Can Hardwood Floors Be Installed Over Concrete? The simple answer to this question is yes, hardwood floors can be installed on an already present concrete floor. But there are some things that you should keep in mind before installing a hardwood floor over a concrete floor. The first thing that you should keep in mind that your concrete floor should not contain any moisture or dampness. You cannot install a hardwood floor of any type over a concrete floor that has a higher level of moisture in it. This is because the moisture in the concrete floor would destroy the wooden floor. The article below is a complete guide for installing a hardwood floor over a concrete flooring surface. Let’s start with the advantages of installing a hardwood floor over a concrete floor.
Advantages of Hardwood Flooring Over Concrete
Here are some of the advantages of a hardwood floor over a concrete floor.
- Protection: When you install a hardwood floor over the surface of a concrete floor, the concrete floor provides hardwood floor protection. It protects the structure of the hardwood floor by providing a hard base. So, when pressure is applied over the surface of the hardwood floor, the concrete floor provides support and helps avoid bending or dents in the hardwood floor. Not only this, but it also protects the hardwood floor from other damages including protection from dampness and moisture as well.
This damage protection of hardwood floors increases the age of the hardwood floors. Making the hardwood floors more durable and long-lasting. This protection also helps avoid the costs for repairs, as it protects against damages. This means the floor is less likely to get damaged and less likely to require repairs, hence saving a lot of time and money that otherwise would have been spent on the repairs.
- Aesthetics: Concrete floors do not look good on their own as they have a rough, rigid, and colder surface. But installing a hardwood floor over the surface of a concrete floor can increase the beauty of your place and make it look more aesthetic. There are a lot of colors, shapes, sizes, grain structures, and other options in wooden floors that concrete floors do not provide. That is why installing a hardwood floor over the surface of the concrete floor would make it look more beautiful. So, if you are looking forward to upgrading your concrete floor, it is a good idea to install a hardwood floor over its surface.
- Warm and Soft under the feet: Concrete floors are extremely cold, hard, and have rough surfaces. All this can be felt when you are walking over the surface of such a floor. To get rid of this hard and unpleasant feel when walking, you should install a hardwood floor. The hardwood floors, unlike the concrete floors, absorb light and hence they remain warm. Also, the surface of these floors is far softer than the concrete and this can also be felt when you are walking over the surface of a hardwood floor. Apart from these, hardwood floors also have a smoother surface in comparison to the concrete floor. So, if you want to transform your inner concrete floor into a much more pleasant, warm, and softer floor with a smooth surface, you should install a hardwood floor over it.
- Increased Value: Homes with concrete floors do not have any value in terms of flooring. That is why it becomes difficult for the homeowners to sell such a property. Whenever buyers visit your property, they first take a look at the floor and its condition. So, if you have a concrete floor, most of the buyers would not return.
This is because buyers prefer a home with a decent type of floor. You can attract more buyers if you have installed a hardwood floor, not only this but buyers will show more interest in your property if you have a hardwood floor. This can help you increase the value of your property and make some profit.
You have learned about the benefits of having a hardwood floor over a concrete floor, now it is time to know what factors impact the installation of a hardwood floor over a concrete floor.
Factors to Consider for Hardwood Floor Over Concrete
Here are some of the important factors that impact the hardwood floor installation and maintenance of the hardwood floors over a concrete floor.
- Understanding the Grade Level: Before installing a hardwood floor over the surface of a concrete floor, you must understand the grade level system. There are three types of floors based on this grade level system. One is known as above-grade floors.
These are the floors that are above the ground or not attached to the ground directly. Consider the ceiling of your home or the floor of your upper story. The second type of floor is on-grade flooring. This is the floor that is aligned with the ground. Consider it a ground-level floor. The third type of floor that you have is known as a subfloor. It is a floor that is below the ground. It is also known as the below-grade floor.
- New and Old Concrete Floor Difference: It is also important that you should know if your concrete floor is new or old. There is a chance that older floors have more damage on their surface and that is why they require extra work on the repair before installation of the hardwood floor. But the new floors also have a problem with moisture. The new floors have more moisture in them as they need to completely dry first and then you can install a hardwood floor over the concrete floor.
- Moisture level in the Concrete Floor: Checking the moisture in your concrete flooring is important. If the moisture level in your concrete floor is higher, it would immediately destroy your hardwood floor. To avoid this kind of destruction of the hardwood floor, you should first check the floor for moisture, if it is high, use different techniques that are required to make the concrete floor completely dry and moisture-free.
Another important thing, if your concrete floor has some level of moisture that is not going away, try to use concrete floor sealers to make sure that moisture does not seep into the hardwood floor and causes any damage. So, before installing hardwood floors over the concrete floor, you should check the level of moisture in the concrete floor.
- Flatness – Level of the Concrete Floor: It is also important that you should check the flatness of the surface of your concrete floor before installing any hardwood floor over it. This is important because if your concrete floor does not have a flat or level surface, there is a chance that the hardwood floor would get dents over its surface. To make sure that your hardwood floor remains flat and, on the level, you should check the flatness.
If you find any spot in your concrete floor that is not on the level or is damaged, try to make it as flat as possible. You can also repair the cracks, and damaged parts of the concrete floor to make sure it stays flat completely under the hardwood floor and provides equal support for the entire planks of the hardwood floor. This would protect the hardwood floor planks from denting, or rupturing.
You have learned about the things that you should consider before installing a hardwood floor over the surface of a concrete floor. It is time to know about installing a hardwood floor over a concrete floor.
Steps to Install a Hardwood Floor over Concrete
These are the six steps that you should carefully follow to properly install a hardwood floor over concrete flooring.
- Completely remove the Old floor: If you already have installed some other type of floor over the concrete floor, or have an older wooden floor over a concrete floor. You should start by removing the old floor. You may need to use different tools to make sure that you completely remove the old floor. If you do not remove the old floor completely, the surface of the concrete floor would not be flat, this could cause dents and the unlevel surface of the floor. After removing the old floor from the surface of the concrete floor, it is time to remove any paint or sealer from its surface as well.
- Check Concrete Floor for Moisture: After completely removing the old floor from the concrete flooring, it is time to check the concrete floor for moisture. There are a lot of devices that you can use, but if you do not have any devices, you can also talk about the moisture in the concrete floor by taking a close look at the floor surface. If the floor has signs of wetness, or white powder is spread over its surface, it is impacted by the moisture.
But to be completely sure about this situation, it is suggested that you use a device that can tell you about the moisture level in the concrete floor. Make sure that your concrete floor has the lowest amount of moisture in it. If the level of moisture is higher, try using heaters, to heat the floor. The heat from the heaters will absorb all the moisture and dampness from the concrete floor.
- Check Concrete Floor for Level – Flatness: Once you have checked your concrete floor for moisture. It is time to check its flatness level. As we already discussed, having a flat surface of a concrete floor is very important for protecting the hardwood floors over concrete flooring from damages and dents. So, make sure that your concrete floor is completely flat.
- Apply a Moisture Barrier on Concrete Floor: After completing the checks related to moisture and making your floor completely flat, it is time to apply a moisture barrier. Different people have different choices when it comes to moisture barriers. Some people use chemical-based moisture barriers, but some also use other materials as well. Choose the right type of moisture barrier that you want and apply it over the surface of the concrete floor. This would prevent the moisture from reaching the hardwood flooring over the concrete floor.
- Install a Hardwood Floor: After applying the moisture barrier on the concrete flooring, it is time to install the hardwood flooring. You can either glue a hardwood floor over the concrete floor or use the nails to permanently install the hardwood floor over the concrete flooring. You can also use the floating floor as well. The details about this part of the floor are given in the “installation options for hardwood flooring.”.
- Finish the floor installation: Once you have completed the installation of the hardwood floor over the surface of the concrete flooring. It is time to do the finishing touches over the hardwood floor surface.
Installation Options for Hardwood Flooring
There are three different ways to install hardwood floors.
- Using Nails: This is one of the most common ways to install solid hardwood flooring over the surface of a concrete hardwood floor. It requires nailing down the wooden floor planks into the concrete floor. It is also known as permanent floor installation. This provides extreme strength to hardwood floors and keeps them permanently attached to concrete flooring. It has many benefits, but it also has side-effects as well.
One of the most common side effects of this type of floor installation is that it becomes very difficult to re-install the floor. Because re-installation of the floor requires removal of the old floor and that is very difficult as each plank is attached to the concrete floor with nails. You will have to pick all the nails and then removal of the floor would be possible.
- Using Glue: This is the type of hardwood floor installation over the surface of the concrete floor using glue. The hardwood floor planks are glued down to the hardwood floor. This is also an effective way to install hardwood floors. Vinyl and engineered hardwood floors are mostly installed using this method. But it also has a problem, removal of the glued hardwood floors is also a very difficult job.
- Using Floating Floor: This is a type of floor installation over the concrete floor which does not require any glue or nails. For this type of floor installation, a special type of hardwood flooring plank is used. This flooring plank has puzzle-like edges that can fit together from all sides. This is a very easy method to install hardwood floors over a concrete floor. It is also easy to remove the entire floor as well.
A lot of people wonder if they can install a hardwood floor over a concrete floor? The answer to this question is yes. They can install hardwood floors over a concrete floor, and it has a lot of benefits, such as making the hardwood floor warmer, softer, and aesthetic. But before installing a hardwood floor over concrete flooring, it is important to keep a few things in mind. The first thing that you should know is the amount of moisture in the concrete flooring. If your concrete floor has more moisture, try using different methods to make it dry. After that check the floor for level and apply a moisture sealer. Once you have applied a moisture sealer, you can then install a hardwood floor and give it the finishing touches.
There are three methods of installing a hardwood floor over a concrete floor, first one requires nailing down each plank to the surface of concrete flooring. The second one involves using glue to install a hardwood floor over a concrete floor. The third method requires a special type of floor plank that fits with neighboring planks like a puzzle piece. Each method is used for different types of hardwood flooring.
- Question: How to install hardwood floors over concrete with glue?
To install a hardwood floor over a concrete floor using glue, you will need to glue down each of the hardwood floor planks with the neighboring planks and also with the concrete floor as well. There are a lot of glues that are used for this purpose. You should choose the extremely sticky ones.
- Question: What are the problems related to installing a hardwood floor over a concrete slab?
When you are installing hardwood flooring over concrete flooring, there can be a lot of problems such as moisture, unlevel surface, and the damaged surface of the concrete flooring. If any of these conditions are seen in the concrete floor, the installation process would require extra work, such as repairing the floor, making it flat, and drying the dampness and moisture from the concrete floor. You must take these steps before the floor installation. As after you have installed the hardwood floor, you would not be able to redo it any time soon as this requires a lot of time and money.
- How to install floating hardwood floors on concrete?
Floating hardwood floor installation over the concrete floors is very easy. This requires a special type of hardwood floor planks. These floor planks can fit with one another as they have puzzle pieces like edges. These edges can integrate with neighboring planks. This is how you install a floating floor over a concrete floor.
- What is the best wooden floor type to install over the concrete floors?
There are two major types of wooden floors, one is solid hardwood floors and another one is engineered hardwood floors. Each of these has its pros and cons. Engineered hardwood flooring is considered a better choice to install over a concrete floor. This is because the engineered hardwood floor planks have more resistance against the moisture in the concrete floor. This helps enhance the life of the hardwood floor over the concrete floor.
- How moisture can impact the hardwood floor over the concrete floor?
Moisture in the concrete floor can destroy the entire hardwood floor. This is because moisture seeps into the hardwood and creates a perfect environment for the pests to attack. Apart from this, it also causes the hardwood floor planks to swell, and de-shaped. When this happens, the hardwood floor gets damaged and looks bad as well, and you have to spend a lot of money and time on the repairs. That is why it is advised to make sure that your hardwood floor has some protection against moisture and also to check the moisture level in the concrete floor before installation.