Laminate on Concreate Basement Floor. Do I need a subfloor?

Old 01-08-05, 07:06 PM
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Laminate on Concreate Basement Floor. Do I need a subfloor?

I'm about to start my first flooring project. I'm going to be installing laminate over my concrete basement floor. I have a few newbie questions about subfloors.

For starters, what exactly is a subfloor? I know it's a floor on top of an existing floor, but what type of material is it made of?

Let me give you a context that will explain why I'm a little confused. Some people have told me I must install a plywood subfloor over my concrete floor before installing the laminant. I've also been told between the plywood and laminate I should install underlayment. Others have told me I don't need plywood. I can simply install the underlayment directly on the concrete floor and then install the laminant on top of the underlayment.

Is it ok to not install the plywood? If I don't install the plywood, is the underlayment considered to be the subfloor, or in that scenario would I not have a subfloor?

I live in a new home (5 years) and do not have a moisture or dampness problem in this basement.

Thank you.

Old 01-08-05, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mbarkhou

I live in a new home (5 years) and do not have a moisture or dampness problem in this basement.


Boy, I wish I had a dollar for everytime I heard that, when I'm asked to go inspect a laminate failure claim. Only to find Concrete Moisture Vapor Emissions to be higher then the acceptable limit.

Vapors are just that... Vapors. Can you see or feel, vapors... NO.

I will bet you no limit, your concrete has vapor emissions.

This is what you need after 2 layers of moisture retarder are installed directly over the concrete...
DriCore Basement Flooring Subfloor
Old 01-08-05, 08:43 PM
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I've read about DriCore and was about to buy a whole bunch of it at Home Depot, but that's when the salesman told me about the cheaper solutions. Installing DriCore is going to cost me about $700. If I only go with the underlayment it'll be around $350. I have no problem with paying the extra $$$ now if only using underlayment is not the right thing to do. I don't want to save a couple hundred dollars now just to have to replace the whole thing later on. However, if only using underlayment is ok then I'll probably go that way.

Based on your response, it sounds like you're recommending both. Is that true? The video I watched in the store showed the installer placing the DriCore directly on the concrete.
Old 01-08-05, 09:21 PM
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I answered this earlier but it went to a different post for some reason.
Armstrong reccomends that you use their underlament and moisture barrier that comes in rolls that you would roll out on the floor an then install the the laminate over the sheeting.
You would still need to do a moisture test on the slab to see if there are any m.v.e's as perry stated ealier that would require a matt test which consists of 6 mil plastic cut into 1 foot by 1 foot squares 3 for the first 1000 square feet and then 1 for every 500 square feet after that use duct tape to attach them on the floor and make sure you seal all the edges and let sit for 24 hours .if there is moisture present you would then need a calcium chloride test to see how much moisture is present.ARmstrong is at 5.0lb./1000/24 hours exceeding that is rolling the dice and the odds are against you.But you can always put it on screeds and plywood, a little cheaper but still a pain

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