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Old 02-25-2012, 08:52 AM   #1
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Carpeting over concrete basement floor


Looking for some help deciding what type of carpet/installation method to use in my basement finishing project. I was at my local big box shop and the carpeting folks were trying to convince me that "pre-stretched/attached pad" carpet was a good DIY alternative to paying for a regular carpet installation. Has anyone worked with this type of carpet, any success?

Also I am wondering how crucial installing a wood subfloor using 1/2" plywood is? I was planning to use a couple layers of poly sheeting as a vapor barrier between the carpet and the floor, will this suffice?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-25-2012, 09:35 AM   #2
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Carpeting over concrete basement floor


Plywood on concrete is a bad, bad idea. Kangaback carpet will work fine directly on the concrete.

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Old 02-25-2012, 11:19 AM   #3
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Carpeting over concrete basement floor


I would never put carpeting down in the basement again,

Had it and if your basement gets wet you have a miss and will get new carpet.

There are other bigger reasons for not putting carpet in the basement.

Yes it looks nice, but go to cleaning it you will get it wet, again not so good.

There has to be a better flooring to put in the basement.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:37 AM   #4
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I have installed carpet in basements for 40 years. Rarely see a problem with it. There is no floor covering that moisture will not affect. It will even cause the grout to mold on ceramic tile.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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I have installed carpet in basements for 40 years. Rarely see a problem with it. There is no floor covering that moisture will not affect. It will even cause the grout to mold on ceramic tile.
What type of pad do you use?
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:38 PM   #6
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What type of pad do you use?
1/2" 8# Rebond.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:29 PM   #7
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Carpeting over concrete basement floor


I don't see a issue with carpet in a basement i wouldnt do a fairly expensive carpet down, hard wood floor I wouldn't but engineered hard wood maybe.

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Old 02-25-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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What do you feel about the flooring from Lumber Liquidators, would you put their flooring in the basement and what kind?
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:38 PM   #9
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Carpeting over concrete basement floor


Best experience I've had was using a carpet with a padding built onto it.
Very inexpensive, very low pile... about half a notch above indoor/oudoor in quality.

When I needed to replace it (tenant and sewer backup story omitted)...
I learned it was made for mobile homes and no longer available.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:07 PM   #10
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Carpeting over concrete basement floor


I would test the concrete for moisture before installing carpet. A very simple test is: tape down a 2' square piece of poly to the concrete, seal all 4 edges with duct tape and leave the poly in place for 24 hrs. After 24 hrs remove the poly from the concrete, if the concrete and/or the poly has moisture on it or the concrete is darker, then you have moisture vapor escaping up through the concrete. This could cause the carpet to smell like mildew and maybe a mold problem eventually.

If you do have moisture vapor transmission, there are companies that sell moisture blockers that roll on similar to sealers. The moisture blocker absorbs into the concrete filling the capillaries (pores) and blocks moisture vapor from the sub-grade from rising up through the concrete. We use these when we apply epoxy paint in basements and garages.

Companies that sell moisture vapor blockers: Aquron, ASTC Polymers, Chem-crete. You can google them for more information.

Have you ever thought of staining the concrete and just using throw-rugs?
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:20 PM   #11
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That is not really an accurate way to test for moisture.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:42 PM   #12
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There is always going to be some sort of moisture that comes up even if you don't see it or feel it it's always there.

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Old 02-25-2012, 05:12 PM   #13
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[quote=rusty baker;863064]That is not really an accurate way to test for moisture.[/quote

What is the right way to check the moisture?
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:12 PM   #14
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Carpeting over concrete basement floor


Rusty, you're right it isn't the most accurate way but is simple and does give you an idea if moisture is there. A more accurate way to test for moisture is to do a calcium chloride test or relative humidity test.

Like I said we always use moisture vapor blockers, they're about .25 cents per sq. ft. to install and block up to 8lbs per 1000sf/24hrs.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Creteexpert View Post
I would test the concrete for moisture before installing carpet. A very simple test is: tape down a 2' square piece of poly to the concrete, seal all 4 edges with duct tape and leave the poly in place for 24 hrs. After 24 hrs remove the poly from the concrete, if the concrete and/or the poly has moisture on it or the concrete is darker, then you have moisture vapor escaping up through the concrete. This could cause the carpet to smell like mildew and maybe a mold problem eventually.

If you do have moisture vapor transmission, there are companies that sell moisture blockers that roll on similar to sealers. The moisture blocker absorbs into the concrete filling the capillaries (pores) and blocks moisture vapor from the sub-grade from rising up through the concrete. We use these when we apply epoxy paint in basements and garages.

Companies that sell moisture vapor blockers: Aquron, ASTC Polymers, Chem-crete. You can google them for more information.

Have you ever thought of staining the concrete and just using throw-rugs?
Very interesting, I will try that method for testing moisture. I have read that putting down a layer of poly directly on the floor between the pad and the concrete is an effective vapor barrier. Is this true?

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