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Covering basement drain with flooring

metallicviper's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
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04-12-17, 11:34 AM   #1  
Covering basement drain with flooring

I recently renovated my basement. The concrete floor slants toward a drain in the floor. We installed laminate flooring, and in order to have the laminate flooring leveled - we had to place several sheets of underlayment around the drain so that it would "build" the concrete up so that it was level. I then installed the laminate flooring on top. Unfortunately in that area, some of the laminate floor boards have come apart. I had two questions:

- Is it okay that I covered the drain with the a bunch of underlayment to level and then laminate flooring?
- What's an easy way to reattach laminate flooring that has become disconnected without having to remove the trim and disassemble the laminate flooring and connect it again.

thank you!

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stickshift's Avatar
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04-12-17, 12:14 PM   #2  
What do the installation instructions for the laminate say? I would guess the multiple layers of underlayment are not approved and you may have voided your warranty.

Not what you asked but did you perform any moisture testing in the basement? Generally speaking, laminate below grade is a bad idea due to its inability to deal with moisture.

Marq1's Avatar

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04-12-17, 03:01 PM   #3  
some of the laminate floor boards have come apart
What exactly do you mean come apart? A moisture problem, just came un-glued/un-clicked?

Did you plug the drain?

I can see where there might be a situation that a drain was in the wrong location and leveled with some type of filler would be acceptable.

Laminate below grade is acceptable as long as you installed the correct underlayment.

czizzi's Avatar
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04-12-17, 03:11 PM   #4  
Laminate is not rated for below grade installations as a start. Second, if the builder installed floor drains, then most likely your particular house is subject to periodic water issues, so strike two.

While you have already invested in laminate, and I am sorry for that, you probably should have chosen a floor that could take a bit of moisture and still come out OK in the end. Something like an indoor/outdoor carpet or possibly tile. Tile would have required some skill to maintain the sloped area to the drain.

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04-12-17, 03:17 PM   #5  
I think with the added underlayment it became overly spongy and caused the weak laminate click lock to disengage. Definitely a warranty violation. If the drain was not being used and was sealed, an appropriate measure would have been to layer in Self Leveling Compound to bring the grade level. I don't install laminate for just such quirks as this. It is not stable.

Marq1's Avatar

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04-12-17, 09:20 PM   #6  
Laminate is not rated for below grade installations as a start
I'm not a huge laminate fan but I have installed small areas in several of my basements.

Here is the verbiage from the warranty disclaimer for the most recent material, so it is acceptable.

"Appropriate Grade for Installation: Above Grade, On Grade or Below Grade, approved underlayment required"

However now that I've seen some of the newer vinyl plank material that would be a better choice for any area that might have moisture issues.

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