When your home is built on a concrete, and you decide to install a new floor, you may wonder if it is possible to install hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are low maintenance flooring and last a lifetime.

From all hardwood floor types, you can install engineered hardwood floor, a real wood done in a layer, or laminate, looks like natural wood, but it’s not real wood. Laminate is cheap; although engineered hardwood is more expensive will improve the value of your home.

Here the main point about installing a hardwood floor over concrete is explained.


Trace the following steps for installation:


1) Removal of old flooring

Before starting installing hardwood flooring, if there is any other layer already laid over the concrete slab, demolish it. If there is carpeting, pull up the carpet, foam padding, tack strips, and nails. Even the concrete is painted, remove the paint because you require adhesive on the concrete slab for hardwood installation. There is no guarantee that adhesive works over the painted concrete.

You will also need to remove the baseboards and anything that prevents you from installing hardwood flooring evenly. To save money, you could reuse baseboards. If you remove them carefully, they only need a fresh coat. Typically, a professional installer will remove them without causing damage.

Watch this video if you want to remove the baseboards by yourself.

2) Choose the best material

It is necessary to choose the best option among them to install on a concrete slab from available hardwood flooring types. The installation will be more successful if you are smart about it from the beginning. Select an expert contractor to make a proper choice. The hardwood floor contractors should also determine if the emission rate of subfloor moisture is suitable according to section V of the National Wood Flooring Association’s installation guideline.

3) Prepare Floor

As you want to install hardwood floors over a concrete slab, you should be ready for that. If your building is new, make all doors and windows in their places to separate indoor from the outdoor elements. If the outside is warm, provide proper ventilation. While you work during the winter, the area requires heating to avoid the problems that come with contraction and moisture because of coldness. During this time, be in touch with your contractor to ensure if the concrete slab is ready for hardwood installation.

4) Ensure dryness

As you know, concrete is a porous surface. It will help if you ensure that no water comes through this substrate to get damp because hardwood soaks up the moisture like a candle wick.  Also, it shouldn’t have any cracking, warping, or failure that causes a touch of wood planks with a concrete slab.

Besides, all parts such as concrete, masonry, and sheetrock need to be dry. The concrete slab moisture level must test to check if it is ready to install the subfloor. Too much humidity is most likely a problem for the newly installed slabs. Sometimes old slabs have the same problem. Use ventilation to dry or let it become dry naturally. Usually, new slabs require at least two months to become dry in such a way that the hardwood floor could be installed on them. Ask for a professional assistant service to test the dryness for you.



5) Prepare the concrete slab

When you want to install flooring, the concrete slab should be in good condition. It needs to be clean and flat. It must be with no sign of any stains, grease, or dust. If the surface is not smooth, it could be grounded to remove any high or low spots. The final result must be level.

6) Apply a moisture barrier

Installing a vapor retarder helps to control moisture levels. An excellent example of a moisture barrier is asphalt felt with asphalt mastic or polyethylene sheeting. Based on NWFA guidelines, a vapor retarder over a concrete slab should be “impermeable.” It means “class I membrane” according to building codes.

A liquid moisture barrier can have a powerful odor. Open up windows and use fans to circulate air. Please don’t walk on the surface, and let it become dry for 24 hours.

7) Subfloor installation

Hardwood and concrete must be completely apart from each other. Before you can install the flooring, a subfloor is required. You have two possible subfloors: plywood- on- slab and sleeper. You need one of this two subflooring with extra plywood. Plank flooring sits on the subfloor. This helps to control moisture. Underneath the sleepers, an asphalt primer is used, and a vapor retarder is placed on the top of them. NWFA explains that subfloor wood structural panels should be plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) with a bond classification of Exposure 1 or Exterior. According to NWFA, there are three main ways to install a subfloor:

a) Nail down

Require plywood subfloor, and you can’t nail into concrete

b) Glue down

You can glue down engineered hardwoods, but solid hardwood cannot be glued (bamboo is an exception)

c) Float

In this way, planks click together or glue at the joint but are not attached to the floor. Base molding around the edges secured the floor.

8) Flooring acclimation

Leave the flooring to acclimate to the installation area before installing hardwood floors on a concrete slab. So put the flooring out of boxes. This action will minimize the moisture difference between subfloor material and flooring. This difference should be measured with a moisture meter precisely by an expert.

9) Put the layout

Now it’s time to install the flooring. Professional flooring installers will perform all the steps.

Once everything is prepared, the flooring can be installed. Professional flooring installers will make sure to take all the necessary steps to prepare everything before finally installing the flooring itself.

10) Work with an expert

With helping a professional floor installation service, everything is under control, and you don’t need to worry about any mistakes.

And lastly, if you would like to DIY, take a look at this page.

Click here to schedule a consultation to get the answer to your questions about hardwood floor installation over concrete slab! We ensure a quality job for your floor in Orange County.





How to install solid hardwood flooring over concrete: The Home Depot Community


Bissey, Adam. (2020 September,23). Engineered Hardwood Flooring Installation Checklist https://www.floorsbytheshore.com/engineered-hardwood-flooring-checklist/#is-the-installation-space-climate-controlled


DIY Network, Installing Hardwood Flooring Over Concrete


Gartner, Debbie. Can you install hardwood flooring over concrete?


How to Install Hardwood Floors on Concrete


Brickman,Howard. (1992, February01). Q&A: Solid Wood Floors Over Concrete Slabs


Installing a hardwood floor over a concrete slab

Leave a Reply