Q: One visitor asked, "I am in a condo and want to put in a hardwood engineered floor. There is some concern about noise sound insulation. What is the best product to use? How should it be installed?"

A: Fortunately, hardwood manufacturers have kept pace with demand to provide appropriate products for installation in condominiums, with their concrete "sub floors". There are a number of products to choose from, besides solid wood parquet, which is glued down. There are also laminated products, built like plywood, with a few layers of wood running in different directions, then with a solid wood (say oak, but could be other species). Some are meant to be glued down, while others "float", which means the tongue and groove is glued together on each panel, to hold the floor together, but otherwise is just sitting on the concrete floor. There is a foam pad which is to be used under these floors. (Some versions of this floor do not require gluing the tongue and groove together, but have special joints that click lock each panel to the next and can be disassembled. The absolute best product I have ever worked with comes from a company in Quebec called Boa-Franc, producing their mirage line. I believe this product comes in 2 widths and several species and colours. 3.5 or 2.5 inches by 3/8 thick. This is an engineered product, but offers a solid wood surface that is practically as thick as the wear surface on 3/4 inch plank. It is glued down on concrete. In the case of sound transmission, most condominiums, that I am aware of require cork sheeting to be installed first. If you were to go with the mirage engineered floor, you would have to use a mastic adhesive such as Franklin mastic 711 which is about $150 per pail, covering about 200 sq. ft. for both the cork and the top flooring. If you went with a floating floor, and the condo required cork, the cork could be installed with a quick dry parquet adhesive. It should be rolled with a weighted roller to make sure of good grab between the cork/floor and the adhesive.


Related questions about wood floor installation:
Installation
>Is it not true that the wood should have sat in the house for a week before moving in?
>What's the best wood floor for a kitchen?
>Will I need to install a new floor, or can I salvage this one?
Costs
>What is your ballpark figure for installation of hardwood?
Types of Flooring
>Hardwood and the hardness scale?
>Where can I find ebony flooring in Toronto?
>Is it a bad idea in general to screw/nail down part of a floating laminate floor?
>What is the best wood to install in a home with a large dog?
>Should we buy the thicker engineered hardwood?
>Would wide plank flooring would be suitable in the Edmonton, Alberta region, with its cold, dry winters?
>What is the difference between a varnished, laminated and pre finished floor?
>If a pre-sanded v-groove hardwood floor is laid, buffed and varnished 3 times, how much of a 'groove' will you see/feel?
Subfloor
>How do I prepare my sub floor?
>Tongue and groove flooring over concrete?
>Should we remove some of the multiple layers of subfloor before installing?
>Should a water vapor barrier be put down if the hardwood flooring is to be installed over osb over a full unfinished basement? How should the flooring be laid? Parallel or perpendicular to the floor joists?
>I'm planning to install 3/4" Hardwood in our rooms, but there are some uneven spots. Is there any kind of leveling compound we can use?
>Do I have to remove the old flooring in the kitchen for the transition to the rest of the house without having to put a subfloor under the rest of the house to bring it up to level with the kitchen floor or can I use some sort of transition strip?
>I understand that we have to install solid hardwood over 3/4" plywood. I'd like to install the plywood now and paint it. Can I later put hardwood down over the painted plywood?
> I installed 3/4 OSB directly over a concrete slab, above grade, with a vapor barrier Rosen paper and Nailed down 3/4 Maple. What problems can I look forward to?
>Is it possible to put something overtop the particle board before putting down carpeting or hardwood to help with sound proofing?
>Is it good to put a new oak floor over an old one, or is it better to tear up the old one and put new plywood boards and then the new oak floor?
>Can we lay the plywood over the parquet? (And a bit about bamboo!)
>Should I install laminate over hardwood?
>How can I level out the subfloor with the cement lips for installation?
>How do I correct the uneven, downhill slant in my floor before installing?
Ripping out Old Floors & Salvaging
>How do I remove an old floor?
>I want to salvage some oak flooring from a house that is being torn down.What is the best approach to avoid spliting and cracking of the flooring?
>How do I safely salvage a gymnasium floor?
>Is there anyway to remove and relocate 3/8 strip flooring?
>How do I tear up these floors without damaging them further?
>Should I remove the glue on the parquet I tore out before I install it somewhere else?
>How do we remove the plywood sheeting and tiles that are on top of our hardwood?
>My foyer has 1/4 inch plywood glued down over the old hardwood. How do I remove it?
>I'm in the process of removing laminate floor titles that had been glued on oak hardwood floors in the dining room. eventually, I'll be getting the floors in the whole house sanded and refinished, but until then, is there aneasy way to get the sticky glue residue off without harming the wood? Or canI at least put something down that won't be a problem come sanding time butwill keep me from sticking every time I walk on it?
>How do we get the old lanolium off the floor to get to the wood?
>How can we remove carpeting which was glued to wooden steps about 30 years ago?
>Installing damaged salvaged maple flooring?
>How do I remove tile to install a hardwood floor?
>How and how long do I dry this salvaged maple?
Radiant Heat and Sound Proofing
>Can I install hardwood over radiant heat?
>I would like to have my floors redone so there will no more uneven floor and sound proof a little in the process. What do you suggest here?