Can I install hardwood floors on top of my existing parquet floors?

Q: Can I install hardwood floors on top of my existing parquet floors? The house is about 3 and a half years old, and the parquet floors are in excellent condition. No squeaking or damage to the parquet floors.

A: You can do anything you like, but should you install hardwood over parquet? I wouldn’t recommend it. You are going to stake the life of your new floor on the stability of the parquet which is glued down? The nails for your new floor will be far removed from the subfloor and will be totally dependent on the stability of the parquet.

Should we install our new floor over the existing one?

Related Q: We have a home, about 45 years old. We plan on refinishing the hardwood on the top floor, approx. 400 sq. ft. We sanded it, but there are stains that we cannot get out and it is a bit creaky (looks like oak strips tongue/groove, about 3/8′ originally). We are now thinking about a new floor, but we’re just not sure which way to go. And if we go with a new floor, we’re not sure if we could install over the existing one, or if we should take up the existing floor? It has a diagonal 1×6 subfloor with spaces between strips.

A: Personally, I would never install a new floor over an existing strip floor. I would take that up and screw down 3/8 spruce sheeting. I would then install something 3/4 thick and sand and finish it on site. I would never recommend any DIY person tackle this part of the job in particular. A person cannot become a floor finisher just because he rents some equipment. This is a job one needs to apprentice for over a period of time. Come to think about it, installing isn’t easy either.

Installing Bamboo over parquet floors

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: Having bought a townhouse, we are planning on laying hardwood floors in the living room- have 2 questions on the subject: 1) We’re quite enamored by bamboo hardwood, apparently new material in hardwood. The vendor assures us that it is sturdier than oak and we have no way of verifying this. Would like your opinion on the same.

2) The same living room currently has 30-year-old parquet that is slightly uneven in patches. We are planning on not removing the parquet layer (mainly budgetary and time considerations). We will be laying plywood over the parquet to even it out before laying the hardwood. We are aware that this will increase the floor height but besides this, are there any major disadvantages to this option?

A: First, I am enamored with bamboo also. I have never installed one of these floors, but I like the properties of the product and the fact that it is very good for the environment. Indeed, bamboo is much harder and more stable than oak. I have no doubt about that. As to installing plywood over parquet? I have never heard of that being done, but I don’t like the possible outcome. All these slats becoming loose eventually. I am not a fan of multiple layers of flooring. I believe it is well worth the effort to remove the parquet and install plywood on the existing subfloor with screws into the joists.

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