Installing hardwood over preexisting hardwood

Question Icon
Posted by: from Brampton
6/11/2011 at 4:00:38 PM

I need some advise.

Last year i hired a contractor to install approximately 380 square feet of hardwood on my first floor. He did a horrible job, the wood buckled and he had to cut out some sections to try to fix it. Lets just say that now my first floor looks horrible, it looks patchy and its not level. You can see the top of the nails that he used to try to install the floor after he had some issues gluing it. I must admit that i got a raw deal, since a shabby sales man at a certain hardwood store sold me 5"16th hardwood.

To rectify the problem and to try again with the floors, I bought some 1/2" engineered hardwood today to replace the wood on the first floor. Is it possible to install this new floor over the existing hardwood? or do i have to remove the current flooring and then install the new floor.

Although I am looking for the most cost efficient thing to do, i also want want to do what is best.

Thanks in advance.

User Icon
Date/Time6/11/2011 at 10:24:16 PM

Hi ,Stewart here of Sct floorcoverings.It depends on the Installation specification.If the Hardwood can be installed "Float-in method" you probably will not have to remove the exting floorings.If you are Nailing or glueing the New Hardwood flooring,you would have to remove the existing flooring. Regards-Stewart ,Sct floorcoverings,Mississauga ontario-416-295-0906

User Icon
Date/Time6/13/2011 at 8:35:03 AM

Hi Samoya,

Sorry to hear about the bad experience you had with your floor.

If your new floor is a nail down type, then you will certainly have to remove the existing floor. If it is a floating floor, then it is possible to install over the existing floor.

There remains only a few issues with installing over an existing floor. If you have any transitions(hardwood floor and another floor such as tile meeting in a doorway or hallway), then there will be a step down from the hardwood to the other flooring type. Also, your baseboards will look smaller because you are covering them up if you choose not to remove them. One other aspect is that since you had issues with the floor buckling before, and if it happens again and it is under your new floor, then your new floor could be bumpy in areas.

What I recommend is removing the baseboards and and the old flooring before installing the new hardwod floor.This removes any posibility that anything else can occur from your old floor being improperly installed.

Hope this helps,

Bill Clawsie

Clawsie Contracting


User Icon
Date/Time6/20/2011 at 6:31:45 PM

Hi Samoya,

It is quite possible to have the engineered hardwood laid right over the existing floor. The only thing you need to look at is to make sure that there will be no more problems with the floor buckling and becoming unlevel. You may need to pour a skim-coat of self-leveling compound over the entire floor to get rid of any unlevel areas. You may also want to consider how the new floor will be a half inch higher than the existing hardwood so you will have an increase of over an inch ontop of the subfloor. If this is of concern to you then I suggest ripping out the old hardwood first.

Hope this helps!

Muhammad Berjak

Lumberjack Flooring Ltd.

Only trust a Lumberjack to lay it right!


User Icon
Date/Time8/1/2011 at 1:12:52 AM

Tear up the old floor, then use self leveling mortar to level floor, then install new floor. If you lay new over old, all unevenness will remain.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.