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Thread: Engineered Flooring Over Concrete

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Pennsylvania
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    Engineered Flooring Over Concrete

    We want to install engineered hardwood floor over the concrete slab in our basement. Haven't decided whether to do a floating floor or glue-down. Moisture is not an issue. What is an issue is that the floor is not perfectly flat. It's pretty good but there are several high spots throughout where I can balance a six foot level on them and have up to 1/2" of clearance at the ends. This is way beyond the tolerance of the flooring documentation (1/8" over 6'). Theoretically, I could use a leveling compound to bring the floor up to these high spots. This would be expensive and painful. We're talking about 800 sq ft. If I could identify all the high spots, I suppose I could try to grind/plane them down. This seems painful as well.

    My question is: What would you do? Give up & just do carpet or spend the time/effort to get this floor flat? Other suggestions will be considered as well.

  2. #2
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    La Habra Hts. CA
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    Rob you are right getting the floor flat won't be a fun task. You could take down the high spots with a scarafier which is pretty aggressive and then smooth out behind the scarafier with a diamond blade on a grinder. You could use Ardex to fill the low spots.

    Sometimes the high spots can look exaggerated. Once you start knocking them down the floor will improve dramatically. If you are doing glue down then it has to be pretty flat. Floating is a little more forgiving.

    Doug

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Sinjem View Post
    Rob you are right getting the floor flat won't be a fun task. You could use Ardex to fill the low spots.

    Doug
    Doug, I have heard of Ardex before, but have never seen it in our area, so I have some questions.
    1. Is it self leveling
    2. How much can it fill, (how thick can it be applied)
    3. Is it hard/strong enough to become the finished floor in a shop in the areas it is applied, or is it only good to level the floor so some other floor covering/finish can be used on top of it
    4. Where do you find this stuff
    5. How Expensive is Ardex

    I eventually need to level a few small areas, and one larger area that is low due to the finishers partially "Losing a Form" during the pour along my DC Channel.

    TIA for any input you can give me on this product.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    La Habra Hts. CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Hitt View Post
    Doug, I have heard of Ardex before, but have never seen it in our area, so I have some questions.
    1. Is it self leveling
    2. How much can it fill, (how thick can it be applied)
    3. Is it hard/strong enough to become the finished floor in a shop in the areas it is applied, or is it only good to level the floor so some other floor covering/finish can be used on top of it
    4. Where do you find this stuff
    5. How Expensive is Ardex

    I eventually need to level a few small areas, and one larger area that is low due to the finishers partially "Losing a Form" during the pour along my DC Channel.

    TIA for any input you can give me on this product.

    Norman check out their website www.ardex.com
    it should answer all your questions.



    Doug

  5. #5
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    Rob, I've not done 800 sq feet, but I did a small room, and the floor was not exactly flat, I used some shims under the lower spots and did a bit of carving on some bad high spots, but it was not that hard to do, and a whole lot cleaner too.

    I put insulation in the floating floor, this makes for a nice warm floor, is a cold floor a concern?

    I know that a cold hardwood floor can be quite slick too, especially in socks!





    Told you it was a small room

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Dec 2006
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    Plainfield, IL
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    In my opinio Ardex would be more difficult to use in this aplication than a self leveling compound. With that being said I have only used Ardex once to fill in small areas in my basement where the skin of the concrete was removed before laying a vinyl floor. If memory serves, it had to be trowled on the floor. I have also seen professionals use Ardex as a skim coat over concrete as a sealer before laying flooring.

    In the bathroom of the basement I used a self leveling compound that I mixed in a five gallon bucket, dumped on the floor and walked away. I could see this being a long drawn out task for 800 sq ft as well.

    What I would think I would try, is to mix a bucket of self-leveling compound and apply it at the highest spot to see where it ran, once it dries take another reading to see how much more needs to be done. You may find that did the trick or you may need to drop back ten and punt.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2006
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    Hey Stu, what comes in those Japanese "milk crates"? They look like a pretty handy height for a jobsite.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2007
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    Wilmington DE
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    Rob, you said the high spots are less than a 1/2 inch. What about he diameter of the high spots? You could easily X-out the high spots with a diamond blade in a circular saw. Then use a hammer and chisel to level that area around the cross hairs. If you find you took out too much, it is much easier to patch just those areas than trying to raise the entire floor.

    Joe

  9. #9
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    Joe, the couple of high spots I've found have been approximately 3 feet in diameter. I still need to check the whole basement however since there is still construction going on. Can't get to the whole floor. The spots are hard to find because you can't tell they're there, even by walking on them. They're very gradual. I like your circular blade suggestion since it involves using tools I'm familiar with. Doesn't sound easy, though. You're right though, easier than raising the whole floor.

    Stu, I have considered laying a sub-floor but I'm not sure I want to go through that much effort for the large area if I can just make a phone call & lay carpet. Your option is on the table, though.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Downey View Post
    Hey Stu, what comes in those Japanese "milk crates"? They look like a pretty handy height for a jobsite.
    The "milk" is Japanese Sake, comes in a 1.8 litre bottle, six to a case, and yes, they are very handy, you see them all over the place being used as benches, stools, and such, I've got a good suppl of them

    Rob, carpet might just be the way to go...?

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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