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Old 11-04-2012, 01:08 PM   #1
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Basement - Wood over concrete

Hello. I'm in the process of removing old carpet from my basement and have decided to replace it with a floating click and lock hardwood.

I bought the house a year ago (row house style home built in 1910). The subfloor is concrete. It appears (please see images attached) that there was old linoleum once installed in the basement? The floor has a black tar-like material stuck to it. I'm guessing this was the old adhesive used many years ago? Is that a correct assumption?

The floor has some mild dips (not level and flat) and Iím planning to use some auto-leveling compound to remedy this situation. My question is, do any of you know what this black adhesive is...and do I need to completely remove it for the auto-leveling compound to adhere to the concrete?
This will be my first DIY using hardwood. I have had a lot experience tiling so I have an idea of what I'm getting myself into. The finished basement is only ~200 square feet. Once the floor is flat I plan to use moisture barrier underlayment and then float the hardwood above it.

If anyone could provide some advice on the concrete and how to prepare it for the underlayment it would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Attached Thumbnails
Basement - Wood over concrete-photo-1.jpg   Basement - Wood over concrete-photo-2.jpg  


Last edited by Bublar; 11-04-2012 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Added Pictures
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:49 PM   #2
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There is no picture attached.
Got to clear it up first, you've said hardwood in two differant places and click and lock in another.
Which is it.
Could be laminite, that is not real wood, engineered flooring which uses real wood for the top layer, or real hardwood.

How dry does this basement stay?
Is what your thinking of using even below grade rated?

The black stuff is called cut back. Some can contain asbestos. May want to get it tested.


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Old 11-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. I attached images when I posted but not sure why they didn't upload. I've added them again - hopefully you can see them now.I plan to use click and lock engineered hardwood (not laminate).

The basement did leak when I purhased it due to a poorly construted addition. I have since had that professionally knocked down and rebuilt. I've had new concrete poured and also had the basement dryloked. The basement now has no leaks or moisture problems whatsoever.

I haven't decided what floor to use yet as I wanted to make sure I'm making the correct decisions and following the right process.

Either way - the carpet needed to go because of it's age. Worst case, I figured I could re-carpet the room if wood flooring was a no-go.

Thanks for the advice on asbestos - I figured so much.

So you're saying there's no bonding material on the market that will allow leveling compound to be used without completely removing all of the cut back? From what I understand, short of grinding the floor, that adhesive is most likely buried into the concrete considering it's age. Would that be a correct assumption?

Any advice on which flooring to choose? My original plan was to just choose a click-lock from lumberliquidators...
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bublar
So you're saying there's no bonding material on the market that will allow leveling compound to be used without completely removing all of the cut back?
There are plenty of self-leveling-cements that will work over cut-back residue. Just follow their directions which always includes applying a primer. Just find out what brands are available in your area and then read. Let us know what you're gonna use too.

BTW, it is not always a good idea to use SLC, sometimes a patching cement is best. It all depends on what it'll take to make the floor flat. Flat is important, level not so much.

TILE GUY - retired- TROY, MI - Method & Product suitability consulting.

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