Installing Hardwood Floors Over Concrete

Reading about this online has pointed me in a thousand different directions. Traditionally, gluing has been the installation method for installing floating floors by applying a bead of glue to the grooves on the edges of the boards during the installation process. If the wood subfloor is sound you may be able to nail a solid wood floor over the top. High end engineered wood floors also boost a very durable stain and scratch resistant, UV cured poly-urethane wear layer that can last for years. Depending upon the project budget, the engineered basement hardwood flooring can be installed in one of two manners.

When installing the click lock flooring , depending on which style you choose, you either angle the board into the mating end of the boards already installed and fold it down or you lay the board flat on the floor and using a tapping block gently tap the board into the mating board. Since wood flooring is a naturally porous material, when there is more moisture in the air, the wood will soak this up and expand.

This test produces a moisture vapor emissions rate (MVER), which is a reading of how much moisture content is released from 1000 square feet of concrete slab over a 24-hour period. I. Always follow the flooring manufacturer’s guidelines and specifications to determine when the concrete slab is ready for installation. This test involves drilling holes at a diameter of 5/8” to a depth equal to 40% of the slab thickness. This method usually requires drilling through the floor joists to install the tubing.

Broadly speaking, if you have electric under floor heating, the floor should be fitted using the floating method of installation. Pour a small amount of glue on the concrete – about the width of two or three boards – and use the trowel to scrape the glue and drips clean away from the bucket. Tile backerboard, made from cement or fiber-reinforced gypsum, can be used as a subfloor over your basement slab to create a smooth, level surface.

Moisture vapor passes through the slab and evaporates at top the surface with no detrimental effect most of the time. Some varieties are designed to be glued to the basement floor using an industrial adhesive. Hydronic radiant floor systems pump heated water from a boiler through tubing laid in a pattern under the floor. Now we have new products and materials made specifically for installing flooring over concrete and preventing mould, such as Amdry Insulated Subfloors. I highly recommend the book if you want to do any concrete repair work yourself, and Don Knotts, one of my favorite actors is on the cover, to give the book that friendly reassuring look.

Regardless of whether hardwood or engineered flooring is to be installed, all material should be checked with an accurate wood moisture meter. Prepare the slab floor as discussed in Preparing Plywood-on-Slab for Hardwood” (above), but instead of rolling out polyethylene sheeting on the concrete slab, embed the 2-by-4 sleepers in thick lines of asphalt mastic.

A life cycle assessment of two alternative floor systems—one wood, the other concrete slab-on-grade—confirms that wood is considerably less fossil fuel dependent and contributes far less to climate change than concrete. They should also know the difference between the two recognized concrete test methods and the two types of hardwood moisture meters. Some of these can be used to suppress moisture in concrete with readings of up to 98% RH.

Wood floors may warp in time as water vapor evaporates from the groundwater in the soil beneath the concrete slab. Until we see a better solution developed we will always recommend engineered wood floors over a concrete subfloor. If you don’t have under floor heating, you’ll need to select the most appropriate fitting method for your job. The floor construction of a house, or dwelling, must fulfil several criteria, and the following design functions must be taken into consideration when laying your concrete slab. Lay the 1x4s perpendicular to the direction you intend to install the floor planks.wood floor on concrete slab

You can see cupping if it is too humid for a Classic floor or if it is to dry for a Engineered or Lock floor. If the concrete slab is on the ground, it will also tend to pick moisture up into the home and be a constant source of mold, even if sealed. Unfortunately, we cannot identify your floor based on the numbers on the back of the plank, alone. Like solid wood flooring, be sure to acclimate the engineered wood flooring before installation.

Don’t install any screed boards over 4 feet, also make sure to overlap and randomize the rows, so you have a more random nailing surface. Wood naturally expands and contracts to reach balance with the relative humidity of its surroundings. Recommended relative humidity levels: The recommended relative humidity levels in concrete for wood floor installations are 1) 75% or less for Engineered wood flooring, and 2) 60% or less for Solid wood flooring which are adhered directly to a concrete surface. Carefully follow all maintenance and care instructions to avoid potential damage to you floor.wood floor on concrete slab

Because wood is susceptible to damage from moisture, it is important that the heating and air conditioning systems be operational at the time of installation. When a floor covering is placed on top of a slab, it restricts evaporation from the top surface of the slab; moisture within the slab then distributes itself to achieve equilibrium due to temperature and chemical interactions from the top to the bottom of the slab.

The addition of the second layer over the top of the slab is an insurance policy against any rogue water vapor that tries to exit the slab at a later date. Installing a hardwood flooring as a floated floor over vinyl or vinyl composition tiles (if the type of the chosen flooring allows it) is your only option. After sweeping the slab clean, brush on a coating of asphalt primer to serve as a bonding agent. In-situ RH testing performed at multiple depths permit a testing agency to develop a profile of moisture conditions through the thickness of a concrete slab.

Once the foundation is in place, a system of beams and girders, floor joists, and plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) floor sheathing, is installed to complete the raised wood floor. One of the best ways to ensure that the hardwood flooring will give the optimum lifetime performance that a homeowner expects is to install humidity controls. Since a floating floor doesn’t need a unique kind of subfloor to install to, it frees you up to install wood flooring in areas where they previously weren’t a possibility. As the slab releases moisture vapour, that vapour needs to be removed from the property.