Which is better for my home floating or nail down hardwood?

I have an older home built during the 30s. The floors are not level. In some places there is a difference as much as a half inch. Which is better, a floating laminant or nail down? Can I use nailed down hardwood under this condition?

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Either one is going to show the issues.

    What you need to do is get a few bags of the concrete type leveler and level out the floor. Then you can install either. The "floating" floors are prefinished, which means even if you pay someone to level the floor with mason products you may come out ahead. HOWEVER, if you go with nail down, they can sand it as part of their finishing process and level out 1/16-1/4 inch differences.

    You may also want to be sure that your foundation is not screwed up and the floor joists are not rotted before you do the floor.

  • 1 decade ago

    Nail down or float - the sub-floor must be level. If you float over the unlevel floor the boards will break apart. Start right by leveling the floor. The floor prep is the most important thing you do for the new floor. Start right - end right. If you have a wood sub-floor cover with 1/2" plywood, then put your new hardwood floor down on top. The new plywood floor must be nailed every 6" in every direction. Do NOT skip the floor prep if you want to enjoy for the new floor for life.

    Added info: If the main problem is the 1/2" and its at a door way, you can use a "T" molding to correct this problem. Put down what ever floor you want and install the "T" at the door.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wood flooring directions, even solid 3/4" usually calls for a base of 3/4" plywood. As noted by one responder, I have heard of a person going with 1/2" plywood if they have a current 1/2 or 3/8" plywood base. If, however, you have significant dips in your current base, you may still need the 3/4" over the base.

    You will also need to review the dips in your floor and see if you can span them with the new plywood. If you put the new plywood down, and a corner of a piece is in one of those dips, that will be no good, so you will have to cut your sheets or space your plywood accordingly to get a level floor.

    I have never done it, but I suppose you could actually fill in a serious dip with a concrete type material similar to what might be used to level beneith a tile floor, and then put the plywood on top of that.

    Then the decision between floating and engineered is yours to make. (I presume you didn't mean laminant, which is actually a plastic fake wood?)

    In either case you want to put the wood in spots where you are not expecting to spill water.

    I do have a neighbor who wrecked engineered wood flooring because his wife would spill water on it while watering the plants.

    In a 30's house real 3/4" wood would be more in keeping with original construction.

    Plus with 3/4" solid wood, you have the option of sanding at some future date. With the engineered wood there just isn't enough of a top layer to sand.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you go to lowes they carry a self-leveling wood filler for floors. I would use that to fill in the low spots providing the floor there now is sound and nailed tight. Then cover with 1/4 inch plywood after leveler has hardened before you put down your new floor. I would use a floating floor so you do not disturb the leveler. I just did a similar job in my kitchen, but I put in a laminated flooring.

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  • 1 decade ago

    In your situation, I would get a floating floor, if you get the true hardwood, that nails down, you will more than likely develope squeeks cause the nails would eventually work their way out.

  • 1 decade ago

    I had an older home in California, the floors were floated, worked great and has held up so far.

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