Hardwood Flooring in Amarillo, TX from Gowdy Flooring

Can you install hardwood flooring over concrete?

Installing hardwood flooring can dramatically enhance the aesthetic of your home, adding warmth and a timeless elegance. Many homeowners, especially those living in homes with concrete subfloors, often ask if it's possible to install hardwood floors over concrete. The answer is yes, but there are important considerations and specific steps that must be followed to ensure the installation is successful and the flooring remains durable over time.

Understanding the challenges

Concrete subfloors present unique challenges when it comes to hardwood flooring installation. The primary concern is moisture: concrete can retain moisture, which can damage hardwood floors by causing them to warp, swell, or develop mold. Before any installation begins, it's crucial to ensure the concrete is dry, stable, and level. A moisture barrier or sealant often needs to be applied to protect the wood from potential moisture damage.

Preparing the concrete subfloor

Preparation is key to a successful hardwood flooring installation. Start by cleaning the concrete thoroughly, ensuring it's free of any dust, debris, or existing adhesives. Next, check the level of the concrete. Any dips or peaks can cause the hardwood planks to fit improperly, leading to uneven wear or damage. Use a leveling compound to create a flat surface if necessary. Lastly, conduct a moisture test. This can be as simple as taping a plastic sheet to the concrete and checking for condensation after a few days. If moisture is present, you might need to use a more robust moisture barrier or address external water issues.

Choosing the right hardwood floors

Not all hardwood flooring is suitable for installation over concrete. Engineered wood flooring is often recommended because it's designed to reduce the expansion and contraction that natural hardwood experiences due to temperature and humidity changes. Engineered hardwood flooring typically consists of a real hardwood veneer attached to a plywood or fiberboard base, which is more stable and less susceptible to moisture.

Installation methods

There are two main methods for installing hardwood floors over concrete: glue-down and floating. The glue-down method involves using a strong adhesive to attach the hardwood directly to the concrete. This method is stable and less prone to movement, but it can be labor-intensive and permanent. The floating method, on the other hand, involves laying the hardwood planks over a layer of underlayment without directly attaching them to the concrete. 

This allows the floor to "float" above the subfloor, making it easier to install and replace.

Long-term care and maintenance

Once your hardwood flooring is installed, maintaining its beauty over time is straightforward with proper care. Regular cleaning, immediate spill cleanup, and avoiding sharp objects or heavy equipment on the floor will help preserve its appearance. Additionally, keep an eye on the indoor humidity and temperature levels to prevent excessive expansion or contraction of the wood.

Your experts on hardwood flooring in Amarillo, TX

While installing hardwood flooring over concrete requires extra steps and careful planning, it is certainly achievable. With the right preparation and materials, you can enjoy the beauty and durability of hardwood floors in nearly any part of your home.

Gowdy Flooring is a hardwood flooring store that's proud to offer top-notch installation services. Contact us whenever you're ready to get your dream flooring! Our hardwood flooring store in Amarillo, TX, serves Amarillo, Canyon, Dumas, Borger, and Hereford, TX.