Installing Laminate over Vinyl Tile--With Dip

Hi all,
I was just getting ready to install my new laminate flooring when I pulled up the old carpet and found a rather large valley in one of the corners of my basement.
The flooring right now is vinyl tile over concrete, but it looks like the concrete slab has cracked and shifted a bit, and so I have about a 3/8" valley, about 12 feet long and 3 feet wide.
Upon further inspection I found another similar valley 3 feet by 6 inches (3/8" deep) in another location.
Should I pull up all the tile, then use a Self Levelling Compound on the concrete? (Not my first choice)
Should I use an embossing leveller over the top of the old vinyl tile to level it all out? (Probably pretty expensive, I'm guessing?)
Any other suggestions I may be missing?
The tile is in *very* good shape because there was a carpet over the top--no wear whatsoever, and the tile is very firmly affixed to the concrete, not loose at all.
TIA,
Paul
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up
basement.
valley,
(3/8"
level
top--no
loose
if you really have a 3 feet wide crack you really should contact a structural engineer. You may have more problems than you realize.
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SQLit wrote:

This is true -- but if you find there is no structural problem I'd recommend simply using Blue Moon body filler. It might take a whole gallon can to fill all the area you mention, but once you've slathered it in you'd just need to take a long straightedge to level it. Prior to laying it down, however, it would be smart to drill a fair number of small holes in the existing tile in the sunken area so that the body filler has something to grab into.
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Sporkman wrote:

What a novel idea... :)
I've seen some reference to "Blue Moon" being manufactured by Martin Senour Paints, so I found this:
http://www.martinsenour-autopaint.com/ap/ap_bodyfiller01.htm
Is this what you are referring to?
They have other body fillers listed here:
http://www.martinsenour-autopaint.com/ap/ap_bodyfillers.html
Anyway, thanks for the tips.
Paul
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Any type automotive body filler is really what I meant. I have some "Blue Moon" somewhere, but I don't remember the maker. It's very well known here in the States. Typically you buy a quart or gallon can with a small tube of curing agent. An automotive body shop can tell you about best use. It does typically cure rather quickly -- about 30 mins IIRC -- and pot time (time that the material can be worked from time mixed) could be a problem over such a large area. I seem to remember about a 5 minute pot time for the stuff I've used. I believe it is an epoxy resin and creates a pretty hard (but not brittle) plastic-like solid.
BTW, makes a good modelling agent for small parts. If you can make a partial mold or form that meets some of your dimensional requirments -- maybe except for one end -- it works well to sculpt it after curing with a die grinder, or even a Dremel type tool. I find that die grinders work better because they have more power/speed than Dremel tools and thus are less likely to have the bit seize and score the model. Got to watch those little fingers, though.
Mark 'Sporky' Stapleton Watermark Design, LLC http://www.h2omarkdesign.com
Wooden Badger wrote:

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SQLit wrote:

Yikes, thanks for the heads up.
SELECT Thanks FROM Greetings WHERE True;
Paul
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Uhhh, if you have a 3 foot WIDE crack, you have a chasm you could lose a dog or a toddler in. If you have a 3 foot LONG crack, it might only be an 1/8 inch wide. Precision in your description is very important.

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Curmudgeon wrote:

I didn't say the crack was 3 feet wide...but that the valley caused by the crack is 3 feet wide...
"but it looks like the concrete slab has cracked and shifted a bit, and so I have about a 3/8" valley, about 12 feet long and 3 feet wide."
But I can see why the confusion was caused. I found a product at Home Depot called Floor Patch and Level made by Jasco. It spreads like drywall mud, so it isn't self-levelling. The stuff is expensive (~ $20/gallon ) and stinks horribly, but it looks like it will work well.
I drilled some holes in the vinyl tile before I started to give the stuff a bit of an anchor. Then I spread it using a wide knife. Took 2-3 hours to dry in my test valley, which is about 1 foot wide and 3 feet long (valley, not the crack). It took about half of the gallon bucket to do the job.
It's dried pretty hard overnight and is solidly held in place. The valley has been filled and is now levelled.
Now I have to fill the bigger valley so I can get to installing the laminate. Thanks for all the tips, fellers.
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