laminate floor over cruddy vinyl tile -- subfloor?

I have a home office, which I want to re-floor with floating laminate (Pergo, locking glueless). I pulled up the old carpet and pad, and discovered (instead of the nice neat concrete I was hoping for) two problems:
a) the previous floor was some sort of linoleum tile which, given the age of the addition, may contain nasty stuff including asbestos. Two thirds of this is in good condition, the rest is falling apart.
b) One area is bare concrete, but is not even with the rest (off by 1/4 or so).
I can solve (b) by using a leveling compound, but not (a). My wife is very concrned about asbestos exposure, and the crumbly areas are nasty anyway.
I'm considering sealing off the previous floor with a plywood/OSB subfloor. And using shims in the uneven part.
And I'm looking for advice:
-- floating, or nailed into the concrete? -- What's the best material to use? And vapor barrier underneath, on top, or both?
The whole room's floor is below that of an adjoining room anyway (used to be a garage), so raising its floor height isn't an issue.
Thanks,
Andy Barss
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Andrew Barss wrote:

--

you could level/seal/smooth the floor using a sovlent free floor epoxy
over everything
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Andrew Barss wrote:

Don't be concerned about the asbestos exposure. If it IS asbestos, it's trapped in the substrate. Whatever you do, don't get it tested - you may be forced to spend tens of thousands in remediation PLUS disclose to a subsequent buyer.
The best solution is to scrape it up, put it in plastic bags, and discard it.
If that's not possible, laminate flooring is pretty forgiving of imperfections, since the planks are so big and thick. Do the best you can about leveling, but it doesn't have to be as good as if you were laying vinyl tile.
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If it is sheet goods as opposed it square tiles, it is probably not anything with asbestos. Even if it is, the fibers are contained in the tile and not a hazard. Once covered, they will really be out of the way. use leveling compound and then use the recommended sheet barrier or cushion under the floor. Rather that laminate, I'd use engineered wood since it is much better looking than the plastic stuff. Easier to cut also.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Second that. Compared to real wood laminate, engineered wood is also more durable, not subject to dents, impervious to water, and, for those who care about such things, cheaper.
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Andrew Barss wrote:

You may want to check and see if there is a Lumber Liquidators ( http://lumberliquidators.com ) store near you. Someone here mentioned that to me recently and I was amazed at how much better their selection of products and prices were that Home Depot, Lowes, etc. And, some of the specials sale items they have are way less expensive than any other place I have seen.
I agree with the person who suggested taking up the existing tiles if it's not too much trouble, placing them in plastic bags, and throwing them out. Almost everywhere it is permitted for homeowners to do that with those types of tiles even if they do have asbestos in them. If it is concrete underneath, it should not be too much trouble scraping the up and trashing them. I think I read somewhere that if the tiles are 9x9, they may be from a time when some of them had asbestos, but if they are 12x12, they almost certainly do not have asbestos. But, either way, I'd say just remove them.
Then do floor leveler, maybe just to even out the low spots, then plywood over top.
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: Andrew Barss wrote: :> :> I'm hoing to locate a local dealer Delta-FL, which looks like an :> excellent product for this (it's a heavy, dimpled polystyrene :> subfloor). : You may want to check and see if there is a Lumber Liquidators ( : http://lumberliquidators.com ) store near you. Someone here mentioned that : to me recently and I was amazed at how much better their selection of : products and prices were that Home Depot, Lowes, etc.
: I agree with the person who suggested taking up the existing tiles if it's : not too much trouble, placing them in plastic bags, and throwing them out. : Almost everywhere it is permitted for homeowners to do that with those types : of tiles even if they do have asbestos in them. If it is concrete : underneath, it should not be too much trouble scraping the up and trashing : them. I think I read somewhere that if the tiles are 9x9, they may be from : a time when some of them had asbestos, but if they are 12x12, they almost : certainly do not have asbestos. But, either way, I'd say just remove them.
: Then do floor leveler, maybe just to even out the low spots, then plywood : over top.
That's pretty much what I've decided to do, except no plywood. The Delta-FL (which is available through Lowes as a special order, at about .56/sf) goes down, with an optional layer of polystyrene landscape fabric under it to decrease any clicking, with the laminate (which has a foam underlayment built in) on top of that.
Now all I need to do is figure out which self-leveling compound to use. I've gotten rcccomendations for RapidSet Tru from a couple of people.
I've also had a recc. for a paint called Artex, which goes over whatever remains on the concrete to bond it, and which provides somethign for the self-levelling compound to bond to.
Anyone have experience with Artex (which I am having trouble locating) or recc. for self-leveling stuff?
-- Andy
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Andrew Barss wrote:

Huh? Delta-FL is a dimpled plastic that is designed to separate a plywood underlayment from a damp, cold, basement floor. The dimples are so far apart that I have serious doubts whether covering it with laminate will work.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxOwIfJWLAY

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: Andrew Barss wrote: :> :> That's pretty much what I've decided to do, except no plywood. :> The Delta-FL (which is available through Lowes as a special order, :> at about .56/sf) goes down, with an optional layer of polystyrene :> landscape fabric under it to decrease any clicking, with the :> laminate (which has a foam underlayment built in) on top of that. :>
: Huh? Delta-FL is a dimpled plastic that is designed to separate a plywood : underlayment from a damp, cold, basement floor. The dimples are so far apart : that I have serious doubts whether covering it with laminate will work. :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxOwIfJWLAY

I'll double check, but my understanding is that you need to cover the Delta-FL with plywood only if you're laying carpet. Laminate can go right on top, as per the Delta-FL installation instructions at
https://www.spycor.com/v/vspfiles/templates/1/assets/DELTA-FL_Installation.pdf
Furthermore, the laminate I am using (Pergo Casual Living Exotics) forbids, I think, a plywood or other subfloor between the moisture barrier and the laminate.
If you know for sure that I'm wrong, please say so.
    -- Andy Barss
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Check out Trafficmaster Allure Resilient Vinyl Plank Flooring at Homedepot.com..I have seen it in a couple of homes...Really looks great and so easy to put down that my dad with no experience at flooring has done most of his 200 year old house with VERY uneven floors with it...The edges are self addhesive which forms a waterproof seal..It is very forgiving of bad floors..It would seal the old floor...Here is the stats..
Easy GripStripT installation - Lays directly over your old floor; no floor prep or messy glue needed! Looks and feels like real wood. feel the knots! Completely waterproof. Perfect in high moisture areas. basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Warm comfort and quiet under foot. Install an entire floor cleanly, easily in just a few hours. 25 year residential warranty.
a.. Oak Finish b.. Super durable and completely waterproof c.. Unique interlocking-edge design for simple installation d.. Simply lay overlapping GripStripT of one plank on adjacent plank and press together. No other adhesive required. Minimal trimming involved. Just score and snap! e.. Sold by the box, each covers 24 Sq. Ft.
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