Hardwood floors are unique and natural-looking, characterized by distinctive color and texture variations. By no means should these be considered flaws, as they are the very elements that make wooden floors so beautiful and compatible with all types of homes and interior decors.
They are durable, easy to clean, and can give any house a warm and comfortable finish. But, what do you do if your home rests on a concrete slab?
Well, it is possible to install hardwood on a concrete floor, but it might be a little more difficult than if you had an old wooden floor underneath. You’ll have to pay extra attention while preparing the surface.
Testing The Moisture Levels
We all know that concrete is cold and moist. If the concrete has a high humidity percentage and your floor is mounted directly on that surface, then the wood will draw moisture and expand causing it to deteriorate over time.
Moisture control is critical if you decide to glue your hardwood flooring directly to the concrete.
Hire a specialist to test the moisture percentage of your concrete slab. Once you know the numbers, you can check with the adhesive’s specifications, as some withstand moisture better than others.
In some cases, you will need to apply a moisture barrier.
Preparing The Concrete Surface
- The surface on which the floor will be mounted needs to be clean, swept, without any paint, oil, grease, or other residues.
- The surface must be smooth; if there are any bumps, fill the lower areas using leveling compound. The flatness of the screed must not exceed a deviation of 0.07 inches per 5 feet.
- The surface must be dry and must not exceed 2% humidity in order to apply the adhesive. For a screed with 2% to 5% humidity, apply a layer of moisture barrier, like epoxy raisin, using a V-notch trowel; it will level itself. Let it dry for 24 hours, or until it doesn’t feel tacky anymore.
Installing The Hardwood
Once you have your concrete surface clean and prepared, you will begin laying the wood planks.
Plan the layout before applying the adhesive.
- Begin by laying the first plank along the longest wall in the room; make sure you leave yourself room to walk out; you wouldn’t want to step on your newly installed floor just yet.
- Cut the planks to the appropriate length as you go; make sure you leave ¼ shims between the edges of the planks and the walls.
- Always read the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to applying the adhesive. Use a V-notch trowel to apply the adhesive on the previously prepared surface. Only apply enough for a few planks and no more, otherwise you will not have enough room to maneuver the flooring.
- Place the planks and use a tapping block to click them together.
- Use painter’s tape to tape seams together.
- Place a weight over an old rag or carpet on the first few planks to make sure they stick properly.
- Clean the flooring with a damp cloth.
- Leave the adhesive to dry for 24 hours.
For additional information on how to install hardwood floor over concrete, visit: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/installing-hardwood-flooring-over-concrete/index.html