? Flooring over concrete?

Old 03-07-02, 04:40 PM
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Question ? Flooring over concrete?

I purchased a 1950's stone ranch house with the original vinyl tiles in every room on top of a concrete slab. I would like to put new floor covering down but I have a few concerns.

Will my new covering get damp from any condensation?
What is a good choice of coverings?
Can I just go over the tiles?
Should there be some type of barrier between the old floor and the new?
Old 03-09-02, 10:32 AM
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flooring over concrete

In most cases, it is recommended that a vapor barrier be placed over concrete before any wood or laminate flooring is placed. A good way of checking for moisture, in the concrete in your case, would be to remove two square feet of tile, place a piece of 4 mm or 6mm of poly on the removed area of tile, taping the edge of the poly to the concrete with duct tape. Wait approx. 48 hrs, and see if there is any condensation on the underside of the poly or if the concrete has darkened in that area. If anyone of these is evident, there is moisture. Laminate wood floors have become quite popular, and can be applied over concrete with moisture by following manufacturers recommendations. Other choices maybe, ceramic or slate flooring which are also quite attractive. If there is no moisture problem, your choices of flooring are wide open. Another alternative with moisture, is to place a good vapor barrier over the concrete, and build a plywood subfloor. on top of the vapor barrier with sleepers, which may become quite expensive. I understand there is also products that can be painted on over concrete slabs that would seal out moisture from damaging flooring, but I have no experience in this area. Good Luck!
Old 03-09-02, 07:10 PM
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Checking for moisture 1st is a good idea but a choice of material will effect the precautions that you should consider. Lets get the barrier issue out of the way. Moisture barriers are required between concrete and wood flooring. Vapor barriers are a non issue and deserve no further thought. The vinyl tiles may be asbestos if they date back to the 50's. It will be important to determine the exact material. If you can perform an unscientific moisture test roughly as has been described under a range/stove or other appliance in or adjacent to the area to be renovated, please do so. If your tiles are, in fact, asbestos they must be removed or encapsulated. Don't make excess dust or breathe the dust. The vinyl tiles, if the installation is sound and tight will aid in moisture isolation. You will still need a moisture barrier. Do you expect excess moisture? The idea of building up the floor with sleepers is an invitation to mold in most parts of the country and insurance companies are now removing mold coverage from home owner policies because the cost of claims has become excessive. I don't mean to alarm anyone but due diligence is definitely in order. You will need to decide between carpet, wood or laminate flooring and a floating floor needs consideration.
AzFred Flooring Info

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