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Solid or Semi Solid Wood Floors

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Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:26 pm    Post subject: Solid or Semi Solid Wood Floors Reply with quote

Can anyone offer advice as to the pros and cons of solid or semi-solid wood floors?
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Joined: 22 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Semi solid: Laid again as far as I know on plastic and foam. Coming down in price..HOWEVER, most semi solids are three planks. That is in your say 5 inch width it will look like 3 planks, this makes it look cheaper....1 plank semi solid is more expensive but looks better in my humble opinion! Also, you would not get away with sanding semi solid more than once as you would actually remove all of the show wood as it is not very thick at all. You can see this in a side profile in any floor shop.

Solid: Generally chippies will tell you its not for the DIY to lay it. You can glue it direct to concrete to avoid the extra sub floor but as the lads said it can eventually start creaking as a result and is more liable to moisture issues. You can nail it to plywood sheets as described above or you can batton your floor and lay on the battons. As far as I know most floor laying chippies go with the batton route. But your new floor will be 2 inches above the old! You can pay...depending on the actual cost of wood itself, 75+ minimum per squre yard for supply and fit of a battoned solid floor.

To hide the gaps what is said above is right...you really need to remove skirting. If going with a solid floor you would defo do it...pay that much for a floor you have to remove skirting to avoid crapy expansion fillers. For laminates I know the shops sometimes will try and flog you the gap hiders to avoid taking off the skirtings etc...not so important with a laminate as it is so much cheaper you are not going to be showing it off as an asset to people. Again in my humble opinion!
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Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We got solid pitch pine and it looks beautiful but is one of the softer woods and there are some heel marks in it. We bought in Brooks thomas on the naas road and the guy there Pat Minehan was excellent, might be worthwhile picking his brain.
With regards to laying it - we gave our building the measurements of the planks and he put down the plywood so that when the floor went on top it was level with the doors. The dads actually put down the floor. Hidden nails into the plywood under and did a great job and saved us a small fortune - 2.5 years on and there are no problems.
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Joined: 14 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:12 pm    Post subject: Solid versus Semisolid flooring Reply with quote

After just finishing an 8 bedroom house with underfloor heating on ground and first floors with engineered wood flooring used throughout and with a considerable amount of research prior to deciding on materials - following are my observations:-
- Use semisolid engineered hardwood unfinished boards, there is a lot of crap on the market such as three ply with 2mm of finished wear layer. Go for a thick wear layer of 4 or 9mm with a multilayer birch plywood backing. The not so thick wear layer is stabilised by the backing and is not prone to cupping or warping. Any solid wood flooring is a living material and will take up or give off moisture depending on the ambient conditions and will inevitably cup no matter what fixing method is used.
- If using underfloor heating use a flexible adhesive and fix directly to the screed. I used Easy Screed liquid self levelling floor on 40mm High Density Polyurethane foam laid on three quarter ply on the upstairs joists.
The Easy Screed poured on the insulation and around the underfloor heating loops gives a claimed 20% higher heat transfer rate than normal sand cement screed and also gives a billard table finish which is ideal for sticking the engineered planks to.
- Use unfinished planks as no matter how accurate the machining is there will be slight differences, especially where they are butt jointed, and when they are lightly sanded to a fine finish the floor will be absolutely smooth from end to end. I used planks with a micro bevel on each side which gives a nice definition to the boards when laid.
- Ensure that the moisture content of the screed is below 4% or you will have problems later.
- Use a reccommended heating regime before laying to reduce moisture content and after to ensure success.
- I used a wax based finish which does'nt darken the boards and gives a nice matt easy to maintain finish.
- Finally if you are after a long term and quality solution use unfinished quality engineered boards with sufficient wear layer ( can be sanded and refinished many times if damaged) and stable multilayer backing. On skirtings in a new build, floor and then skirt - in refurbishment remove floor and then refit for a professional job.
If you need any further info contact me at my email address
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Joined: 20 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: Reply with quote

Personally, I would go for the solid wood flooring. We have cherry floor coverings in the house for 1 year now and the floors still look brand new. Also, the flooring we bought are wear and moisture resistant so we never had any problem with them. We bought ours at affordable prices from here http://www.biz-dir.co.uk/flooring-2-floors.html
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Joined: 24 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject: Solid or semi solid wood floors Reply with quote

They all have their own advantages. Overall and having bought many floors of different construction over the years from Noyeks in Ballymount and Finglas, I prefer the modern and not cheap mutiply semi solid floors. They are available in many different species and perform better when it comes to movement etc. Solid floors have to be gapped to allow for expansion and contraction at different times of the year.
Anyway, Noyeks have a hugh range and very knowledegable staff, actually they offer a site inspection and measuring service free of charge and can arrange fitters. I liked this because it meant they had full responsibility if anything went wrong down the road. Harry
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Joined: 01 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok semi solid floors are floated on underlay and are glued, they cant be lifted because of the glue and u should get 3 sands from them, solid floors arebetter to b nailed on ply and can b lifted if theres problems and last a lot longer and is a more ridgid and solid job, will cost more than semi because the labour is slower and timber is generaly more expensive but a better job.. any more info u need just ask... hope u get the floor u like,...
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Site Admin

Joined: 07 Nov 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a question. I have a walnut semi-solid floor. Different planks in the floor have different darkness levels of walnut - some planks are light and some are dark. I was wondering if there can be anything done to make the planks more uniformly dark, like painting/staining the planks or some other alternative. Any ideas?
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Bob Walsh

Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:17 am    Post subject: Semi solid floors Reply with quote

Typically, Semi solid floors go down on solid concrete finished floors. This means that the floor has been poured over the foundation, and damp course and insulation have been added.
Most Solid floors I've seen are fixed. This means that they are nailed to batons, which take the place of a poured concrete floor. Usually there are two sets of batons, both two inches deep. One layer sits on top of the other at right angles. The batons sit on top of damp course (usually 1000gramme polythene), and have insulation pushed in between them.
I have seen others solid floors put down on poured concrete, but one or two have given trouble, and you'll have a time convincing a carpenter to do it for you.
Semi solid is your best bet. In the end, the difference is hardly noticeable. In fact, semi solid floors tend to be quieter.
No need for bat tons, just put down 15mm solid floating floor. It's laid on underlay and glued.

Greentech are specialists in a range of Underfloor Heating Services.
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Joined: 24 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good post
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