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joemanuelking 11-24-2007 03:29 PM

Flooring questions
 
Hi, we have a lot of issues that we are contemplating regarding flooring and I was hoping y'all could weigh in and help. We have an L-shaped living room/dining room combo and small hallway that had vinyl tile, which we removed and some linoleum that we have not yet removed. The vinyl tiles left some thin black glue marks that we havent cleaned up and the subfloor is concrete slab. Over the living room/hallway there is old ratty carpet which we cut into 4' wide strips to pull up the tiles and then layed the carpet back down.

What we'd like to do is minimize the amount of additional floor prep and do the floor one 4' strip at a time to minimize the impact on our daily life and wallet. Wed like to start with slate tiles at entry ways and around the hearth, then lay laminate down in steps (4' at a time). My understanding of the tile is that it must be glued directly to the floor so the floor must be clean of glue and dry in those areas. My understanding of the laminate is that the floor must be flat, but not necessarily level, and that since there is a moisture barrier and a foam layer, the subfloor doesnt have to have the glue removed.

Not sure what I've left out but thats the gist of it. Id like to know if the slate/laminate is possible to do piecemeal and if there might be better suggestions (My wife is considering doing the whole floor in toothpicks). How much floor prep is really necessary considering we dont like working with the old stuff (we probably already have lung cancer from ripping up the tiles). We dont have much discretionary cash to spend on hiring someone or buying it all at once. Wed like one step up from linoleum but tough and cheap to survice the kids and dog and constant mess.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help.

joe

The Home Doc 11-26-2007 05:11 PM

I'd be very careful doing the laminate 4' at a time. I know laminate can be a costly item to purchase all at one time, but there are some important things to consider. If you buy the laminate in 4' increments, you may run into some color differences between lot numbers. While these aren't overly apparent when the different lot numbers are in different rooms, it will be overly apparant when the two seperate lots are ran in the same area.

My advice...

Save money until you can afford to purchase the laminate for an entire room. This way if there is a difference in color, at least the entire room will be the same lot.

Buy the combination underlayment. It's a little more expensive, but it is the foam underlayment AND a moisture barrier. You will need the moisture barrier to lay laminate on a concrete slab. Also, you will need have some floor prep work to do as well. Make sure to get the floor as level as possible even if it means using portland cement to fill low spots in the slab. It may look perfectly level, but I'd put money on it that it isn't. The extra time, money, and mostly effort will be well worth it when you are admiring your new floor, instead of finding all of your faults with "I shoulda..."

Hope this helps.

Dan - The Home Doc

wormser 12-01-2007 06:25 PM

Tile is perfect for doing small parts at a time. You'll have to mix and clean up the mortar each time so it will take a little longer. The grout should probably be done all at once, but I'm not sure about this. As far as vinyl goes, seems tend to be very obvious and show more over time as they get worn. So don't do vinyl if there are a lot of visible seams.


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