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Question DetailsAsked on 9/6/2017

Is engineered wood safe to put in 3 season unheated rm. in Cleve. Oh, area & should it be nailed or floated?

Room is post & beam construction with plywood sub floor, insulated. and I can heat room with base board elect. heating & would keep room temp. around 45 F in winter time. I am worried about floor movement in the winter and seams opening. Would #15 felt be ok or should I use an under layment sold on the market?

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I would not - and if used, I would get free-floating snap-joint type definitely, otherwise you are almost certain to have joints opening up and warping.

My recommendation - go with floating snap flooring, 100% vinyl with no wood or particle board in it at all. Pergo, Mannington, Armstrong and others make it.

Note 45 degrees inside temp is almost certain to result in condensation issues on windows and on/in walls. I would add a humidistat control in parallel, so the heat (hopefully with circulation fan too) or a permanent dehumidifier comes on if humidity gets too high too.

15# felt - NEVER inside a house (except under shower tile) because of the smell - use commercial underlayment, again for this use totally plastic underlayment - no natural/wood materials in it, and be careful not to make it a second vapor barrier if not vapor permeable, so as to avoid having two vapor barriers in the floor.

If this room is going to generally be above the outside temp in cold/cool weather, I would be real careful about vapor barrier location - generally in that case under the flooring beams or under concrete slab and inside the wall interior covering (drywall ?) but if you are letting it get cold in winter sometimes zero vapor barrier is better.

Your Architect should be able to address that issue, but bear in mind (especially with apparently expensive electric baseboard heat and an elevated construction with cold air underneath), unless you don't have winters in your area, you are possibly looking at high power bills, not only for your selected conditions but also because 3-season rooms commonly turn into 4-season heated areas because of the issues with condensation and frosting.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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