How To Install Hardwood Floors Over Concrete



For a number of reasons, basements or other rooms in your home may currently have — or be built with — concrete flooring. While concrete is an extremely useful building material, concrete flooring can often feel cold and unappealing, and you may be interested in ways to spruce up your floors. If a location in your home has a concrete floor, you may even wish to install hardwood flooring on top of it. Hardwood flooring is widely appreciated for a number of reasons, including its attractiveness, overall warmth, and long-term reliability.

While it is possible to install hardwood over concrete flooring, it is essential to thoroughly understand the process to ensure it will work for you, and is the right choice for a given space. Ultimately, it is best to work with an experienced professional, to ensure it is installed correctly.


What To Know Before Installing Hardwood Over Concrete

Hardwood flooring is expensive, and installation can be tricky (particularly in certain locations). Before starting on a new flooring project — particularly if installing over concrete — it is essential to ensure you are making the right choice for a given space.

Aesthetically, you want to be confident that hardwood is appropriate for a given room, and that you anticipate having the flooring in place for a long time. You will also need to make some considerations of the underlying concrete. Questions include:

  • Is the concrete fully cured, or is it still drying?

  • Is the concrete slab level?

  • Is the slab below grade or above grade?

  • Are there any signs of moisture issues in or around your concrete floor?

Installing hardwood over concrete that is improperly prepared can quickly ruin the wood, becoming an expensive hassle in the process. To be certain you avoid unnecessary probems, you want to ensure that you have a properly-cured concrete slab, without evident moisture problems, and that your flooring professional has an adequate plan to install the hardwood.


The Process of Installing Hardwood Over Concrete Flooring

Because installing hardwood floors over concrete can be complicated, it is usually best to leave the job to a flooring professional. Once your job site is assessed, the professional will begin the process, which broadly proceeds in the following manner.


Prep/Remove Flooring Material

Any existing flooring material on top of your concrete must be removed prior to installing hardwood floors. Likewise, any paints, glues, or other materials adhered to the concrete must be removed to ensure the concrete is clear for the new flooring.


Install Moisture Barrier

A properly sealed moisture barrier between the hardwood and concrete will ensure that any residual moisture does not affect or damage your new hardwood floors.


Install Sub-Floor (If Needed)

There are several ways to install hardwood flooring over concrete, and the most effective tends to be a "floating" arrangement, in which the hardwood sits on the concrete but is not directly attached to it. Alternatively, a plywood sub-floor can be used between the moisture barrier and the hardwood, which can add additional insulation.


Install Hardwood

Hardwood floorboards are installed on the prepped surface, and carefully secured into place.


Add Necessary Finishing Touches

Any final touches are made, including ensuring the floor is secure, and reinstalling baseboards (which typically must be removed to install the flooring).


Install Your Hardwood Floors Today

Installing hardwood floors over concrete can be a tricky job, and is an endeavor best completed by a skilled professional.

If you are looking to install hardwood over concrete flooring, Blue Ridge Floors can get the job done right. We have the expertise to properly install hardwood floors, ensuring they are well-secured and will last a long time.

For more information, visit Blue Ridge Floors online, or call 1-800-690-1779.


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