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Need some tips for preping concrete slab for laminate flooring


Kommisar89's Avatar
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12-05-10, 10:30 PM   #1  
Need some tips for preping concrete slab for laminate flooring

Hi All...I've been scouring the web of late trying to find out what I need to do to prep the concrete slab for laminate flooring but I'm not finding anything that addresses my concerns. Most everything I'm finding makes installing a laminate floor sound as simple as snapping Legos together but as you will see from the pictures, the subfloor will have to be prepared first. From what I can tell now that I've removed the old carpeting, the original builders were none too careful with the slab as they knew it would be covered with carpet. At the outside walls there is a gap of about 1 1/4 inches between the end of the slab and the wall which is filled by some sort of tar like expansion joint between the concrete floor of the den and the external slab. There are also places where the external slab intrudes into the den floor or the den floor just isn't finished very well (see the pictures). I don't know what I could do with those spots to prepare them for the laminate but it looks like as it is it would leave me with a 1 1/4 inch gap between the laminiate and the wall along the outside wall and a couple of spots that I don't know how to cover at all. Then there are the two spots with stairs - I could probably just cut around the stairs coming down into the den and use trim molding to cover the 3 1/2 wide wooden pice at the top of the stairs going down into the basement but again, I just have not been able to find anything describing these scenarios online. Your help and advice would be greatly appreciated.










 
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12-06-10, 03:09 PM   #2  
Home Depot sells an underlayment (not cheap) which is going to cover those things much like the carpet did. I would use that & whatever moldings are needed at the stairs.

 
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12-06-10, 05:05 PM   #3  
Posted By: Pulpo Home Depot sells an underlayment (not cheap) which is going to cover those things much like the carpet did. I would use that & whatever moldings are needed at the stairs.
Thanks Pulpo. I posed the same questions to a colleague at work today and got the same response. Is this the same underlayment that comes built into the back of some brands/models of flooring or a separate underlayment?

 
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12-07-10, 04:30 AM   #4  
Picture 2 shows where someone tried to float the floor (badly). Pix 4 & 5 show staircases, but they aren't the same, are they? One shows hardwood at the top and the other shows a subfloor of some sorts. I am assuming you will be stripping the carpet off the stairs as well? If so, once you remove the carpet wrap from the skirt board, you will be better able to tell what you need there. Probably just need to put a base cap on top of the skirt to dress it off. Treads and risers may be construction grade and will need to be replaced with either oak or pine bullnose treads and paintable or stainable risers.
I just finished a basement for a client who chose 5/8" engineered flooring. We used the red underlayment with the white foam dots all over it. A little more expensive, but did a good job without it feeling squishy.

 
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12-07-10, 07:13 AM   #5  
The underlayment that I'm talking about is the same underlayment that Chandler mentioned. It's red with the white dots. Go to Home Depot. You'll see it there.

 
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12-07-10, 09:25 PM   #6  
Thanks Guys. Would that be this stuff?

ROBERTS Harmony Premium 3-in-1 Underlayment, For Laminate And Wood Floors - 70-100-12 at The Home Depot


Do you have any experience with this underlayment? I ask because my wife is in her "green" phase right now and wants everything green/eco-friendly and may balk at the former.

Best Underlayment 3 Ft. X 33.3 Ft. Acoustical Recycled Fiber W/film For Laminate, Wood - QW100N1HD at The Home Depot


As for the stairs, I have no idea yet but what you said chandler sounds about right. I think. As soon as I look up what a skirt board and a base cap are. From what I can tell peaking under the ripped carpet, the treads are plain wood of some sort and the riders are particle board. No idea yet what the skirt board is made out of (that's the side pieces, right?) The stairs may require a separate post all to themselves. I visted a friend of mine and she had had her entire house done in beautiful hardwood floors except for the stairs which she left carpeted. I asked why and she said it was due to the cost so I'm a bit leary about that.

 
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12-08-10, 07:14 AM   #7  
Yes, that's the stuff at Home Depot.

 
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12-13-10, 05:10 AM   #8  
Yes, the top one. Be sure to put the dots down. It has an adhesive strip along one edge so you can join them as you go. If this product were a "green" solution, it would biodegrade in a year, so it would be useless. I know, mine is greener than green, and I have to justify everything I do. Sometimes it is better to do it and apologize than to seek permission.
Let us know on the stairs.....we're here.

 
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