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Old 01-21-2011, 02:11 PM   #1
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Would you recommend a cork floor in a basement where I plan to put in a gym (with lot's of heavy equipment and an infarred sauna) and laundry area? Note that there has been the odd case of small amounts of water coming in during the winter, although we hope to have that fixed now.


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Old 01-21-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


I would wait and see if the floor leaks before putting any floor down. You can put cork on concrete. You will have to put plastic 6 mil. thick down first. Over lap the seams and tape them. Make sure the plastic rides up the walls atleast 1 inch. If it is in a laundry room, you should put 2 coats of polyurithane to seal the cork seams.

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Old 01-21-2011, 04:42 PM   #3
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Hey Woodman,

Quote:
You will have to put plastic 6 mil. thick down first. Over lap the seams and tape them.
This is the second rather wacky answer you gave in the last few days. I strongly disagree.

Where did you get the idea of installing anything over a sheet of plastic? Please let all of us know. OR..........

Did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express lately?

Jaz
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:21 PM   #4
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Here you go Jaz. From NWFA Installation guidelines.

Part IV - Acceptable Vapor Retarders Over Concrete
A. ALWAYS FOLLOW LOCAL CODES AND MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTIONS FOR
ACCEPTABLE VAPOR RETARDERS.
B. In on-grade and below grade applications, always add a vapor retarder. Test concrete for
moisture. For concrete slabs with a calcium chloride reading of greater than 3 lbs, a
relative humidity reading of greater than 75%, or a calcium carbide (CM) rating of greater
than 2.5%, install an impermeable vapor retarder with a perm rating of less than .15 perm.
C. The 2006 International Residential Code defines a vapor retarder as a vapor-resistant
material, membrane or covering such as foil, plastic sheeting or other material
recommended by the manufacturer having a permeance rating of 1 perm or less, when
tested in accordance with ASTM E-96 Method A.
D. The NWFA recommends an "impermeable" vapor retarder with a perm rating of less than
or equal to .15, thereby limiting the passage of moisture to near zero.
E. Some acceptable vapor retarders over concrete include:
1. A minimum 6 mil construction grade polyethylene film, with perm of .13, or other
impermeable material with a perm of .15 or less is recommended. An premium polymer
material meeting ASTM D-1745 for concrete with higher tensile, tear and puncture
resistance is highly desirable.
2. Double felt: Two layers of #15 asphalt saturated felt paper that meets ASTM Standard
D-4869, with the first layer adhered to the slab in a skim coat of appropriate adhesive,
and a second layer adhered to the first layer with appropriate adhesive.
3. A chemical retarder or urethane membrane, as recommended by the adhesive or wood
flooring manufacturer. These are usually in the form of a liquid-applied or trowel-applied
membrane dispensed from a bucket following manufacturer recommendations.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:24 PM   #5
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Jazz,
Amcork installation calls for 6 mil. for a moisture barrier. All floating floors call for a moisture barrier over concrete floors. All seams are overlaped and taped. Riding plastic up the walls keeps moisture from wicking into the floor.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Doc,

You are miss quoting the application for the specs you sighted. The one that applies for materials that are to be bonded direct to a slab is the vapor retarder. Vapor retarder come in liquid form and generally applied by brushing or similar means.

You can not apply a sheet of visqueen to a slab and then glue cork tiles to it. That goes for any other tiles too.

Woodman, we are not talking about floating floors. The op was talking about cork. Cork comes in tile form and is bonded to the subfloor.

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Old 01-21-2011, 06:45 PM   #7
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


I agree Jaz . That would be # 3 in my post .
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:59 PM   #8
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Jaz,
Very few cork manufacturers make cork to be glued down. Most all cork floors are floating, threfore you need to use a moisture barrier.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:14 PM   #9
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Quote:
Very few cork manufacturers make cork to be glued down.
Well, I don't know how that would work out. The cork I know comes in tile form and has to be glued cuz it has no artificial backing or t&g. It's glued to the floor, they're been doing that for a hundred years. No plastic. Liquid to slow down moisture, but no plastic. And of course you need to do several moisture tests when on or below grade.

And as for sheet vapor barriers under floating or sleepers goes........have you ever seen what happens after a while if there's any moisture at all wicking up from the slab? It's not pretty. I know some methods do recommend sheet barriers, BUT they also stress it has to be where there is almost no moisture under it.

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Old 01-21-2011, 08:04 PM   #10
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Jaz,
Try going to a couple of flooring stores. Most all have floating cork floors. I know cork has been around as flooring since the mid to late 1800's. Things change. If you kept up with flooring you would know that they started making cork into laminate over 10 years ago.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:08 PM   #11
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Ok fine. However the point was the plastic. You do not put plastic under a laminate either. Each company has their own foam padding and methods for the various installations. But no plastic.

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Old 01-22-2011, 05:49 AM   #12
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Wrong again, Most companies now have an all in one foam that has the plastic built in on the bottom. But, Some companies still use the plastic under the foam.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:03 AM   #13
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


OK fine. However have you ever read the fine print or followed the asterisks?

They are simply offering a way to protect their flooring from excess moisture from below. But they have no idea how much moisture is in/under your slab. That is the installer's problem. If there is too much moisture and you trap it with plastic, you're gonna have a science experiment.

Again you gota follow all the directions concerning proper use and moisture testing etc.

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Old 01-22-2011, 11:10 AM   #14
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Would it be suitable to put in a cork floor over a bare cement basement floor?


Not saying I agree with it, but every cord brand I've ever carried does indeed recommend the use of 6mil plastic under their floating products. No pad is used because there is a thin layer of cork on the back of the laminate board that takes the place of it. Therefore only the plastic is called for as a vapor barrier. Take that how you want, but it's in the installation guidelines of virtually every brand. Glue down is different. Usually you are using a contact cement or in extreme cases, two part epoxies. From what the manufacturer's tell me, cork doesn't really absorb water so it's idea in may wetter areas, but at that point it all comes down to the glue system being used.

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