The answer to this question depends on many factors; the first is whether you're talking about solid hardwood flooring or engineered flooring. These two hardwood versions behave very differently with moisture and have different installation techniques, impacting whether concrete subfloors are okay.

Solid wood floors
are always installed with the traditional tongue and groove/nail down technique. However, it's more extensive, usually requires subfloor restoration and repair, and requires the use of a plywood board attached over the concrete.

On the other hand, engineered hardwood can be installed by glued-down, staple technique or as a floating floor which is click-together, mat and hover. When floors float, any subfloor is acceptable as long as it's clean, dry, and level.

What you can do to combat moisture

Concrete can be damp, and moisture and water are a big enemy of solid wood, making it warp, cup and crown. The following steps, however, should be taken whether the wood is solid or engineered.

Wipe spills immediately and don't let people track moisture and water outside, especially during certain weather conditions. Connecticut is no stranger to snow, ice, and tropical-like rain storms. Remember, just as moisture can travel up from the subfloor, it can travel down from the surface floor.

Keep an eye on humidity levels and adjust them to proper levels by using dehumidifiers, fans, air conditioners, and heat. In winter, they should be 30-40% to prevent condensation on windows while increasing slightly to 50-55% in summer. You can get a moisture reader from us.

We'll also take moisture readings throughout the process, and if we detect moisture, we'll stop to ask if you want to reconsider.

Concerns about adding plywood

The biggest concern is that plywood can create height issues with doors not opening and closing correctly. The floor must be measured, so we don't discover problems once we start. We also want you to think of a budget because that will undoubtedly add to the installation cost.

SunShine Floor Supplies, Inc is here to assist you with any of your flooring services needs, whether it’s wood flooring, luxury vinyl, or something else. We have showrooms in both Stamford and Bridgeport, CT, so come in for a free wood flooring quote, especially if you live or work around those areas.