Slab house with no subfloor


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Old 04-22-14, 07:00 PM
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Slab house with no subfloor

A question for the group...

I have a 1955 ranch sitting on a slab. The best I can tell most of the house (all but a 300sqft addition) has no sub floor and it carpeting or large sheets of linoleum (kitchen/bath). There is a slight funky smell that appears more heavily in the summer. The kitchen floor will also sweat on the hotter summer days (probably 3-5 days a summer up here in VT).

I don't have much of a desire to go through and add 1300ish feet of subfloor, but also don't want to replace carpet with more carpet that is just going to smell down the road (though if the road was long enough....)

The better half is not interested in putting laminate down with vapor barrier in most of the house as she thinks it looks tacky. We have done it in a few of the rooms.

Kitchen and bathroom we will likely tile when their time comes (possibly installing electric heat under them so they are not so cold, but neither here nor there for this discussion).

What are some of the decent options? I have considered the following:
Laminate w/ vapor barrier (she would like to avoid)
Tile everywhere (sounds backbreaking)
Subfloor w/ carpet or hardwood over it (I would like to avoid as its a big area)
Polishing/staining concrete (would be very cold, may sweat a ton in the summer...)
Replacing carpet and planning on replacing it after a few years... (is there a better kind of carpeting/padding if this is the case) Any idea how long it would last?
Other thoughts?

Thanks,
Adam
 
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Old 04-23-14, 04:47 AM
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A wood subfloor on top of a slab is a bad, bad idea. It will just rot over time.
 
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Old 04-23-14, 08:21 AM
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Sam,

Thanks for the insight. How does it differ than putting a subfloor down in the basement of a house (I know there are frequently debates about whether to subfloor or not in that case)? Should I be looking at options that are available to go in basements?

How much of an effect would running a dehumidifier or ac have on floor sweating and smell? We haven't run the window unit (which doesn't do too much) frequently, but I could get a few additional if it would help.

Thanks
 
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Old 04-23-14, 11:23 AM
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IMHO, you should never put a wood subfloor on concrete. I see nothing to gain doing it anyway. You can put carpet, vinyl, ceramic or engineered wood (using the right adhesive) directly on a concrete subfloor. If there is too much moisture for any of those, there is too much moisture for a subfloor.
 
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Old 04-28-14, 11:42 AM
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I agree with the previous comments. It would, imo, be better that you first correct any possible drainage issues on your lot.

Once you're past that hurdle, you might consider having a flooring professional take a firsthand look at the issue before you start doing anything. Also keep in mind that most, if not all, professional flooring installers will measure the moisture of whatever type of subfloor they'll be working with...
 
 

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