Posted on: 18.12.2022 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Nothing is more comfortable and inviting than a hardwood floor in your home. Hardwood floors have such a rustic and pleasant texture, with a wide variety of colors, shapes, and materials that perfectly complement your home. However, if you’re considering installing a hardwood floor over a concrete base, you’ll find an overview of what you need to know in the rest of this article.

A hardwood floor requires a clean, leveled concrete slab. There should also be a vapor barrier like asphalt felt with asphalt mastic or polyethylene encasement. Then a subfloor – whether it’s plywood on plank or sleepers – must go over the concrete and vapor barrier. Finally, the hardwood planks can be laid.

Installing a hardwood floor on concrete is not necessarily complicated. In fact, the process is quite simple. However, if you want to get the highest quality hardwood floor and keep it for as long as possible, there are some things you should know in more detail.

Advantages of Hardwood Floors Over Concrete

Hardwood floors are arguably the most stylish and inviting floors on the market. They are warm, soft, and can even last for centuries, making them definitely a good choice for designing your home. They are also incredibly easy to set up and replace as they are installed in sections.

Concrete under your hardwood floor provides both the benefits of a solid concrete foundation for your home and the aesthetics and comfort of a hardwood floor. The concrete also serves as excellent protection for your hardwood floor as it does not come into contact with the elements.

Although hardwood floors are referred to as “hardwood” floors, they are actually incredibly soft. They offer no significant resistance to falling objects as wood and plastic, the materials that make up hardwood floors, are very soft materials. This can actually make your home safer than if you only had a concrete floor.

Disadvantages of Hardwood Floors Over Concrete

There are a few drawbacks and responsibilities that come with having a hardwood floor over a concrete base. Since wood and plastic are more pliable and delicate materials, they do not offer as much resistance as a concrete floor.

Having a hardwood floor requires a lot of care and caution. Elements like moisture and dust are fairly easy to overlook and should be addressed almost immediately to avoid damage. Additionally, wet shoes and pet paws can be a sneaky way for moisture to get on your floor. Furniture legs can also pose a threat to the integrity of your floor.

Compared to a concrete or tile floor, hardwood floors are actually very soft and flammable. When dealing with fire in your home, you need to be very careful as wood and plastic can easily catch fire.

Installing a hardwood floor on your concrete base is much more time-consuming than simply laying tiles on the concrete slab. It also requires much more material, which drives up the costs. Additionally, concrete tiles do not require nearly as much maintenance or precautions as a hardwood floor.

Now that you know the pros and cons of a hardwood floor, let’s move on to what is needed to install one.

How to Install Hardwood Floors on Concrete

To correctly place a hardwood above a concrete slab, there are some requirements and materials needed for the preparation, installation, and maintenance of your floor.


If you haven’t installed your concrete base yet, then the first and most important material is concrete. The reinforced concrete base essentially separates your floor from the natural dirt underneath your house and protects your hardwood floor from the elements. It will also be a reference point for the entire project.

  • The next important material is the vapor barrier. The vapor barrier serves as a barrier to protect your hardwood floor from moisture. It goes over the concrete base and under the subfloor. For a vapor barrier, you have two options: asphalt felt with asphalt mastic or polyethylene encasement.
  • Next comes the subfloor. The subfloor is intended to allow you to attach your hardwood floor to the structure and keep it as far away from moisture as possible. For subfloors, you also have two options, namely plywood on plank and sleepers. Sleepers are a set of rows of wood that are attached to the concrete with screws.
  • Finally, there’s the hardwood flooring of your choice. Hardwood floors are available in strips, planks, and tiles. However, since the installation process for the three is similar, we will only refer to them as planks. These are nailed to the subfloor with hidden nails and/or staples, which go into a thinner wood platform running along the length of the plank.

Hardwood planks come in all shapes and colors, meaning you can choose from a variety of colors that match your home. You can cut the planks as needed to fit into each individual room.

The materials can vary significantly in terms of cost and quality, so be sure to source them from the right supplier.

Now that we have outlined the necessary materials for a sturdy and long-lasting hardwood floor on concrete, it’s time to outline the preparation process.


The preparation process is incredibly important for the entire project. Installing a hardwood floor may not be particularly complicated, but it is certainly a significant amount of work. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help or even hire a professional to help you set up your floor. After all, they may have experience in the field that could be helpful.

  • Assuming you still need to lay your concrete base, the concrete needs to be placed on a well-drained soil base. Reinforcement bars need to be placed on the ground to reinforce the concrete base. A wet mix makes the task a bit easier, but a drier mix, although harder to shape, delivers the best results.
  • Next comes the vapor barrier. The asphalt mastic is a mixture and needs to be heated to be laid over the asphalt felt. It’s important that it is heated shortly before pouring. Alternatively, you can use pieces of cold asphalt mastic, which prove to be easier to prepare and use.
  • Regarding the subfloor, measurements need to be taken to ensure that the plywood completely covers the concrete base and vapor barrier; necessary cuts will need to be made. The same goes for sleeper assortments. These cuts can be made during placement.
  • Finally, there are the hardwood planks. The hardwood planks should be nailed to the subfloor with hidden nails, which are attached to the small section protruding from the side of the plank. They should be laid in the same direction as the subfloor of your sleepers.


Now that you have all your materials and the workspace is well laid out, planned, and prepared, it’s time to install all the components.

  • The first step is to place reinforcement bars on the ground bed to reinforce the concrete slab. Then, the concrete mix should be poured and spread over the entire area. The concrete should be well troweled and left to dry. This process can take up to 60 days as you don’t want any moisture in your concrete slab.
  • Next, the vapor barrier should be introduced. The procedure for laying the asphalt felt with mastic depends on which subfloor you will be using. If it’s plywood on plank, two layers are required, each consisting of asphalt felt over cold mastic under the subfloor. If you’re using polyethylene, it needs to be laid on the concrete slab before the plywood is placed on it.
  • When it comes to sleepers, an asphalt primer should be applied, and then the sleepers should be embedded in hot or cold asphalt mastic. An additional layer of polyethylene should be applied on top of the sleepers. As for the subfloors, the procedure for plywood on plank is quite simple as it only requires placing the boards over the vapor barrier. However, the sleepers need to be laid in rows running in the same direction as your hardwood planks.
  • And finally, there are the hardwood planks. The hardwood planks should be nailed to the subfloor with hidden nails, which are attached to the small section protruding from the side of the plank. They should be laid in the same direction as the subfloor of your sleepers.

The installation process is delicate, and to achieve the best results, it needs to be done correctly. It’s important to be aware of the hazards to watch out for that could seriously hinder the project.

Things to Consider When Installing Hardwood

There are many elements and hazards that are very easy to overlook and could permanently dirty or even damage your hardwood floor. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of them and overcome them. These will be described in the same order as the corresponding installation step:

First, there is the grade, which can be above ground, on-grade, or below ground. As the names imply, these each refer to above, on, and below the ground, respectively. When it comes to on and above, the installation process can proceed as usual.

However, if the floor is not level, moisture becomes an issue. To deal with moisture below the ground’s surface, parquet floors are used instead of regular hardwood planks. Otherwise, the installation process is essentially the same.

Another way moisture can jeopardize your beautiful hardwood floor is through wet concrete. Concrete is mixed with water to distribute it into a slab. It can take up to 60 days for the slab to fully dry. However, the process can be expedited through additional heat and ventilation.*

Regarding the concrete slab, it is imperative that it is completely leveled and free of any deposits, stains, oil, or dust on the slab before the vapor barrier or subfloor is applied.

These are great methods to overcome the elements and hazards that could threaten your hardwood floor. However, your hardwood floor is not quite safe after installation. You also need to take care of it.

*Note: Speaking of heat and ventilation, hardwood floors are rather flammable, which means you need to be very careful when using fire in your home. To avoid this, make sure there are no cloths or rags near sockets that could cause a short circuit. Be especially careful not to leave the stove or oven on when you are not at home. Also, note that different hardwood floors have different fire safety ratings.


The goal of any hardwood floor is to stay clean and shiny. However, elements like dust and moisture can permanently soil or even damage the pristine appearance of your hardwood floor. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this damage.

  • Moisture is perhaps the biggest enemy of your hardwood floor. From installation to everyday life after installation, moisture can cause your hardwood planks to swell over time and slowly deform them. In particular, spilled liquids are quite common and should be cleaned up with a dry or slightly damp cloth.
  • Another important thing to know to avoid moisture is to avoid steam cleaning and wet mopping as it would constantly supply your planks with moisture. Instead, you should constantly sweep and vacuum your hardwood floor to remove dust, which can heavily scratch your floor when stepped on, thus damaging its clean and beautiful appearance. Additionally, there are sprays specially made for cleaning hardwood floors on the market that you can use.
  • Another way your floor can be heavily damaged is through the scratching of furniture. Furniture is quite heavy and tends to have sharp edges on the legs, which means moving it across the floor is like cutting the floor with a knife. Floor protectors that go under the legs of your furniture are a good way to deal with this.
  • To maintain the clean and shiny appearance of your hardwood floor, it’s important to recoat it with a fresh coat of hardwood floor sealer every three to five years. Additionally, never wax a polyurethane floor as it will simply dull your floor.

Now that you know how to install and maintain your hardwood floor, you can enjoy its long-lasting beauty and cleanliness, too!


Hardwood floors over concrete are quite easy to install and do not require many materials. However, there are many hazards and risks to be aware of during and after installation, such as moisture and dust.

A hardwood floor on concrete consists of a concrete slab, above which is a vapor barrier to repel moisture, a subfloor to separate the concrete and vapor barrier from the main hardwood floor, and finally, a hardwood floor of your choice.

As a vapor barrier, you have the choice between polyethylene film or asphalt felt with asphalt mastic. Similarly, you have two options for subfloors, plywood on plank, and sleepers. Sleepers are typically more complex to set up than a plywood plank.

To maintain your floor after installation, you need to be careful to dry spilled liquids and avoid wet cleaning methods such as wet mopping. Instead, you should constantly sweep and vacuum your floor to remove dust that could scratch your floor when stepped on. Additionally, you should attach floor protectors to the legs of your furniture to prevent scratches.

Hardwood floors have many advantages and disadvantages compared to a concrete tile floor. A hardwood floor is softer, warmer, and (although this depends on personal preference) slightly more inviting than a hard concrete floor.

However, hardwood floors tend to be much more easily damaged than concrete tile floors. They require much more maintenance and precautions. They are also more flammable, which can be a hazard depending on the situation. Additionally, they are more difficult to install and require more materials, which means they tend to be more expensive.

Nevertheless, hardwood floors can be a challenge to install and maintain, but one that is definitely worth it.



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