Am I fine with engineered wood in a basement with no sub-floor?

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  #1  
Old 12-17-09, 09:53 AM
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Am I fine with engineered wood in a basement with no sub-floor?

I have done a _lot_ of reading on sub-floors for my basement (e.g. dricore or foam+OSB, etc.).

I have what to the eye looks like a pretty flat, smooth and well poured slab in my basement, several years old. Also, the slab is dry (passes the wet test with no indication of moisture) with a heavy vapor barrier just underneath it and then on top of gravel.

Beyond problems with coldness if I forgo a sub-floor, can I put an engineered hardwood, with its padding, directly onto my concrete?

Guy in HD thought I'd still need a 6 mil vapor barrier but frankly I already have that (or 10mil, maybe) under my slab, so why sandwich the concrete?

I had thought of a click type situation because it should be quicker but also if we ever replace it I imagine removing glue to be a hassle, although it would help hold the flooring firmly in place.

I don't want a laminate like Pergo. I may go with real hardwood like Bamboo but probably instead an engineered hardwood OR that kind that has a laminate top over the particle board inner.

So my two main questions are:

1) Should I use a vapor barrier in this situation?
2) If I get a click-type engineered wood, since no floor is perfectly flat, how irritating will "clicking" be on low/high spots?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-18-09, 08:50 AM
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ALWAYS use a vapor barrier when floating over a slab....it doesn't matter how dry the slab is today......things change. You could have a void in the vapor barrier below that you aren't aware of, you could end up with migration from the edge of the slab, any number of things. It's cheap, it doesn't hurt the concrete, so do it.

You're correct, no floor is perfectly flat. But be very thorough in checking the flatness before installation. Most manufacturers require the floor to be flat to within 3/16" per 8' or 10' span. Less than that, "clicking" shouldn't be an issue. More than that, squeaks/creaks and even gapping and failure of the locking system can occur.
 
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Old 12-18-09, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tn.floorguy View Post
ALWAYS use a vapor barrier when floating over a slab....it doesn't matter how dry the slab is today......things change. You could have a void in the vapor barrier below that you aren't aware of, you could end up with migration from the edge of the slab, any number of things. It's cheap, it doesn't hurt the concrete, so do it.

You're correct, no floor is perfectly flat. But be very thorough in checking the flatness before installation. Most manufacturers require the floor to be flat to within 3/16" per 8' or 10' span. Less than that, "clicking" shouldn't be an issue. More than that, squeaks/creaks and even gapping and failure of the locking system can occur.
Thanks!

When people have from time to time lamented vinyl basement floors for not breathing I presume they mean simply the bottom of the flooring itself, not the concrete? Because a double VB around the concrete would potentially leave it damp long-term.

Am I going the right path with a click-type floor instead of a glued one? I will be sure my slab is within those 3/16 parameters...
 
  #4  
Old 12-18-09, 06:28 PM
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If there is moisture in the slab, it needs to go somewhere. If there is a VB on the bottom and a VB on the top, you will trap the moisture and will grow mold. I'm not sure what the best path for you is, but you don't want to trap moisture in.

Check out this thread. I haven't read the links so I don't know if it backs up what I am saying or not. Bud is quite knowledgeable and would know more about the subject than I.

http://forum.doityourself.com/bamboo...e-barrier.html
 
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