True Onsite Hardwood

In condos, you would think you could just do anything with your flooring but there are actually limitations. Condo flooring must float. One main limitation you will see when installing flooring in a condo is that a condo’s concrete structure does not allow you to nail the flooring down.

Below are some of your options and things to consider:

  • Sound-proofing – almost every condo requires you to have an underpad with a minimum sound damping quality, often referred to as IIC (impact installation class) rating
  • Underpad Samples – make sure when you are selecting your flooring that you also get a sample from the supplier for the underpad. The property manager will most likely require a sample to put in your condominiums file


Flooring Options

  • True Finished On-site Hardwood – this is almost an extinct flooring because of how much work and steps are involved onsite. Additional concerns are VOCs from staining and finishing, and fine wood dust created from sanding. Additionally, in condos, this flooring requires a plywood subfloor as the floating piece to which the true hardwood is nailed to
  • Pre-Finished Hardwood (starting at $2.99/sq.ft) – this is hardwood that has been pre-finished in a factory and is then installed on-site. This style of flooring has the same issue as finished on-site flooring in requiring a plywood subfloor
  • Engineered Hardwood Flooring (Starting at $2.49/sq.ft) – this is the most popular choice with premium condos trying to achieve a true hardwood look. This type of hardwood is a composite of a plywood base, often with a thin 1/4″ hardwood top and often has a uni-click system. One main drawback of this type of flooring is sometimes it’s found to be soft or easily scratched or dented
  • Laminate Flooring (Starting at $1.29/sq.ft) – this is the most popular choice given it’s ease of installation, durability and wide range of finishes, colours and styles. Most installers can replace the flooring in a condo in a day or two with this option. Manufacturers have up-ed their game in making these plastic floorings look like real hardwood
  • Vinyl (Starting at $1.99/sq.ft) – Indestructible and flood-proof. This is the newest up and coming style of flooring. This option is very durable but currently limited in its selection of styles. Another negative is it’s very thin so it will expose any unlevel concrete below (think humps and puddles). Lastly, with the requirement of sound-dampening underlay, this form becomes very spongy in a condo application

Thinking of getting quotes? Don’t forget you will likely need to replace your quarter round (trim at baseboard) and you will need transitions at every door and where the flooring style changes.

It is also important to keep disposal in mind as most condos have specific rules in regards to replacing flooring. Here are some things to consider:

  • Old flooring has to be taken to a disposal facility offsite
  • You have to arrange an elevator for the flooring to be brought up to your unit and old flooring to be brought down
  • Some condos do not have parking for contract workers 
  • Due to some condominium rules, not all suppliers like to do work in condos


Contact us for some recommendations for contractors to replace your condo flooring.

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