Im am going to put a new wood floor in our bedroom. It is the type where
you lay and underlayment and then the floor fits on top. We have concrete
under. I am going to find someone who knows how to do it to help me with it.
As I prepare it I have some questions. While pulling up the wood strips
that holds down the carpet there are some nails in the concrete. How do I
deal with them? A couple came out but left little chips or nicks. I am
assuming that wont be a problem, but how do I deal with all those little
nail heads sticking up? Second, some parts of the concrete are cracked.
Not giant cracks but some are about 1/8th inch. Should I fill them with a
filler and what kind of filler? I think ants may come in those cracks but I
may be wrong. Thanks for any help.
As Ed says break the nails off or if you have a lot you can can them
off flush with an angle grinder. I used concrete patch to fill in
small divets and cracks. From your description it sounds like your
installing laminate flooring. Another important thing to check is
dryness of the slab, if any moisture is present or coming through the
laminate flooring will be ruined. To check for moisture pick a few
spots on the slab and tape down a 12' x 12" square of plastic
sheeting. After 48 hours or so remove the plastic and ensure the slab
is dry, if not you need to rethink the installation. Have fun.
I put down wood floors commercially. You didn't say specifically, but I
assume you're going to use an engineered product, not solid wood.
1) You have to get the nails out. Just pry them up. Use a shopvac to get
the dust and chips out. If you leave the nails, the underlayment won't
2) If they bother you, fill the craters with leveling compound. It isn't
necessary, because your underlayment* will be a buffer.
*) I'm assuming by "underlayment" you mean plywood. If you mean some
type of foam, go ahead and fill the holes -- you'll feel better.
3) If the cracks are 1/8" or less, use a crack sealer like RedGard. I
don't have a tie to that brand; it's just readily available. Read the
4) Check the floor for levelness. The installation instructions will
tell you how much the floor can be out of level. Believe it. If the
floor is off too much, fill the low spots with self-leveling compound.
5) Get the floor good and clean. This will make glue stick better, if
you're glueing it down, or prevent noises if it's free-floating.
Report back as you progress. We'll provide all the dubious advice we
I bought it from Home Depot but it is under the "hardwood" kind and not the
laminate kind, if that makes a difference. Its pretty thick, I think 5/8.
Some of the laminate kind is very thing. Thanks to everyone for all the
Since you're putting 5/8" solid wood on concrete, consider glueing it
down. It's lots less work, and you won't need the underlayment. Of course,
read the instructions -- they might say otherwise. The manufacturer spends
wheelbarrowloads of money on testing, so they usually know what they're
talking about. You also don't want to void your warranty.
By the way, this isn't going in a basement, is it? Solid wood doesn't work
well below ground.
Addressing the tack strips: get a scraper or screwdriver under the strip
and one nail head to begin, then slide over to the next nail and do the
same. If you work along the strip gradually, you can get it up with
many of the nails. When you get room under the nail head, use pry bar
to finish. When you get all the wood up, you can then get the rest of
the nails with the pry bar. Some will chip the concrete a little bit,
which should not matter.
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