Installing a hardwood floor is not easy, but it can get even more difficult when the floor is installed over a concrete subfloor. There are lots of things you have to do for a successful installation. Here is a guide to help:
Step 1: Monitor the Concrete Moisture: In order to avoid cupping of the wood and damage to the floor; measure the concrete moisture level before you put anything down. There are many different devices available to help you with this, but you absolutely have to do a test or you'll end up paying for it later.
Step 2: Clean the Surface: It's very important to clean the surface of the concrete slab before you begin placing anything else down. You don't want any spare particles to get caught in the adhesive. Continue cleaning with each separate stage as you go along.
Step 3: Install a Moisture Barrier: You have to install a Damp Proof Membrane to further protect the hardwood floors. There are many different types of barriers with specific instructions on how and where they should be used. Before you purchase your moisture barrier it is advisable to read the instructions to ensure it is suitable. If you install the moisture barrier properly, noise and dust can also be reduced.
Step 4: Put Down the Adhesive: Once your moisture barrier is in place, you can trowel on the adhesive and sealer. Simple apply it to where youre planning on putting the planks. Be careful not to needlessly pack it with too much. Try to even it out as much as possible.
Step 5: Begin Laying the Hardwood: Starting at the longest wall, begin placing wood directly onto your adhesive, pressing down hard to ensure that the two things develop a strong bond to each other. Continue laying the hardwood down, making sure that the sides are always pressed tightly together and make sure to wipe away excess adhesive before it dries.
Step 6: Allow For Expansion: When actually installing, always leave a 10mm gap between the wall and the planks because the wood will expand; any leftover gap can be covered with skirting when its done.
Step 7: Test Walk It: Walk around the entire room to test out how well the hardwood and adhesive are meshed. Afterwards, let the area dry for 12 hours without any foot traffic traffic to allow the floor to settle.