Replacing your condo’s worn out or
outdated flooring material with a gorgeous wood floor can have a transformational effect. Regardless of the type of wood flooring that you select for your condo, this flooring material can bring
elegance and warmth into your space. Before you begin exploring the many flooring options and making firm plans to install hardwood, laminate or engineered hardwood flooring in your condo, spend
a few minutes learning more about the wood floor installation experience and how accommodations may need to be made for this space.
Location-Based Factors to Consider
When engineered, laminate or real hardwood floor is installed in a single-family home, the garage and driveway can typically be used by the installation crew as a work space. The materials and
supplies, for example, may be delivered and stored in a garage at least a day or two before the installation work begins. The installation crew may use the garage to saw boards down to size and
for other purposes. Many condos do not have a garage, so special considerations may be required for this aspect of a wood floor installation project. For example, the wood may need to be
carefully measured and cut off-site.
You may need to get special approval from your condo board for a wood flooring installation project. Your community may have specific work areas that the installation crew must comply with. The
use of community elevators for construction purposes like this may not be permitted, so your installation team may need to use the stairs. Some condo boards do not permit the use of saws or other
heavy-duty power tools on the property or may limit their use to a specific area of the community. These factors impact the efforts of the installation team and the overall timeline for the
A Look at the Subfloor and Installation Methods
After speaking with your condo board and learning about pertinent rules and regulations, you can then choose the right wood flooring material for your space. Between real hardwood, laminate
flooring, engineered wood and others, there are numerous options available to consider, and these are all available in a wide range of attractive wood finishes to accommodate your style
preferences. Your options may be limited based on the subfloor in your unit and the installation methods that are available for the subfloor material. The primary installation methods are full
glue-down, double glue-down, floating or edge-glued and nail-down methods.
Full Glue-Down: This method is commonly used when
installing engineered floor slats. The wood is glued directly to the concrete slab foundation. This method can be time-consuming and expensive, but it reduces the chance of having squeaky
boards in the future.
Double Glue-Down: With the double glue-down method,
an underlay material is adhered to the concrete subfloor as a first step. The wood flooring slats are then glued to the underlay material. This adds an extra step to the full glue-down
method, so the installation timeframe is longer.
Floating or Edge-Guard: An acoustic sound barrier is
installed as an underlay material over the subfloor. The wood slats are then carefully glued around the perimeter. This type of installation produces a floating floor.
Nail-Down: If you choose to install solid hardwood
flooring, the nail-down method may be used. This method requires the solid wood slats to be nailed directly to the subfloor material.
To learn about the subfloor material in your condo, contact us for an in-person consultation.
The Many Types of Wood Flooring
The three primary types of flooring that can bring the charm and character of hardwood into your home are solid hardwood, engineered wood and laminate floor with a wood finish. Laminate is
generally much more affordable, and engineered hardwood may cost slightly more than solid hardwood in many instances.
In most condos, wood flooring will be installed directly onto a concrete subfloor or using a floating method. Engineered hardwood is comprised of layers of real wood compressed together in
crossing patterns. This unique manufacturing process makes it more resistant to damage from temperature fluctuations and humidity. Therefore, this type of flooring is well-suited for use on
concrete slab subfloors. If you prefer to install solid hardwood in your condo, keep in mind that a buffer material, such as a moisture-proof underlay material, can be installed between the
concrete and the wood floor.
Laminate flooring is an excellent alternative to solid and engineered wood if you are shopping on a budget. Today’s laminate flooring is refined, durable and can be created to mimic a wide range
of high-end materials. In fact, with high-quality laminate flooring with a wood finish, it may be difficult for anyone to tell that they are not walking on a real wood floor. Laminate is more
resistant to damage from furniture and pets, so it may be practical if your condo has a lot of foot traffic. Because this material can be installed over almost any hard surface, it may be
practical if you want the beautiful look of wood on a higher-level floor.
Making Your Selection
After learning about your subfloor type and speaking with your condo board, you are ready to explore the options. While keeping your budget and your site-specific limitations in mind, explore the
styles and finishes that may look amazing in your condo. From high-sheen to hand-scraped finishes and from bamboo to cherry wood species and many others, you will not feel limited by the options.
Bring samples of a few top picks into your condo for several days. By doing so, you can experience the impact that they will have on your space in its natural light. You also should focus on the
width, the wear layer, the warranty period and the size of the planks or slats when making your selection.
With solid, laminated and engineered wood options to choose from, you can easily create the desired look in your condo. Because wood floor installation in a condo has a few unique considerations,
use these tips to guide your efforts and to enjoy the stunning results that you desire.