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screw down hardwood flooring..?

tirfond's picture

my family has installed miles of 3/4" solid oak t+g flooring throughout europe, including stockholm, and we ALWAYS screwed it down. here in vancouver, b.c., i notice the installers use staples or cleats 100% of the time. as i consider stockholm's climate to be similar to vancouver's, do you anticipate any problems using screws in vancouver? we would be screwing to standard 3/4" plywood which is glued and screwed to the floor joists. in stockholm, we typically screwed the hardwood to a 'floating" plywood subfloor and also used string to make an expansion gap every few courses...thanks

tirfond (post #193886, reply #1 of 13)

I think you'll be letting us know if it works.  In 38 yrs of mumbling through the carpentry trade I have never seen any flooring screwed down except for decks.  Maybe your methods came about as a part of the european (I guess) habit of movable finishes.  Move?  take your kitchen and the floor while you're at it. 

or

the floating plywood subfloor might have suggested it.

 

Either way, explain it a bit more for us colonists.

 

And welcome to BT.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


the main concern, as we see (post #193886, reply #2 of 13)

the main concern, as we see it, is the expansion and contraction of the hardwood. the string-spacer is designed to help reduce the chance of buckling. in a climate like vancouver--wet and rainy in winter, kinda hot in summer--do you foresee any issues with screwing the hardwood to a fixed sub-floor?

Probably better than nailing (post #193886, reply #3 of 13)

Probably better than nailing it, since the screws will resist pull-out better and reduce the ability of the flooring to buckle.

But please explain to us how you do this -- do you screw through the flange?  What sort of screw do you use?


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

it is screwed in exactly the (post #193886, reply #5 of 13)

it is screwed in exactly the same manner as nailing: on an angle, through the tongue. we use trim head screws and, of course, a pilot hole

I'm guessing this goes a (post #193886, reply #6 of 13)

I'm guessing this goes a little slower than nailing.  (Make that A LOT slower, which is why it isn't done here.  Well, that and the price of screws.)


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

hi dan.. of course, you (post #193886, reply #9 of 13)

hi dan..

of course, you would concede, speed is not the main criterion. i"ve stepped on more than a few squeaky floors and i assume they have been nailed. while these squeaky floors may have been caused by variables other than nails, i hope that screws will eliminate some of these concerns. reputable, established flooring contractors in my area are now charging $3.50/sq' to install 3/4" pre-finished hardwood. i figure our carpenter and apprentice can screw it down for a better mechanical connection for less money...

I'm from NW Ohio, no knowledge of Vancouver.......... (post #193886, reply #4 of 13)

but, there's plenty of Northwet folks, some still stop in here that might be able to give you their take.

Here, we have humid summers, dry cold winters.  Air conditioning and humidifiers (natural or add on) help to temper the swings.  We place more weight on the difference of the moisture contents of the wood, the subfloor and the site.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Eastern Canada myself (post #193886, reply #7 of 13)

Like Calvin and many others probably, I've laid miles of hardwood and never heard of using screws.  Can't imagine the time factor involved.  I would be interested to see the type of screw used. Maybe our European friend can post a pic of said screw. They have to be better than nails or staples but again the time factor.  To me time is money.  At a buck a square you stand to be working for nothing...just saying

Gary...

Laying miles of it...............maybe lineal, not sf for me.... (post #193886, reply #8 of 13)

But I've worked around through under over sideways down..................

a whole lot of types from thin strip to some of the wider planks on up to 1-1/2 thick and all were nailed. 

Now, the nails were different.  From the hand wrought style to the later thin and thick cut nails, spirals, staples and cleats.  Some to subfloor, some without. 

But, now that I think about it something popped into my mind when he mentioned trim head screws..............................

I may have put down some (not much for sure) with trim heads.  I know I've used screws through the tongues of some of the composites.

And I'm thinking that there's no way I'd be slamming flooring for a buck.  But then again, I"m no floor guy.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


screw hardwood European style (post #193886, reply #13 of 13)

Hi Trifond:

I am trying to lay reclaimed strip hardwood on a lightweght concrete radiant heated floor.  It is above grade. When I serached the internet ,yours was the only post on this topic. It makes sense to me, as you say, to float the floor on plywood when there are large humidity variations. I am in Edmonton where weather is very divergent. I am also interested in screwing down the floor to the plywood because it will be floating on the plywood underlayment which will be floating on a rubber noise control membrane.

Also screwing would allow me to reduce the thickness from 3/4 sublfoor to 1/2 in. then allowing me to add a 1/4 rubber underlayment for noise control. So I would place the floating rubber, the 1/2 in plywood and then use 1/1/4 in trim screws. Does that sound like a possibility? I need to reduce the R value of the flooring as much as possible so the heat will rise through it all but the noise will be blocked. 

I am intrigued by your use of "strings". What are they and how do they work? Where could I get them or the instructions for how to use them.

I would appreciate any information. 

 

Thanks for your time,

 

Mattie

 

so, no one expects any (post #193886, reply #10 of 13)

so, no one expects any problems with screwing down hardwood? other than the increased labour costs...?

so, no one expects any (post #193886, reply #11 of 13)

so, no one expects any problems with screwing down hardwood? other than the increased labour costs...?

Here's one for you. (post #193886, reply #12 of 13)

Besides you're screwing down the HW to keep squeeks at bay, don't forget to screw that subfloor down.

Especially in remodels where plywood maybe isn't the norm.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/