Installing Hardwood Under Carpet
LESLIE: Time to talk flooring with Greg. What can we do for you?GREG: Hi, I have a situation where I’m going to replace the carpet in my living room …
GREG: … and I want to put a wood floor down and I’m looking at the carbonized bamboo that’s five-eights thick by about three-and-a-half inches wide.
TOM: What’s the subfloor?
GREG: And right now, even though I live in the northeast, New England area, I have a slab or concrete slab floor – no basement –
GREG: – and then a half-inch piece of plywood on top of that and then, of course, the carpet, which will come up. And I wanted to know if I could – you know, can fasten this wood floor to the half-inch plywood or do I need a thicker subfloor?
TOM: Well, first of all, if you’re putting down any type of solid floor – I know this is bamboo so it’s not quite as susceptible to twisting as other types of solid hardwoods, but you better make darn sure that the manufacturer rates this for use over a concrete slab.
LESLIE: Now I know Armstrong makes a bamboo flooring that’s similar to like an engineered hardwood. It’s constructed in the same way where it’s, you know, cross-ply-based technology with the bamboo on top so it’s perfectly made for on slab.
TOM: Yeah, if it’s an engineered hardwood floor then you’re OK on a slab. If it’s solid, generally you cannot put it on a slab.
GREG: OK, so if it’s a – meaning if it’s a solid wood …
GREG: … then you don’t recommend that.
TOM: No, because there’s too much moisture in the slab and it will warp and twist. But if it’s an engineered hardwood, which is made sort of like plywood but out of better wood –
TOM: – and it looks like solid when you’re done – that’s OK for a concrete floor.
LESLIE: And I know that the one for a concrete slab and I know the one that Armstrong makes is like a locking, snap-together technology that doesn’t need to be fastened down.
GREG: Right, so it …
LESLIE: It like sort of floats over your subfloor.
GREG: Like a floating floor?
TOM: You would have a difficult time putting a traditional hardwood floor over if all you had to nail into was a ½-inch worth of plywood. There’s just not enough meat there to really secure it properly. So you probably want to look at an engineered floor with a lock-together technology that will essentially float on top of that.