Installing a wood floor over concrete can be done with a few precautions. You will want to install a vapor barrier and use wood that has been pressure treated. Take the following into consideration to ensure a successful and long-lasting project.
Dealing with Moisture
Wood floors will swell and absorb water. Laying one over concrete means you may be left with moisture built up under the floor. The problem with this is that mold and mildew can form causing health issues, not to mention potential damage to the structure itself. You will want to use barriers to help prevent this, and you may need to adjust the slope of the floor in areas where moisture may build up. The subfloor should not slope more than 1 inch for every 6 feet of length.
You will also want to make sure the moisture content of your floor is not higher than 14 percent. If you have recently poured the concrete, you need to wait at least 60 days before installing other flooring. Concrete will hold more moisture right after it’s been installed. You can find kits at a local hardware store to help you test the moisture content.
Adding a wood floor over concrete will raise the height of the floor. If you have in-swing doors this can pose a problem. You may need to plan on raising the doors or installing tile in the entryway to avoid this. Remodeling a wall for a door is an undertaking.
To install wood flooring over concrete you will need to create a sub-floor to attach the wood floor. 2x4s work well for this. These can simply be attached to the concrete floor using masonry screws and a drill bit.