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Subfloor for Hardwood

stevewaz's picture

I am planning on installing hardwood flooring in my house.  The floor is concrete, so a wood sub-floor will be necessary.  I currently have floating 9/16" engineered hardwood flooring in place.   If I were to nail this into the concrete, could it be used under oak hardwood? 

Steve (post #214703, reply #1 of 4)

I've never heard that done.  Tho I think you'd need more meat to nail your new floor to.

check out Bostik for glue appropriate for your new hardwood and check the new hardwood to see if it can be glued down.  There Bostik's Best I think will act as a moisture barrier as well


Know in advance that it could turn into a mess until you get used to the procedure.

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Don't do it half-way (post #214703, reply #2 of 4)

Consider these points: 1)Your beautiful new floor will only be as good as what is underneath it. 2) If you wish to install 3/4" strip flooring, the nails will protrude more than 9/16" ..quite a bit more. 3) You don't know if your concrete floor has been properly treated against moisture/vapor infiltration. 4) A glue job is not as good as a nail-down job. I speak from many years of experience.

Don't attempt to nail your e-floor to the concrete!!! Rip out the existing flooring. Treat the concrete and/or assure there are not moisture issues. At this point it gets a bit fuzzy. In the olde days they glued and nailed sleepers to the concrete, spaced 12-16" OC. Others here may be able to weigh in on whether that still is a good practice. They nailed strip flooring to the sleepers. I've refinished a few such floors and while they have generally held up well, I have notice cracks between adjoining boards.  In my estimation you are safest with sleepers+ screwed-on subfloor+ hardwood. Make sure your substrates are properly fastened so that you won't deal with annoying sqeeks in years to come. Keep in mind that building "green" means using new lumber wisely, so that it will last for decades to come. 

Mel Fros

Of course, sleepers will (post #214703, reply #3 of 4)

Of course, sleepers will increase the height of the floor, which may not be acceptable.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

height consideration (post #214703, reply #4 of 4)

If 1x4 sleepers add too much height, consider a new engneered floor. You can get it unfinished, with 1/8 - 3/16"of hardwood surface. Seal the concrete, G;UE down the planks, and then do a carefull, non-agressive sanding job. I can explain that in detail, if you want. Stain and finish.
Re-sand and finish in god time, and you should get many years of life out of it. Engineered flooring is more stable than 3/4" hardwood. Also consider engineered cork flooring. Cork is a "green", sustainable resource in the sense that it is harvested. Cork has a pleasant feel underfoot. Bamboo, like cork, is harvested. 

Mel Fros