Installing Hardwood Flooring in a Condo – Gaylord Flooring

Installing Hardwood Flooring in a Condo


Owning a condo is awesome! You have all the pleasures of a home without cutting grass or shovelling snow. Sounds good to me. 

Compared to single family homes, condo projects require more organization and scheduling. To go smoothly everything must be arranged in advance. Simple things like getting through the security gate and into the condo as well as having a parking spot can save hours. Arrangements must be made with the delivery department on estimated arrival times so the service elevators can be booked accordingly. When booking allow more time than the job should take. Before ordering your floor please check the maximum length the elevator will accommodate. Usually this is 8’ and occasionally 9’. Our engineered flooring comes in lengths up to 12’ so this is very important. Carrying the flooring up the stairwells should not be considered an option. 

Check out the allowable working hours and restrictions on what tools can be used inside or on the balcony. If chop saws or table saws are not allowed in these areas and cutting has to be done in the parking lot which will add hours to the job. 

 Assuming your condo’s subfloor is concrete you must go with engineered. When doing a site inspection it is important to have the carpet or other flooring removed revealing the surface that will be covered.  This will make it possible to see how much if any prep work needs to be performed. If a site visit is not possible Facetiming us from the jobsite will work. Be sure to have a level or a straight edge handy to check flatness of subfloor. 

Concrete slabs absorb airborne and structural sound waves causing them to spread, multiply and echo. A sound barrier will be needed under your flooring. Check with your condo board to get the Impact Insulation Class and Sound Transmission Class rating required. The sound barrier can be in the form of an underlayment or in the glue used. If not using the underlay you must use a glue with a sound barrier and spread the glue with the recommended trowel which leaves the proper thickness of glue. Read the label on the adhesive to find the proper trowel size for your application and also the amount of adhesive you will need.

There are 3 types of install available. A full glue down directly on the concrete using an approved glue with a sound barrier. A double glue down where the underlayment is glued to the concrete and the flooring is glued to the underlay. The last and most popular is the edge glued floating application on an approved acoustic underlayment. 

Each has its advantages and disadvantages. A full glue down or double glue down take more time and have a more solid feel but replacing boards if needed is more difficult. Glue can be messy to work with so it must be wiped up immediately. Edge gluing and floating the floor is less expensive, less messy and easier to replace a board. The floor will move slightly when walked on, especially if the floor is not perfectly level. Floating floors have more of a tendency to squeak than full glue down floors. 

After installation the floor cannot be disturbed for 48 hours to allow the glue to cure. Do not cover the floor to protect it as this will slow down the curing process. Walking on the floor before the glue has cured will weaken the bond so install your last boards are on your way out the door. 

In the Northeast Region during the heating season condos tend to be very dry, especially if there is a central heating and air exchange system. You may not have complete control over the humidity in your unit making it difficult or impossible to keep it between 35-55%.  Engineered hardwood flooring is not bulletproof like carpet and box stores say. It is still a wood product and not without issues. Engineered flooring tends to handle higher humidity better than lower humidity. Most condos use electric heat which dries out the unit and can cause the engineered flooring to crack.

When shopping for engineered you will find a wide range of qualities and pricing.

A large amount of the engineered flooring available in North America is manufactured in China and other Asian countries. This poor quality flooring may work in some climates, but will not handle the extreme seasonal changes of our climate. 

Engineered hardwood flooring with a thin surface cannot be refinished and can curl up if too dry. This stresses the wood causing delamination and cracking.  With a very thick surface, the huge wear layer controls the entire floor, defeating the purpose of engineered flooring. And when the surface layer shrinks it will cause the floor to cup. Most products are not made to handle the constant changes in humidity so each time the heating season returns the product becomes weaker than the year before. 

Gaylord engineered flooring is by far the best on the market to handle the dry conditions experienced in our heating season. It is the perfect balance between having a thick surface layer, but not one that overpowers the plywood below. The surface layer is 3/16”, with the total board thickness of ¾”. This makes it a perfect match with your tile and if you ever want to refinish it, you can. We have never experienced “dry cupping” in our engineered flooring, but it will certainly check and crack. While dark shiny floors look beautiful in magazines, they are the worst possible choice in a condo. Floor to ceiling windows give brilliant light. This extreme natural light magnifies every little blemish, making any imperfections in the wood highly visible. A rustic, matte finish, wire-brushed if possible, will make these natural occurrences blend in and add to your floor’s beauty. 

Most hardwood flooring companies have fixed length boards giving the floor a repetitive pattern or tiled look.  Gaylord engineered flooring is random lengths giving your floor a beautiful flowing look.  

Our ultimate goal is to supply you with the information needed to make the right choice. We aim to be accurate, honest and transparent in our products and our pricing to ensure you know exactly what you are getting, with no surprises. 

 “Good things are not cheap and cheap things are not usually good.” This is especially true with engineered hardwood flooring. 

You can’t go wrong doing things right and purchasing a floor from us is the long term best choice.   

See our helpful links!

Site Conditions for Hardwood Floors

Engineered Flooring and nstallation

Engineerd Hardwood Flooring Comparison

See our Wire Brushed Distressed Hardwood Flooring video

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