Easy 8 Steps Guide on How to Install Hardwood Floors on Concrete
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Easy 8 Steps Guide on How to Install Hardwood Floors on Concrete

Dreaming of upgrading your home with beautiful hardwood floors?

In this post, you can learn how to install hardwood floors on concrete and achieve a perfect finish.

If you’re renovating an existing space or starting from scratch, we’ve got you covered with all the tips and tricks for a successful installation.

Get ready to transform your living space into a luxurious heaven.

So, if you are wondering if it’s possible to install hardwood floors on concrete. The good news is it is!

In fact, many people choose to install hardwood floors on concrete for a variety of reasons:

Concrete is durable and can withstand heavy traffic, making it ideal for high-traffic areas like living rooms and kitchens.

Hardwood floors on concrete also offer a unique look that many homeowners appreciate.

And, installing hardwood floors on concrete is not as difficult as you may think

What You Will Need for Installation

If you’re planning to install hardwood floors on concrete, here’s what you’ll need for installation:

  • Hardwood flooring
  • Underlayment (Optional)
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line
  • Circular saw or hand saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails or screws
  • Drill
  • Trowel

Preparing the Subfloor

The first step in the installation process is to prepare the subfloor correctly.

  • Cleaning – Clean the concrete floor thoroughly. Any dirt, dust, or grease must be removed so that the adhesive can bond properly.
  • Repairing – Any cracks or holes in the concrete should be repaired. Once the repairs are made, the floor should be sanded smooth. If the concrete floor is new, it will need to cure for 28 days before proceeding with the installation.
  • Testing – Once cured, the floor should be tested for moisture content. If the moisture content is too high, it will need to be treated with a moisture barrier before proceeding.

With the subfloor prepared, you can now move on to the installation.

Installing the Hardwood Flooring

Assuming that you have already prepped your concrete subfloor by leveling, filling in any cracks or holes, and sanding down any rough patches, you are now ready to install your hardwood flooring.

Here is a detailed guide on how to do so:

steps on how to install hardwood floors on concrete

i) Remove existing flooring

Before you can begin installing your new hardwood flooring, you need to remove any existing flooring.

Clear the area of all furniture and items.

Then, using a pry bar or other tool, carefully remove the baseboards and trim around the room edges. Use a utility knife or floor scraper to cut through the old flooring material.

remove existing floor

Be sure to take caution when removing old tiles or vinyl as they may contain asbestos which requires professional removal services.

If in doubt contact professionals before proceeding with this step.

Once all existing flooring has been removed from the room, be sure to sweep and vacuum thoroughly before moving on to leveling out your subfloor

ii) Level the subfloor

Now that the existing flooring is removed, it is important to ensure that the subfloor is level.

A level subfloor will prevent any unevenness or bumps in your finished flooring and provide a stable base for the new floor.

level flooring

Identify any low or high spots by using a long straight edge Then, sand the surface or use a self-leveling compound to even out any imperfections.

Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the leveling compound. And give some time for it to dry completely.

If there are significant dips in the concrete subfloor, additional measures may need to be taken.

iii) Cut door jams

This step involves measuring and cutting the bottom of the door jam to allow space for the flooring planks to slide underneath.

Hold a piece of flooring against the doorway and mark where it meets with your pencil. Use this measurement as a guide for how deep you need to cut into your door jam.

Once you have marked your cutting point, carefully make small cuts with your saw until you reach your desired depth.

cut door jams

You can use a handsaw or jamb saw to remove any excess material from the bottom of the door jam.

Be careful not to overcut or damage the entire door in this process.

Test fit your new hardwood plank under the freshly-cut door jam. If there are any issues with fitting or alignment, adjust accordingly before moving on.

iv) Add underlayment (Optional)

An underlayment provides an additional layer of protection and support for the planks, ensuring they remain stable.

When choosing the underlayment, you need to consider factors such as moisture resistance, sound insulation, and comfort.

add underlayment

After adding underlayment, give adequate time for it to settle before proceeding with the next steps. This is to ensure that everything remains secure and stable during use.

v) Acclimate hardwood planks

Acclimating the hardwood planks is an important step.

During acclimation, the planks are left in the room where they will be installed to adjust to the humidity and temperature conditions of the new environment.

This actually helps prevent warping or buckling once they are installed.

First, remove the planks from their packaging and stack them in the room where they will be installed.

acclimate hardwood planks

This allows air to circulate around each plank and helps them gradually adjust to their surroundings.

It’s also important to monitor the humidity levels in the room during this process. Excessive moisture can cause swelling while overly dry conditions can lead to gaps between planks.

Generally, it takes at least 2 to 3 days for hardwood planks to fully acclimate before installation can begin.

vi) Measure and cut the planks

Before you begin, make sure to have all your tools ready including a measuring tape, saw, and safety gear.

Measure the length and width of the room to determine how many planks you will need.

It’s important to take into consideration any corners or areas where the planks may need to be cut at an angle.

measure and cut planks

Measure each plank individually as some may vary slightly in size.

Once you have measured each plank accurately, it’s time to cut them according to your measurements using a saw.

Be sure to follow manufacturer instructions for cutting specific types of wood.

It’s recommended to use a miter saw with a fine-toothed blade for clean cuts. Make sure that both ends are straight before installing them onto the subfloor.

Take your time during this process to ensure a smooth installation without any gaps or uneven edges.

vii) Leave an expansion gap

Before laying down your hardwood planks on concrete, it’s important to leave an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room.

This is because hardwood naturally expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity.

Without leaving a gap for this movement, your floor could buckle or warp over time.

The size of the expansion gap will vary depending on the type of hardwood you’re using, as well as the climate conditions in your area.

Generally, aim for a 1/2 inch gap around all walls and obstacles within the room.

You can use spacers between each plank as you lay them down. Also, make sure to remove these spacers once you’ve completed the installation.

viii) Install the planks

Now it is time to install the hardwood planks on the floor.

Start by laying out the planks (always start with the longest side).

Apply a thin layer of adhesive or glue to the subfloor with a trowel and spread it evenly. Avoid getting too close to the walls or other objects.

Note: If you are using an underlayment gluing down isn’t possible. You can either go with engineered hardwood or nail down the flooring over the underlayment.

Now, place the first plank into position and press firmly against the adhesive until secure.

Use a nail gun to drive nails through each plank into the subfloor. Nail at about 3-4 inches apart and 1/2 inch from the edge of each plank.

Make sure not to nail too deep as this can cause damage to your flooring or the subfloor underneath it.

floor installation

Repeat these steps until all planks are installed. Ensure all planks are secured with nails and adhesive before moving on to the next one.

Once all planks have been installed, allow them time for proper adhesion before walking or placing any furniture on top of them.

Remember that installing hardwood flooring is not easy, but with patience and attention, anyone can do it.

Take your time in each step of the process and don’t hesitate to ask for help from a professional if needed.

Once your new hardwood floor has been installed, take care of it properly by cleaning it regularly and avoiding excessive moisture.

Finishing Touches

After installation, there are a few finishing touches you can add to make your floor stand out.

  • Add rugs: Area rugs can help define different spaces in an open floor plan and add a pop of color or pattern to your hardwood floors. They also protect your floors from dirt and wear.
  • Install baseboard molding: Baseboard molding gives your room a polished look and protects your walls from scuffs and scratches.
  • Place furniture: Furniture helps anchor a space and makes it feel more inviting. Be sure to leave enough room for traffic flow and don’t forget to vacuum regularly to keep your floors looking their best!

With the right tools, some patience, and our expert guide, you’ll be able to create beautiful flooring that will last for many years.

We hope our tips have helped you get the perfect finish when installing hardwood floors on concrete. Good luck and feel free to share your thoughts below!