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Old 07-25-2007, 02:27 PM   #1
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Below Grade Flooring help

I am redoing my lower level which has been used as an in-law suite. The house in on a hill so the backwall is completely below ground, while the front is right about at ground level.

There is radiant heating in the concrete floor. Currently there is carpet that was put in 15 yrs ago, with original vinyl tiles underneath. I am going to be removing the carpet and am looking for a replacement that would look good and add value to the home because I may end up selling in 1-1.5 years.

My understanding is that real wood is out of the question because it would absorb moisture through the concrete and warp. Laminate doesn't seem to have this problem, but is there a good laminate out there, that can simulate real wood, add value, and not cost an extreme amount? Or am I best off just to put down new carpet, likely a berber?

Also, for any of these, would I need to remove the old vinyl tiles underneath?



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Old 07-25-2007, 02:42 PM   #2
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See this thread. And if you perform a forum search for 'laminate flooring' you'll get the benefit of all the previous discussions on the subject.. and there are many.

In my un-professional opinion, I would leave the vinyl unless it is chipped or in bad shape. It would help to act as a vapor barrier.

You may want to investigate further how your chosen flooring will perform in a radiant heat environment. I do know that engineered flooring is usually recommended because of it's stability.


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Old 07-27-2007, 12:23 PM   #3
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christa---- i have found that teh value added is almost directly to the money spent. in other words, spend $15/sq ft on hardwood and you probably have added more value than spending $3/sq ft on laminate.

I started the thread in squirrels post and have since then looked at many laminates, engineered, and hardwoods. Anything that could be damaged by moisture should, as it could by being installed below grade, probaly isn't the best way to go. Many laminates look very very similar to real wood at a fraction of the cost, and they hold up better to moisture. Also, check out this new stuff I saw the other day at a flooring center, Konecto flooring, its totally waterproof, flexible, requires not glue or nails, and can be cut with a sharp utility knife. Happy flooring
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:25 AM   #4
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Keep in mind that while your improvements will add appeal for the average buyer you probably will not get back the cost of your upgrades dollar for
dollar when you sell your home.

You might also want to make sure you do not overimprove for the area.


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