Solid Wood Floors Over Concrete

There are many questions about gluing down solid wood flooring to concrete.  The traditional industry standards for wood floor installation limited the direct glue down of solid wood flooring over concrete to short pieces or parquet patterns.  A well made engineered wood floor looks like a solid floor but avoids some of the installation difficulties.  The backer of the engineered flooring helps reduce the movement with moisture changes.  For many applications this is the best solution.

Flooring insert

Small Flooring Insert Including Antique Heart Pine

With the advent of elastomeric adhesives gluing solid flooring directly to concrete has become more common.  NOFMA produced a technical publication outlining recommended procedures for installing solid wood floors to concrete about five years ago.  Despite the inherently higher risks of gluing solid to concrete it has become an accepted practice for many people in the industry.  This installation method takes more effort to manage the risks.  Moisture issues are the primary concern.  Test to see if the concrete is dry enough.  The ASTM F2170-2 test is a widely accepted procedure which measures the relative humidity inside the concrete.  It is often prudent to apply a sealer to the concrete just in case moisture is introduced into the concrete at a later time. Then if the concrete gets wet in the future a trowel on moisture cured urethane vapor barrier or penetrating sealer such as Bone Dry which was applied prior to installing the floor can keep the water away from the wood. An alternative to a glue installation is to install a plywood subfloor over the concrete then nail down the flooring.


Why Antique Wood?


Environmental benefits:

  • Enhance and protect ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce solid waste
  • Conserve natural resources

Economic benefits:

  • Reduce operating costs
  • Enhance asset value and profits
  • Improve employee productivity and satisfaction
  • Optimize life-cycle economic performance

Health and community benefits:

  • Improve air, thermal and acoustic environments
  • Enhance occupant comfort and health
  • Minimize strain on local infrastructure
  • Contribute to overall quality of life

10 reasons to choose wood floors

  1. Wood is a natural product in a diverse selection of colors and grain patterns.Who hasn’t marveled at the beauty of a home with a fine wood floor? It’s in our nature to love trees, to harvest them and to replant them. Wood is a part of our lives and our homes. There are more choices now than ever before… a wood floor for every taste.
  2. Wood is the easiest floor to clean, requiring far less chemicals.Whenever someone says, “I think tile or carpet might be easier to clean,” I point to my wood floor cleaning tools. With only a swivel mop and sometimes a non-aerosol spray, I can clean my wood floor in less than half the time it takes to vacuum, scrub or shampoo other floor coverings. Wood doesn’t trap dust and fumes like carpet and doesn’t grow mold in the grout like tile. Best yet, fewer chemicals are needed.
  3. It’s the best choice for the environment. Production is cleaner than alternatives.Wood production is much cleaner than other building materials. Steel manufacturing results in 40 times more pollutants than manufacturing wood. Concrete requires 6 times more and brick four times. Steel releases 3 times more carbon dioxide into the enviroment and concrete even more. Wood sends less solid waste to the landfill than manufacturing steel or concrete. Finally, wood is more energy efficient. The cellular structure of wood traps air, giving it superior insulating properties. It takes 15 inches of concrete to equal the insulation qualities of just one inch of wood.
  4. You can redecorate by changing your wood floor with stains, faux finishes and inlays.You can easily and cost-efficiently change the entire look of a wood floor from time to time with stains, paints and inlays.
  5. Wood is a smart investment.There is no depreciation on a wood floor. In fact, it usually increases the resale value of a home. Real wood floors offer beauty for a lifetime — or longer! Every day people continue to walk on wood floors that are as old as our nation. For example, the floors in the White House, Washington’s Mount Vernon and Jefferson’s Monticello are still beautiful and practical today. Carpet is replaced 3 to 6 times before most solid wood floors ever need repair. Thus, wood floors cost less long term and add value to your home.
  6. Finishes can be easily repaired or reapplied.As long as maintenance procedures have been followed, wood floors can be refinished instead of adding to the landfill (as happens with some other floor coverings). Our industry helps to preserve what is already there… the finest form of recycling.
  7. Wood floors give a little on your spine and legs and are better for your joints.Don’t be surprised if your doctor recommends a wood floor for your spine and joints. Wood gives a little and is easier on your legs and feet. Have you ever noticed that your feet get tired faster if you are standing on stone or tile than if you are standing on wood?
  8. Wood is an ideal choice for people with allergies.We spend 90 percent of our time indoors so your choice of flooring can be important. Wood is the floor of choice for anyone with allergies. It will not harbor dust mites or mold and does not trap dust or fumes. Some researchers believe the dust mite could be responsible for increasing asthma occurrence. According to the American Lung Association, wood floors in the bedroom and other main living areas can improve air quality.
  9. Wood floor sales return more money back to the wood industry to support good forest management.Wood floors are a high-end use of forest products and can provide more profit, thereby ensuring the perpetuation of the forest. Many developing countries today rely on timber for export earnings, yet the greatest threat to primary forests in these countries is conversion to other forms of land use. Using exotic species for wood floors is a good way to value the wood highly and encourage reforestation for continued income production.
  10. Wood is our greatest renewable resource.North America has more than 70 percent of the forest cover that was here in the 1600’s. Plus many exotic woods come from certified sustainable forests.In North America we produce more wood than any other place on the planet! According to the World Resources Institute report, our continent was unusual in that it increased tree cover in the 1990s. In other words, we grow more than we cut. North America is also becoming known as a ‘carbon sink’. Scientists have shown that young trees use more carbon dioxide than older trees , much like younger animals need more food.