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Missy Bloom 05-25-2012 07:36 PM

gypcrete venting (ANY options?)
No response to my other post, and after a little more reading I maybe understand why. There ARE no "easy" solutions for dealing with gypcrete from what I can tell, really (unless Snapstone or its other brandname counterpart might provide some sort of hope?)

In one place I read that gypcrete is recognized to have a functional life of about 30 years - so it's about time for ours to be falling to pieces (which, at least on the edge of one bathroom by the tub it most definitely is). I am dumbfounded by the apparently extensive use of this stuff if that is the case (not to mention how difficult it apparently is to work with - or more like around).

Is this really true? I am stunned that anyone - even cheap and short-sighted builders looking to make a quick buck - would knowingly put something like this into a supposedly permanent dwelling. Surely no one builds anything, even these days, with the idea that it will be torn down in under 30 years? Ugh.

And the idea that this stuff is intended to help with sound mitigation is ludicrous. Maybe we have sub-par gypcrete like we seem to have sub-par lots of things in this place - maybe more like a 1/2 inch instead of the standard 2 inches? Certainly seems like about 1/4" when I peeled up the one corner of vinyl in the bathroom.

In any case, beyond my personal disgust, what the heck can I do in the face of uneven, and possibly crumbling, gypcrete floors with glued-down vinyl that's well past it's functional life? Help!


JetSwet 05-25-2012 07:49 PM

Why they use that stuff inside Homes is beyond me.?!?..

So this is inside your bathroom? And you want to remove it?
So what's under that gypsy concrete anyway? Lol

Missy Bloom 05-25-2012 08:20 PM

Yeah, I'm beginning to wonder why the heck this stuff even still exists.

In any case, I detailed the situation in my first post, but here's a reprise:

30-ish year old second-story condo with original vinyl floors in some of it that need to be replaced/upgraded for our sanity and with the thought of making the place more sellable if/when we decide to sell (hopefully not THAT far off).

Replaced one floor when moved in many years ago- that's how we know what's under there. We opted not to do it ourselves on that one, and the contracter basically said that what we had was not really a functional subfloor, and he built a new one to support the new floor. New subfloor and chosen floor was fine at the time, but not something we're eager to invest in again for monetary, logistical, and just plain hassle considerations.

So, looking for options (are there any?) for dealing with old gypcrete topped by old vinyl well past its prime, and what seems like just sub-par original construction.

What's under the gypcrete? Not sure I want to know. Actually, in the bathroom in the one spot I looked where there seems to be almost no gypcrete remaining, it actually looks like solid planks laid one next to the other (can see the ends of 2-3?) which seems kind of odd. But that's what I see.



rusty baker 05-25-2012 08:33 PM

Most of the gypcrete I have dealt with had either 1/2" or 3/4" plywood underneath,. And yes, I knew a man who made the stuff and about 30 years was considered it's "lifetime". They use it because it deadens sound and they can put up a weaker, cheaper structure.

Missy Bloom 05-25-2012 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by rusty baker (Post 928782)
Most of the gypcrete I have dealt with had either 1/2" or 3/4" plywood underneath,. And yes, I knew a man who made the stuff and about 30 years was considered it's "lifetime". They use it because it deadens sound and they can put up a weaker, cheaper structure.

Yeah, weak and cheap is right. The longer we live here, the more we learn what that means! (Aren't housing inspectors supopsed to warn us about this stuff? Isn't that the point of doing an inspection before buying???)

Seriously, what are we supposed to do about potentially (or really) deteriorating gypcrete throughout our condo? What is anyone supposed to do? Totally rip out all floors and do it all over again? I am truly at a loss.

At this point, the idea of having decent floors is taking a backseat to the fact that whatever we put them ON might just crumble away (or whatever 30 year old gypcrete is supposed to do - vaporize? Implode? Sheesh).


oh'mike 05-26-2012 05:51 AM

As to home inspectors--their job is to tell you if something is working and up to code when the place was built---

As you have learned the hard way--they won't tell you if the place was built with the cheapest materials--

A builder or general contractor with a well rounded knowledge of structure and mechanical is good to have as a friend---

Missy Bloom 05-29-2012 06:55 PM

Thanks for the responses. Still not sure what I (or anyone) is supposed to do at the point that all our floors start to go because of the stupid gypcrete. What dumb design, and apparently dumb us for buying a place so poorly constructed - though to be honest, where we live (Colorado - front range) is definitely not known for any sort of quality construction and I'm not sure we could have found anything much better (at least, not for anything close to what we could afford).

I'm kind of resigned to having to simply cover the old vinyl with new in the bathrooms (possible to use that self-stick tile if the layer underneath is still the old vinyl? Will do a search on this...), and maybe other places too. Hate that (and not so good for the allergy-laden folks in the family), but unless we're willing to spend an arm and a leg (and considerable time and trouble) ripping things apart and doing them over (doesn't seem worth it if we're not planning on staying long term, and we're not), I don't really see much else we can do with a degrading uneven gypcrete floor.


Thanks for listening.

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