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Can I Install Hardwood Flooring Directly Over Concrete?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE:  Next up we have a call from Chako in Nevada who’s got a question about flooring.

    Chako, tell us what you’re doing.

    CHAKO: The question I have is on a hardwood floor. I’m putting Santos Mahogany. And they went and installed it right on top of the concrete and of course they sanded up all the concrete and they went and installed it on the concrete. And I asked them, “Do you put something else under that?” He said, “No, it’s not necessary.” Is that true?

    TOM: Gosh, I’ve never heard that. That’s very unusual. Typically, hardwood is not installed on top of concrete. The only kind of hardwood that you can put on top of concrete, Chako, is engineered hardwood floor.  And that’s where it’s made up of multiple layers and only the top surface is actual finished wood. Now is this solid hardwood?

    CHAKO: This is real, solid hardwood.

    LESLIE: And there’s no underlayment at all? They didn’t put any sort of underlayment down?

    CHAKO: I mean obviously there is cement on it already because the carpets were there and they pulled the cement out.

    TOM: Right.

    CHAKO: And this is – actually, this is thicker.

    TOM: Right, that’s normal. The engineered hardwood is thinner but it’s dimensionally stable.

    LESLIE: Because that concrete is going to give off a lot of moisture, won’t it?

    TOM: Yeah, you’re in a – well, he’s in a dry area there in Nevada, so that might be the saving grace. But I’ll tell you what. If you were anywhere that was damp, you absolutely couldn’t do that because the wood will buckle like crazy because of the moisture that concrete will permeate. So my answer is no, it’s not correct. Typically you would not put it on top of concrete. I doubt you’d find any hardwood manufacturer in America that would approve that as an installation. However, it might be that since you live in a desert area, that you can get away with that because it’s so dry there. But I would be very cautious about letting that happen again. OK, Chako? Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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