Q: I am looking at installing some hardwood floors in my house in South Florida. I have several questions. What would be the best wood to use as the floors are currently a concrete base? What are some precautions you would recommend I quiz the installer to make sure he know what he is doing? Any other concerns/education you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
A: I would probably suggest quarter sawn white oak because it is more dimensionally stable than many other species and is a bit harder than red oak.
Your installer should test to be sure there isn’t significant moisture coming through the concrete. The flooring itself should be stored in the rooms where it is to be installed for about a week at the temperature and humidity levels that would be considered normal living conditions year round.
He will have to install some sort of plywood base to nail into (and he could use a product such as delta flooring as a moisture barrier first) and the plywood and hardwood should be tested with a moisture meter before installing to be sure they are within 4% of each other. If the plywood is dryer than the hardwood that is OK. However if it has reading above 12% it would be a risky installation.
Related Q: Is it possible to install hardwood flooring on concrete? If so, what method would you recommend?
A: I would use an engineered floor such as Mirage or go with a click product such as Torlys or Quick Step Uniclic. Otherwise, install plywood and then a solid wood floor.