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So glad we didn't use laminate in the basement!

Posted by tryingtodecorate (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 8, 10 at 13:47

We have been trying to come up with our basement flooring. We went from the staining idea to being fairly set on laminate. Then I started doing a little more researching and got concerned about the fact that moisture can destroy laminate. DH said, "We haven't had any moisture problems in the three years we've lived here, we have no sump pump, did the moisture test--it will be fine, it's a walk out basement." Well in the end, the laminate idea got nixed and we decided to go with tile.

Now to the other day.....we've had a lot of rain lately and what do you think we got in our basement? Water leaking in through on the floor! Had we laid laminate like we were going to, we would not have known about the moisture, would probably have started to get mold in the laminate and it probably would have buckled or fell apart over time.

So if you are thinking about laminate for your basement, I'm letting you know my story. Not sure a moisture barrier would have really helped, but I wouldn't want to take a chance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: So glad we didn't use laminate in the basement!

...so water coming up from undeground thru the concrete has no ill effect on tile...?


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RE: So glad we didn't use laminate in the basement!

Did you install the ceramic tile directly over the concrete?


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RE: So glad we didn't use laminate in the basement!

For the best results, use Ditra or equivalent membrane isolation underlayment between the tiles and the concrete.

Tiles laid directly on new concrete will always fail at some point as the concrete shrinks and cracks. I used heavy slate on top of modified thinset for my own home. I bought lots of extra pieces in case cracks appeared. Not a single one after six years. I put in mesh rebar in the concrete; not all builders so so.


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RE: So glad we didn't use laminate in the basement!

I have a basement that has vinel time glued on many years ago. Several tile have loosened and so I had to take up half of the floor, reglue and relay the original tile. This is in the unfinished basement by the laundry room. What I found out is that the lime content in the cement, as well as the moisture can cause tile to become loose. I almost had to go with a all solvent type glue, but use a Henry product with patial solvent and it did the trick. I'm still have a mixed review on laminate in the basement or on the main floor even. I have installed one in a kitchen as my first, and can see some draw backs to it.


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RE: So glad we didn't use laminate in the basement!

"...so water coming up from undeground thru the concrete has no ill effect on tile...?"

Generally, yes.

The higher grades of sheet flooring that have a softer feel have a sponge type layer.
This layer can trap and hold water.

Either type can have adhesion problems.


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RE: So glad we didn't use laminate in the basement!

Most laminate flooring manufacturers warrant their products for below-grade use.

The installation should ideally be on a subfloor system that keeps moisture and liquid water away from the flooring, such as DriCore and DeltaFL or equivalents.

But if you end up with standing water of a few inches (or feet), you're out of luck. Interestingly, some subfloor systems--though not the laminate on top-- may even stand up to that amount of saturation.


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