Carpet Only On Concrete?

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Old 01-07-16, 01:08 PM
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Question Carpet Only On Concrete?

I'm finishing my basement on a shoestring budget. Area is about 550sqft and the floor is poured concrete, 1950's house with block wall basement. Basement hasn't been wet but that's not to say it couldn't get wet. Also, headroom is at a premium. Also, notice the shoestring budget.

My plan was to get some taller pile carpet (about 1/2" or so?) based on a sample I have) that's from the big box store, builder series ($1.30/sqft) stuff and get two 12ft wide strips to the lengths I need for mostly rectangle room. Get carpet in, cut to floor area, flop down, seam across where support beams in center of basement are, and then go install my baseboard around perimeter snug to carpet.

No padding, no glue, no tack, just a giant area rug made of carpet tucked under basebaord that fits my layout. No padding so water issues are easier to deal with, no additional "height" to reduce headroom, I save some cashola and the taller pile carpet will offset commercial carpet hardness on the concrete, good enough.

I've talked to the big box store and they won't install carpet without padding. Talked to more places, nobody will touch my job except small handyman guys. But here's the rub, I've had one person tell me that if I proceed with my plan the carpet won't lay flat and I'll get lumps and it'll move around on me. But it's not like I'm moving my furniture around all the time... that'll happen about once and then it's just foot traffic. And how does it move around on me when it weighs that much and covers that much area? My area rug upstairs on tile with no gripper stuff under it had done fine for years... Guy told me at a minimum do double-side tape all over and that glue only works with tight/short/commercial carpet.

Another few people have told me that the other guys are full of it and it'll be fine.

Any input? Has anyone done what I'm attempting and regretted it? My thoughts were get the carpet and do my thing and if I don't like it, roll up towards seamed in center and add tape, glue, perimeter tacks, padding, whatever.

Thanks,
Mike
 
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Old 01-07-16, 02:27 PM
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Have you done a moisture test on your slab?

I'm not absolutely against carpet in a basement but there are basements where it's a bad idea. That said, carpet gets glued or tacked down so if you're not going to do that, I'd be looking into rugs instead.
 
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Old 01-07-16, 03:01 PM
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Well I've lived here for 4 years and never found moisture or water except one corner I spent the fall repairing (outside drainage, stone septic line lies on was acting like french drain, intercepted and sent to street ditch). Moisture test performed? no. But the drywall dust and saw dust covering the floor for months is still dry as a whistle. I know it's not official so maybe it still has moisture. I've heard of covering the floor with plastic wrap or foil and leaving for a while or that sometimes boards flat on floor will show moisture, never seen anything.

Also another reason I was avoiding padding, carpet probably "breathes" better than carpet AND padding.

Regarding rugs, I guess I don't understand how carpet isn't a rug if it's cut properly all the way to the walls and baseboard is "clamping" the perimeter down? Please inform me as I feel I'm missing something haha.

Thanks,
Mike
 
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Old 01-07-16, 03:33 PM
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I think you got good advice, carpet is designed to be stretched for the most part to lay flat, thus the tack strips at a minimum is what I would advise. HD installs carpet for $99 a whole house, but require you to buy pad, where do you think they make up the install money, Hmmm? Some commercial carpet is designed to be glued down which prevents it from walking. Using one area rug as the control group is a little silly. There are best practices on carpet, and I think you have been given that information. If you choose to do your own thing, then have a back up plan to secure the carpet if it doesn't sit nice for you. Tack strips are usually included in carpet installs.
 
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Old 01-07-16, 03:43 PM
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After you put the carpet down, since it isn't stretched, it will loosen and wrinkle over time. I don't know why they told you couldn't glue it down. You can glue down any carpet.
 
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Old 01-07-16, 04:28 PM
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I guess I know now carpet should be stretched when installed, I'm just afraid of putting any holes in the basement floor that aren't absolutely necessary. I didn't even nail my bottom sills down for the perimeter walls, I just built them tall so they wedged in between joists and floor and used Loctite super adhesive to glue to the floor.

I'd assume I'd have less a fight taking the carpet up with doube-sided tape vs. glue?

Can I glue down ANY carpet? Maybe the guys point was that tight/commercial carpet glues "better" than standard higher pile carpet?

Does anyone think gluing tack to the concrete would be enough to hold the carpet and bypass holes in the floor? Any other ideas for tack installation to concrete?

For simplicity, say the room is 20x30. One guy said he'd at a minimum put tack down on 2 of 4 edges, would that be on the 20ft sides or 30ft sides if the seam is parallel to the longer 30ft side?
 
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Old 01-07-16, 05:42 PM
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You can glue tack down to concrete, look into a product called Chemrex which is specifically designed for that purpose. In honesty, a couple of nail holes in the perimeter of the room means nothing. I don't understand your aversion to putting it in correctly.
 
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Old 01-07-16, 06:12 PM
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Thanks for the chemrex mention, I'll look into that.
I guess I'm not, I'd love to have normal carpet... but with the water uncertainty, budget and headroom I'm making it difficult.

What's the general consensus if I were to do tack around the perimeter with chemrex (maybe just quit being a pansy and nails) and then just carpet, no padding? Of course then I'm approaching a standard install and padding is cheap but then it's just my fear of potentially dealing with wet padding...

Mike
 
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Old 01-08-16, 07:44 AM
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If you put carpet down with strip, it needs pad. Yes you CAN glue down any carpet. There is a glue system for strip called PAM. Or Check out Kangaback carpet. It will roll out and stay in place. no glue, no strip. It has a urethane pad backing that will help prevent mold, too.
 
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Old 01-08-16, 01:45 PM
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I'll check out that carpet with backing but my guess is it's a budget breaker. What happens if I tack the carpet without padding? All the signs really seem to be pointing towards installing carpet the right way

That or kindly disregard all the helpful info I've gotten here, try the straight carpet, and if I'm not satisfied, roll it up, throw down padding, tack, and do it right!

Seriously, I appreciate the advice, just gotta decide my priorities!

Mike
 
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Old 01-08-16, 04:29 PM
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If you put carpet down with tackstrip and no pad, it will wrinkle.
 
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Old 01-08-16, 06:05 PM
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I thought the point of the tack was to stretch the carpet so it wouldn't wrinkle. Clearly I don't understand how carpet works!
 
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Old 01-08-16, 07:22 PM
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It will droop to the floor with no pad and stretch from foot traffic and may come off the tackstrip.
 
 

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