Asked on Feb 27, 2013

Slab floor - installing wood flooring

Harry MontanaKMS WoodworksLandlightS


We live in a 1970s ranch home with slab flooring throughout. We currently have carpeting in all rooms except the kitchen and bathrooms. We are interested in possibly having wood floors installed. My question is do you have to install a sub floor first or can you install the wood flooring right on top of the slab floor?
7 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Feb 27, 2013

    Some folks install over the concrete with a Glued down product. There are a few problems with this method. You are setting the wood on concrete which is not typically moisture stable...The second and more important in my view is that the install can not be as "tight" as a normal floor is installed the strips of wood and nailed or stapled in place these mechanical fasteners have a bit more holding power that simple glue. If the flooring is slightly bowed the glue will not bring the board back to true as well as in a nailed floor. I have done some wood installs where a insulated sub floor is built using rigid faom and 2 x 4 sleepers, these and then covered with ply. This adds a bit over 2" to the floor height but make for a warm and quiet install. there are some commercial products like "Dricore" that can also be used If this were my place I would install tile on this slab. it is the best in terms of durability and good looks, and if so inclined you could add a radiant heating element before the install as well

  • Becky Orphanidys
    on Feb 27, 2013

    It doesn't look as if dricore is sold in the US. Are there any other suggestions for sub flooring? This product sounds perfect especially for a do it yourself project.

  • Becky Orphanidys
    on Feb 27, 2013

    I think I was on the Canadian Home Depot website and when I put my zip code in, there were no results. I see them now. thank you for your help.

  • LandlightS
    on Mar 2, 2013 can install an engineered wood floor over the concrete slab, that installs as a laminate floor and is really wood. Let me know if you would like to speak with my flooring installers located in Doraville.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 2, 2013

    One thing to keep in mind is that most "engineered" wood flooring can not be re-finished. The actual wood layer on top is way to thin. This puts the flooring into the "dissposable" category as once it looks bad from wear and tear it needs to be replaced. This time frame or life span will vary by the type of wood itself, how well the product is made ( underlayment etc) and your traffic and use habits (dogs, kids, cleaning regime, use of rugs etc) Considering that many engineered floor are equal to to greater than some real hardwoods the cost per lifespan can be expensive.

  • Harry Montana
    on Mar 11, 2013

    homedepot and stores like these are price sensitive and not quality. This mean on the long run you pay more. If you install a hardwood floor, you recommend you to use a plywood underfloor to stabalize moisture traffic from the concrete to you final hardwood floor. If you think about using an engineerd flooring, you are in fact buying the two (hardwood and playwood) glued together.

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