Why NOT To Install Hardwood Floors On Concrete Slab


I am buying a condo and I will have no basement, it sits on a concrete slab base. I’ve read your articles on floors and you only talk about installing on concrete in basements. What do you suggest for a concrete above grade level installation?

thanks – love your articles



Dear Mary

Thanks for the compliment but ALL the choices of hardwood floor installations deal with ONLY slab above grade construction. And NONE of these choices of wood floor would be used in basements. The first sentences of the article read :

While I rarely have to install a wood strip floor on concrete here in the North East, a lot of you have houses built with a concrete slab as a subfloor. I must say, you are lucky to lack a basement, it has just been a depository for junk in my case. A slab on grade subfloor presents a lot of concerns when trying to install some types of wood floor.

And then later in the article I state : I wouldn’t consider a solid wood floor unless the slab is at least a foot above the highest outside grade. Moisture can creep into the concrete and by capillary action rise through the minute cracks and get into and swell the wood. A well-sloped and drained outside grade will prevent this.

So Mary please, please re-read.