Proper subfloor when you have hardwod over concrete!!

jamshedNovember 28, 2011

I am replacing the kitchen floor in my daughter's 1930's DC coop townhouse. The kitchen has hardwood floors which are sturdy, but the finish is ruined and water damaged. She wants to put down tile.

Now I know that Hardiback over hardwood is a no-no. But here's what we found. We pulled up one of the hardwood boards and underneath it is a concrete floor. (She is on the second floor.) The hardwood is not laying directly on the concrete which is quite rough. There are 1x2 (?) slats that appear to be fixed to the concrete, and the hardwood is nailed down perpendicular to the slats. The floor is perfectly level, but as I said earlier, the oak hardwood has shrunk, specially near the sink and dishwasher.

QUESTION: What should we do. My gut tells me we should rip out the hardwood and put down 3/4" ext ply over the slats, then thinset down 1/4" Hardiboard and finally the tiles.

Does this sound like a good idea? I don't want to cut corners, but I also don't want to do anything unnecessary.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Some people go to great lengths to have concrete floors. I know your plans are to lay down wood, but what about just giving the concrete a nice polish and stain?
Best of luck with your project, I hope your daughter appreciates your efforts.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 2:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Skip the plywood + cement board, and just apply Ditra to the concrete floor as a tile substrate. Installing wood just adds a component to the floor that can move and cause cracking.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ditra installation info (see pg 10)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 2:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Some people go to great lengths to have concrete floors. "

And many of them regret it as they age and the stiffness of the floor takes its toll on knees, hips, and backs.

Or you add cushioned mats to stand on creating one more thing to clean.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 10:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The concrete floor is VERY rough and would not make a suitable substrate, even for Ditra. I'm thinking of just doing the ply over the slats and Hardibacker and tile.

The good thing is that the slats aren't going to flex at all.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 10:06PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Question for Medium Brown Stained Hardwood Floor Owners
We are having our red oak hardwood floors sanded down....
Bamboo Floor Disaster
Hi, I got new bamboo floors when I renovated my NYC...
Carpet removal cost seems high, is it?
I got a quote for new carpet in a new-to-me house....
Hallmark Hardwoods Historic Walnut Alta vista collection
Has anyone installed Hallmark Hardwoods Historic Walnut...
Experiences with vinyl flooring
Hello, I was wondering individuals experiences with...
Sponsored Products
Savoy Tissue Holder
Grandin Road
Red Cedar Royal Highback Glider Chair
Versahl Matte Chrome 3-Spotlight Offset Arc Track Fixture
Lamps Plus
English Garden 84-inch Window Panel
DonnieAnn African Adventure AF6Q Animal Print Area Rug - AF6Q
$89.99 | Hayneedle
Sterling Silver Seven-Light Clear Heritage Handcut Crystal Chandelier, 25W x 26H
Modern Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Lanart Rugs Grace Stone 2 ft. 6 in. x 7 ft. 8
Home Depot
Star Antique Weave Rug 9' x 12' - SILVER/IVORY
$5,699.00 | Horchow
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™