Can hardwood floors be installed over concrete?

Posted: May 1, 2023

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Author – Ryan Palma Owner/CEO Sustainable Lumber Co.

Our sustainable wood flooring is a popular option for homeowners looking to upgrade the look and feel of their homes. However, when it comes to installing wood flooring on concrete subfloors, many people wonder if it’s possible. While the answer is yes, it’s possible to install engineered and solid wood floors over concrete, there are some important considerations and steps to take to ensure a successful installation.

First, it’s essential to assess the condition of the concrete subfloor. It must be level, clean, and free of any cracks or moisture issues. If the concrete is uneven or damaged, it can cause the wood flooring to buckle or warp over time, which can be both unsightly, dangerous, and expensive to fix.

One crucial step in preparing the concrete subfloor for installing hardwood floors is ensuring the subfloor is dry. Moisture can cause wood to expand and contract, leading to gaps, buckling, and warping. Before installing the wood flooring, the concrete should be checked for moisture using a moisture meter. If the reading is above the recommended level for the type of wood flooring installed, a moisture barrier or underlayment may need to be installed to prevent moisture from transferring into the wood.

A full trowel glue is the preferred method for installing hardwood floors on concrete. This method involves troweling a mastic glue over the concrete subfloor before laying the wood planks. The glue is applied to the concrete subfloor using a notched trowel, creating a ridged pattern that helps secure the wood planks. It is important that the glue completely covers the concrete as it acts like a vapor barrier as well. The wood planks are then laid directly onto the glue and firmly pushed into place locking the tongue and groove together.

Using mastic glue for wood flooring installation can offer several benefits. For one, it proves a strong and secure bond between the wood and the concrete subfloor, which can help to prevent the wood from shifting or warping over time. Additionally, a full trowel glue down can help provide some insulation and soundproofing between the wood and the concrete.

However, not all types of wood flooring are suitable for the use of mastic glue. Some types of wood may be more prone to movement or expansion, which can cause issues if they are glued down too tightly. In contrast, our circular-sawn Douglas Fir is an excellent option as Doug Fir is one of the most stable species of wood used for hardwood flooring. Additionally, the concrete subfloor must be properly prepared and free of any moisture issues to ensure that the glue will adhere properly.

In general, a full trowel mastic glue down is a good option for wood flooring over concrete, particularly for solid wood flooring. However, as with any flooring installation, it’s important to consider the specific subfloor and wood flooring used. Be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s recommended installation instructions to ensure a successful and long-lasting hardwood floor.

To summarize, while it’s possible to install solid hardwood or thick engineered wood flooring on concrete subfloors, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare the subfloor properly. As well as choosing the right type of wood flooring and installation method for the specific application. A full trowel glue-down installation using mastic glue can be an excellent option for achieving a secure and long-lasting hardwood floor on concrete.

Our knowledgeable and educated staff is here to answer any additional questions you may have. Please call us today for a free quote: Ph# 406.642.7120 or click here to submit an inquiry online. We look forward to working with you on your next project!


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