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Home » Installation » How to "soften" hardwood on concrete?

Unfinished, prefinished, subfloor prep, etc.
12/31/2012 7:10:35 PM

A_the_P
A_the_P
Posts: 44
Hi folks,

Got a call from a homeowner who wants oak installed on a concrete slab. She wanted to be sure the floor would be easy to walk on, rather than that "hard" feeling you get with wood glued directly to the slab. Without having looked at the house yet, I'm guessing that it won't be practical for height reasons to install sleepers, but I might get away with a 3/4" plywood subfloor directly on the slab, then oak. Is there any kind of foam or padding product that I can use with a subfloor like this that would add some spring to the floor?
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1/1/2013 9:59:48 AM

Aaron Foulkes
Aaron Foulkes
Posts: 10
I've done some glue-down installations over a 1/2" granular rubber underlayment used for acoustical purposes. It really seemed to give the floor some resiliency. The product is called VERDEX, available from Primary Acoustics, LLC (800-338-8833). It comes in approx. 3' x 3' squares that get a full trowel glue-down, other products can then be applied to that. Depending on your client's flooring selection you may be able to eliminate the plywood subfloor...
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1/1/2013 3:00:41 PM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 337
Float the floor, it definitely won't feel hard, lol
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1/1/2013 3:22:53 PM

TDMAC
TDMAC
Posts: 1322
Just did a great floating floor.. Many in the past, this one I used 6 mil plastic-laminate foam- 2 layers... crossed of 3/8" ply, ( I used 7/16" OSB) and the 2" staples the 3/4" fir flooring... tied the whole thing together... Super FEEL
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1/1/2013 6:27:23 PM

moderntech
moderntech
Posts: 191
Use the Sika Accubond system with the glue ridges and the accumat. I used 3/4 solid on concrete with this system and the feel is very nice and the height gain is very minimal.
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1/1/2013 8:44:59 PM

A_the_P
A_the_P
Posts: 44
Thanks all, these are helpful suggestions.

Regarding a floating subfloor, it seems that it would still have some of that "hard" feel to it because there will be no deflection between joists, as with a typical subfloor. Does the 1/16" laminate foam make enough difference? Would it be practical to use 1/8" foam? (I'd hate to have to rip out 2000 feet because the homeowner doesn't like the feel...)

ModernTech, is this the accumat you referred to? http://www.sourcewoodfloors.co.uk/shop/sika-acoubond-5mm-underlay.html

Thanks again. I appreciate all the expertise here.
edited by A_the_P on 1/1/2013
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1/1/2013 9:33:59 PM

moderntech
moderntech
Posts: 191
That's exactly it. It cancels noise well and gives you a nice bond to the concrete. Walking on it, it feels softer than standard hardwood on concrete for sure. I don't know how those guys walk on their wood floors on slab in SoCal. Might as well get rid of the wood and just polish the concrete
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1/2/2013 7:04:14 AM

Ken Ballin
Ken Ballin
Posts: 337
My humor is lost on you guys. I meant use a floating product
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1/17/2013 9:29:08 PM

Arnold Morello
Arnold Morello
Posts: 3
moderntech,

I have been reading your blogs for a long time. This is my first post.

I am skeptical about gluing down solid wood flooring directly on top of concrete - no matter what any manufacturer may promise me.

I know the Sika products carry a good reputation, but what about the areas under the Layer that will have no adhesive? Will the underlay protect from any moisture coming straight from the slab?


Thank you all for always sharing your knowledge and experience.
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1/18/2013 12:14:35 AM

TDMAC
TDMAC
Posts: 1322
Arnold, I will never glue down any solid hardwood floor....well except in my own home.. hahaha ..3/4"x 2-1/4" solid oak SHORTS...9" to 16" maximum lengths over a sheet vinyl membrane ..Ok for 28 years...Yes Shorts... they have NO power..well unless they get wet..then POW ...... they jump-buckle- and act like a young stallion...
SOOOoooo now IF the new good engineered multi ply were available then...YUPP they would be in my house that I designed, built on 2 acres and that is that!!! So Maxwell..Owens.... and many others ...Real Wood ...Multi ply with real wood 4 mm wear layer on top... NO ?worries... SHEEEeesssshh so simple with all these wannabees talking solid on concrete...WHY oh why.... No one listens to Common sense!!!
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