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Old 11-10-2011, 11:42 PM   #1
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Laminate wood flooring on slab newb questions


I've been thinking of installing laminate wood flooring from Lowes and have questions:

I have a concrete slab floor. Currently it is carpeted. I understand the concrete has to be "prepped" a certain way for the laminate wood flooring. Like, smoothed, maybe leveled? My question is, is the concrete already prepped since it already has carpet on it? Looking at my garage floor, the concrete slab seems pretty smooth in there...

Next, Lowes charges a certain, reasonable amount for "basic" installation of laminate wood flooring. From what I can gather this does not include tearing up the old carpet, prepping the floor, etc. How difficult would tearing up the carpet be? And see question 1 above...how difficult would "prepping" the floor be?

Third, underlayment/moisture barrier...I read in other comments a moisture barrier is absolutely necessary on slab. Is it expensive? Can it be installed yourself? Would it be included in Lowes "basic" installation? Is this different from the "underlayment" pad? I think I read that sometimes they can be one and the same...

Four, is underlayment absolutely necessary? Some of the wood flooring says it comes with a pad attached, would that include the moisture barrier then?

Does anybody know what a cost to install this wood flooring per sq foot would be, if the above items are not included in a "basic" installation? Lowes advertises 1.97 per sq foot "basic" installation, but again I'm not sure what that covers. How much would a "full, everything covered" installation be?

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Old 11-11-2011, 05:51 AM   #2
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Laminate wood flooring on slab newb questions


Lots of questions here---

Removing carpet takes muscles not brains---a sharp knife and a roll of tape---a pry bar and hammer to remove the tack strips.

Floor prep---- The floor must be flat or the planks will bridge any low places and make a clapping sound as you walk over it.

A long straight edge is used to check for low spots--those places are filled with self leveling compound.

The manufacturer will have the specification---see how flat the floor needs to be--

As to cost? Depends on how bad the floor is.

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Old 11-11-2011, 05:55 AM   #3
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Laminate wood flooring on slab newb questions


Extras above the $1.97---

Rug removal--
Tack strip removal--
Washing floor??
Leveling---
Doors--reducers and under cutting--
New molding--shoe---
Trash removal---
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Old 11-11-2011, 05:57 AM   #4
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Laminate wood flooring on slab newb questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by shark974 View Post
I've been thinking of installing laminate wood flooring from Lowes and have questions:

I have a concrete slab floor. Currently it is carpeted. I understand the concrete has to be "prepped" a certain way for the laminate wood flooring. Like, smoothed, maybe leveled? My question is, is the concrete already prepped since it already has carpet on it? Looking at my garage floor, the concrete slab seems pretty smooth in there...
The slab need to be very flat for any kind of laminate install. Once the carpet is up you need to take a long straight edge and run it across the floor in several directions looking for dips or humps. Dips can be filled in with loose materials such as shingles or cardboard before the laminate is installed. Humps will need to be ground down flat.

Quote:
Next, Lowes charges a certain, reasonable amount for "basic" installation of laminate wood flooring. From what I can gather this does not include tearing up the old carpet, prepping the floor, etc. How difficult would tearing up the carpet be? And see question 1 above...how difficult would "prepping" the floor be?
Tearing up the carpet is relatively easy if it's tacked down. If it's full glued it can be a nightmare with a lot of scrapping. This also effects prep on the slab. If it tacked then you are looking at grinding and filling to level it. If it was glued you'll be doing a lot of scraping to get the glue up and probably skim coating to keep it from causing popping noises as the old adhesive residue want's to stick to the new floor.

Quote:
Third, underlayment/moisture barrier...I read in other comments a moisture barrier is absolutely necessary on slab. Is it expensive? Can it be installed yourself? Would it be included in Lowes "basic" installation? Is this different from the "underlayment" pad? I think I read that sometimes they can be one and the same...
A vapor barrier is needed unless you want to see your laminate swell and buckle. Basic barriers are just 6 mil plastic sheeting taped at the seams. You can use this with laminate that already has a pad attached. Attached pad laminate doesn't have a vapor barrier because there are gaps where every board goes together. You can use a regular laminate and a separate pad with an attached vapor barrier. This just rolls out and you peel the pre-taped edges and stick them together to seal each run to the next one.

Quote:
Four, is underlayment absolutely necessary? Some of the wood flooring says it comes with a pad attached, would that include the moisture barrier then?
Yes it's needed. You'll get a real hollow sound without pad and moisture problems without the barrier.

Quote:
Does anybody know what a cost to install this wood flooring per sq foot would be, if the above items are not included in a "basic" installation? Lowes advertises 1.97 per sq foot "basic" installation, but again I'm not sure what that covers. How much would a "full, everything covered" installation be?
Ask Lowes. Pad and other accessories will most likely not be included in the installation price. Lowes gives you a low number up front and kills you with all the separate charges for add-ons later.

I'd recommend you go to real flooring store. The laminate you are going to get at Lowes will probably be junk, the installation will be questionable, and the final price tag will be high enough that you could have gotten a better product at a real flooring store.
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