LESLIE: Sean in Georgia’s looking for some flooring advice. How can we help?
SEAN: Hi. I wanted to ask you a question. I want to put down hardwood on top of concrete.
SEAN: Right? Now, when I put the hardwood down – now, naturally, to put the hardwood I need some adhesive.
TOM: Sean, stop right there because it’s not a good idea to put solid hardwood down over concrete.
SEAN: Oh, it’s not a good idea.
LESLIE: Uh-uh. You’re dealing with a lot of moisture.
SEAN: OK, can we put the plywood on the concrete?
LESLIE: No, we’re going to give you a better solution.
TOM: It’s called engineered hardwood.
SEAN: Engineered hardwood.
TOM: Right. And it’s a type of hardwood that’s made up of different layers of wood where each layer is at 90 degrees opposed to the other. You know how plywood is made of different layers?
TOM: Well it’s like plywood but it’s fancy plywood …
SEAN: Oh, OK.
TOM: … and it looks just like a regular hardwood floor when you’re done, but it’s dimensionally stable. And that type of engineered hardwood can go on top of a concrete surface. And the good news is you don’t even have to put a plywood subfloor down because these boards can lock together and basically lay flat and all you need to do is trim around the edge. And some of them have underlayments; special underlayments. But they’re more like a foam underlayment that gets rolled out underneath.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm, it’s like a rolled up foam. And some of them are even made for noise, for warmth. There’s a lot of different levels of types of this foam underlayment. You just want to make sure you buy the right one for the type of floor that you’re using and the type of floor you’re putting it on top of.
SEAN: Oh, OK. Now, do I have to seal the concrete?
TOM: No. The other decision you’ll have to make is about the durability of the floor. The floor surfaces have different durability levels. Some of them are designed for like commercial grade, residential grade. Take a look at that because it does make a big difference in terms of how it stays up. And I would tell you to buy the best one that you can afford.
SEAN: Oh, wonderful. Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome.
SEAN: I appreciate that.
TOM: Sean, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.