I recently purchased a new home in South Carolina, and was planning to extend the existing hardwood throughout the rest of the ground floor. Once I began to remove the existing carpet, I saw that there's no wood subfloor: the existing floor is glued to the concrete.

Image of concrete foundation with existing hardwood

I want to use 3-1/2 in. hardwood flooring (not engineered), so in this situation my plan would be to:

  1. Remove the existing hardwood
  2. Install a vapor barrier on top of the concrete
  3. Lay down 3/4 in. plywood and secure it to the concrete
  4. Install a felt pad on top of the plywood
  5. Install the new hardwood

I haven't dealt with a scenario like this before, so I just want to be sure my understanding is correct.

  • Shouldn't step 1 be: Remove the existing carpet ? Or do you mean: Remove the rest of the floor that already is hardwood, as well as the carpet? I'm confused... Nov 18, 2021 at 4:17
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact I meant removing the existing carpet and hardwood. I originally intended to extend the existing hardwood floor, but given that it's glued and there are areas where the adhesive is lifting and there are visible gaps between some boards (house was built in 2003 and hasn't been renovated at all), I figured it may be easier just to take everything up and start fresh. Sorry for the confusion.
    – tripleblep
    Nov 18, 2021 at 5:16
  • Why would you add a layer of plywood on the concrete? Are you wanting to do a nail down installation? I don't see any advantage to a putting down the plywood. Gluedown is probably the most premium of the installation techniques. Nov 18, 2021 at 6:31
  • 2
    "house was built in 2003". Ha! laughs my house, built in the 1890s... Sure, 20 years is enough life out of carpet, but man, if that's how long a hardwood floor lasts these days, they really don't build 'em like they used to!
    – FreeMan
    Nov 18, 2021 at 12:56
  • 1
    What is the purpose of the "felt pad", and why place it on top of the plywood?
    – r13
    Nov 18, 2021 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


You missed a couple of steps:

  • Remove all baseboard trim
  • Cut door trim to clear new subfloor/floor
  • Adjust any other "things" like baseboard heat/radiators to sit higher (as appropriate)
  • Reinstall all baseboard trim

I'm not saying you shouldn't do this, but there are other things to consider when you're raising the floor by 3/4" plywood subfloor, the thickness of the felt pad and the thickness of the flooring itself (3/4" minimum, I'd think, probably more).

I'd agree that a real hardwood floor will outlast and out shine any fake "hardwood" floor, no matter how much they emphasize "luxury" in the vinyl plank, but there will be a bit more work.

  • I appreciate the "accept" check mark, but you may want to wait to see if anyone else chimes in...
    – FreeMan
    Nov 18, 2021 at 19:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.