Can flooring be installed over concrete?

Many types of flooring installation, such as vinyl, laminate, engineered hardwood, tile, and carpet, can be placed over concrete. Solid hardwood, however, is not recommended. Concrete is usually damp and solid wood can be damaged by excess water and moisture.

Moreover, it is a good idea to place a vapor barrier under some floorings, such as laminate.  While it is highly water-resistant, laminate is made from wood byproducts, so it can be somewhat affected by humidity. Carpet is fine, too, but might also want to use a vapor barrier, together with padding, to eliminate any worries about mold and mildew with carpet.

When talking to your flooring retailer in Everett, WA, be sure to tell him or her exactly where you plan to install it.

Why is the subfloor so important?

The subfloor directly affects the appearance, performance, and longevity of the surface floor. In the case of hardwood, if it is placed over a concrete slab, the excess water and moisture will travel up to the surface floor, creating warping and cupping. The latter is created when the floor edges turn up as a result of the planks expanding and becoming crowded.

Why is engineered hardwood okay to use over concrete?

Engineered and solid wood have different constructions. Solid is, as it sounds, one big slab throughout the thickness.

Engineered hardwood flooring has a different construction that makes the fibers lie parallel to each other, giving it more stability and an increased ability to handle water. It's layered and at the very top is a slab of genuine wood. This gives it the knots, grains, and undertones we've all come to expect from wood floors.

Underneath are three or more layers of genuine wood combined with a little resin. Those layers are placed crosswise and, as a result, this flooring can be installed in some places where solid isn't recommended, such as below-grade levels like the basement.  Also, of note: Engineered hardwood, because of the extra stability, won't shrink or expand to adjust to the weather. In short, it won't be affected by the concrete's humidity.

For more information about your flooring installation, please visit the Completely Floored showroom in Everett, WA, serving Everett, Marysville, Lake Stevens, Monroe, Arlington, Mt. Vernon, WA.  Be sure to ask about our estimates.