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Flooring and Carpeting/Wood Flooring Install (A)


bare floor - exposed baseboards
bare floor - exposed b  

wood pic 1
wood pic 1  
Hi Chris,

I just bought a foreclosed house, and wanted to put wood flooring in the master bedroom, & walk-in closet.

*(My "handyman-level" is about a 7.0+, with 10 being the best. In some areas, I'm a little better than seven, and a lot of areas I'm not nearly a 7. But overall, I guess around a seven. I can follow instructions very well, anyway.)

On Craigslist, A short while back, a man was selling 350 linear feet of Cyprus (tongue and groove) wood flooring; he had pulled it up to put different flooring down. He told me that "honestly he and his wife were tired of looking at it." I went and looked at it and it looked to be in pretty good shape, and I bought it. I was a little confused about the linear measurement, vs. the sq. ft. measurement, but it's definitely enough to do my bedroom and closet. (I have left the wood in the room, for 6-8 wks, actually, to get acclimated to the temperatures in the house.)

The seller, and everyone else have given me their opinions on how to install it, each opinion a little bit different. The man who sold it to me actually had small nails through each end, & obviously into the floor. I'm not sure what he had installed it over (concrete, etc.), but I SURE don't see how these little skinny nails EVER could have penetrated concrete. As he helped me load the wood onto my truck, though, HE suggested that I just 'glue' the boards down.

I am sending you pictures of both the floor with the carpet pulled up, as well as the wood itself, and a couple of pieces of wood up against one corner of the room.

Here is how I had planned to do it; please tell me what I am right about and what I'm wrong about (maybe everything!)

First, of course, I would pull all the carpet & underlayment up, and the tack boards, and then thoroughly sweep and vacuum all of the concrete, "chisel up" any imperfections on the floor, as well as vacuum well, even sort of underneath the baseboards until everything is completely very clean and smooth.

Next, I was going to take each piece of the (variously-cut) wood, remove any nails, or debris; make sure that each piece is level, not 'bent' (as I noticed one long piece was), and clean each piece first (the top) w/Murphy's Oil Soap (or ??). *(Should I, when that dries, coat it with something else, a protection-type-coating?)

*(Note<1>: Do I need to seal the approximately 1/4" cracks, under the baseboards, running all the way around the room same with the closet, (with some kind of epoxy??), or whatever, before I install the wood -- even though The wood will be flush up against the walls?) It didn't, when I moved in, have any of the thin, curved "toe-boards" (whatever you call the thin molding-type strips that usually go around rooms, where the baseboards meet the floors). To ME, it looks okay without them, when I place a board up to it, but it would probably be fairly easy to add those. What do most people do?

*(Note<2>: Do I need to put anything underneath the wood floor, as a moisture barrier, or soundproofing layer <this is only a one story house though>; either of those, though, I guess would actually keep me from securing the wood to the floor, the way that I had intended - by glueing it..)

Next, (depending on what your answer from my note #2 is), I was going to lay an entire row, most likely having to cut the last piece, until an entire row was perfectly flush, flat, and tight against each end, and the sides <meaning either the wall or the next row of wood>.

When I was satisfied that it looked good and was flush, I had just planned to glue it to the bare concrete floor. Like I said, this is where I may be going wrong, if I need some sort of moisture barrier, etc.
If I do, I guess my only choice would BE to nail it down(?). (I do live in the very humid deep South U.S., but of course the A.C. & ceiling fans are running most of the time - and I NEVER open the windows).

If I CAN just glue it to the floor, I have some questions about that, please:

A) What kind of glue/epoxy do I buy?

B) Can I just do a "zig-zag" type, bead of glue, underneath each board, or do I need to cover the entire bottom with a thin layer of the glue?

C) Do I need to place a cinderblock (with a towel underneath to protect the wood), or heavy 'dumbbell' or something on each piece for a few hours, to set the glue? If so, for about how long?

D) Leading out of the bedroom, into the dining room, and also leading into the bathroom from the bedroom, I am meeting ceramic tile in both places which will be a little bit lower than the wood. I assume that I just need to get one of those transition type 'wood' (or wood-colored) covered pieces that turn it into a transitioning, visually aesthetic, "non-toe-catching" 'cover-piece.'

E) Does anyone put a bead of some kind of epoxy, where the tongue goes into the groove, in case of spills, or should the pieces of wood be so tight, once laid, and connected, that spills shouldn't even be able to really seep down between the pieces of wood?

F) The wood currently does not seem to have any coating of any kind currently on it. I guess if I DO spill something, I just towel it up as fast as I can. Do I then oil it with Murphy's, or something like that?

G) Rewinding a little bit, my good friend seems to think that I should remove the baseboards, and cut them, so that the wood can go slightly up under them, instead of the wood simply meeting the baseboard flush at the wall. I'm sure that that would be the optimal way, but I think it would take longer to do that, than anything else. Unless that is just an absolute necessity, I would like to get around that.

I REALLY appreciate your help. if you could just tell me if what I am planning on doing is right or wrong, and how YOU would do it.

I don't like doing halfway jobs, but then again, I'm very limited for time and this is not any kind of show-house. I don't want to cut corners, but again, you know, this just does NOT have to be a super-perfectionist, 100% perfect project. If you gave me a choice, with this particular project, between: (A) Perfect, or (B) Very Good, and functional, I am going to choose (B), on this project.

Thank you a lot for your help. You have gotten very good reviews, and I always tip (when the experts have PayPal links), for good, detailed answers. I very much appreciate your time and assistance!


PS - I'll name this "Wood Flooring Install. "A" - I need to send you "Wood Flooring Install B", too, so I can attach two more pictures to it, as I believe you can only attach two photos per question. Thanks!

Hi Mike ,

Saw your query on my cell phone and somehow the e mail got deleted. But here we are.

First, from memory I see that you have 3/4" real wood ...not engineered.. not laminate. Thus it is not really meant to be glued down. Doesn't mean it hasn't been done, but it is problematic.

Where shall we start. I don't accept tips via the paypal system. I'm donating my experience...always have and will continue that way...the paypal thing is a new development on this site and I didn't sign up.

Again from memory of the phone e mail, the bottom of the wood is made that way to allow some flex. Do not fill it.In order for you to use the wood properly you must have tongue and groove on all four sides...unless you use it as an end piece or start piece. Obviously you will have to cull through it and choose what is really useable.
Let me try to sort through your questions from A - G and we can always go over them in more detail if you like.

A. Contact Bostick or Dri them and ask for a customer service tech and get recommendations directly about the many products need URETHANE based glue. Make sure you tell them that you are using 3/4" unfinished wood over concrete. They will definitely recommend a floor sealer / moisture barrier system which I also do.

Dri tac is my favorite moisture protection ... and thusly I use their adhesive to match.
Bostick is very very good too. and I never mix the 2. that way I can have a warranty.

B ...NO...
C Roll the floor with a 75-100 lb floor roller to insure good adhesive transfer.Rent it
D the transition piece in your case is called a REDUCER ...
E Only if you need to do a tricky cut and or custom piece at the wall or door jamb etc. use Titebond II from home Depot or Lowes.
F the floor should be professionally sanded and finished/clear coated once you are ready.
G You must have a space between the baseboard and the finished wood ...that is why we use quarter round molding. The space is equal to the approx thickness of the wood your case you will need at least a 1/2 space and a 3/4" base shoe molding. You could remove the baseboard and install the wood with the proper spacing and then install new baseboard. But you do not want to attempt to install under the existing board. How will you shim / spacer the wood and keep it tight together?? if you can't get under there.

Ok ...keep in touch

P.S. read this  

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20+ years flooring installation ...carpet,wood,tile and vinyl. Residential and commercial. I do not sell the products , just install what ever the shop / customer has purchased. I actually love seeing the finished project completed and it gives me great satisfaction to help others acheive that goal. If I don't know the answer I will say so, and then I will recommend another expert for you. I may even research the subject and answer to the best of my ability ...including links to my sources. I wish you all success Chris


20 years as an independant contractor

H.S. diploma A.S. agriculture Mt San Antonio JR. College

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