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How to Install Solid Hardwood Flooring on Concrete Foundation

35024 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ccoffer
Advise How To Install Hardwood Flooring 3/4" On Slab Concrete Foundation

June 20, 2004
I want to Install a solid 3/4" Cherry Hardwood Floor on top of a Concrete Foundation.

I do not like Laminated Flooring. It looks like wallpaper.

I have two floors to be installed above a slab Concrete Foundation. One is above Grade Level, so water / moisture problems should be of a lesser concern. The other Unit had been built below Grade Level, so moisture is a substantial problem.

I have been advised that there is a new product on the market - a sealer - that would allow me to seal the Concrete and to then add the Solid Hardwood directly to the Slab.

Has anyone had experience with this? Do you know the name of the Sealer, where it can be bought (Northeastern states), how much it costs? Home Depot does not carry any such sealer.

I do have the option of installing plastic sheeting, 2 x 4's, plywood, then the Hardwood. This is all very expensive to do. Most importantly, this causes the floor to be elevated some 3", damaging the aesthetics of the unit, changes doorways, and so on. Also, the steps would take too much labor.
What other SEALERS could be used? Is it possible to just apply Sealer and expect that the Hardwood would remain moisture proof and would not warp, would remain in place, would not move, etc.
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why not just put down a sealant or vapor barrier, and then put down plywood and secure the plywood to the concrete with either a hilti gun or roto hammer it and red head it down and fill the holes with sealant and then put the hardwood floor over the plywood, between the plywood and hardwood floor you would raising it an 1.5"
After learning what I have about Grace roofing membranes, I wonder if they could also be used in a case like yours. I don't see why not. The stuff seals itself and nail holes.
Where's Grumpy?
Why not buy a really good engineered wood and save yourself a TON of time and money. is the best engineered wood around IMO. You can lay a moisture barrier, then the wood.

and then your done.
I just left a job (one of the top builders in our area) and they were gluing down hardwood directly over the slab, no sealer, no vapor barrier and really not applying the glue that well, it was not acting as a sealer. I asked a few questions and the guy was so convincing about never having any problems that I almost believe him. Why do I see future disaster?
You see future disaster because the likelyhood is very high.
The only manufacturer that says it's o.k. is Bruce, and that is only for their thin natural reflections line.
I still will never do it.
Will there be problems 100% - no
But a professional will never do it. Too many variables can cause problems.
Why do it?
Cause you don't care, or are uneducated, or not very professional or smart.
There are too many better ways to do it, no reason to be ignorant.
Thanks Flor, I needed a little reassurance. Boy that guy could talk, maybe a used car salesman in a previous job. There aren't many that can make me reconsider a subject that I know well but this guy did.
Did you catch my previous post on using Grace roofing membrane as a vapor barrier? Maybe not cost effective on low end jobs but might be the best for high end jobs. I cross the lines all of the time, whatever is the best for the customer is eventually best for me.
you can say that again.
That's why I love working for a high end store. I can bid everything out industry standard, and if the client says that some other company is going to install differently and save them money, I tell them to shop there. Then I do not waste my time, and the next person thru the door most likely is someone willing to pay top dollar for top quality.
I hear ya. I blow people off all of the time. If I get some spare time, I go fishin'.
Hardwood Flooring On Concrete

For those that have experience with these matters solid hardwood flooring is glued quite often, but the latest foray with Home Depot and the solid Aisan Rosewood spells nothing but disaster due the fact the installers are not educated in this application. No, I do not condone glueing solid 3/4" hardwoods but thinner material is quite common--providing all keys to successful installations are followed.

Nowadays there are better products that eliminate sleepers or plywood. Unfinished engineered hardwoods that are sliced cut and not rotary peeled--they have the appearance of genuine 3/4" solid with very thick "wear layers" I could go on and on.

Guide To Hardwood Floors In The Home; Flooring Options
Mr Fisher, I live in South Florida where the groundwater is rarely 4 ft. short of the slab. In my area I consider sealing the slab with 2 coats of sealer mandatory followed by the vapor barrier.
If you could convince me that the laminates were epoxied, and well, you may win me over,
As it is, I have a 100% rate with my flooring the way that I do it, 12 yrs. now.
Sounds boring but please go on. Did I mention that I mill flooring from Indonesion woods?
Uncalled for, my apologies, it's late.
"If you could convince me that the laminates were epoxied"

I don't understand that part. I'm in the Naples area and have probably glued 100,000 square feet in the time I've been in the business. Never have we worked with slab sealers. It's basically, know your surroundings, water drainoff, moisture testing and so forth. If readings are high--vinyl moisture barrier goes down. However I ordinarlily walk away if vinyl is needed. Not all slabs can be used for hardwood floors is the way I see it.
Look into Bamboo

Glue it down with Bosticks best adhesive. You might be able to do that with cherry also, but I do know that bamboo is more dimensionally stable than most woods.
The Bostick adhesive is glue and moisture barrier all in one, and it will teach you the true meaning of tenacious.
Were that true, Bostick would not be marketing a sealer to use in conjunction with their adhesive. They do. It is called Bosticks MVP.
kesac said:
Glue it down with Bosticks best adhesive. You might be able to do that with cherry also, but I do know that bamboo is more dimensionally stable than most woods.
The Bostick adhesive is glue and moisture barrier all in one, and it will teach you the true meaning of tenacious.
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