Vinyl plank flooring with cracked concrete base

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  #1  
Old 09-01-15, 12:21 PM
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Vinyl plank flooring with cracked concrete base

Hey all,

Just moved into a new condo and I'm looking to redo the flooring. I want to do the same flooring throughout including the kitchen and bath so I'm looking to go with vinyl planks. Upon removing the carpet I found this concrete mess pictured below. It's surprisingly quite level, but it's also very loud to walk on and the unit below probably hears every step on the bare concrete. What should my next step be here? My thought was maybe I should fill the cracks and level the conrete, followed by some plywood, then underlayment, then finally the vinyl planks. What's the best way to go about this?

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  #2  
Old 09-01-15, 12:27 PM
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Edit:

My guess is that it's some type of concrete leveler on top of plywood base flooring.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 12:33 PM
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Can you scratch it pretty easily? Might be gypcrete.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 12:35 PM
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Off the top of my head, no, then again I haven't really considered that it wasn't concrete either so I will check that out. If it turns out to be gyprcrete, can I just pour some on top to level that out, hoping it would adhere to the previous?
 
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Old 09-01-15, 02:11 PM
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Are the pieces of concrete loose at all? Is it a concrete overpour on a wooden subfloor of some sort? If everything seems to be stable and well ahearded, i would just go over it with some self leveing cement to smooth it out, then lay the vinyl planks right over it.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 02:26 PM
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Some are loose, most of it seems pretty sound. I was thinking on the same line of leveler as well. The plywood would be an extra step to prevent any shearing stress to the planks, and probably help with noise cancellation. I think what I will do is see what comes up and what doesn't. If only small pieces come out, I'll remove them and go ahead with leveler. Once it's level perhaps decide on plywood or not.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 02:31 PM
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The vinyl plank flooring is actually really good at absorbing sound, unlike the hard MDF planks. I'm not sure a plywood underlay would do much to help in that department but it certainly would not hurt.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 02:37 PM
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I'll assess it again once the leveling is done. Assuming I survive that :| Any idea how much sq ft. 50 lb bag will get me?
 
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Old 09-01-15, 02:43 PM
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it really depends on the thickness it is poured, and how deep the cracks are. Generally speaking you will get around 50sqft at 1/8" thick or so. The bag will tell you exactly how much it covers.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 02:45 PM
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Alright, thanks a lot. Hope it goes well.. stuff is not cheap
 
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Old 09-01-15, 02:50 PM
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You are right about that!
 
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Old 09-01-15, 03:07 PM
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Do the installation instructions say anything about directly on concrete? Not my area but I know sheet vinyl is typically over 1/4" plywood underlayment but I have no idea whether that applies to planks as well.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 03:13 PM
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Blown away by those reply's.
That whole thing should have been busted up and hauled away.
An overlay over a failing slab is not going to work.
PS your going to find out real quick that type wood stove is useless.
It's going to suck heat out of all the other rooms and burn wood as as fast as you can toss it in.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 03:55 PM
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If that is gypcrete, you will have an awful mess if you try to pour concrete on it. Does it scratch easily? It looks like old gypcrete to me. There is usually an 1 1/2" to 2 " over either 1/2" or 3/4" plywood. Not much you can do other than either loose lay something over it or take it up and repour.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 03:59 PM
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You could put carpet over it if you nail thru the gypcrete into the plywood to hold the tack strip.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 06:57 PM
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All the vinyl plank flooring I have installed goes right over top of the subfloor, be it wood or concrete. Also no foam underlay. The only thing you need to be sure if is that the floor is smooth and sound. It has yet to be determined if the floor here is sound, or what it even is.
 
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Old 09-01-15, 07:23 PM
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The only thing you need to be sure if is that the floor is smooth and sound.
Keith, for the floor to be that busted up, it is definitely not sound. I'm with Sam, it will have to be repoured and the subfloor reinforced to prevent this happening again.
 
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Old 09-02-15, 06:49 AM
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Hmmm

Thanks for all the replies. I went in and took a closer look at it yesterday, tried taking some of the looser pieces up. Most is pretty solidly stuck to the floor. Some large chunks come up. Also I've come across a lot of nails going through it to the sub-floor so my guess is this is gypcrete. It doesn't scratch terribly easy but, who knows, it's old. I think this is going to be a much bigger project than I was hoping for. Going to start taking up the rest and see what happens...

with the floor being mostly level, can I get away with putting plywood down over this and calling it a day?

Also in the second photo, you can see at the top right there is some laminate flooring down. That stuff is placed over cork, and then over the gypcrete and seems to have no issues.
 
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Old 09-02-15, 09:10 PM
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I suppose if you can anchor plywood to the plywood under the gypcrete, it might work.
 
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Old 09-03-15, 06:12 AM
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Update

The anchoring plywoods might be something to consider. I wanted to take up some of this stuff and see what was underneath to be sure. Plastic barrier and wooden planks. Whenever this gypcrete was poured, it was poured about 1 1/2" thick. Not sure what to do from this point. If I remove it, I'll have a large gap to make up to get the floor to the same height. Perhaps I can fill the hole in and any cracks and try the anchored plywood idea instead of repouring all this gypcrete which will cost me over 1000 dollars alone. What happens if I were to remove this stuff, and just anchor plywood to the subfloor? I should be ok, no? What do you guys think

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  #21  
Old 09-03-15, 08:33 AM
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I'd take it all out and put down plywood (maybe a layer of self leveling compound first, depending on the results after the grypcrete is gone). At that point, we could be talking about ceramic instead of vinyl as well.
 
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Old 09-03-15, 09:29 AM
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Any reason I'd want to go with ceramic? This will eventually be a rental, so I cringe at the thought of a tenant cracking a single tile and never being able to match & replace it.
 
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Old 09-03-15, 09:58 AM
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Based on the gypcrete results, I'm gonna go on a limb (sarcasm) and say that the floor joists system is definitely under sized (or over spanned) and not sufficient to carry all that weight. It cracked out from excessive movement. So I would then surmise that tile of any sort would not be a wise choice.

Definitely plan on adding 3/4" Advantech and then you can install the floor of your choice. If vinyl, then add 1/4" underlayment grade plywood for a smooth surface. Reminder that Luan is not an approved underlayment for flooring.
 
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Old 09-03-15, 10:37 AM
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That sounds good to me. I really want to haul this gypcrete out of here and not have to worry about it ever again. Per HOA regulations, I'm required to put down felt underlayment for noise cancellation underneath the vinyl. Any other recommendations you might have to reduce the noise? If complaints occur I'm then required to cover this all up with carpet or area rugs rendering my time and effort useless
 
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Old 09-03-15, 01:04 PM
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I'm going to go with Z that the floor likely isn't a good choice for ceramic.

That said, I don't see this being a rental as an issue, as we buy our tiles on sale by the pallet so we always have extras and it ends up costing us less to put in ceramic than vinyl. Plus, it gives the unit a little higher-end feel.
 
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Old 09-03-15, 01:12 PM
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Oh are you also an investor??
 
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Old 09-03-15, 01:16 PM
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I work for a guy with a bunch of rental property - 66 residential units and 14,000 ft² of commercial space.
 
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Old 09-03-15, 02:25 PM
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That's the dream Trying to build up a network of good contractors now. Because this unit was a HUD home I'm legally obligated to live there for a year before renting it out. Not all bad though, gives me plenty of time to handle these repairs
 
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Old 09-03-15, 03:28 PM
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Just for clarification, you want to install vinyl click plank flooring, correct? Not vinyl sheet flooring?
 
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Old 09-03-15, 03:50 PM
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Yessir floating LVT. Does anyone have any cheap ideas for disposal of the gypcrete? Throw it out the window into the shallow river you say?
 
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Old 09-03-15, 05:05 PM
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Also, if I were to hire a GC to get this gypcrete hauled away and the floor leveled (not install flooring though) what kind of costs should I be looking at? It would be 550-600 sq ft of gypcrete in chicago il.
 
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Old 09-04-15, 10:47 AM
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I cant comment on costs as their are way too many factors to work in. As for disposal, take it to your local construction debris dump. It should be fairly cheap and definitely more environmentally friendly

To answer your question about sound deadening, just keep in mind that floating floor must go directly onto the finished subfloor. No foam underlay or other materials that have given can go between it.
 
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Old 09-04-15, 11:06 AM
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Check around. The gypcrete makes great fill.
 
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Old 09-08-15, 08:50 AM
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Fire code

I was thinking... is it possible the gypcrete is part of some fire code to keep fires from spreading between units? Has anyone heard of this?
 
 

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