Installing Laminate; How level do you really need to be?

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Old 03-12-12, 01:08 PM
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Installing Laminate; How level do you really need to be?

I just ripped out the old linoleum in our foyer, hall, and kitchen via cutting it out with a circ saw and than removing the 50,000 staples. Major PIA pulling those staples.

Now as I prep to install the new laminate, I'm curious as to exactly how level I need to be. Do you really takes a level to your floor and check everywhere?

The subfloor is relatively smooth except for the thousands of staple holes and small gashes from a pry bar. I do feel one edge is higher between two boards that I will work to hammer down better, but the rest appears to be in good shape, smooth and level.

Also as I am now down to the bare sub-floor, with everything above an unfinished basement, Do I still NEED to put a moisture barrier down? I will likely put down a barrier anyway, but is it needed or recommended just for warranty purposes? The laminate has a pad attached already.
 
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Old 03-12-12, 03:38 PM
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Look into the laminate underlayment as specified by the laminate manufacturer. If they have no recommendation, the the red with white dot underlayment installed with the dots down will provide vapor barrier and will allow for air circulation under the flooring. Obvious boogers need to be addressed, however minor stuff like staple holes won't be a problem. Curious...why did you choose laminate over engineered flooring? Cost, appearanace, etc?
 
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Old 03-14-12, 04:44 AM
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I'm installing DreamHome 12mm laminate with an attached 3mm underlayment. The manufacturers recommendation is to use their own 6 or 8 mil plastic sheeting film for basements and concrete, but then it goes on to mention to not use plastic sheeting on wood sub-floors as the wood needs to breath. And I am installing this on a ground level hall and kitchen with a full basement beneath it. Although, "ground level" for me is actually about 2 feet above ground due the foundation and joists being higher than the actual ground.

This is a cut and paste from their pdf install document.
MOISTURE BARRIERS
1. Use DREAM HOME 6 or 8-mil plastic sheeting film having an impermeable vapor retard or perm rating of less than or equal to .15, thereby limiting the passage of moisture to near zero (ASTM D-1745) Overlap all seams 4-8 inches and tape the complete seam from end to end. Run the plastic up the edge of the baseboard or wall 2 to protect the finished floor edges from possible water vapors. After installation, role and tuck the plastic down into the side gaps or expansion space to protect the laminate edges. Apply moisture barriers over concrete subfloors, ceramic tiles, terrazzo, kitchen vinyl or similar.

2. Wood subfloors, do not place plastic sheeting film vapor barrier over a wood subfloor under any circumstances. Wood subfloors need to breathe.

3. Crawl spaces, when installing over a crawl space, the exposed soil or a concrete slab in the crawl space area must be completely covered by a 6 or 8-mil plastic sheeting film with seams overlapped at least 8 inches or more, and taped from end to end.
 
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Old 03-14-12, 06:15 PM
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With the attached cushion underlayment, you are good. Yes, don't apply plastic over the wood. The underlayment I mentioned will allow breathing, but since you have the attached, it won't be necessary, and it is a little more forgiving than plain laminate on plastic underlayment. Good luck with the install and let us know if you need help.
 
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