Q:

Is a rubber barrier needed between hardwood flooring and concrete?

A:

Quick Answer

A vapor barrier must be installed between concrete and hardwood floors, which can be a rubberized elastomeric membrane. However, polyfilm and roofing felt are the two most versatile and commonly used materials for vapor barriers.

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Full Answer

Concrete can absorb and retain moisture, which causes hardwood flooring to warp and rot if a proper vapor barrier is not present. Test the concrete floor's moisture content by covering it with a plastic tarp for 24 hours. If the underneath side of the plastic sheet is wet, the concrete is retaining moisture and a calcium chloride test is necessary. If the test results are greater than 3 pounds per 24 hours per 1,000 square feet, a sealant should be applied to the concrete before any type of vapor barrier is installed.

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