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Flooring and Carpeting/Engineered hardwood floor install


QUESTION: Hello Chris. I am preparing to install an engineered hardwood floor from Lauzon or Mercier and am a bit concerned with something about the install that I have not been able to find a definitive answer on. We would prefer to run the planks of the flooring in a specific direction which, unfortunately, is in the same direction that the floor joists are running. So the planks are going to be running parallel to the floor joists. I understand that it is very important to run genuine 3/4" hardwood perpendicular to the joists, but am not sure if this applies to engineered. The subfloor in my home is 3/4" T&G OSB. Will I need to glue and screw another layer of T&G plywood on top of the OSB in order to stiffen up the subfloor? Thank you so much for the help. I really appreciate it. Looking forward to hearing back from you.


ANSWER: Hi Mark,

Right off the Mercier website that I visited under installation. All you need is an additional 1/2" of new subfloor running perpendicular to the existing. OSB is acceptable by Mercier, but never particle board. OSB is more stable than plywood and comes in 7/16 "and 3/4" thus allowing you some peace of mind and chances of fewer creaks if screwed and glued properly. Like a brick layer stagger the joints in any subfloor you install.

Lets see what I can find on Lauzon... I like Lauzon have installed this quality floor a few times.

What product are you going with, they have many. One of my favorites is hand scrapped floating engineered. Floating engineered eliminates the need for additional subfloor. However you will need undercushion...Underlayment.

See Lauzon Installation guide and requirements here

Scroll to the PDF download for ENGINEERED immediately below FAQ's

They are not as strict as some manufactures... best call them to be dead sure.

Phone: 819-427-5144 or 1-800-665-6765
FAX: 819-427-6531 or 1-877-427-6531

Let me know if I can assist further.


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QUESTION: thanks for the thorough help, Chris. Very much appreciated. I had read the install guidelines PDF for the lauzon brand prior to writing to you, but I could not find anything in regards to the flooring running parallel or perpendicular to floor joists, only subfloor types. I took your advice and called the manufacturer today but unfortunately the technical person I was to speak with just went on vacation today and won't be back for two weeks. Just my luck. Time is on my side with this project so not a big problem. However I did want to take the opportunity, since I have your ear/eyes, to ask if you have any knowledge, do's, dont's or anything that comes your to mind that you could share with me before heading into this project. I am very handy and have done almost everything there is to do within a home via diy renovations, repairs, etc., but never have I laid engineered or solid hardwood floor. Thank you in advance and thank you for your previous answer. All the best.


Sorry that you missed him...of all the nerve, a vacation !?
I want ask again the type of floor you will be installing and the method of install .... If you have decided?

I want to pin point the length and thickness of the new floor. I also want to pry your brain and see if you know the maximum unsupported span of the joist under the house? From support to support, what is that distance? and what is the size of joist? 2 x 8 ...2 x 10?  also the on center of each joist? 16" or 24"

As I also read the guidelines of the Mercier floor ...they strongly advise against running the new floor parallel with the joists unless an added layer of sub floor is installed. If you nail down the floor I would add the extra 7/16" or 1/2" But if you float it then I would not. The issue lies in the joists slightly expanding and contracting with the season and pulling the end joints of the new floor open due to the fact that the length running parallel is much more likely to be nailed into the joist material. Thus if you add the new layer of subfloor and increase the nail surface/purchase you don't attach directly to the joist.

This is all based on how a solid floor works... now enter the 70's and 80's and beyond. New products hit the market , Engineered wood becomes the rage because it is more stable and can withstand moisture to a greater degree and suddenly you can glue it to a slab. Sales soar and so do customer complaints.  So back to the rule books we go to try to cover the collective ass and not be sued.

So lets try to follow the guidelines set forth by the manufacture and stay within the warranty. Even if your floor will never expand and humidity will never be an issue.

I will be happy to elaborate more and welcome any questions you might have? I will leave you my number and e mail. I will revise this later tonight with more of my suggestions in the tool arena.

(626) 222 6868

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: First off, I cannot thank you enough, Chris. You have gone above and beyond offering your personal contact info. This has been so extremely helpful, not to mention, reassuring speaking with a pro on this matter. Secondly, as for that lazy tech...taking a vacation? Must be a French Canadian thing :P I kid, I kid.

Sorry I didn't provide the tech info in regards to the structure of the house and floor. I am going to get samples of the floor today and also will be going to the house today(my new home, just purchased and in the process of transitioning) and will get all of the measurements. Off the top of my head, I am 90% sure the joists are 2x10, and am positive they are 16" centers. I will verify the joists size and measure the unsupported span today. Also I will have very specific info in regards to the construction of the floor product I will be using. I can say for sure though, it will be engineered hardwood.

Your explanation is very helpful and interesting. I now understand the problem. Speaking of, I am running late. I have to run. Thanks again so much and will most likely be contacting you again to follow up. What would be your preference in following communications? Would you prefer me to call you? Or would you rather I email you direct? Seeing as though you are helping so much, I want to do what I can to make this easiest for you. Thanks again!


One of the reasons I joined this site was my irritation with some choice answers. However there are some very good people here as well.

As far as communication the phone is great...texting...photographs etc. If you are in the USA calls are free as well. Seems as if the e mail is old fashioned now but it has a place when longer communications and references are needed.

The mere fact that I can offer assistance and debunk some of the mystery of this trade gives me great personal satisfaction. The goal to DIY is shared equally by me.

This AM I too was running out the door...I'm glad time is on your side. For the moment.

This site may restrict your ability to contact me by some default that I do not control. I have seen it happen once or twice. Therefore the contact info, as I assume this might get a bit lengthy. If you need to start an additional thread I won't mind at all.

Talk to you soon  

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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

Past/Present Clients
Gene Bonas and Kevin Churnock Inc. Sheward&Son&Sons Century 21 Forte Const. Famous Footwear BOSE Corporation Homebodies General Contractor Perry Floors, Tri Cord Flooring T.J.'S Supplies

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