To Sub-Floor Or Not To Sub-Floor - Flooring - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 07-10-2011, 09:18 PM   #1
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To Sub-Floor or not to Sub-Floor

So I am new to the DIY scene, but I am looking to lay laminate in the basement of my new house. I have heard conflicting answers as to whether there should be a sub-floor installed on top of the concrete basement floor. Some say a strong foam-like vapour barrier is sufficient, but others say that an actual sub-floor is best. It is only a 15 year old house with no indication of moisture leaking in through the foundation.

The other question I have is about acclimatizing the laminate to the house before installing. The supplier stated that their stock is stored in a climate and humidity controlled warehouse so this step will not be necessary.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 07-10-2011, 10:00 PM   #2
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The foam + vapor barrier is fine under the floating laminate flooring over a concrete slab. Adding a wood sub-floor on sleepers would give the floor a little more cushion than the hard concrete, but it's not necessary. I've installed a several laminate floors over concrete without a sub-floor and they have performed fine.

Acclimatizing the material isn't a big issue with laminate, especially if the supplier keeps it in an environment similar to your basement. Plus, because the laminate is a floating floor, there are no nails or glue to cause problems if it does expand or contract slightly - just be sure to leave the proper expansion gaps at the edges of the room.


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Old 07-10-2011, 10:02 PM   #3
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I would disagree with one thing. Plywood on concrete is never a good idea.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:57 PM   #4
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Agreed rusty baker!

If the sub-floor is desired it should be installed over sleepers or joists with a ventilated air space to prevent moisture from the concrete deteriorating the plywood and the growth of mold.
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