Cement floor under 20 year old carpet level?

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  #1  
Old 08-30-08, 07:15 AM
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Cement floor under 20 year old carpet level?

Hi!

I just got the brilliant idea of installing wood laminate flooring in my LR and DR. They are connected with no areas to cut out and nothing too difficult. Right now there is original carpet in there. I looked underneath and there is padding over concrete underneath. When I pull this up, what are the chances that the cement is level enough to do this? It is a townhouse about 25 years old.

I can't imagine being able to level it myself if it isn't even, that seems like more work than I'm capable of.

And if I get the kind of laminate with the padding already attached to it, does it go right down over the cement?
(It is dry there as I have a basement underneath.)

And, does it need to be glued or can I just snap it together?

AND can I just use a compound miter saw for the whole job or do I need another type of saw?

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 08-30-08, 07:48 AM
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Nice, brilliant idea

Is the LR and DR complete square? Meaning no turns, no angles, no odd and ends? If so...cool. This will definitely make the job easier.

Not sure about your chances on the subfloor being flat. Remember the key is "flat"..not level. I believe you'll just have to pull the pad and check. Just think of other options if you find out the floor is not flat prior to pulling out everything.

Even though you "see" or "feel" it dry doesn't mean it's dry. You will definitely need to do a moisture test.

First, start looking at the brand and type of laminate flooring you like and want as each manufacturer has their own specifics and instructions on installation. The ones you were talking about the padding already attached, you should be able to install directly over concrete. I've only experienced with floating laminate wood floor installation in my house so I know you can float them, no glue required. Once again, just follow the instructions. If you don't want to deal with glue, find the type doesn't require it.

As far as the tools, are there any doorways in the area? Are there any weird angles anywhere (fireplace...things to go around...)? Are you taking out the baseboards? Putting in quarter rounds? Small basics would be a square, pencil, hammer...can't remember what else. If you have weird angles that you can't cut with the miter a jigsaw worked well for me (circular saw might be good). Just depends on what you can get a hold of...maybe from family or friend? The flooring material may come with the installation kit that might include the spacers, a block...or you might have to buy the installation kit. Remember knee pads too. Or like I did, I used the padding for the flooring and wrapped it around me knees. Being on the floor on your knees is a killer! Though, if you get the flooring that has the attached padding...that'd be a different story.

Anywho, check back (no pro here) as I'm SURE others will chime in here.
 
  #3  
Old 08-31-08, 06:04 AM
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i would say its not going to be flat enough for a quality install. but i'm sure you could just slap the stuff down and take your chances. it may be "good enough". it depends on what "your" expectations of "feel under the feet", and life expectancy are.

i bought 2 box's of wood and layed them down, no padding. walking on it didn't feel too bad . but i went ahead and used some leveler anyway. i did the leveler last night, not too hard to use. i have yet to check flatness this morning, but i am sure it will be much better than it was.
 
  #4  
Old 09-01-08, 06:36 AM
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Thanks!

Do you really think there could be moisture if there's a basement underneath? where would th moisture come from? (the basement is dry, BTW).

There is only one tricky area, and that is I have a triple window area that bows out. So the angles won't be 90 degree there. But that's it. But I am sure that can be measured and taken care of by the miter saw.

There are entrance-ways, but no doors, I'm thinking of leaving the existing molding and putting in quarter round.

No, it doesn't have to be perfect and last 20 years. I plan to sell it in a year or two anyway. I am just thinking that anything is better than the filthy white carpet that's there now....
 
  #5  
Old 09-01-08, 06:50 AM
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i am not a pro, by any means. but i would say its dry enough. would there be any plumbing running inside it ?

did you get the carpet up ? if not = do it asap, to get an idea of what you are working with.

for complex cuts = get a jig saw. $$ well spent. and you will have a tool for future projects.
 
  #6  
Old 09-01-08, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Handigrl View Post
Thanks!

Do you really think there could be moisture if there's a basement underneath? where would th moisture come from? (the basement is dry, BTW).

There is only one tricky area, and that is I have a triple window area that bows out. So the angles won't be 90 degree there. But that's it. But I am sure that can be measured and taken care of by the miter saw.

There are entrance-ways, but no doors, I'm thinking of leaving the existing molding and putting in quarter round.

No, it doesn't have to be perfect and last 20 years. I plan to sell it in a year or two anyway. I am just thinking that anything is better than the filthy white carpet that's there now....
You said over concrete. Then you said a basement underneath??

That usually isn't the case in most residential buildings. There is usually wood over the basement.


Concrete will always have moisture vapors coming from it, regardless, if it is the bottom floor or the 100th floor. Concrete absorbs humidity, just like anything else that is hygroscopic.
 
  #7  
Old 09-01-08, 05:16 PM
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Oh Good Lord!

I was curious about having cement under the rug, so I pulled back a lot of the carpet and padding so I could really see what I had--and I see that there is cement-like skim coating on the edge-going into the kitchen. seems that the brainiacs who installed the kitchen tile floor, made it SO much higher than the DR floor next door, that they made like a ramp up into the kitchen! UGH! so now I know for sure that it's not flat! After I get past the cement, about 12", it's wood. then I pulled it back in front of the slider and the wood is rotted under there!!! So, as usual, my easy $500 job is turning into more $$$ than I have! What to do, what to do....
 
  #8  
Old 09-01-08, 06:16 PM
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what kind of wood ? subfloor, or real hardwood ? how does it look ? do you have all the carpet out ?
 
  #9  
Old 09-01-08, 06:29 PM
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No, I WISH it was good wood! It's subfloor wood-sheets of plywood pieced together, mismatched-looks like some of it was replaced with newer at some point, and some 1/4" gaps here and there. I don't have all of it up, just pulled back a corner section of it.
 
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