Installing Hardwood Floor Over Concrete Subfloor
Installing a hardwood floor is definitely not an easy job and it involves a lot of hard work. Things can get even more difficult when you have to lay the flooring over a concrete subfloor. But, worry not. Follow these step-by-step instructions and you will get the work done without facing much problem.
1) Do a moisture test on the concrete
Humidity levels, temperature and moisture conditions are all important factors during the installation process. Too high, and you risk damaging and cupping the wood floor later. You have to make sure that the concrete subfloor is dry enough before you lay anything on top of it. Although there are some special devices that you can buy to test moisture levels such as humidity sensors and moisture meters, you can absolutely perform the test using common materials that you can easily find locally.
Cut and place a few small pieces of polyfilm around the subfloor then seal the edges with duct tapes. Leave them for 1 or 2 days and check back to find out if there are moistures. Do not skip this step or it will be too late when you discover the problem after you had everything installed.
2) Clean up the concrete surface
It is very important to keep the floor surface clean at all times during the installation process. Small debris and particles might get caught on the adhesive layer and that may sometimes cause problem when you are placing the hardwood later. Continue cleaning as you progress through the installation.
3) Install damp proof membrane
Although not absolutely necessary, a Damp Proof Membrane acts as a moisture barrier. It is a protective layer that prevents moisture level beneath the concrete subfloor from rising to the hardwood flooring on top. Before you purchase this, be sure to read its instructions to find out if it is suitable to be used. A moisture barrier can also help reduce noise and dust. There are many different types of damp proof membranes available in the market so do some research before buying one.
4) Apply the adhesive layer
Once you have your moisture barrier laid down, you can start putting down the adhesive and sealer. Even out the layer as mush as possible.
5) Install the hardwood flooring
If you still have not chosen a suitable hardwood flooring, visit online stores to browse through their collection and various flooring designs.
Beginning at the longer side of the wall, place the wood directly onto the adhesive. Press it down hard to make sure both the layers are strongly bonded together. The sides of each wood must be pressed tightly together and any excess adhesive must be wiped away before it dries.
Also make sure to leave a gap, preferably 10mm, between the wall and the planks to allow some room for the wood to expand. Lastly, install the skirting on the sides to complete flooring and to cover any excess gap that is left.
6) Walk around and test it!