Installing hardwood flooring over concrete

This blog will go over every step you need to know when purchasing hardwood flooring for your condo, or anywhere with a concrete subfloor. Compared to single family homes, condo buildings require much more organization and scheduling. Some steps can be missed, causing all sorts of headaches. Read carefully, or watch our video! 

Step 1: Understand your condo rules 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself: 

  • Does your condo have restrictions to the tools used? If so, cutting in the parking lot could add hours to the job. 
  • What are your condo's sound restrictions? If so, you must look at the subfloor rating. 
  • Does your condo allow delivery up the main elevator? Do you need to reserve it for delivery? 

Step 2: Book your condo elevator and understand what's needed for the delivery

You'll want to book the elevator for a slightly longer than the expected time frame, just in case. Additionally, you will want to consider what kind of space your elevator can take. Most, lower quality, engineered floors come in lengths up to 6 feet. If your elevator can only take lengths up to 8 feet, you will want to know this prior to ordering. Our engineered comes in lengths up to 12 feet, so this step is super important. 

Step 3: Book your delivery 

We offer two types of delivery to condos: 

  1. Delivery into your condo 
  2. Delivery to the elevator holding area. 

Step 4: Understand your subfloor and sound barrier

Concrete slabs absorb airborne and structural sound waves causing them to spread, multiply, and echo. A sound barrier will be needed for under your flooring. This is where you will need to check with your condo board to know what's required for a sound barrier. 

The sound barrier can be in the form of an underlayment, or a glue. If you are using a glue, you will need to use the proper trowel and amount of adhesive. 

Step 4: Select your installation method 

There are three options to install your engineered hardwood flooring over concrete floor.  

  1. Full Glue Down Engineered Installation 
  2. Double Glue Down Engineered Installation 
  3. Edge Glue Engineered Installation 

Full Glue Down Engineered Installation 

The full glue down method is where the engineered hardwood flooring is directly glued on the concrete using an approved sound barrier glue. 

Positives and Negatives 
  • Takes longer than a floating application 
  • More difficult to replace a board. 
  • Less likely to squeak. 

Double Glue Down Engineered Installation

The double glue down method is where the underlayment is glued to the concrete floor, followed by the engineered hardwood flooring being glued to the underlayment.  

Positives and Negatives 
  • Takes longer than a floating application 
  • More difficult to replace a board. 
  • Less likely to squeak. 

Edge Glue Engineered Floating Installation 

The edge glue method is where the engineered flooring is glued on the tongue and groove, floating entirely over an acoustic underlayment. 

Positives and Negatives 
  • Less expensive 
  • Easier to replace a board 
  • More likely to squeak or move 

Step 5: Let the floor sit for 48 hours 

Step 6: Monitor the humidity 

Engineered hardwood flooring tends to handle higher humidity better than standard hardwood flooring. However, dryness causes the floor to crack. Many poor quality, thin engineer floors tend to delaminate and crack. 

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