Laminate flooring over concrete


Old 04-25-05, 04:48 AM
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Laminate flooring over concrete

We are fixing up my late father-in-law's condo (600 sq. ft). prior to selling it. The current flooring is badly stained carpet over concrete. We expect to rip out the carpet and replace it with a decent, but not premium, parquet floor.

Some questions:

1. Am I right that we can apply flooring directly to a vapor barrier?

2. Should we anticipate a need to level the concrete? Is it cheaper to do this by smoothing out the differences with additional concrete (like feathering a plaster wall) or do we have to put in a plywood subfloor.

3. I know people can't give out brand names. But what specs would you look for in a mid-grade product (like thickness of tile, size of edging, mfg warranty)?

Thanks to any who can help.
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Old 04-25-05, 01:17 PM
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If you are floating a laminate over concrete, the concrete will need to be smooth and flat. High spots, if any, can be ground down. Low spots filled with self-leveling compound. Follow manufacturer's instructions in box for subfloor prep, acclimation of product, recommended vapor retarder, and installation. Each laminate manufacturer tends to have very specific instructions. Most major manufacturers tend to have a website with installation and warranty information.

Shop around and compare apples to apples when shopping for laminate products. It tends to be recommended that you go with a major manufacturer that has a large display rack of good, better, and best quality, warranty, and price levels.

If shopping for wood laminate, the thicker the veneer layer (nothing less than 1/8") and the more plies of substrate the better. Keep in mind that you will also need trim pieces to cover expansion gap along walls and any transition pieces if floor will make a transition to a different type of floor covering.
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