Asked on Jan 1, 2013

Hardwood Floors

DonLandlightSWoodbridge Environmental


I plan to replace my hardwood floors in 2013 because they squeek in so many places and are separating in some arears.I have been told the underlayment would need to be relaced to eliminate the squeeks. I want to replace with the 31/4 width. I need to replace a large foyer, dining room, living room and family room, hall way and a large master beddroom. Which is better, prefinished or finish on site.
4 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 1, 2013

    Most folks are going with prefinished these can use the space right after the install. Just be sure to get a solid 3/4" product...this can be refinished down the road where most engineered products can not. labor is a big part of the install and when done right solid floors can last 80 to 100 years or more. As far as the sub floor goes after the existing flooring is removed you should screw the subfloor down to the floor joists every 8 to 10". I put about 5 pounds of screws into my 350 sq ft living room some 8 years ago before installing the rosewood. I have not had a squeak since then

  • Gaps and squeaks are part of the charm of older wooden floors. However sometimes these squeaks can drive you a bit nuts. If you have older solid wooden floors you may want to reconsider your options before you decide to pull them up just to eliminate some gaps and noise. While sometimes the underlayment can be the issue for the noise, sometimes it is just the finished flooring that is causing the squeak. Older wooden floors offer a lot more options then you may realize. Often this wood is of a much harder and better quality of its counter parts sold today. More often then not people who restore older homes look to purchase this older wood just to use to fix older floors that they are working on. IN other words you have a lot of value in your floors that you may be wasting by simply throwing it away. A good quality floor person can evaluate your floors and provide all sorts of ideas on how to stop the majority of the squeaks and how to replace those boards that have large gaps between them. However if you are set about putting in a new floor. As KMS Woodworks said, pre-finished solid wood floors are for the most part a pretty good option. The factory finish wears much better then anything you can do yourself. And once the floor is down, you can walk right on them and not have to wait for several days to use. But you need to do your homework on your choice. Many new floors solid and engineered offer square edges and micro cut edges. The difference is that the micro edge, which all sides of the finished board is cut at a very tiny angle makes this floor much more difficult to refinish later down the road. As that slight angle leaves a slight V shaped gap between each board. Some more then others. The reason for this V groove is to lower the chance of the boards getting damaged as the square cut boards often are dented and dinged when handled leaving tiny dents that show up on the floor once it is installed. Also the type of prep of the sub floor is also critical. Of course you need to screw the sub floor down once exposed. Pull up any loose nails that exist. While leaving them and pounding them down only will cause possible noise later on as they begin to work up again as the wood shrinks and swells from humidity in the house. Prior to placing any new floor you also need to install rosin paper. This reddish color paper that you see in rolls in the home centers provides two functions. One it prevents air leaks and dust transfer from below. But its primary function is to act as a slippery surface in which the flooring wood can move and expand/contract on as it swells and shrinks with the house humidity. If not installed, that can be a large part of the squeaks that can occur. Personally I would if your floor is in good shape other then the gaps and noise, I would fix it.

  • LandlightS
    on Jan 3, 2013

    I agree with Woodbridge....the older floors, even with some gaps, have greater character than the modern day hardwoods. Assuming you have a basement or crawl can always secure the subfloor/underlayment to the joist from underneath thus eliminating the squeeks.

  • Don
    on May 19, 2015

    +3 on keeping "real wood" floors...the character cannot be duplicated. The squeaks can be fixed as already stated by LandlightS from underneath. Hopefully you have access. It is expensive to have them refinished but, you will have a product that will last 50 more years at least. Jus my 1.5 sense.

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