I'm considering installing engineered hardwood flooring in my house.
The house is built on a concrete slab, so traditional tongue & groove
flooring nailed to the subfloor is not an option. So gluing an
engineered product with a finished hardwood top layer is the material of
choice. But I'm getting conflicting information on what is needed in
the way of surface preparation. Two questions:
1) Does the surface of the concrete need to be leveled as you would do
for ceramic tile, or does the adhesive used for wood flooring perform
that function as well?
2) Do I need to seal the cracks in the slab before I put down the
flooring? The house is 9-1/2 years old, and settling cracks have
developed in the concrete in just about every room - none over 1/16"
wide, but I'm thinking these cracks could be a path for ground dampness
(and maybe termites?) to get at the flooring.
It depends on the flooring. RTFM.
I recently installed 'fake' wood flooring which locked together but floated
on the floor. I would assume that you need to level the floor or the flooring
is going to creak.
You've gotta do what the instructions tell you to do. The product
literature will tell you how much variation is allowed in the floor,
what kind of preparation, and what kind of adhesive to use. This will
give you the best result, based on the manufacturer's research, and it
will protect your warranty.
Most likely, the adhesive will seal small cracks and fill shallow low
spots. You can *probably* use a product like RedGard to seal bigger
cracks. You'll have to use a cement-based product to seal large cracks.
By the way, you *can* put solid hardwood flooring down. You just have to
put down 3/4" plywood first. This leads to all sorts of level and
transition issues, but they can be addressed.
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