Is hardwood floor installation on concrete only for professionals?

Discussion in 'Solid and Engineered Hardwood Q&A' started by Vladimir, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    I have an experience only in laminated floor and ceramic tile installation. Can I glue down hardwood floor on concrete slab? Or is it too difficult and complicated?
    Is it job only for experienced professionals? Is there anybody nonprofessional who successfully did that type of installation?
    I am planning to install engineered Brazilian cherry 1/2”x5”x4’ on concrete slab 800sft in the house in the environment with low humidity. Concrete subfloor preparation will be done by professional.
    Thanks for all your advices.
  2. Dan Schultz

    Dan Schultz Certified Wood Floor Inspector Charter Member

    You have not mentioned moisture in the concrete slab. How has it been tested? What do you call low humidity in the house?
  3. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Engineered hardwood can be directly glued to concrete if the slab has an effective moisture barrier. As far as skill level required having a concrete substrate doesn't change the difficulty as compared to glue down on plywood. Undercut the jambs and remove any base and/or quarter round or base shoe and allow the specified expansion gap. Work backwards off the planks similar to how you would install ceramic tile or stone. Use the highest quality adhesive and the proper size trowel notch, open time and working time. Roll with a 100/150 lbs. roller withing the specified working time.

    It's easy for me because I've done floors my whole life. I would find it easier than laminate installs because I freaking HATE anything that involves those ridiculous click-lock assembly systems.
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti Senior Member

    Unless you can prove me wrong I say No. Brazilian Cherry is like Fine Furniture grade and should be installed at that level.

    Oak in a bedroom sure, family room sure, living room tying into entry around into kitchen, back to answer No.
  5. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    It has not been tested so far. The house located in Palm Springs in hot desert climate.
  6. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    Thanks for your advices. What is the best way to install hardwood planks on concrete: tongue side to the wall and groove side to the center of room or vice versa? Thanks
  7. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Yes, I face the tongue to the wall and use a "tap block" with the tongue facing the installed planks to tighten the planks. Frequently it's a good idea to use 2" 3M Blue Tape to keep the planks together in sections. Just make sure to immediately peel the tape and clean any residue with a compatible solvent. Be cautious with the choice of adhesive and any solvent to clean the surface. You absolutely need to confirm with the manufacturer what to use to avoid damage to the finish-------assuming you choose a prefinished hardwood.

    I make a "tap block" by cutting a 6"-8" scrap of the product. Use a rubber mallet. If you have a white rubber mallet you can gently tap the planks to tighten up the seams. The tap block is used to prevent dorking up the tongue/groove as you install. Wipe it clean of adhesive as you work. Keep your hands clean as you work. Keep the surface clean as you work. Funny, the glue cleans up a lot easier before it sets hard.

  8. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    Thank you very much for useful advice.

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