Hardwood flooring installed over concrete in a Portland, OR home

Can hardwood floors be installed over concrete?

The answer to that question depends upon the type of your hardwood flooring installation. If you are installing solid wood flooring, the answer is no. If you are using engineered hardwood flooring, then the answer becomes yes.

Why solid hardwood cannot be installed over concrete

Solid hardwood can be damaged by excess water. It also expands and shrinks depending on the humidity levels. Concrete is known for its tendency to become damp and that can travel up to the surface floor. As a result, warping and cupping will occur, the latter meaning that the planks will swell, crowd, and try to find space.

Many don?t realize the importance of the subfloor. Even though you can?t see it, it is the foundation for the surface floor. The installer will make necessary repairs, give recommendations, and take moisture readings throughout the process when the choice is solid wood.

Why engineered hardwood flooring can be installed over concrete

Mother Nature got a little help with this version, and the manufacturing process makes it more stable and better able to handle water.

Since solid hardwood is one thickness throughout, the fibers run in a parallel position. Engineered, however, is layered, with a combination of authentic wood mixed in with a little resin. Those layers are placed in a crosswise position, which is what gives it additional stability. As a result, it?s not affected by dampness or humidity and won?t move.

At the top is a slice of authentic wood, giving it the undertones, knots, and swirls we expect from wood floors. Like a solid, it can be refinished and adds value to your property.

Is installation the same?

The installation method is different. Solid hardwood is a tongue and groove which is then nailed. It requires special skills and tools. Engineered offers a floating floor technique. The pieces click together to form a mat which then hovers over the subfloor with no nails or glue needed.

Marion?s Carpet Warehouse
will explain the differences in hardwood flooring in more detail. We have two showroom locations: Wilsonville and Portland, near or in Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, and Lake Oswego, OR.