Thank you for visiting The Floor Pro Community.
Register for FREE for even more features.    
The Floor Pro Community

Go Back   The Floor Pro Community » Public Forums for the PRO, Do-It-Yourselfer & Consumer » Vinyl Flooring Q&A


Preparing concrete to lay vinyl planking



"Preparing concrete to lay vinyl planking," in the Vinyl Flooring Q&A forum, begins: "My wife has picked out some of the Allure Traffic master vinyl planking from THD. I know the opinion of ..."

Reply
 
LinkBack Topic Tools
Old February 23, 2012, 07:15 PM   #1
urb0123
Brand New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 3

Preparing concrete to lay vinyl planking


My wife has picked out some of the Allure Traffic master vinyl planking from THD. I know the opinion of this product is low. (I was fine with the floors as they were, if it were up to me I would leave it and get more critical things done.)

In searching the net for info I've seen that many installs on concrete fail. I'm not sure of the reasons but I suspect they didn't level the floor before installing and or the temperature was too low for the glue strips to seal correctly. I'm thinking a temperature of about 75 F should be about right. I also intend to seal the concrete to prevent moisture seeping up.

I am looking at the uneven spots in the floor. They aren't visible to me but when I get out a straight edge I can see some gaps. I can use leveling compound but I'm no good with concrete and I'm afraid of making things worse instead of better.

I'm figuring out how to measure slopes and was wondering if anyone can tell me how much of a slope I can get away with?

Are there any preparation steps other than temperature, leveling and sealing that I need to worry about?

Thank you in advance!

TFP recommends amazon.com for tools
urb0123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23, 2012, 09:25 PM   #2
stullis
a Floor Pro
Senior Member of TFP
charter member badge
 
stullis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sauk Centre, Minnesota
Posts: 4,290

Get the floor as flat as you can. Take your time and fill in a bit at a time until you get the hang of it.

Temperature acclimation is very important with that type of product.

stullis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24, 2012, 08:02 AM   #3
Incognito
No more Mr. Nice Guy!
Senior Member of TFP
TFP supporter badge
 
Incognito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: America
Posts: 5,162

what do you mean by "I'm good with leveling compound"?

The patch we use to smooth, flatten and level a concrete slab is cementitious, meaning the primary component is Portland cement. That's blended with "polymers" which are just bonding agents to make the patch stick to the substrate and allow the adhesives to bond to the patch. Sometimes bonding agents (latex) are used to prime/seal the slab and they are sometimes mixed into the patch for better bonding and strength. There's quite a few brands and varieties out there depending on your specific application. I like to use Ardex and that's about it.

Concrete is composed of cement, sand and rock. It's a pretty big problem when the issue is HIGH spots. That's because in some instances it's not feasible to raise the whole floor to the highest point. So then you've got to grind or get a bushing hammer and take it down. That's a mess. If you've got no issues like that filling low spots is RELATIVELY simple; relative to grinding and bushing----this assumes you can operate a trowel and screed rod. If not, hire someone. When you fix the imperfections in a slab you clean and scour everything foreign off the top, sweep, vacuum and even mop the surface clean and then trowel, screed or "self-level" the low spots till it meets the standards needed for your floor. A floor sander or floor buff with a sanding plate is helpful if you're not expert enough with the patch to eliminate the need for sanding in between coats or for the final product. In some instances it's essential. In some instances sanding is more efficient. That a matter of experience and to some extent professional preference

To check for flatness I use a 10' piece of 1" x 3" aluminum or an 8' level. I'll have a few pieces of flooring or anything I know the thickness of to slide under the gaps in the rod. This gives me a measure of the worst areas and I'll mark them off, usually in pencil. I also have different lengths of screed rod. Most of the low areas don't need so much as a 10' screed. So I have a 6' and 4' that do most of the smaller "duck ponds" or ramps.

I hope this is helpful.

Incognito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24, 2012, 11:25 AM   #4
urb0123
Brand New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 3

Thank you stullus and BrianM.

I never meant to imply I was good with leveling compound, I'm not. I meant to say I could do leveling compound if I have to but I suck at concrete and would prefer not to have to do the leveling compound because I could potentially make it worse.

I guess I will need to get a longer straight edge, 3' won't give me a good idea of how bad it is, I should have realized that. I was hoping someone could give me an idea of how flat is flat enough but I could have done a little more work and measured the low spots and asked about that. I will see if I can get a longer straight edge and take some photos of the low spots.

On your advice I asked for a quote for someone to come out and do it for me. This would be a first time for hiring someone to do anything for me. I may just do what I do with everything else and research the hell out of how to work with concrete until I know I can do it right.

urb0123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24, 2012, 12:12 PM   #5
Incognito
No more Mr. Nice Guy!
Senior Member of TFP
TFP supporter badge
 
Incognito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: America
Posts: 5,162

urb0123 said View Post
Thank you stullus and BrianM.

I never meant to imply I was good with leveling compound, I'm not. I meant to say I could do leveling compound if I have to but I suck at concrete and would prefer not to have to do the leveling compound because I could potentially make it worse.

I guess I will need to get a longer straight edge, 3' won't give me a good idea of how bad it is, I should have realized that. I was hoping someone could give me an idea of how flat is flat enough but I could have done a little more work and measured the low spots and asked about that. I will see if I can get a longer straight edge and take some photos of the low spots.

On your advice I asked for a quote for someone to come out and do it for me. This would be a first time for hiring someone to do anything for me. I may just do what I do with everything else and research the hell out of how to work with concrete until I know I can do it right.
*****************************

I try to do everything around the house myself too. But what I've learned is both my limitations as well as when and how to collect bids and negotiate with contractors. It REALLY helps both you and the contractor for you to spend some time researching the specifics of your contract so you can come to an agreement that both you and your vendor understand.

There's got to be something laying around you can use for a straight edge. Ask a friend or a neighbor if your garage/carport/shed/back yard isn't like 90% of us, cluttered with crap. 25 years ago you could use standard construction lumber like a 2x4. Nowadays that crap is as twisted as a piece of overcooked spaghetti.

As far as describing how good is "good enough" with regard to preparing your slab to receive Konecto I can tell you the manufacturer's specifications are a good place to start---usually they'll call out an 1/8" in ten feet as the maximum tolerance.

Pictures may be helpful here's a few I've previously posted to this site in other discusssions
Attached Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
prep-007.jpg   prep-006.jpg  

prep-001.jpg   layout-004.jpg  

layout-007.jpg   xyz123-005.jpg  

library-005.jpg   library-002.jpg  

layout-013.jpg  
Incognito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24, 2012, 12:44 PM   #6
Daris Mulkin
The One and Only
Senior Member of TFP
charter member badge
 
Daris Mulkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Davison,Mi
Posts: 8,041

For a straight edge you can make your own just by using the factory edge off a piece of plywood.

Daris

Daris Mulkin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old February 24, 2012, 12:45 PM   #7
Barry Carlton
a Floor Pro
Senior Member of TFP
author badge
 
Barry Carlton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 7,616
Send a message via Skype™ to Barry Carlton

A 10 foot piece of rigid gas pipe 3/4-1 inch in diameter is a pretty good rough straight edge for this purpose. Inexpensive and usually returnable too.

Barry Carlton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27, 2012, 09:51 AM   #8
urb0123
Brand New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 3

Wow Brian, that helps a TON. There's no way my floor is that level. It varies by as much as an eighth of an inch over a foot in the spot I looked at. I absolutely need to level it. I'm starting to think I need to do the entire basement in one go instead of one room at a time. Where I'm going to put all the crap I don't know.

I could probably get a rough idea with some 8' lengths of baseboard. The kind that isn't real wood.


Last edited by urb0123; February 27, 2012 at 09:52 AM. Reason: Thanking
urb0123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28, 2012, 12:31 AM   #9
Incognito
No more Mr. Nice Guy!
Senior Member of TFP
TFP supporter badge
 
Incognito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: America
Posts: 5,162

urb0123 said View Post
Wow Brian, that helps a TON. There's no way my floor is that level. It varies by as much as an eighth of an inch over a foot in the spot I looked at. I absolutely need to level it. I'm starting to think I need to do the entire basement in one go instead of one room at a time. Where I'm going to put all the crap I don't know.

I could probably get a rough idea with some 8' lengths of baseboard. The kind that isn't real wood.
****************************** ******
Coincidentally, both of those two jobs illustrated in my photos involved glue down resilient tiles with patterns. The checkerboard in one and 3 color zig-zag in the other both made leveling the floor near to specs pretty darn critical. In neither case did we get EVERYTHING dead perfect. Life doesn't work out that way for real people...........but we got PAID the jobs are A+ quality and I guarantee they'll look good for a decade or three properly maintained.

Those kinds of patterns laid over a really wavy slab can make you dizzy and it's especially hard to keep the tiles on point. Konecto-type products are a LITTLE bit more forgiving but I wouldn't push my luck. Rocking and rolling in the slab (wavy) will stress the joints. You'll see it and fight it when installing the planks. It's much better to drag some trowels and screed rods around and splish splash a few bags of floor fill.

That's really one of the most skill intensive parts of the flooring trade, leveling and smoothing a floor JUST right----not spending a zillion dollars and a hundred years------just giving the customer a flat enough slab to ensure the expensive investment they've made pays off.

It ain't easy.

Incognito is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Tags for This Topic
floor leveling, floor patch, floor prep, self leveling cement, slc

   View the Tag Cloud

Go Back   The Floor Pro Community » Public Forums for the PRO, Do-It-Yourselfer & Consumer » Vinyl Flooring Q&A
go to previous or next topic in this forum
« Another Unhappy IVC Earthscape customer | Cool looking Konecto »

Topic Tools


Similar Topics to Preparing concrete to lay vinyl planking
Topic Topic Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Suggestions for vinyl on concrete Susans Vinyl Flooring Q&A 11 October 11, 2011 09:01 PM
concrete moisture=new vinyl+new laminate? carwinew Hardwood and Laminates Q&A 19 July 12, 2011 04:12 AM
Preparing kitchen floor for Vinyl tile NewLook Floor Preparation 25 June 21, 2011 12:06 PM
Installing laminate stair treads on vinyl planking KLChapman Vinyl Flooring Q&A 2 November 5, 2010 09:19 AM
konecto planking question alfredo Vinyl & Rubber Flooring Sales and Installations 6 March 26, 2010 06:26 PM

collapse Log in
User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!
support TFP

JonnyCorners


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:58 AM.

Home   About   Contact   TOS   Privacy   Website Map  

Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. | All Site Content 2006-2014 TheFloorPro.com