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infocus
Conventional oak flooring vs engineered

:confused: I am tearing up the cold tile flooring in my family room and foyer. The question is, if wood flooring is installed over an above grade cement slab, what is the best material? I've heard conflicting theories. One being, never install wood over cement. Another, both work however engineered wood is a better choice because of the structure of the product, it deals better with moisture generated from a slab AND I won't have height issues as engineered flooring is glued over a vapor barrier direclty to the slab which will basicly match the height of my existing floor. Meanwhile, conventional flooring requires a 3/4" plywood subfloor under the 3/4" oak material rasing my floor almost one inch from it's height now. The last bit of advice was, both will work however conventional flooring is best for wear issues, the wood "feel" when walked on and the product/install labor cost is less.

A. Spruce
Re: Conventional oak flooring vs engineered

Engineered flooring is thinner and more stable than it's full thickness counterpart. I have seen full thickness nailed down to plywood which is glued to the slab. I personally don't like this because of height issues at doors and transitions, as well as the expense and added labor to do it.

To my knowledge, engineered flooring is never glued down, it is a floating floor system. A layer of heavy plastic is laid (vapor barrier ), then a layer of foam pad for cushion and reduce that hollow "knock" that wood floors tend to have, then the floor is installed with a gap around the perimeter for expansion. Depending on the brand, you may or may not glue the tongue and grooves together.

Of the two, for a slab application, I would go with a good quality engineered floor such as Kahrs, which is what I used in my home. Kahrs has the thickest top layer so that it can be sanded and refinished a couple times. The thicker top layer also resists damage better.

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