Laminate floor in my basement

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I bought laminate floor from Costco. The kind that has thin insulated padding underneath. My contractor recommended to put plastic sheet over the concrete and lay the laminate floor over the sheet directly. He said the floor will easily fell apart if we use the underlayment the guy from home depot recommended (the soft grey material about 1/4" thick.) I agreed and he just finished laying the floor today. It turns out the floor creaks all over! Is this normal? When I stepped on a few spots, I can actually feel a gap between the floor and the concrete.
I would appreciate it if some one here could recommend how to correct this problem? Would it help if we use the underlayment (which mean we will have to re-do the floor...).
Thank you in advance. pax
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On Mon, 16 Jan 2012 21:29:35 -0800 (PST), packat wrote:

I would think there are probably some air pockets. After awhile the air pockets should work out and not be a problem. There is another fairly newer product that is made for this purpose. It's a thicker plastic material with dimples. I'm not a builder and I don't know the words or brands for this stuff. Just seen it used in some tv shows.
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What a relieve to know that this is likely not a permanent problem. But I wish I had know of this material before the floor was put in. However, can a floating floor be removed and reapplied without damage? If so, I would get this material and pay the contractor extra to redo the floor. Just for additional insulation and for peace of mind. pax
Thnaks!
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On 1/17/2012 5:16 AM, packat wrote:

Why would you remove it? It appears, from your original post, it was installed correctly (though you could post brand and model numbers for the flooring so that can be verified.)
Actually, re-reading your original post, you say "I agreed" but you don't say who you agreed with! Nor is it clear whether the padding (foam sheet) was used or not. Is this floor above or below grade? Is/was a vapor barrier laid before the floor slab was poured. Was the slab's moisture content ever measured?
Please give more information, specifically what flooring was used.
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On Mon, 16 Jan 2012 21:29:35 -0800 (PST), packat wrote:

http://www.slonim.com/subcategory.php?cid &pcid=2&PHPSESSID7d90d6fe15ee986d5423277700d94c
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Floor inspection and preparation are important aspects when installing an engineered floor. Following manufacturer's recommendations are also important. On a concrete floor the aggregate may be rough, and uneven and a felt or cushion type pad will help "bed" the product. Also moisture may be an issue. I have sealed the floor prior to installation with a water based acrylic concrete sealer. Not knowing the condition of the subfloor aggregate is leaving me with questions as to laying a floating floor on that surface. Floating floors are meant to slip. Voids under the floor material will cause the squeaking. Sometimes a floor person will "level" or fill low spots and feather areas with a "fixall" or product that fills voids. After the sub- floor is prepared, then a sealer can be used if necessary for moisture penetration. The cushion or blanket that the manufacturer recommends helps even out the seating of the floor as well as providing a slip.
I would take the floor apart and start again. jloomisconstruction.com
"packat" wrote in message
I bought laminate floor from Costco. The kind that has thin insulated padding underneath. My contractor recommended to put plastic sheet over the concrete and lay the laminate floor over the sheet directly. He said the floor will easily fell apart if we use the underlayment the guy from home depot recommended (the soft grey material about 1/4" thick.) I agreed and he just finished laying the floor today. It turns out the floor creaks all over! Is this normal? When I stepped on a few spots, I can actually feel a gap between the floor and the concrete.
I would appreciate it if some one here could recommend how to correct this problem? Would it help if we use the underlayment (which mean we will have to re-do the floor...).
Thank you in advance. pax
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/construction/laminate-floor-in-my-basement-21313-.htm DA wrote: packat wrote:

I don't know what exact issue he had in mind by suggesting the "falling apart" - was he talking about the natural fibers of that particular underlayment disintegrating (over time) because of the moisture in the basement hence uneven support of the floor or was he suggesting that the particular laminate cannot tolerate even the slightest movement that 1/4" underlayment would allow?
In the latter case it would have to be a terrible laminate with which you will have issues regardless of the underlayment. In the former you could have picked all-plastic foam underlayment that is not susceptible to moisture. Both are conjectures on my part, I personally have no idea why a floor contractor would object the idea of underlayment.
In any case, by not using enough underlayment you ended up exaggerating effects of every little unevenness on the concrete floor and maybe even small debris particles that tend to always be there even though you swept it clean. If I understood your post correctly, you only put plastic sheet(s) on a bare concrete floor and that was a terrible mistake. You do absolutely need underlayment to even out the pressure on the floor. If you didn't use underlayment, you'll have to take the whole thing apart and start over.
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Thanks all for several valuable responses. The laminate floor (Vineyard Cherry) was from Harmonics. On sale at Costco $2.35/sq. My contractor does not recommend any underlayment except the black plastic sheet, since the flooring was padded with insulation sheet, a couple of millimeters thick. Adding a sheet of underlayment would cause the joints to separate over time, depending on traffic. There are a few areas where the concrete floor has a dip, around 1/8 to 1/4" deep. The finished floor warped considerable when I stood over those areas.
I really want to correct this problem. The contractor will charge me around $4000 to redo the floor which will include removing the laminate and molding, resurfacing the subfloor with self leveling compound (~$2000) and re install the laminate floor. Unfortunately, I have already gone way over the budget (this laminate flooring in the basement is the last phase in several phases of entire home remodeling.) To add underlayment would be extra.
Would this be a doable DIY? (Of course, I will need to hire someone to do the resurfacing). I have done several simple things myself such as painting, assembling large shelves and furnitures and even fixing leaky pipes. But installing floating floor seems challenging, though I have heard from many that it is quite simple..
Any DIY tips, encouragement, discouragement, (or jest ;-) anyone willing to share with me? pax
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On 1/17/2012 5:28 PM, packat wrote:

The installation instructions are here: http://harmonics-flooring.com/documents/install/Harmonics_Install_Instructions_32608.pdf
For anyone interested... It seems they do not require anything under the floor other than a barrier. I think your problems were (as you see it too) poor surface preparation. Personally I might consider letting it sit as it is for a while and see if things improve. Pulling up the floor and re-fitting it will be painful, so to speak.
For leveling the slab, consider using plywood under layment, which may be less expensive and give a better feel to the floor.
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Thanks for the suggestion. But the basement ceiling is very low. Every inch counts. I guess it left the leveling the slab. pax

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Dear Packat
It Time to get a new Contractor inspected this problem.. So you can be able to sue and get you money back the that Scammer..
You need to get two New Contractor to gave you a FREE ESTIMATE, to redo the floor, from a Flooring Company, not craigslist.. Truly Yours BRF Construction
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On Jan 18, 11:09am, "Hot-Text" <hot-t...@Use-Author-Supplied- Address.invalid> wrote:

Hot Text, Thanks for the suggestion. There is a Lumber Liquidation across the beltway. I will contact them. But I will try to avoid suing. With this new estimate(s), I might be able to negotiate, having my current contractor remove and reinstall the floor at no additional charge, and I will pay for the slab work and underlayment.
thanks again guys, this group rocks!!!
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.Epoxy-Coat fills Rough Concrete and leaves no brush or roller marks
Did you talk to you home insurance to see if coverage available for Laminate floor in your basement.
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.Epoxy-Coat fills Rough Concrete and leaves no brush or roller marks
Did you talk to you home insurance Co. to see if coverage available for Laminate floor in your basement.
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My insurance doesn't cover new improvements done on the house. I just informed my contractor that I want to stop work for a couple of weeks (just the final touch ups, clean ups and walk through the contract left to do) to assess any possible alternative to correct the floor. Also casually mentioned I "might" bring in a couple independent contractors to inspect the floor and provide an estimate, just to see if there are alternatives that he and I haven't though of. He then quickly offer to redo the floor with no charge (I pay for the leveling of the slab.)
This works for both of us. I want to continue using him. Though he is not very technologically savvy, he is willing to help me with small things not in the contract such as carrying very heavy boxes filled with books and large furniture around. He also give me plenty of time between phases to do my research on materials and purchase them.
Thanks again, for your useful comments, pax
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On 1/23/2012 6:56 PM, packat wrote:

Sounds like you have a good contractor, he's doing the right thing by re-doing the job, and I also agree, you should be the one to foot the bill for the re-level of the floor.
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My insurance doesn't cover new improvements done on the house. I just informed my contractor that I want to stop work for a couple of weeks (just the final touch ups, clean ups and walk through the contract left to do) to assess any possible alternative to correct the floor. Also casually mentioned I "might" bring in a couple independent contractors to inspect the floor and provide an estimate, just to see if there are alternatives that he and I haven't though of. He then quickly offer to redo the floor with no charge (I pay for the leveling of the slab.)
This works for both of us. I want to continue using him. Though he is not very technologically savvy, he is willing to help me with small things not in the contract such as carrying very heavy boxes filled with books and large furniture around. He also give me plenty of time between phases to do my research on materials and purchase them.
Thanks again, for your useful comments, pax ============================================================ Sounds as if your handyman is willing to work for beer money. Good deal, as long as you're both happy.
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I think he wants to maintain his good rating in Angies list. Last year I gave him a very fine preliminary ratings for about half of the work done. He is excellent for basic job using standard home depot stuff. Sometimes he made mistake when I became somewhat "creative". Due to the size and duration of the jobs he is doing for me (almost over a year long) my review on him would probably weigh more than other smaller ones he has done in the past. pax
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Angies list is a good Police, For Construction.... ;)
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packat
It good to see it working out for you
Your Truly BRF Construction
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