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Installing new laminate floor in basement, need help


shaner82's Avatar
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06-05-13, 05:56 AM   #1  
Installing new laminate floor in basement, need help

I'm installing new laminate flooring in my basement and have some questions.

1. I know laminate is inferior, but my dogs would ruin hardwood and carpet, so laminate wins by default. Please don't tell me to go with hardwood or carpet, it's not going to happen. I've already bought the laminate anyway.

2. Should I install the laminate directly on top of the cement floor (with vapour barrier and underlay of course) or should I put down plywood first? I've read how it can be a bad idea to put plywood down on a basement cement floor, but will it be okay if I put down a proper vapour barrier first?

3. If I should use plywood, should I go 1/2" or 1/4?

4. If I use plywood, should it be glued or nailed down? Wouldn't nails just puncture the vapour barrier?

5. What type of adhesive should I use to piece together the vapour barrier? Tape or some type of glue/cement?

Thanks for the help

 
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06-05-13, 06:08 PM   #2  
You have a lose, lose situation.
I'd never use laminite below grade, it's just going to delaminate, and plywoods going to rot or delaminate.
Paint, linolium, or tile would have been far better choises.

 
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06-06-13, 04:09 AM   #3  
Total agreement with Joe. You don't need my second opinion, since you already disclaimered it in (1) in your post. If you must, use a good quality underlayment and leave 3/4" of space at the edges. This is more than normal, but you will have more expansion than normal in a basement. Below grade is not a great place to install laminate, although some manufacturers say it is ok. Remember, they sell the stuff, they don't install it.

 
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06-06-13, 04:36 AM   #4  
Just a dog peeing on it, or the normal dog slobber around the water bowl will be enough to distroy the flooring.

 
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06-06-13, 08:21 AM   #5  
I had 8mm laminate installed on vapour barrier over bare concrete 1.5 yrs ago in a basement. Basement has flooded over the floor a small amount, leaving it wet for a week, stuff has been spilt on it, etc. The floor is still fine, no de-lamination, a lit bit of curl on some edges. I guess I got lucky ...

 
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06-06-13, 11:56 AM   #6  
Just as with all gamblers, luck runs out. Yours will happen in all eventuality. How long ago did it flood?

 
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06-06-13, 01:16 PM   #7  
I already have laminate in a different part of the basement and so far it's held up great. I bought the house 2 years ago and it's fine. Not sure how long it's been down as the previous owners did it.

Even if it's not a great choice, it's going in. I have hardwood upstairs and the dogs have scratched the hell out of it. I had carpet in the basement but the dogs ruined it. So whether it's a good idea or not, laminate is going in.

So just use a good underlay and vapour barrier then and don't bother putting down plywood?

 
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06-06-13, 01:41 PM   #8  
Make sure that the underlayment is rated for use as both a vapor barrier as well as a sound deadening material. Many are not rated as a vapor barrier.

 
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06-06-13, 01:55 PM   #9  
Will do. I bought a 2 in 1 item that says it's both a padded underlay as well as a vapour barrier.

I'm just still not sure if I should lay down plywood first

 
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06-06-13, 02:37 PM   #10  
It won't help any, and will eventually become water damaged. Go with the vapor barrier and laminate. Good luck.

 
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06-06-13, 08:44 PM   #11  
@Shane
If your going to put down plywood, then here's what I did at another house.

First put down Platon membrane.Asphalt-caulk overlapping pieces.Then tongue and groove. Then normal foam. Then laminate

I have this installed in a basement for I think 7 years now.That basement regularly (multiple times per year) has water come in, and it does whatever it does under the Platon. Floor still looks great!

Sorry if this msg is messed up. I wrote this on my phone. Very frustrating experience!

 
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