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I have 800 sq ft of 1/2" locking solid stranded bamboo floor on its way and I'm trying to decide between floating and glue. I'm doing every room on my 1st floor (see attached pic), except for the powder room and adjacent W/D area. The flooring will run lengthwise from one side of the house to the other, if that makes sense. The longest length of a single span is 30' from "front" of dining room to "back" of living room, and 30' from the garage entry to the far (right) side of living room. We are installing over a wood subfloor (I assume OSB, but I have yet to check).

My concerns for floating are: hollow sound (I wanted solid h/w, nailed down), expansion issues (I don't want to use T molding), and dealing with 2 stair transitions (2 steps down from front entry into living room and the top edge of the basement stairs off the living room).

My concerns with glue down are: slow/messy install (and hearing about it from my wife, who wants to float), difficulty of removal (although I don't plan to), and I guess that's it.

I mainly want to know how concerned I should be regarding expansion issues if I do a floating install? Between the pinch point(s) heading into the kitchen and the somewhat long length of some of the spans, will I be able to get away with not having expansion joints (aka T molding)?? I'm in CO, where it's very dry but I have a house humidifier and plan on keeping the house around 40-50% RH. I consider myself quite competent at recreational home improvement and am not worried about the difficulties of executing either install...I just don't know best practices when it comes to this stuff.

Thanks! Eric

Flooring: https://www.flooranddecor.com/bamboo-wood/ecoforest-spanish-tiger-locking-solid-stranded-bamboo-100095611.html

Pic: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ve9Zb2hdjPslcIwZ2

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The install instructions state an approved cushion underlayment is required so this is a floating floor gluing it down may cause more problems than you expect. The cushion underlayment keeps it from having the hollow sound you are conserned about. Also you will want the material to climateitze. Make sure to read and follow the instructions if you want the floor to last.

  • I appreciate the response. As for the underlayment and limiting the hollow sound, is cork the best choice? Some of the better foam underlayments make it seem like they might actually be better at sound reduction than cork (IIC74/STC73 vs whatever cork is). Is this legit? – flynnecf2 Nov 7 '17 at 20:27
  • Cork is a tree product I have used the premium pad in the past on both my home and a small retail shop and really liked it on both concrete and a 2nd level. In the long past cork was the best but it is tougher to work with than the modern foam but I haven't purchased cork for 20+ years so they may have better processes now. – Ed Beal Nov 7 '17 at 22:24

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