Forum Title: How to best install wood flooring in room with two step downs?
I am planning to replace the carpeting in my living room with hardwood flooring. The layout of the room is a bit unique causing me quite a bit of uncertainty as to the best type of wood flooring to use and how it should be installed. Depending on the answers and advice I get, I may install the wood flooring myself or get it professionally installed. The answers may also help me judge if an installer knows his craft before I hire him (if I go that way). The living room floor is an elevated floor (about 5) within a much larger floor area that includes an entrance way and a dining room. The living room is 19' x 13.5' square with regular walls on two adjacent sides and short walls with step downs on the other two adjacent sides. The step downs take up about 2/3 to 3/4 of the length of these two sides. My biggest concern is choosing a flooring and install method that can best handle potential expansion along the two sides with the step downs. I presume that I need to install bull noses along the step down edges but I am not sure how this affects things especially since the two bull noses go a different direction. The subfloor is wood with a crawl space underneath. Also, I live in northern California so humidity is minimal and probably not a big factor. These are my primary questions: 1) What installation methods are best to use and which ones should be avoided. (e.g., nail down, staple down, glue down, floating, etc.) 2) What flooring would be best to use with the above recommended best install method and which should be avoided (e.g., regular 3/4 solid wood, engineered with click and lock, engineered with tongue and grove, unfinished, prefinsihed, etc.) Thanks in advance for any information
Category: Flooring Post By: GERTRUDE SHELTON (Encinitas, CA), 03/18/2019

hkeiner said: I am planning to replace the carpeting in my living room with hardwood flooring. The layout of the room is a bit unique causing me quite a bit of uncertainty as to the best type of wood flooring to use and how it should be installed. Depending on the answers and advice I get, I may install the wood flooring myself or get it professionally installed. The answers may also help me judge if an installer knows his craft before I hire him (if I go that way). The living room floor is an elevated floor (about 5) within a much larger floor area that includes an entrance way and a dining room. The living room is 19' x 13.5' square with regular walls on two adjacent sides and short walls with step downs on the other two adjacent sides. The step downs take up about 2/3 to 3/4 of the length of these two sides. My biggest concern is choosing a flooring and install method that can best handle potential expansion along the two sides with the step downs. I presume that I need to install bull noses along the step down edges but I am not sure how this affects things especially since the two bull noses go a different direction. The subfloor is wood with a crawl space underneath. Also, I live in northern California so humidity is minimal and probably not a big factor. These are my primary questions: 1) What installation methods are best to use and which ones should be avoided. (e.g., nail down, staple down, glue down, floating, etc.) 2) What flooring would be best to use with the above recommended best install method and which should be avoided (e.g., regular 3/4 solid wood, engineered with click and lock, engineered with tongue and grove, unfinished, prefinsihed, etc.) Thanks in advance for any informationClick to expand... Best advice is to have a flooring professional to see with their own eyes what all your floor may need. No installer can really honestly tell you what actually is best, just by the written description you have provided. It's seriously not a good idea! Because their are so manny factors in flooring that a professional knows to look for as well as know what product would work best in certain types of homes that will by far accommodate your interest and desired outcome. Manny DIY try to do it like a installer advises. But their may be one or two things you never thought could come into play and it could be that very thing that cost you a whole lot of lost time and money and regret and cost you the whole floor! A professional seeing what you want to do can explain to you everything you will need to do and give you a proper amount to order on material and all the correct supply's needed to do the job. Flooring no doubt is expensive but for DIY ers it honestly can cost you triple if anything goes wrong, and you will wish you just had a professional do it. Seek a professional installer that has references also another way is to find a flooring professional is to ask a friend or fam member someone you trust that has wood floors that is installed in their home thats ben down for a while like a year or more that you like and ask who did it? Because problems can happen 6 months later or later even yet. So it's important to seek professional advise that can actually see your home. That's the very best advice I personal can give you as a flooring installer. Good luck hope you get your answer soon.

- WALTER HILL (Orange, CA), 05/16/2019

Yes, you are right. I am going to get the floor professionally installed since it is a highly visible room and a poor job would detract too much from the house. If it were a bedroom or other side room I would more likely do the install myself.

- Nick L (Huntersville, NC), 05/23/2019

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