Carpeting Cement Floors


Old 05-29-07, 09:28 AM
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Question Carpeting Cement Floors

It seems like some people differ on whether or not to lay padding underneath a carpet that is installed on top of a cement floor in a basement.

Are there any other opinions out there, and what is the best choice?

I am going to be laying carpet in my basement in the near future, and I have never laid any kind of carpet before. I will have assistance, but they have never laid carpet on cement. What are the best step by step procedures to complete this? I briefly read somewhere that the tacking strips needed to be laid differently...if so, how should this be done and how do we secure them to the floor?

Any advice is appreciated.


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Last edited by twelvepole; 05-29-07 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Post re: carpet over cement floors posted in thread re: carpet over wood floors
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Old 05-29-07, 06:34 PM
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I once read an article that said there were two kinds of basements. The kind with moisture issues, and the kind waiting for moisture issues to happen. If you have no moisture issues and do not anticipate any, it is still good to do a moisture test on concrete. There are carpet cushions with vapor retarders and water resistant carpet cushions available. Many advise against the use of carpet in basements because of the potential for moisture issues. There are those who do not recommend carpet cushion because of mold and mildew issues. In case of flood from rising water table or leak in foundation or other reason, it's easier to pull out carpet, clean and disinfect basement, set up dehumidifiers and fans to dry out, and have carpet professionally cleaned, disinfected, and reinstalled. Carpet cushion has to be discarded and can compound clean up problems. Surfaces that remain damp or wet 24-48 hours can grow mold and mildew. Many recommend the use of olefin carpet in basements because of easier cleanup. Some prefer commercial glue down olefin in basements. Shop around and discuss these issues with carpet sales people. Do some online research so you know the right questions to ask if can determine if the staff is knowledgeable. Once you make a decision on a product, do not hesitate to contact the manufacturer direct re: installation issues, moisture issues, underlayments, and other questions you may have. The warranty issue is important, but most importantly are the moisture issues. Basements can look dry, but concrete can have vapor emissions, especially if no vapor retarder was installed beneath concrete. Don't forget the moisture test for concrete.
Old 05-30-07, 11:08 AM
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Twelvepole is correct. A moisture test of the concrete is a must!!! Its not a question of IF there is moisture in the concrete its a question of how much. You can try a glue down install, but a lot of residential carpets cannot be glued down. They make a specific tack strip for concrete and the best pad to use is a felt pad with a mildewcide. the felt will allow any moisture to evaporate and wont trap it like a rubber or rebond pad would
Old 05-30-07, 01:47 PM
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I hate to sound contentious here, but I don't agree with the glue down install statement above. Pretty much any carpet can be glued down. with commercial carpets, glue down installation is accepted as the norm so you'll find a lot more filler in the backing. The carpet back doesn't flex in a glue down application so the fillers are not the issue they are in a residential setting over pad. Carpet installed over pad must have a better built backing to hold up to the constant flexing with traffic. Consequently, while it's often done, some commercial carpets simply shouldn't be installed over pad because the backing won't take the stress. But, I have yet to find a residential carpet that actually can't be glued down. I would imagine there probably are some, but I've never seen one.
Old 05-30-07, 08:59 PM
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I agree with smokey.
Old 08-25-07, 10:12 AM
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Carpet on Cement Steps

I just pulled off the old carpet runner from the cement steps going from the garage into the house and want to lay some new commercial carpet over the same area. Is it OK to just put the new mastic over the residue of the old mastic and lay the new carpet over it? Or, must I get all of the old crystallized mastic off the steps first?
Old 08-25-07, 05:44 PM
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If it's crystallized, it needs to come up. Use a scraper or sand paper and get as much of it up as you can. Crystallized glue isn't well bonded to the surface and is sort of like sand if you try to go over it. At some point, you'll get past the crystallized part and the rest can stay. A little glue residue won't keep the new glue from bonding.
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