What Wood Floor Can I Install Over A Concrete Slab?

Well the answer is yes and no. When we say 3⁄4” wood flooring we are not speaking about your average wood that is bowed and bent. The APA Product Support Help Desk can answer your questions about engineered wood products, systems and applications. A reading of less than 40% RH is required prior to installing a wood floor directly to a concrete sub-floor. So in many cases the floor timbers and joists become so badly damaged you may feel the only answer is to replace the damaged timber floor with a concrete floor. If this is the case, opt for kiln-dried Douglas fir, yellow pine, or other framing species if the slab is dry.

Consider using quarter-sawn wood for planks wider than 3 inches, regardless of species, for enhanced dimensional stability. John, no I know about that I’m talking about the practice of lying 2×4’s on their edge on top of a slab foundation then lying sub flooring over that then wood floors which was a practice done here in my area back in the late 50’s early 60s.

That way the floor will be well insulated, warm and seal out any moisture vapour from coming up through concrete, won’t require venting, and would be cost effective. Depending on the amount of wear and tear the floor gets, a floating engineered floor should last anywhere from 40 to 80 years before needing replacement. But best of all … it looks like a wood shop, not an industrial car repair shop.

Generally, it’s less expensive to install a radon-reduction system during renovations than afterwards. Typically, most homes basements are concrete slabs but the main and second floors are wood framed using wood joists or engineered silent floor joists. Let me for one add a vote for using a ram-set to fasten the sleepers to the concrete. Soft, synthetic backings are safe to use provided that they have holes that allow the floor to breathe. Liquid water and water vapor can enter wood which causes it to swell and change its shape and size. When radiant heating is located in the floor, it is often called radiant floor heating or simply floor heating.

But it is an advantage in climates with large daily temperature swings, where the slab acts as a regulator, keeping the building cool by day and warm by night. It is controlled vapor material and resists tears as you install the sheet goods. You don’t want the wood sitting on the ground because eventually it will rot, so you either use in-ground pilings or sit the floor on the ground separated by some type of concrete block.

Before installing a wood floor over a concrete slab whether new or old, the slab must be adequately dry! That works well but I can never move it. walking on concrete even with mats on the floor is not my preference. Such products can be mixed in a bucket on the job site, spread on the floor and they find their own level. Construction of a raised wood floor helps accommodate the scheduling of trades.

For the do-it-yourself flooring project laminate flooring is a better choice unless you are real handy with saws and staple guns or nailers. A running bond pattern is most popular for engineered hardwood flooring installations – for both strength and aesthetics. Because hardwood floors are a natural product they are more susceptible to fading from UV sunlight, whereas a laminate floor will not fade from sunlight.

Glue down as an installation method for engineered wood floors , as the name suggests, involves using a bonding agent, adhesive or glue that you put directly on to your concrete subfloor before laying your floor. Also, because a 3/4-inch wood floor over 3/4-inch plywood has an R-value of almost 2, similar to plush carpeting, wood systems generally must run at higher water temperatures than tile or vinyl floors. They can check subfloors and concrete for high moisture levels; they can decide when a second coat of finish can be applied; they can assess water damage.

Another option is to cover the concrete slab with an additional, thin layer of concrete that has been pigmented with color. These powder driven nails are tricky to use and you must test the concrete for suitability. You can check moisture content of slabs by taping a piece of 15-inch square clear plastic to the slab. Wood gains and loses moisture before and after installation, as surrounding conditions fluctuate.

Unfortunately, many builders mistakenly believe that surface moisture content levels reflect those of the whole slab. As a result, some industry experts believe this test is a more accurate way of predicting what will happen to the slab in the future. On perimeter walls, install a vapor barrier on the inner face of studs or masonry. However laying a concrete floor to replace your timber floors may not be the end of your troubles if you don’t take care to treat the problem before you lay a concrete slab for your new floor.

T-Moldings: – used in doorways or entryways and finish the space between two pieces of laminate flooring, or are used when your room is longer than 80 ft. or wider than 52 ft. A. This test method covers the quantitative determination of the rate of moisture vapor emitted from below-grade, on-grade, and above-grade (suspended) bare concrete floors. Lots and lots of different options, but everyone who comes into her house thinks her floors are hardwood.

The combination of these practically raises the height of the wood floor by 1-1/2” or more, You should check the extra height to confirm that it does not create any problem with cabinets or in the doorways. Insulation can be whatever you want, insulation over the suspended joists deadens the impact noise and further insulation can be hung between the joists to enhance the U value further, isolating a concrete floor from the soil and walls with insulation is an option, but will not feel the same underfoot.

Another example is that a hydronic basement floor radiant system will require flexible tubing to be looped and tied in place prior to pouring the slab. The entire slab can also be flattened with self-leveling concrete; again, this is a job for professionals. If the homeowner is insistent on hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood is a great choice. As floating engineered floors become more and more prevalent in today’s market, more and more manufacturers are creating lines of floating engineered flooring. With any approach, the radiant slab or subfloor must be dry prior to installation.

You must test the concrete slab for excessive moisture; the hardwood flooring’s moisture content (MC) should be in balance with its surrounding ambient environment to support the beauty and longevity of the hardwood flooring. If your ground floor timber floors have become infested with insect damage or dry rot you might choose to replace them with concrete floors.

I need to figure out exactly how much slope there is to the floor and where the slope is at, first. Sometimes laying of plywood over concrete is recommendable, either to increase the level of the floor, to level the subfloor, or just for extra moisture protection. If not, excessive moisture in a basement slab or concrete slab can ruin an engineered wood flooring installation.

Today, if we are smart, we don’t need to separate the wood flooring from the concrete as long as we separate the concrete from the ground and we allow the concrete to dry before we install the wood flooring. In regions where rainfall is moderate to heavy, use a fine-tooth trowel to apply cold, cut-back asphalt mastic over the entire slab (figure about 100 square feet per gallon).wood floor on concrete slab

Then put down a layer of compressive strength foam insulation panels topped with a tongue and groove subfloor and finally a layer of finish floor. Areas where moisture can get in may discolor the wood planks, such as near patio doors. Since this chemical reaction occurs over time some of the residual water trapped within the concrete becomes part of the cement paste as it continues to react or cure. However, to use any such products effectively, it is necessary to know the exact relative moisture content of the slab. Size of the Floor – Typically, the larger the floor area, the lower the cost per square foot for installation due to the economies of scale.