When considering innovative flooring solutions, one unique approach is installing concrete over floorboards. This technique not only revitalizes your space but also brings a modern, industrial aesthetic inside your home. Concrete floors offer durability, ease of maintenance, and a sleek look that pairs well with various design styles. For busy homeowners in San Diego seeking high-quality and hassle-free flooring options, this method holds significant appeal.

Benefits include an incredibly sturdy surface that withstands daily wear and tear, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. Moreover, concrete’s thermal properties can contribute to a cooler home environment during those warm San Diego days. By opting for concrete over floorboards, you also tap into a world of aesthetic possibilities, with options for color and finish that can mimic the look of more expensive materials or stand out with a unique, bespoke appearance.

Understanding the importance of choosing the right flooring solution, especially for San Diego’s busy homeowners, cannot be overstated. Quality matters, not only in the materials chosen but also in the craftsmanship and reliability of the installation service. A flooring option that promises durability alongside minimal maintenance can significantly enhance the comfort and value of your home, offering peace of mind and satisfaction for years to come.

Infographic illustrating the benefits and overview of installing concrete over floorboards, highlighting durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance. - concrete over floorboards infographic pillar-5-steps

Preparing the Floorboards

Before you dive into the fun part of mixing and pouring concrete over floorboards, there’s some prep work that needs to be done. It’s like getting the canvas ready before you start painting. Here’s how to get your floorboards in tip-top shape for the concrete.


First off, you want a clean surface. Think of it as clearing the stage for your main performer, which in this case is concrete. Sweep and vacuum every inch of the floorboards to remove dust, dirt, and any loose particles. A clean surface ensures better adhesion of the concrete.


Next up is inspection. Look closely for any signs of damage such as cracks, rot, or warping in the floorboards. These issues could lead to bigger problems down the road if they’re not addressed before laying down the concrete.


If you do find damage during your inspection, it’s time for some repairs. Replace any rotten or severely damaged boards. For minor cracks, wood filler can do the trick. A stable and sturdy base is crucial for the success of your concrete overlay.

Moisture Test

Finally, conduct a moisture test. Moisture and concrete don’t mix well. Excess moisture can lead to a failed installation, causing the concrete to crack or become unstable over time. You can use a simple moisture meter to check the levels. As per ASTM F2170, using RH in situ probes is the best way to measure moisture in a concrete slab subfloor, which is relevant if your floorboards are laid over concrete . If the moisture levels are too high, you might need to address the source of the moisture before proceeding.

Once you’ve cleaned, inspected, repaired, and tested the floorboards for moisture, you’re all set to move on to choosing the right concrete mix for your project. This preparation ensures a strong foundation, literally and figuratively, for your new floor.

Choosing the Right Concrete Mix

After ensuring your floorboards are ready, selecting the appropriate concrete mix is crucial for a successful installation of concrete over floorboards. The right mix not only provides a smooth finish but also longevity to your flooring. Let’s delve into the options available:

Self-leveling Concrete

Self-leveling concrete is a top pick for many due to its ease of application. As the name suggests, this concrete type spreads out evenly on its own, eliminating high and low spots to create a perfectly flat surface. It’s ideal for beginners or those looking for a fuss-free application. However, apply a primer specifically designed for self-leveling concrete to ensure proper adhesion to the floorboards.

Fiber-reinforced Concrete

Fiber-reinforced concrete mix incorporates fibers, typically made from polypropylene, steel, or glass, which are evenly distributed throughout the mix. These fibers add strength and reduce the risk of cracking, making the concrete more durable and resilient. This mix is especially suitable if the area will be subjected to heavy loads or high traffic, providing an extra layer of durability to withstand the demands.

Quick-dry Concrete

When time is of the essence, quick-dry concrete mixes are the go-to. These mixes are formulated to set and harden at an accelerated pace, allowing you to proceed to the next steps of the installation process sooner. While convenient, it’s crucial to work swiftly and efficiently, as the reduced working time can be challenging, especially for larger areas or intricate projects.

Choosing the Right Mix: Considerations

  • Area of Application: High-traffic areas may benefit from fiber-reinforced concrete, while self-leveling concrete might be best for spaces requiring a smooth finish without extensive labor.
  • Project Timeline: Quick-dry concrete is advantageous if the project needs to be completed quickly, but ensure you’re prepared to work with its faster setting time.
  • Experience Level: For those less experienced with concrete work, self-leveling concrete can be more forgiving and easier to work with.

Regardless of the type you choose, following the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and application is crucial for achieving the best results. The right preparation and concrete mix will lay the foundation for a durable and visually appealing floor.

Choosing the right concrete mix is a pivotal step in the process of installing concrete over floorboards. By considering the specific needs of your project and the characteristics of each concrete type, you can ensure a successful installation that will last for years to come.

For further insights on flooring options and installation tips, consider exploring resources from California Flooring and Design, such as their comprehensive guide on flooring options for concrete substrates . Their expertise can provide valuable guidance as you embark on your flooring project.

Installation Process

Step 1: Priming the Floorboards

Before you start pouring concrete over floorboards, priming is crucial. The right primer ensures strong adhesion between the concrete and the wood. Use a primer that’s compatible with both wood and concrete. Apply it evenly across the floorboards with a roller or brush, ensuring complete coverage. Let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This step creates a secure base for the concrete to adhere to.

Step 2: Mixing the Concrete

For a successful installation of concrete over floorboards, selecting the right concrete mix is essential. A self-leveling mix is often recommended for its ease of use and ability to create a smooth surface without excessive effort. The mix ratio should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines closely to achieve the right consistency—it should be pourable but not too runny. Gather a mixing bucket, a drill with a mixing paddle, and ensure you have enough material to cover the entire area.

Step 3: Applying the Concrete

Once your mix is ready, pour the concrete over the primed floorboards, starting from the farthest corner of the room. Use a gauge rake to spread the concrete evenly across the surface. The thickness should be consistent, usually around 1/8 to 1/4 inch, unless specified otherwise by the product instructions. This step requires a steady hand and a bit of patience to ensure even coverage.

Step 4: Leveling and Smoothing

After pouring, use a trowel for leveling and smoothing the concrete. This tool helps in removing any excess material and achieving a flat surface. During this stage, also use a screed board for larger areas to ensure uniformity. It’s important to remove air bubbles that can weaken the structure—lightly dragging a spiked roller across the surface can help in this regard.

Step 5: Curing and Sealing

The final step in installing concrete over floorboards is to allow the concrete to cure properly. Curing time can vary based on the product and environmental conditions but generally takes at least 24-48 hours before it can be walked on. After curing, applying a sealant will protect the surface from moisture and wear. Choose a sealant type suitable for your specific use case—options include water-based and solvent-based sealants. Apply it using a roller or sprayer, following the manufacturer’s application method.

Construction Tools - concrete over floorboards

Each step in this process is crucial for ensuring a successful installation of concrete over floorboards. Proper priming, mixing, application, smoothing, and sealing will give you a durable, smooth, and visually appealing concrete floor that will last for years. For more detailed guidance on each step, including the selection of materials and tools, consider consulting with experts at California Flooring and Design . Their experience and knowledge can be invaluable in helping you achieve the best results for your project.

Aftercare and Maintenance

After you’ve successfully installed concrete over floorboards, ensuring its longevity and beauty requires regular aftercare and maintenance. Here’s how you can keep your new flooring in top shape.


– Use a microfiber mop or cloth for daily dusting. This is gentle on the concrete and effective in picking up dust and dirt without scratching the surface.
– For deeper cleaning, use a pH-neutral cleaner diluted in water. Apply it with a mop and make sure not to soak the floor; a damp mop is sufficient.

– Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners or abrasive tools. These can damage the sealant and the concrete itself over time.

Regular Checks

  • Inspect Regularly: Every few months, take a close look at your floor for any signs of wear or damage. Pay special attention to high-traffic areas.
  • Address Issues Promptly: If you notice any cracks or chips, it’s important to deal with them quickly to prevent moisture from getting under the concrete, which can lead to bigger problems.


  • Why It’s Important: The sealant on your concrete floor protects it from stains, moisture, and wear. Over time, this sealant can wear down and need replacing.
  • Frequency: As a general rule, resealing your concrete floor every 2 to 3 years is a good practice. However, this can vary based on the amount of foot traffic and the type of sealant used.

Pro Tip: Always test the sealant in a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire floor to ensure it doesn’t discolor or damage the concrete.

Remember: The goal of aftercare and maintenance is not just to keep your floors looking good, but also to extend their lifespan. Regular cleaning, prompt attention to any damage, and periodic resealing will help you achieve this goal. For specific product recommendations and more detailed maintenance advice, don’t hesitate to consult with professionals like those at California Flooring and Design. Their expertise can guide you in choosing the best care practices for your concrete flooring .

Common Challenges and Solutions

When installing concrete over floorboards, a few common hurdles might present themselves. Let’s tackle these challenges head-on with practical solutions:


Problem: Concrete might develop cracks as it dries and settles. This is often due to uneven drying, rapid temperature changes, or structural movements.

Solution: To minimize cracking, ensure the concrete mix is not too dry when applied. Using a fiber-reinforced concrete mix can also help as the fibers distribute throughout the mix, providing additional strength and reducing the risk of cracking. Control joints can be strategically placed to manage where the cracks occur, making them less noticeable and easier to manage.

Adhesion Issues

Problem: Poor adhesion between the concrete and floorboards can lead to flaking and separation. This can happen if the surface isn’t prepared properly or if the wrong type of concrete mix is used.

Solution: Priming the floorboards is crucial for creating a strong bond between the wood and the concrete. Use a primer designed for this purpose, and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensuring the floorboards are clean, dry, and free of any finishes or waxes before priming will also improve adhesion. A self-leveling concrete mix is often a good choice for achieving a good bond and an even surface.

Moisture Problems

Problem: Moisture trapped between the concrete and the wood floorboards can lead to mold, mildew, and wood rot, compromising the integrity of the floor.

Solution: Conducting a thorough moisture test before installation is essential. If moisture levels are too high, identify and rectify the source of the moisture before proceeding. Installing a moisture barrier between the floorboards and the concrete can help prevent future moisture issues. For areas prone to high humidity, consider using a dehumidifier to maintain lower moisture levels in the air.

Remember, while these solutions can help address the common challenges of installing concrete over floorboards, it’s always best to consult with professionals for specific advice tailored to your situation. The team at California Flooring and Design has the expertise to guide you through these potential pitfalls, ensuring a successful installation .

FAQs about Installing Concrete Over Floorboards

Can I install concrete over any type of floorboards?

Yes, but with considerations. Most types of floorboards can support a concrete overlay if they are in good condition and properly prepared. This means they should be clean, free of damage, and stable. However, certain lightweight or badly worn floorboards may require reinforcement or replacement before proceeding with a concrete installation. Moisture testing is crucial as well, to prevent any future issues with the concrete .

How long does it take for the concrete to fully cure?

Concrete curing times can vary based on the type of mix used, the thickness of the pour, and environmental conditions like humidity and temperature. Generally, a standard concrete mix might start to set in about 24 to 48 hours, but it can take up to 28 days for concrete to fully cure and achieve its maximum strength. For projects involving concrete over floorboards, it’s important to follow the specific product’s curing time recommendations to ensure a durable and stable surface.

Is it necessary to seal the concrete, and how often?

Yes, sealing is necessary. Sealing your concrete floor is crucial to protect it from moisture, stains, and wear, especially in high-traffic areas. Initially, you should seal the concrete as soon as it has fully cured. As for how often, it depends on the type of sealant used and the level of traffic the floor receives. Generally, resealing every 1 to 3 years can help maintain the integrity and appearance of the concrete surface. It’s also wise to conduct regular checks for any wear or damage to the sealant and address it promptly to extend the lifespan of your concrete floor.

In conclusion, tackling a project like installing concrete over floorboards comes with its set of challenges, but with the right preparation and care, it can significantly enhance the durability and aesthetics of your floors. Always consult with professionals like those at California Flooring and Design to ensure the best outcomes for your specific needs and circumstances.


Wrapping up, our journey through the process of installing concrete over floorboards has underscored a fundamental truth: the success of such a project rests on a foundation of reliability, expert craftsmanship, and a solid satisfaction guarantee. These principles are not just guidelines; they’re commitments that companies like California Flooring & Design live by every day.

Satisfaction Guarantee

When we talk about installing concrete over floorboards, we’re talking about transforming spaces in ways that are both dramatic and lasting. It’s why a satisfaction guarantee isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s essential. It’s your peace of mind, knowing that the investment you’re making in your home is backed by a steadfast promise of quality. California Flooring & Design echoes this sentiment, offering a generous 5-Year Guarantee on products, ensuring that your venture into concrete flooring is safeguarded against unforeseen issues. This guarantee is more than a policy; it’s a reflection of their confidence in their products and their craftsmanship .

California Flooring & Design

Choosing California Flooring & Design for your concrete over floorboards project means partnering with a team that’s committed to bringing your vision to life. Their unique selling points are not just marketing terms but are the pillars upon which they’ve built their reputation. From their unwavering commitment to reliability and productivity to their responsiveness to your needs and timelines, they stand as a beacon of excellence in a crowded market.

High-Quality Craftsmanship

Lastly, none of this would matter without high-quality craftsmanship. The skill and dedication of the craftsmen at California Flooring & Design are what bring projects from concept to reality. Their expertise ensures that every detail is considered, every challenge is met with a solution, and the final product is not just installed but crafted, with an eye for durability, aesthetics, and function.

In conclusion, installing concrete over floorboards is a significant undertaking that can transform your space. By prioritizing a satisfaction guarantee, choosing a trusted partner like California Flooring & Design, and insisting on high-quality craftsmanship, you’re setting your project up for success. These elements are crucial in not just meeting but exceeding your expectations, ensuring that your investment enhances the value, beauty, and functionality of your home for years to come.