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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all.

I could use help to make sure I'm doing this right and doing it once. Excuse that this will be long, but I want to be sure I get all the facts out there.

We just purchased 12mm laminate with attached padding (might regret, but it's what I've got, so what I'm going to be working with).

We have a raised ranch and the lower floor is a concrete subfloor/daylight basement. Never had any flooding, but it does get very humid there in the summer, so I do worry a little about expansion/contraction. There is no slope that I can see, and no drain in the floor.

We had a sick cat who peed all over the old carpet that is in there now. I can guarantee that the urine has soaked through the pad and into the concrete. And I know that concrete is porous.

We intend to pull up the carpet this weekend and flood the floor with enzyme cleaner. I bought Anti-Icky-Poo after reading reviews here and on cat lover sites.

After that dries I expect that we should seal the floor. I could walk into Home Depot and get whatever the man in the orange vest suggests :laughing: Or I could get some recommendations from you brilliant folk. But please suggest something that is easily purchasable by the typical homeowner (like something I can buy on Amazon or at HD or Lowes).

Next, what's the best way to lay the laminate so that it will last? The concrete may be a little pitted, and will be stained, it may be a bit bumpy. WIll this show through the laminate? I don't know yet if there are any real cracks in the concrete. There may also be glue from a previous 1970s vinyl floor that was removed before we put down carpet. How smooth does the floor have to be? The laminate has an attached pad and I also bought a Bellawood underlayment for added sound and a bit of insulation. Would the underlayment be enough to smooth out any minor pits so that the floor lays smooth enough to not pop up a year from now?

Should I ALSO put down a plastic vapor barrier? If so would something like 6mm plastic sheeting do? The guy at the flooring store said that the underlayment and attached pad was all I needed. Even for a basement. Is he right or is it just part of his sales pitch that they have EVERYTHING you need to DIY their floor -- which of course is absolutely perfect in all situations and impervious to chips, stains, and breakage. Obviously I'm a huge cynic here who's got a good bit of buyer's remorse for impulsively buying on sale.

Please help me to make this as painless as possible. My husband an I have never laid a floor, but we do have some moderate DIY experience (drywalled, laid tile, built a fence, installed cabinets)

Retired Moderator
25,768 Posts
Hopefully someone will chime in with a good sealer to stop any odor during damp weather.

I would also recommend the plastic sheets to help isolate the laminate from the concrete----

Laminate needs a flat floor----get a 6 foot straight edge and find high and low places---fill the low spots with self leveling compound or Ardex Feather Finish---

I've even heard of folks using layers of roofing shingles to fill the lows----never tried that one myself----

Hollow areas will flex and 'clap' as you walk over them----- driving you mad --and causing early failure if the flooring----
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