Installing Hardwood Floors over Concrete

Project: Storm-Ready Design, Episode 13, Part 1

Brazilian Walnut or Ipe hardwood flooring is installed over a concrete slab as Jesse Bartusek explains how the concrete is tested for moisture content, sealed, and troweled with polyurethane adhesive. The floor planks are laid out on the adhesive, tapped in place with a rubber mallet, and taped to hold them in place for at least four hours, preferably 24. Dan Gerry installs a Moen burnished brass faucet with a pullout sprayer and shutoff valves below. In the main living area, an Energy Star-rated ceiling fan, fluorescent lights, and energy saving fixtures are wired in. A Square D All House Surge Arrester is connected to the phone, television, electrical, satellite and cable TV lines to protect the home from damaging stray voltage, power surges, and lightning. The self-monitoring system stops and redirects stray voltage to a ground to protect electrical appliances, data, cable, and phone lines. Smith & Noble bamboo panel-track blinds are hung and pass one in front of the other to screen the large patio doors. With help from family members, Teresa’s brother Kalo constructs fastener-free, woven, bamboo partition fences to surround a Zen-like garden that is his gift to the homeowners.
Part 1: Installing Hardwood Floors over Concrete
Jesse Bartusek from Bellawood joins Bob for the installation of the Bellawood Brazilian Walnut, also called Ipe. The first step, Bartusek explains, is to monitor the moisture content in the concrete so that there will be no cupping of the wood from excessive moisture levels. A moisture barrier is put down between the concrete and the wood to ensure a dry seat. The sealer and the adhesive are both polyurethane based. Once the adhesive is troweled on, the crew has between 30 and 45 minutes to install the planks. The planks are laid out and hammered with a rubber mallet to put them in place. The crew then tapes the boards because the adhesive has memory and will pull boards back to their initial positions if not held in place. Tapping all the boards in place, or racking out the floor, can force some glue up onto the surface. It must be removed with a special adhesive remover. The patterns and colors in the wood tend to vary because it is a natural product. The eight-layer aluminum oxide finish provides long wear that is guaranteed for 50 years by Bellawood. The tape will stay in place for at least four hours but is recommended for 24.
Part 2: Plumbing Fittings and Faucets, Energy Star, Whole-House Surge Protection
Part 3: Installing Natural Bamboo Sliding Panel Shades
Part 4: Custom Bamboo Garden