Help! how to install wood to the concrete (hardwood floors, how much, engineered) — House

help! how to install wood to the concrete (hardwood floors, how much, engineered) - House

First, you didn’t mention if you’re using solid wood or a engineered wood product (not fake laminate). If you’re thinking of solid wood, it hasn’t traditionally been installed directly on a slab. Concrete will wick moisture and solid wood will expand and contract too much. It’s a receipe for disaster.

Traditionally, engineered wood floors have been the choice for direct application on a concrete slab when they’re used with the glue-down method. They’re dimensionally more stable to withstand the effects produced by a slab.

I have seen some manufacturers of solid wood floors recently okay the installation on a concrete slab. They get around the stability problem by requiring the installer fir up the wood floor. Simply, the installer glues firing strips to the foor, upon which the floor is installed. It’s kinda like mini joists that are only 1 wide and 1/4 thick.

They may also use a moisture barrier in that application, too. I’m not too familiar with it because I’ve avoided it with the wood products I put down on the slabs in my home. I’ve heard for too long that solid wood can’t be applied directly to the slab, so I can’t get beyond the aversion to using it on a slab in any form. It might be okay if the instructions are followed, but I’l just have to let someone else be the test subject.

The firring strip method of installation also dramatically increases the height of the floor. It might create a transition issue to the next floor area unless the height was taken into consideration during construction. For example, solid wood strips are normally 3/4 tall. On top of that you have to add the height of the firing strips. What are they, something like 1/4? Thatwould give a total height of at least 1 whereas an engineered floor would be something in the range of 5/8th inch.

It may not sound like a big deal, but if the transition between two different flooring areas can’t be made to accomodate the difference, there will be a transition strip or a small step up. In either case, it’s a tripping hazard.

I know some people will say that they have lived with transition strips and it hasn’t caused them any problems. However, they are likely not geting up in years where the tripping hazard becomes more of a concern.

Personally, I have seen such things in houses when I’ve been looking to buy, and have always noted them on the problem side of my home evaluation. They are what they are, either a way to get around poor planning or a method of hiding a poor installation that failed to correct the subfloor to accomodate the differing flooring heights. In either case, I don’t like it because it looks bad.

In the case of an engineered floor that’s glued directly to the slab, there is something else that is done before the floor goes down. A membrane is usually painted on the floor. It helps isolate the floor from moisture in the slab and seperates the engineered wood structure from any cracking of the slab. It helps to keep the cracks from affecting the finished look of the floor.

As for the cost of an engineered product, that can be all over the board. It depends on the quality of the product and the thickness of the wear layer. If you were considering a higher end engineered product, it should cost you something in the range of $10/ sq ft or more for the product with installation running in the $3-4/sq ft range. That’s what it has run in my area.

You can probably get the same $10+/sq ft product for a lower price if you look around. There’s closeout stores out there and some sell their product online.

Good luck with your installation.

First, you didn’t mention if you’re using solid wood or a engineered wood product (not fake laminate). If you’re thinking of solid wood, it hasn’t traditionally been installed directly on a slab. Concrete will wick moisture and solid wood will expand and contract too much. It’s a receipe for disaster.

Traditionally, engineered wood floors have been the choice for direct application on a concrete slab when they’re used with the glue-down method. They’re dimensionally more stable to withstand the effects produced by a slab.

I have seen some manufacturers of solid wood floors recently okay the installation on a concrete slab. They get around the stability problem by requiring the installer fir up the wood floor. Simply, the installer glues firing strips to the foor, upon which the floor is installed. It’s kinda like mini joists that are only 1 wide and 1/4 thick.

They may also use a moisture barrier in that application, too. I’m not too familiar with it because I’ve avoided it with the wood products I put down on the slabs in my home. I’ve heard for too long that solid wood can’t be applied directly to the slab, so I can’t get beyond the aversion to using it on a slab in any form. It might be okay if the instructions are followed, but I’l just have to let someone else be the test subject.

The firring strip method of installation also dramatically increases the height of the floor. It might create a transition issue to the next floor area unless the height was taken into consideration during construction. For example, solid wood strips are normally 3/4 tall. On top of that you have to add the height of the firing strips. What are they, something like 1/4? Thatwould give a total height of at least 1 whereas an engineered floor would be something in the range of 5/8th inch.

It may not sound like a big deal, but if the transition between two different flooring areas can’t be made to accomodate the difference, there will be a transition strip or a small step up. In either case, it’s a tripping hazard.

I know some people will say that they have lived with transition strips and it hasn’t caused them any problems. However, they are likely not geting up in years where the tripping hazard becomes more of a concern.

Personally, I have seen such things in houses when I’ve been looking to buy, and have always noted them on the problem side of my home evaluation. They are what they are, either a way to get around poor planning or a method of hiding a poor installation that failed to correct the subfloor to accomodate the differing flooring heights. In either case, I don’t like it because it looks bad.

In the case of an engineered floor that’s glued directly to the slab, there is something else that is done before the floor goes down. A membrane is usually painted on the floor. It helps isolate the floor from moisture in the slab and seperates the engineered wood structure from any cracking of the slab. It helps to keep the cracks from affecting the finished look of the floor.

As for the cost of an engineered product, that can be all over the board. It depends on the quality of the product and the thickness of the wear layer. If you were considering a higher end engineered product, it should cost you something in the range of $10/ sq ft or more for the product with installation running in the $3-4/sq ft range. That’s what it has run in my area.

You can probably get the same $10+/sq ft product for a lower price if you look around. There’s closeout stores out there and some sell their product online.

Good luck with your installation.


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