Engineered Wood Flooring Laid Over Cement Slab?

Keeping your basement dry and free of condensation is key to installing the basement flooring of your choice. In those cases, casting the slab directly onto a rocky substrate will maintain the slab at or near the temperature of the substrate throughout the year, and can prevent both freezing and overheating. So, what was agreed upon and approved was: concrete was sealed PT sleepers installed space between sleepers filled with foam board. Laminate flooring cannot be refinished and is not as easy to repair as wood flooring. If solid wood is used, avoid flooring wider than 3 inches—the narrower the better. Speak with a Carlisle Wide Plank Specialist to start designing a new custom wood floor for your project.

To illustrate the complexities of working over concrete, let’s follow the misadventures of Buford, our fictitious wood flooring contractor. As an aside, you should check with your building inspector to see if you can legally run electrical wiring under the floor. As long as you are going to all that work, you might as well saw the floor and run a trench for your dust collector ducting and wiring for your stationary machines. The dish of crystals is placed on the concrete for 60 to 72 hours, covered, and sealed with plastic tape to the concrete. Concrete slab floors do require that all subgrade utility rough ins be completed before the slab is poured and be accurately located.

We can’t all know the complete technical in’s and out’s of the process of drying times in concrete. For concrete slabs with a calcium chloride reading of greater than 3lbs, a relative humidity reading of greater than 75%, or a calcium carbide (CM) rating of greater than 2.5%, install an impermeable vapor retarder with a perm rating of less than15 perm. When compared with high-end floor coverings, such as ceramic tile, slate, and marble, decorative concrete is often an economical alternative.

The heating system needs to be turned on for several weeks before the wood is installed. Because the floor of your basement is below grade and the lowest surface within your house, it requires special considerations before flooring can be installed. Over traditional concrete radiant slabs at least 4 inches deep, use either a floating hardwood floor or install subflooring and nail on 3/4-inch strip flooring. The sleepers will give me room to run conduit in the floor to bring power to my machines.

In recent years several hardwood floor adhesive manufacturers have introduced sealers used for this purpose. Gonna pull out some string and level to see if I can figure out the slope behavior of this slab. Lay 6-mil polyethylene sheeting over the concrete to minimize moisture migration from the concrete up into the wood flooring. And my legs and feet will appreciate it. Here in Maine it would be hard to keep the concrete warm. I’m sure that you can find an engineered floor that will also give you up to 50 years of light duty service, in say a living room or bedroom. Monolithic slab foundations are faster to construct and are easier to construct.

Therefore, the driving force for water vapor movement through a slab is the relative humidity differential through the slab’s depth, not simply the vapor pressure differential (Powers 1958 and BRABFHA 1958). I’m putting in a hickory tongue and groove floor with a 3′ crawl space under it. This will allow me to run all of the electric and dust collection under the floor, keeping the shop quieter and with fewer obstructions. This will improve the quality of adhesion, between the concrete, glue and floor.wood floor on concrete slab

That’s why we install a waterproof membrane, like Schluter DITRA underlayment to prevent the tiles from shifting and grout from cracking, and to protect the subfloor from water damage. It measures moisture vapor emissions only from the top ¼” to ½” of the slab, so it doesn’t indicate moisture deep in the slab. There are a variety of dry radiant systems that install just under or over the subflooring, making them ideal for retrofits. The HDFs in the laminate are very resistant to damage from moisture and a number of other adverse conditions. Unfortunately these don’t sound like a solid floor when you walk on them, it’s like walking across a drum.

If I were doing it again I would do as some others have suggested and put in a concrete floor below final level and put in some two by fours or two by sixes on edge and put a screwed down wood floor over that. I had 6″ PVC pipe laid under the slab with inlets every 6-8′ around the perimeter of the slab as well as down the center line. Floor adhesive is used to reconstruct hardwood floor while painters tape keep the wood planks together. Concrete slabs present their own set of possible issues when it comes to flooring.

Also, keep in mind the less costly laminate flooring will not have the true realism of real hardwood, texture of wood, nor the durability that the more expensive laminates will have. The best solution proved to be installing gutters on the house and a French drain system in the yard. Click Loc Floating hardwood floors are also available in the popular 1 strip style which is simply a single wide plank look. Particularly worrisome when someone else is doing the install and maybe not as picky as you’d be yourself.

Figure 3: Monolithic Slab—A continuous polyethylene vapor barrier and capillary break needs to wrap the entire concrete surface that contacts the ground – especially the perimeter. If you can measure a board, cut and glue or Click Loc it to another board, then you can install our hardwood flooring. The same general rule-of thumb holds true for concrete subfloors, so moisture content levels can stabilize.

It literally took about two years for the floor to completely DRY and the entire shop suffered endless mold and mildew on virtually every surface until it finally dried out. Today, the recommended wood adhesives are much more environmentally friendly, but are not cheap and take considerable amount of time to trowel, which will add to the overall labor costs.

Engineered wood floors are much more dimensionally stable than solid wood floors and will show little or no gaps between planks. If the vinyl floor is thin and well secured to the subfloor you may be able to float a wood floor over it. In some situations you may be able nail/staple a wood floor over it also. Relative humidity at mid-depth in bare concrete floors—such as those found in manufacturing facilities and warehouses —can be quite high if there is no vapor retarder below the slab. Engineered wood flooring can be glued or floated over the top of a fully-cured concrete slab.

Excess moisture in the concrete will cause problems such as condensation or failure of the adhesive under the flooring. I believe a concrete slab” does not react the same as a basement concrete floor when it comes to moisture. If the moisture level is found to be unacceptable and the slab is new, waiting for it to cure maybe all that’s necessary. Referring back to the rule of thumb, a thicker slab will take far longer to dry than a thinner slab.

In these instances, liquid tubing is often fitted into aluminum diffusers that spread the water’s heat across the floor in order to heat the floor more evenly. People cut their wood exactly to the walls and pat themselves on the back for getting such a nice, tight fit. Actual asphalt on the concrete to create a water barrier between the porous concrete that will weep water into the wood, and the plywood.

This is because the water flowing under the covered floor will need to be hotter to compensate for the floor covering. Exactly what their name suggests, these solid lengths of wood are usually connected by interlocking tongues and grooves, and are built upon bearers and joists. For this reason, the following sections discuss radiant floor heat and radiant panels separately. Heavy traffic should not resume until 24 hours after the engineered hardwood flooring installation is complete.

A. Yes, floating floors were designed for basements and or other areas of the home that are prone to having higher than normal moisture levels. RH probes can measure the relative humidity that will exist well after the floor is covered. The felt paper is used to reduce and delay transmission of humidity from the subfloor to the wood flooring. If it is clear with no visible fog or water droplets, the slab is dry enough to proceed. TEC® Multi-Powered Wood Flooring Adhesive is often the perfect choice for these installations.

Systems that feature mats of electrically conductive plastic mounted on the subfloor below a floor covering such as tile are also available. I have installed several solid wood floors directly to concrete and never experienced any problems. What this means is that there’s no gluing or nailing required and that you’ll have the opportunity to lay click floors over a concrete subfloor with the addition of an appropriate underlay. You can insulate the floor by cutting 1 1/2-inch-thick foam insulation to fit between the sleepers. Jeff Hosking, a flooring consultant for This Old House, first began laying floors 35 years ago.

If and when the water leaves the wood, the wood can and does shrink, but not always to its original size and condition. These low operating temperatures, go a long ways not to shock your floor and cause any buckling or cupping. I’m looking into floating floors due to the adhesive on the slab but don’t want a fake hollow sounding floor. To prevent color changes in the wood due to intense light, move the throw rug or area carpet occasionally. The Classic Mirage floor should be kept indoors at the recommended temperature and humidity level for a minimum of 24 hours prior to installation. Thick concrete slabs are ideal for storing heat from solar energy systems, which have a fluctuating heat output.