Can You Install Hardwood Floors Over Gypcrete?

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Hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to a home.
Hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to a home. (Image: texture of wooden floor image by Elnur from Fotolia.com)

Gypcrete is a very durable, versatile flooring material that is used in a wide variety of homes and apartments. The material is very heat resistant and is often used as an underlayer for flooring materials. Hardwood flooring can be installed over gypcrete if you prefer to have a natural looking surface. In addition, there are several other benefits of using this material as a flooring surface.

How to Install

Many homeowners install hardwood flooring over gypcrete instead of tearing out the flooring material and using a subfloor layer of plywood and then the hardwood. The hardwood floor is typically installed over the gypcrete without a true subfloor layer. A layer of asphalt paper or another thin sublayer can be laid over the gypcrete. Floating hardwood floors are typically installed right over the gypcrete, as this allows for expansion of the wood floor.

Ease of Installation

The benefit of installing a hardwood floor over gypcrete is ease of installation. When there is an existing layer of gypcrete on the floor, the time and cost of removing this material becomes a barrier for homeowners. The additional work involved in laying down another subfloor layer of plywood only adds to the cost. Installing directly on the gypcrete, with a thin paper subfloor, provides a cost-efficient solution.

Radiant Heating

A benefit and option when installing a gypcrete floor is the use of radiant heat. Gypcrete can be installed over a radiant heating system, if it is applied in a thin layer. A hardwood floor can be installed on the gypcrete. Engineered hardwood is best suited for this situation, and a moisture barrier sealer should be applied to the gypcrete. If down the road the homeowner changes his mind, he can then lay down carpet or another flooring option over the gypcrete surface.

Soundproof

Gypcrete is a soundproof flooring option that will dampen the noise associated with hardwood floors. Gypcrete is also heat resistant and fireproof.

Considerations

A floating hardwood floor can be installed over existing gypcrete surfaces; however gupcrete may not be your first option if you are installing the subfloor. Other options like cement board may be less labor intensive and just as useful for your situation.

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