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I have some 30 y.o. hardwood floor (parquet type) that is overall in decent shape (firm, no squeaking, even, etc.). I'd like to install new hardwood floors, and my contractor says that new floor can be installed on top of the existing one. Is it a good idea? Also, if I want to choose between floating flooring and the one that should be nailed down, which one will be better in this situation?

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You're lucky I don't re-title this question "How can I commit the horrible horrible sin of covering up and/or destroying an innocent, beautiful parquet floor that never done me wrong?" ;) – The Evil Greebo Nov 21 '11 at 14:45
Why are you installing new floor? Have you considered refinishing what you have? What type of hardwood are you considering installing? Is this a house you're staying in long-term? If not, personally I'd try to maximize my investments on any retrofits to the house -- changing an existing hardwood floor to another hardwood floor (unless it's really upscale) is not likely to change the selling price of the house by much, if at all. – gregmac Nov 21 '11 at 15:29
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I'm going to refrain from fully expressing my dismay over the idea of covering up parquet in good condition...

But since it IS in good condition, you should install floating flooring, with a good protective underlayment beneath, because if you install tongue & groove you will destroy the flooring underneath, a sin for which hanging is too good.

Normally I'd say remove the existing floor to maintain grade, but again, since the existing floor is in good shape, I would hate to think of a parquet floor being destroyed for no good cause.

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ummm I thought parquet was only for basketball courts! – shirlock homes Nov 21 '11 at 23:09
pecos-softwareworks.com/pics/br2/floor_parquet/… You COULD play basketball on it, I suppose... but I wouldn't. – The Evil Greebo Nov 22 '11 at 13:08
A room would be used for purposes that might damage a floor, but for which a rug might not be a good idea [e.g. glassworking], would it be reasonable to put down a floating floor with some kind of underlayment that would protect a hardwood floor beneath? Would there be any good place to put a note telling prospective future occupants "If you don't like this slightly-scorched floor, there should be a beautiful and nicely-protected one underneath"? – supercat Oct 18 '14 at 18:02

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