Hardwood on slab (not basement)

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Old 11-09-11, 11:24 AM
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Hardwood on slab (not basement)

I was looking to install engineered wood in 2 rooms of my townhome. The floor is a concrete slab, no basement, and the slab is not below grade. A contractor actually said they could install oak provided a vapor barrier was put down directly on the slab, then a plywood subfloor (not sure of thickness) was laid down.

Does anyone see problems here? I alwasy thought that hardwood on any concrete was not a good idea.

Thanks,
Todd
 
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Old 11-09-11, 12:07 PM
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As long as there are no moisture issues (and above grade is certainly a good start), wood can be considered. I think your contractor is on the right track.
 
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Old 11-09-11, 09:01 PM
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I'm not understanding why a plywood subfloor would be needed for an on-grade installation over concrete. Engineered hardwoods are specifically designed to be installed over concrete. Why not purchase a good quality engineered hardwood and float it over the recommended underlayment. This is usually some type of foam or rubberized felt.
 
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Old 11-10-11, 04:19 AM
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I agree with staabc (Mitch, too), the modern click lock 5/8" or so thick engineered flooring goes down solid and feels that way on a proper underlayment. No click-clack, no "give". I don't think there is a need for the plywood. Besides how will they fasten the plywood to the concrete?? Nails Holes in underlayment rendering it useless. Lay the underlayment, lay the click lock and enjoy.
 
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Old 11-10-11, 01:39 PM
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Thanks all. I thought that the entire process seemed a little strange. Once the plywood is attached to the slab (nails I'm assuming) the vapor barrier would be useless.

There is one potential problem. There is only 1 clearance between the slab and the top of the door jamb/front door weather strip. This actually applies to the front door and garage door. The subfloor and hardwood would at 1.5. This contractor claims he can cut the wood at a 45 degree angle so the door clears it. Does this process sound familiar to anyone? I keep picturing a slope at the front of the house.

From a pricing standpoint (including installation), do you see the engineered material more or less expensive than the oak hardwood?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 11-10-11, 05:03 PM
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If you install engineered flooring with a vapor barrier, the 1" clearance will become moot. You will only be taking up less than 3/4", leaving a piece of molding against the door jamb/wx strip.
If the contractor's theory is to install 1/2 or 3/4" plywood, underlayment, then 3/4" wood flooring in a 1" space, he needs a new ruler. I am not sure what he means by cutting it at a 45 degree angle. The last Piece? All the pieces in the swing area of the door? Not likely. Run.
 
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Old 11-11-11, 06:07 AM
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Thanks Chandler...I thought the slopping factor seemed a little sketchy.
 
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Old 12-01-11, 04:35 PM
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If your still worried about a vapor barrier, check out a product called "DRIcore" (DRIcore Subfloor Basement Flooring Home Page)
 
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Old 12-01-11, 10:00 PM
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I'm assuming, he wanted to nail down a solid over the plywood subfloor, the sand and finish it.
He was in the up-sale mode.


Apply a moisture barrier like Bostik's MVP-4 and use their BST, or BEST adhesive
or
Mapei's WFM PlaniSeal moisture barrier and use their 980 or 990 adhesive.
 
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