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Can You Install Rubber Over Concrete? (How To)

Rubber flooring may not be the most popular option for the home but it does have its place. If you have a concrete subfloor, can you proceed with the installation?

A concrete slab is an ideal subfloor for rolled rubber flooring. You will have to attach the floor using double-sided tape and if you are installing over stairs, you will have to glue the rubber down so it doesn’t shift. Make sure that you prepare the subfloor properly to avoid problems in the future.

Man finstalling the rubber floor

In this article, we will consider more than whether you can install a rubber floor over concrete. We will also look into the benefits of doing so and how you can make the job a success.

Can You Install Rubber Over Concrete? (How To)

One important factor that should always be considered on any DIY project is safety. Installing rubber over concrete is not difficult, but there are issues that can be addressed in advance if you consider your personal health and safety.

One of the most dangerous things you will be doing when installing a rolled rubber floor is cutting the floor with a utility knife. A slip of the knife or having your second hand in the wrong position could be disastrous.

Always pay attention to the position of your hands and use a sharp, new blade at all times. Don’t allow yourself to get in a rush but rather, pay close attention to your cut and never bet your hands.

You will also be handling some heavy rubber if you are installing it in a room of any size. Practice proper lifting and bending techniques and always wear kneepads to protect your knees.

Finally, consider the other PPE you will be using, such as safety glasses and a good pair of all-purpose gloves. You can also wear Cutlass gloves, but just be careful because they don’t keep you from getting cut, you will just get cut less.

Should You Install Rubber Over Concrete?

Man finstalling the rubber floor

You will find that installing rolled rubber over concrete is a very easy thing to do. Is it a good idea to consider? That is another story.

One of the most important things you can do when undergoing any home DIY project is to ensure that you are making a good decision. The last thing you want to do is put in a lot of work and then find out it was not worth the effort.

As far as rubber floors are concerned, there are many benefits to choosing them. These benefits are not going to be appropriate for every homeowner, but there are times when it may be just the right thing for you to consider.

Take a look down through the following few benefits and see if any of them convince you that installing a rubber floor over concrete is the best choice you could make.

1. Durability – When it comes to durability, you’re going to have a difficult time topping what a rubber floor can do for you. It is an excellent choice for almost any environment, but there are some environments that make it more appropriate.

This can include any time that you are making a workout room or perhaps changing the room in your home to one that will be used for any type of heavy impact exercise. Rubber is able to stand up to the exercise and the abuse that it may take.

2. Moisture – In some cases, you may have a lot of moisture in the area and you want to have a floor that will stand up to it. A rubber floor is an excellent choice in this regard because it is water resistant.

Do you want a floor that can stand up to a lot of spills? Rubber floors are able to do it with no problem at all. If there is just some moisture in the room or if there is a threat of flooding, rubber floors are also able to stand up to it well.

3. Traffic – Sometimes, you just need a floor that is able to stand up to the traffic that will be walking on it. Rubber floors are able to stand up to a high level of foot traffic, so they are an excellent choice for those areas.

4. Impact – As far as the impact of walking or exercising on the floor is concerned, it is difficult to beat rubber. You will be able to move about and even jump up and down on the floor and it will absorb the impact much better than tile, wood, or any other type of flooring surface.

If those benefits have convinced you that you need to install a rubber floor, let’s move on and consider some of the things necessary to get it done.

Tools Needed To Install Rubber Over Concrete

Confused man standing

One important factor for installing a rubber floor is having all of the tools available. This is not only important for getting the job done but it can make it more convenient and streamlined if you have these available from the start.

Consider the following tools that will be necessary for installing a rubber floor over concrete:

Mop and Bucket

Broom and Dust Pan

Shop Vac

Fans

Scrub Brush

Pressure Washer (Optional)

Tape Measures

Utility Knives

Rubber Mallets

Straight Edge

T-Square

Installation Tape

Adhesive

Flooring Roller (Optional)

More than likely, you are going to have some personal preferences when it comes to the tools you use. They can either be substituted for what is in this list or you can add to the list if necessary.

What Preparation Is Needed To Install Rubber Over Concrete

Man finstalling the rubber floor

Before you begin any job at home, it’s important to ensure that everything is prepared properly. This includes the preparations necessary for installing rubber over concrete.

1. Inspection – It is important to inspect the subfloor carefully. If there are any problems with the concrete, they should be corrected before you do any work by installing the rubber flooring.

Some of the things that may need to be fixed with the subfloor include cracking, splitting, holes, and other damage.

2. Level – Another factor that is important to consider is that the concrete subfloor is level. This may require that you grind down the high points or use a self-leveling compound for low points.

Another option is to completely float the floor with a layer of self-leveling compound. This will produce the best subfloor, but it is a lot more work.

3. Clean – There may be different factors that are necessary for getting the subfloor clean. If another floor was down, you may need to remove adhesives, or paint and debris. Scraping and sanding are the optimal choices for getting this done.

Some people would perhaps consider using the solvent to remove these issues, but that is a bad idea if you are installing a rubber floor. If there is any trace of the solvent left, it can deteriorate the floor from underneath.

4. Dry – One other factor to consider is that the concrete floor is dry. If it has been recently poured, you should allow it dry for at least three months. If you wash or pressure wash the floor, you should allow it to dry for at least 24 hours.

One thing you can do is purchase or rent a moisture meter. This type of tester will let you know the percentage of water that is still in the concrete. If it is too high, you will have to wait until the floor dries.

How To Install Rubber Over Concrete

Confused man standing

Now that you have the floor properly prepared, it’s time to actually install the concrete. Follow these steps to get the job done.

1. Roll the Flooring – The rubber flooring comes in a roll and you can roll it out on the concrete and line it up properly. If the floor has a pattern, you should make sure that it aligns properly.

It is important to pay attention to more than just the pattern of the floor. There is also likely to be a sheen to the floor that should be cared for carefully so that everything lines up. It will help to keep any joints from showing.

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2. Trim Edging – Once everything is rolled out and lined up properly, you can go around the edge of the room and use a utility knife to trim the edges.

Be sure that you are using a quality utility knife and change the blade regularly so it stays sharp. Cutting with a sharp knife makes it less likely for you to injure yourself and get off track.

In addition, you should always pay attention to the hand that is not cutting. It is very easy to get that hand in the way as you are holding down the rubber mat and cutting along the edge. Pay attention to your hands to avoid cutting them.

If you can’t cut a straight line or it seems as if you want to go off track, there’s nothing wrong with using a straight edge. Just pay attention to your fingers and be careful, because you will have to hold the straight edge down as you pull a knife along the edge.

3. Flip – In this step, you will flip the rubber on its back. Essentially, you want the bottom of the rubber flooring facing upward. Make sure that you are keeping everything lined up properly.

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4. Tape – This is the step where you apply the installation tape. The installation tape is double-sided, so you will be taping the edges of the rubber mats together and then eventually, removing the paper on the second side of the tape to expose the sticky edge that will stick to the floor.

Be aware that this double-sided tape is of very high quality and it is easy to make a mistake. Take your time, get the tape lined up properly and make sure that everything is aligned before you finish the process.

5. Flip and Install – In the final step of the process, you will remove the paper backing for the flooring side of the double-sided tape and turn the rubber over. Make sure that you have it in place and then press it down to secure the tape to the concrete.

You may have the opportunity to shift things a little at this point, but you should not be making too many adjustments. Doing so will affect the integrity of the tape and the floor may not stick as well as you would like.

Work section by section until the floor is complete.

If you want to install rubber flooring over concrete, you can do it after preparing the concrete properly. The subfloor should be clean, level, and free of defects. You can then begin the installation process and you will have a rubber floor down in no time.

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