Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. While it’s critical to ensure hardwood flooring reaches its equilibrium moisture content (EMC) with the air (that is, attain an optimum moisture level before installation), it’s equally – and perhaps even more – important to accurately measure the moisture content of the concrete. They can be found at supply houses that sell concrete supplies to commercial contractors.
As the chart below shows, the average per-square-foot costs of basic stained or polished concrete floors are competitive with what you would expect to pay to install linoleum, vinyl flooring, ceramic tile and high-quality carpeting. If the basement floor is already insulated or has under-floor heat, then carpeting or area rugs may work. Wood is a renewable resource that takes far less energy to produce than concrete or steel.
Before installing the floor, loosely lay an additional vapor retarder of 4 to 6 mil polyethylene film over the sleepers, overlapping the edges on top of the 2 x 4s. Avoid bunching or puncturing the film, especially between sleepers. Technically, this moisture content is expressed as a percentage of the weight of the dry wood: 40 to 160 percent in fresh-sawn lumber; 6 to 9 percent (optimum for dimensional stability) in hardwoods kiln-dried for flooring, millwork, furniture and cabinetry. Solid hardwood or engineered wood floors work fine with today’s high-tech radiant heat systems – whether on subfloors or concrete slabs.
Porch slab 3 to 6 inches lower than the house, sleepers installed with subfloor so the new floor is the same height as the existing house floor. A floating floor isn’t fixed to the subfloor, instead it relies on the weight of the floor itself to keep it in place. Wood framed floors require more labor and material to build, and have potential for squeaks, creaks, and vibration if they are not properly designed and constructed. The recommended maximum surface temperature for any floor is 85 degrees Make sure your installer chooses a control strategy that assures this limit will not be exceeded, and gradually takes the floor through temperature changes.
If the slab is existing and the moisture level is too high, there may be other moisture sources that have to be eliminated. I would like to install my wood laminate over a basement concrete floor using plastic vapor barrier then the wood laminate with no backing. Assuming the basement concrete slab is unsealed and still porous, a colored stain will likely penetrate fairly well and hold its color for several years before reapplication.
This is simply because the shitty peel-and-stick tile we replaced was right on the concrete in this bathroom, and we haven’t gotten around to remodeling it. When we do, we’ll put down ditra XL or do a mud job and bring the floor up a bit. They also work well on sloping sites or where the floor level will be significantly above the existing grade. The plywood boards should be placed diagonally across the direction of the floor. Even bought a laser meter to make sure the temp of the slab was warm enough for install.
Treated plywood to the concrete with concrete screws spaced every 16 in. Alternatively, screw rows of treated 1x4s to the concrete 16 in. on center. When getting readings over 75%, you must use a proper vapor retarder, based on the flooring manufacturer’s recommendations, or wait for further concrete curing. Unless you’re pouring a slab of less than 7’x7′, I’d call a cement truck to deliver the cement. Electric radiant floors typically consist of electric cables built into the floor.
However, accuracy of RH measurements (that is, how close the measurement is to the true value” of RH in the concrete) depends on careful calibration of the sensor and on achieving thermal equilibrium before recording the measurement. It is common practice to add extra water making the concrete soupy” so that it flows and levels more easily and makes it easier to place the freshly mixed concrete when pouring a floor. The cost of installing a hydronic radiant floor varies by location and depends on the size of the home, the type of installation, the floor covering, remoteness of the site, and the cost of labor.
Colours range from blonde wood like alpine ash, blackbutt and Tasmanian oak, to browns like brushbox and turpentine, and reds like jarrah. Thus, it’s important to keep in mind that even when a slab may be considered cured or even dry,” it may not be fully dry enough. Above the slab use a floating hardwood floor, or nail strip flooring to 3/4-inch sheathing installed over the lightweight concrete. You are able to install them over vinyl or ceramic flooring, or in areas of high humidity where traditional hardwood floors have a tendency to warp and crack.
Be warned, solid wood flooring is not as forgiving as, dimensionally stable cross grain laminated, engineered products. Walk all over it to flatten it to the floor and squeeze out any large air bubbles (if necessary, slice the air bubbles with a utility knife to release trapped air). Engineered floating floors are also manufactured two ways, one having a Sliced (sawn) cut where the hardwood wear layer is sawn like regular lumber which shows finer graining.
The latest advances in wood products and building technology help produce more durable and efficient homes. This installation system allows for different materials (i.e. wood and metal) to be installed together if they have the same connection system. In addition, most manufacturers of floating engineered floors allow their floating floors to be installed, in addition to over plywood and concrete subfloors , over untraditional subfloors such as tile, other wood flooring or vinyl.
Florida home gains height and curb appeal with a raised wood floor over a closed crawl space, protecting the home from moisture and pests and offering better access for foundation inspections, underfloor repairs, and retrofits. Most radiant floors are installed in rooms that are either used the most, or rooms that will have the coldest floors. With dry concrete and the right subfloors and vapor retarders, solid hardwood floors can be installed on slabs that are either on-grade (at ground level) or above-grade (above ground level).
The paint needs to be liquid water” closed and vapor water” open—hygrophobic and vapor permeable—that would be typical acrylic latex paint formulated for concrete substrates. You may also need to lay Damp Proofing Membrane over the concrete or screed before you are able to lay the floor. I don’t mind gluing the floor, just thought it was silly to glue it to a concrete slab.
A two-layer floating subfloor, as described above, is also an option for larger rooms where the subfloor will be heavy enough to stay solidly in place without nails. Tongue-and-groove flooring can be installed by glue-down (both engineered and solid), as floating floor (engineered only), or nail-down (not recommended for some thinner engineered hardwood flooring). The hardness of the wood will determine the pressure required to cause an indentation.
Floating engineered floors are also the best option available for installation over radiant heat , as stapling over radiant heating systems could puncture and damage the system and direct gluing down flooring over radiant heating systems can adversely affect the radiant heating tubing making any later repairs impossible. Any excess water that is originally mixed into the concrete that is not used in the chemical reaction remains as water droplets distributed throughout the paste portion of the concrete. You also didn’t mention whether or not your slab is below grade, such as in a basement.
Thank you for your comments, we have now decided that suspended floor is the way for us to go and will post pics when we get there. Homeowners need to be aware of the potential problems, insurance coverage, time, and replacement costs inherent with hardwood floors. Basically you would tape a piece of clear plastic film to the slab and place a lamp over it. After 24 hrs if no condensation develops floor can be considered dry and ready for installation. If I used a vapor barrier I would place it under the sleepers which would render gluing them to the concrete useless.
While any foundation can settle, the use of piers with a raised wood floor system makes leveling or repairs simple.Repairing or leveling a cracked, damaged concrete slab can be very expensive. Determining moisture content of both the wood flooring and the subfloor is an important part of quality control in the flooring installation process. In wood-frame construction, use a minimum 1 1/2-inch-thick slab of Gyp-Crete® or lightweight concrete, which provides thermal mass for the radiant floor.
Since a concrete slab is always poured over granular fill that can’t wick water upward, they typically work well on sites where a crawl space might be susceptible to flooding, provided the floor level is high enough to be above any potential surface runoff. Solid wood floors should only used over a wood type sub-floor and where humidity is not an issue and have to be nailed-down during installation. In addition you may get a certain percentage of boards that are not straight enough to install with glue. Sawn is the more expensive way but it shows the truer look of the wood graining.