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cordon 05-17-2007 06:24 PM

To Moisture Barrier or Not to Moisture Barrier?
I have done several engineered wood floors and about to do my first laminated floor. The house I am installing it in is a clients second home located in a river community with high humidity. Since the place is vacant for weeks on end the client is worried about moisture damaging the laminated material. I have tested a sample of Kronotex for the customer by submerging it in water for over 17 hours and had no separation. However, the client is still worried. The subfloor is wood. Should I install a moisture barrier over the subfloor before laying the under pad and floor?

Floorwizard 05-20-2007 10:20 AM

Sure....Why not?
If it makes the client happy, it makes you happy.
Is it above grade?
is there an existing barrier between the joists and the Earth?

cordon 05-20-2007 12:20 PM

Above Grade
Yes, it is above grade. In fact it is an elevated house in a potential flood area along a river with garages on the ground level. There is also a barrier between joists and subflooring.


Zero Punch 05-20-2007 01:01 PM

The only problem I see with adding a vapor barrier is if one already exist between the sub floor and the exterior you may be setting up a moisture trap. A better solution would be to set a dehumidifier with a drain to the outside and allow it to run while vacant.

cordon 05-20-2007 03:03 PM

I told the client that they should consider even leaving the A/C on at a high setting to keep moisture down. All in all I don't think moisture is going to be a problem. I actually have taken a sample of the laminate they want to put down and put it on edge in a bowl of water. After over 120 hours of standing in water the sample has shown no signs of separation, swelling, or discoloration. For information the sample was Kronotex, exclusive by Lowes, and rated by Consumer Report as the number 2 product. Have not considered the #1 which was Armstrong Nature Gallery, American Duet which is pretty expensive compared to the Kronotex at $1.97 a sq foot. Only a couple of points different in rating and that was on stain resistance. I think CR quoted their #1 at $4.50 a sq foot. Thanks for the input.

Floorwizard 05-21-2007 11:02 PM

you might want to check a source that states Kronotex is exclusive to the big box stores.
Not sure if that is a correct statement...

let me know if I am wrong....

never mind...I checked the site...wierd.

You can find this at Ifloor online but only at Lowes in shops.

cordon 05-22-2007 04:34 AM

True. Oh, by the way, I did make a mistake about the sample I put in water. It wa Armstrong not Kronotex. By the way, it is still in the water after 144 hours with no bucking, swelling, or separation. Last night I did put a Kronotex sample in the same test and after 12 hours it too is holding up great. The Kronotex had a noise pad installed already and that too is holding up.l


Floorwizard 05-22-2007 09:48 PM

Sounds like a good product...

I am interested on who the actual manufacturer is.

Even though the lam is holding up, I would suggest cleaning up spills right away :)

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