SaferBuilding™ Floor over Concrete SubFloor

Dear Sammi SaferBuilder,

My child has asthma and his doctor recommended that I remove all the carpets from my home. My contractor said that there is concrete under the carpet.

Can I still install a safer floor?


Wants a SaferBuilding™ Floor over Concrete SubFloor

Dear Concrete Subfloor,

Many progressive doctors are recommending smooth surface floors for patients with asthma.

You'll want to remove carpeting using the contractor worksheet SaferBuilding™ Demolition over Concrete Sub-floor (SaferBuilding™ Demolition over Concrete Sub-floor). If not, there is likelihood of inadvertently contaminating the air that you are trying to protect.

Second, you'll want to review the SaferBuilding™ Flooring Materials (SaferBuilding™ Flooring Materials).

Some builders advocate floating wood floors; however, they are not our first choice. There may be toxins contained in the cushioned underlayment. There will be adhesives (perhaps containing toxic ingredients) holding the wood pieces together. Even if described as formaldehyde free, there may be other toxic ingredients present.

Stone and tile are perhaps the safest. Check with a realtor to ensure that stone and tile are appropriate for the local area. You may want to conform to local market preferences to make sure that your money is well spent. Attach the SaferBuilding™ Tile & Stone Floors worksheet (SaferBuilding™ Tile & Stone Floors Worksheet) to your tiling contract.

Solid wood is also an attractive option. The tricky part will choosing the right material for the subfloor. We tend to avoid new plywood because of the adhesives.

Another option is to have your floor installer nail solid wood planks across the cement subfloor. Your floor installer or carpenter should know the appropriate tools to install the wood planks onto the cement and the appropriate distance in between the planks.

Install the solid wood floor in the opposite direction of the planks over the cement. Make sure that your floor installer uses the SaferBuilding™ New Wood Floors SaferBuilding™ New Wood Floors.

Check with your licensed contractor to make sure that proper measures have been taken to create water barriers.

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