Can hardwood floors be installed over concrete?

There are two versions of wood flooring and, while they can both be installed over concrete, engineered wood floors are the fastest and easiest. However, solid hardwood flooring will need special considerations to proceed.

Solid wood’s installation

Concrete is damp and solid wood; one thickness throughout can be damaged by excess moisture, quickly traveling from the subfloor to the surface. Solid wood is only installed with the traditional tongue and groove/nail-down method. It often also requires subfloor restoration or sometimes even repair.

If the hardwood can't be placed directly over concrete, we would first affix a plywood board over the surface. We'd also take moisture readings throughout the process, beginning at the subfloor, as moisture can travel to the surface floor and create warping, cupping, and crowning. If we detect any moisture, we'll stop and talk to you before proceeding further.

We will have to measure precisely since the board could result in heights issues that make doors not open and close correctly, and it also, of course, increase the installation budget.

About engineered hardwood

On the surface, the two wood floors look similar but engineered differently (underneath where you can't see it), making them more stable and better able to handle water.

This version offers several installation techniques: the floating floor where pieces click together, mat, and then hover over the subfloor without nails or glue. Any subfloor is acceptable when a floor floats as long as it's clean, dry, and level.

 Underlayments are sometimes recommended, as they offer extra stability and can even act as vapor barriers. This is something you should discuss in detail with the flooring experts at our hardwood flooring company.

Like solid wood, engineered should be acclimated first to bring the wood's moisture levels up to the room's, thus adjusting to its new surroundings.

At America's Best Flooring, we're hardwood experts who also specialize in our floor repair service. So come into our showroom, learn more and get a free quote. Our showroom is in San Diego, CA, convenient to La Jolla, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, and Poway.