there is much less chance of failure. You'll still need to monitor humidity and be ready with the dehumidifier as necessary.


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