We have recently bought an old house, and the ground floor has a hard floor and is currently covered in tongue and groove laminate - which we hate.

We'd like to put reclaimed floorboards down - is this possible on a solid floor!? If so how would be go about this? If we get the boards cut to size is it something I could attempt - or is a strictly pro job? I'm guessing the latter and that its probably going to be well over our budget (£600 for 2 rooms) - but if anyone can provide any advice we'd be very grateful.

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    Before anyone can likely answer the question some terminology needs to be cleared up. What do you mean by "hard floor?" Concrete? If so then you can install new solid wood flooring over it but it would require some fairly thick underlayment or sleepers. As far as the "reclaimed" requirement I would say that's a nice idea but insofar as wood is a renewable resource you're probably better off both aesthetically and financially with new wood flooring. Alternately there are engineered wood products that can be glued directly to a (fully cured, aka not putting off moisture) concrete slab. – Paul Jan 8 '13 at 21:52
  • Hi Paul - thanks for your response - its the old varnished floorboard feel we would like - and yes it is a concrete base underneath the current laminate – Paul Jan 8 '13 at 21:57
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    Nobody will cut floor boards to size for you. Too many cuts and you need to measure and cut them on site to get accurate cuts. Budget in a saw. Circular saw, jig saw or miter saw. Your best bet is to get a floating floor. Engineered floors (not laminate) have a lot of options which might have the look you like. To install a non floating floor you'll need a compressor and a pneumatic floor nailer (you can rent) and a wood subfloor to screw into. A non floating floor will break your budget. – OrganicLawnDIY Dec 13 '13 at 19:42

Installing hardwood flooring over concrete is generally not advisable for multiple reasons. Two of these reasons are: 1) oftentimes the concrete is moisture permeable, which means that any solid wood floor installed directly to the floor will buckle irreversibly; 2) typically solid wood floors are nailed to the substrate, which is not an option with concrete. One can install 1.5" sleepers on top of the slab to provide this nailing substrate, but this affects significantly things like ceiling height, door height, countertop height, etc. So this is generally not done as a remodel project unless you're remodeling the whole thing. One thing I would recommend as a compromise is finding some way to seal the slab, say with an epoxy paint, and then gluing an engineered wood floor to it.

  • Thanks Paul, its an old victorian place so the rooms are quite high - so hopefully there would be enough room to go for the option with sleepers you mention as we'd really like to use reclaimed floorboards to get the look we are after - its only for 2 rooms downstairs room aswell - sounds like it could be expensive though! – Paul Jan 14 '13 at 13:51

An architect friend in Mexico City had put wood floors over concrete but he put wood spacers to separate the two. It worked quite well for him, as he did almost his entire first floor with them.


I have done 2 hardwood floors using Dricore. We called Dricore and they walked us through what we needed to do. We had to secure the dricore with Tapcon screws.

Neither of these installed was a basement. Not sure if I would go this way in a basement unless I was very sure that there was no possible moisture issues.

Also I heavily suggest doing one of the following...

  1. Staple your hardwood planks on a slant to the Dricore squares.
  2. Screw in 1/2-3/4 inch plywood on top of the dricore.

We almost had a whole row down before we realized that we might have issues with the hardwood being on a seem.

  • The Dricore panels are really nice and easy to install. I don't think you need the tapcon screws in most situations. I installed it in my basement without screws. – OrganicLawnDIY Dec 13 '13 at 19:36

You can use Bostik Seal & Grip on above grade concrete. Recommended for 3/8 solid hardwood or engineered wood. Above grade means not below the ground level such as a basement floor. Trowel adhesive on floor and start dropping in the boards use tape to hold in place until the next day. If floors are not level use self leveling surface patch. This will help with trimming out the baseboards and aid in the installation.

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