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Is it okay to use solid wood floor in my lower ground floor flat?

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I have read that below grade (ground) level, solid wood floors are not advisable due to fluctuations in moisture levels & humidity. Instead, it is recommended that you use engineered real wood flooring, which will not expand or contract as solid wood might.

In the room in which I want to install wood floor, only one wall is below ground. Is it okay to install solid wood, or will moisure levels still be too high and unpredictable?

If the floor is considered below grade you pretty much have to go with an engineered wood floor. Its not worth the worry and trouble to put a solid wood floor in a place where there may be problems.

5 Responses to “Is it okay to use solid wood floor in my lower ground floor flat?”

  1. Ryan M Says:

    Humidity is a problem regard less of which level the floor is on.
    Get a hydometer anything above 60% humidity is getting risky so you will have to buy a dehumidfier.

    Make sure you let the timber acclimatise for 1-2 weeks before you fit it.

    And engineered flooring will expand and contract, it is still a timber product and effected by humidity.

    Just to add most engineered floors have a HDF core(the stuff that is used in cheap laminates) and that hates the damp more than solid wood and is quickly ruined. Make sure you get one with a softwood or ply core
    References :

  2. David D Says:

    you will just have to put exstra moister barriors on the wall that is below grade. but if the floor isn’t below grade I don’t think there is a worry. but if the floor start to show that it is gettine wet after you put it down get a de-humidafier and put it in there and then you will have to put exspansion joints around the floor by leaving like a half inch space between the floor and the wall and just put a thicker base board to cover the space.
    References :
    Architecture major, life time carpenter

  3. klypherd Says:

    Solid wood will pick up moisture in any atmospheric conditions beyond that of a desert. Unless you can guarantee bone dry conditions continuously then do not use solid wood. It will swell and therefore buckle. However with only one wall below grade it sounds like you are safe in this case especially if there is sun and good ventilation or moisture control (air conditioning) otherwise. But if this room has a history of moisture getting in (wet walls or floors) then no solid wood for you.
    References :

  4. Tom B Says:

    If the floor is considered below grade you pretty much have to go with an engineered wood floor. Its not worth the worry and trouble to put a solid wood floor in a place where there may be problems.
    References :

  5. fakest forest Says:

    If any part of the soil surrounding a structure is above the floor of any level, it is considered below grade. This includes walk out basements etc. Solid wood flooring is not warrantied by the manufacturer if installed below grade. If you live in an extremely dry climate and there have never been any signs of moisture in the room, then you may never have a problem. I would still suggest using an engineered hardwood. These do NOT have an HDF core (as a laminate floor does) but are a 3, 5, or7 ply board with a prefinished top. It is very true that they do not expand and contract as much as a solid. Armstrong, Bruce, Br-111, and others make very fine engineered hardwoods. Once installed. there is no way to distinguish them from a solid. They can be refinished.
    References :
    hardwood, laminate, tile, vinyl, carpet installer

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