Gypcrete (gypsum concrete) is a floor underlayment material applied over concrete and wood subflooring. You can install hardwood floors over concrete but need to work with experienced professionals. Gypsum concrete doesn’t provide the ideal subfloor for traditional solid hardwood floors. You need some form of subfloor modification before the installation. Here are some tips for installing hardwood floors over gypcrete subfloors:
1. Install a Plywood Subfloor
The composition of gypsum concrete makes it unsuitable for directly installing glue-down or nail-down hardwood floors. Gypcrete doesn’t provide a reliable nailing base. You need a nailing base to install a hardwood floor over the concrete. A floating plywood subfloor can do the trick. The subfloor is installed over the gypsum concrete to provide a secure nailing base on which you can install the solid hardwood floor.
Installing plywood over the concrete adds structural strength and helps improve aesthetic appeal. The plywood provides a flat surface and adds another layer of flooring material, helping to make your installation more durable. You can add a layer of waterproofing sealant on top of the plywood before installing the hardwood flooring. Use strong adhesives to hold the plywood down and prevent it from shifting.
2. Use Engineered Hardwood
Installing natural hardwood on concrete presents various challenges that engineered hardwood can resolve. Gypsum concrete can cause natural wood to warp and buckle over time as it absorbs moisture. Wood also squeaks as it moves against concrete and requires additional steps to achieve a secure installation. Engineered hardwood features thin layers of hardwood and plywood, which is easier to install on concrete than solid hardwood.
You can install glue-on engineered hardwood on concrete with minimal subfloor preparation. All you need is a vapor barrier to protect your wood from moisture damage. Use proper adhesive to seal the porous concrete and the hardwood floor. Adhesives and vapor barriers keep water from seeping through the floor. You can add underlayment like cork or foam before installing the engineered hardwood. The underlayment provides extra support and insulation.
3. Complete Jobsite Preparation
Installing resilient floor coverings over concrete requires adequate jobsite preparation. Whether you’re installing floating plywood flooring or underlayment to support engineered hardwood, don’t forgo the necessary preparation. Adhesive manufacturers offer specifications for optimal job site conditions and acclimation. The floor covering, jobsite area, and adhesives must all be maintained within the recommended temperature range.
Gypsum concrete subfloors must be adequately primed before the installation. If the instructions that come with the adhesive require a latex primer before installation, that’s what you should use. Wooden subfloors must be clean, dry, level, structurally sound, and free of squeaks. Concrete subfloors must be fully cured before installing the hardwood.
4. Involve Trustworthy Contractors
Hiring a contractor is a sound decision when installing hardwood floors over gypcrete. You can discuss goals and preferences during the initial appointment. The contractor will note down your requirements and schedule an inspection for further assessment.
A good contractor also discusses the best way to achieve your outcome. Contractors can prepare the site, seal the concrete, and install an underlayment and hardwood floor. Leading contractors take care of everything, including post-installation care. When looking for contractors, choose companies with a growing reputation in your area.
Choose the Best Solutions for Gypcrete Subfloors
Installing hardwood flooring over gypcrete can make your space more stable and aesthetic. Consider adding an underlayment for fire resistance, sound attenuation, and other benefits. The underlayment provides a level surface for your hardwood floor. You can choose between multiple underlayment options and materials. Stick to companies with a clean track record for delivering reliable solutions for different buildings and subfloors.