Wood over slab


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Old 11-26-08, 11:16 PM
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Wood over slab

Hi,

I've read some of the post on this, but I have been getting different advice from floor retailers, and the internet.

I live in Houston which can get very humid and want to install wood floors on the downstairs, which is currently a bare slab (removed carpet and vinyl from dining room).

I've heard and read one I have to do a moisture test (a retailer wanted to charge me 175 to drill a hole in the slab, is this worth it, and is this a standard rate??).

I've read a piece a plastic properly taped will do?

Engineered or Hardwood?

I've read/been told if I want hardwood, it must be nailed if smaller than 4 inches wide? And I'm confused as to the best approach. Should I seal the slab, then nail 3/4 plywood to the slab, then put down another moisture barrier and nail the floor down?

I've heard if I use engineered wood, or solid wood bigger than 4 inches wide, then I can just glue down. If this is the best way to go, does the floor have to be perfectly level or just flat. And if has to be level and I use a self leveling compound, do I seal the slab first then add the self leveler, or do I level first then seal the floor above the self leveler?

I've also been told to lay vinyl down, and glue to that (which if this is the case would really suck, since it was hell to get that up). I also have some carpet glue and paint where the carpet was. And the vinyl adhesive was still a little sticky, but because of the dust from remodeling it is no longer the case. Do I have to remove any of this and have a clean slab. I'm thinking that's the case if I have to use a sealer, but don't know if it's needed if I use a moisture barrier wrap.

I know there are many post on here on floors, but I'm wanting to make sure, whoever responds knows I'm in Houston, and don't want to make a costly mistake with all the contradicting advice I've been giving.
 
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Old 11-28-08, 09:51 AM
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Heres some real good tips , also for the moisture check just lay down some 3 mill plastic 10x25 and leave it for a few days .Hardwood Floor Installation Over Concrete
 
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Old 11-28-08, 02:20 PM
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Thanks for the link, good stuff. I have some carpet glue on the slab, and looks like paint stains (I'm guessing from when the house was built 1978). Do I need to get both up? If so do I just use a grinder or is there some other way? Thanks.
 
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Old 12-02-08, 07:58 AM
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It is the contractors responsibility, and a requirement for a moisture test be done, to determine if the concrete moisture vapors are within acceptable range to even receive wood flooring. Adding the cost as an additional charge tells me one thing.... He is not doing his job properly, if he is not testing the moisture on every job!!!

You definitely don't want a solid wood over the concrete, in a humid area like Houston. Dew points and cool concrete don't mix well!! It doesn't matter if a moisture blocker is used or not. Engineered can handle short dew point periods, where solid wood will not.
 
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Old 12-05-08, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for the response. I do have one question, though...Since I shouldn't use solid wood, and instead go with engineered, does the width of the plank matter, I've been told different things by some of the retailers (maybe just trying to tell me what I want to hear to make a sell). Then I don't know whether to glue down or lay plywood and nail. I was told depending on which method determines what width plank is better??? Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-07-08, 06:15 AM
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With engineered, the width of the plank is no concern. You would only need a plywood subfloor, if you were going to do solid wood and nailing it down. You can glue down or glue together as a floating installation with most engineered wood.

The only reason engineered wood was ever made, was because of the known problems with solid wood over concrete, even with a wood subfloor to nail into. Concrete moisture and dew point condensation, are not good on solid wood.
 
 

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