Installing Hardwood Flooring Over Concrete
LESLIE: Don in Texas is on the line with a flooring question. How can we help you with that project?
DON: What I’m doing is putting down a hardwood floor.
DON: And the book and everybody says to put it on ¾-inch plywood. I want to know if I can put it on runners.
TOM: What are you putting it on top of?
TOM: You’re taking a big risk, my friend. You shouldn’t be putting solid hardwood on top of concrete. Concrete is too damp and too humid and it can make that hardwood floor twist and warp and completely ruin it.
Now, if you want to put hardwood floor over concrete, there is a kind of hardwood floor you should install: it’s called engineered hardwood. And engineered hardwood is hardwood that’s made up of different layers that are cross-laminated, kind of like plywood where you have layers of wood going at 90 degrees to each other except in this case, the top coat is real solid hardwood.
And I’ve got to tell you, when it’s down, you cannot tell the difference between this and normal hardwood floor.
LESLIE: Well, except for, of course, when the moisture attacks it and it starts to get all warped.
LESLIE: The laminate’s not going to do that; it’s really meant for this application.
DON: Alright. If I put a water barrier of plastic down?
TOM: Potentially, yeah. I mean it potentially would help but have you already bought the hardwood?
DON: I have but I – it doesn’t matter; I’ve got 9,000 square feet of it and I only need 3,000 square feet of it.
TOM: Oh, man. Oh. So, can you take the extra back?
DON: No. I can turn around and sell it to other people.
TOM: Oh, OK. Because I’ve got to tell you, I would try to tell you to steer away from putting solid hardwood down. If you’ve never seen engineered, it is just as durable as regular hardwood. In fact, Lumber Liquidators has an engineered wood-floor product that’s got a 50-year warranty – 50 years – so it’s good stuff. And it’s definitely designed to stand up to a concrete installation without warping and twisting and becoming completely ruined.
Take a look at LumberLiquidators.com and look at the Bellawood products. They have 50-year warranties. The engineered hardwood is really terrific and it’ll definitely work on concrete.
DON: I will. I’ll look. And I enjoy the heck out of your show.
LESLIE: Oh, thanks.
TOM: Well, thanks very much, Don. Very kind of you to say. Good luck with that project and thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.