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#4646309 - 01/25/18 07:25 PM Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor
JLawrence08648 Offline


Registered: 01/20/17
Posts: 234
Loc: NJ
I have a 2 story house that is on a slab, garage, laundry room with tile floor, 1/2 bath with concrete floor, and 2 other rooms, den and bedroom, all are on the first floor slab.

I am removing the short nap carpeting and going to lay vinyl laminate plank flooring that has a thin rubber type backing. The flooring store, which also does installations, said this type of flooring does not need the floor to be sealed, nor a vapor barrier, nor any additional underlayment. However I would feel more comfortable sealing the floor. Should I not be concerned? We don't have a water table issue. Should the floor be sealed to prevent any moisture coming up? With what?

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#4646325 - 01/25/18 07:38 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: JLawrence08648]
Gebo Offline


Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 2079
Loc: VA
I would. I did. Listen to your guts. I used polyurethane 25 years ago. Got it in 5 gallon buckets. Used paint rollers to apply.
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#4646336 - 01/25/18 07:52 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: JLawrence08648]
dishdude Offline


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8732
Loc: Phoenix
If it already has the vapor barrier built in, you don't need it. What does the manufacturer say?
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#4646342 - 01/25/18 08:00 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: JLawrence08648]
Bandito440 Offline


Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 3854
Loc: NEUS
Polyurethane won’t create a moisture barrier, if you need one.

Reference the instructions that come with your product. They’ll likely tell you to make sure the concrete is properly cured and dry. If you need a moisture barrier, plastic that’s at least 6 mils thick or a product like Pergo Gold 3mm underlayment will do the job. Be sure to tape the seams.

Here are the instructions from the Lowe’s Smartcore product that I used:

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#4646394 - 01/25/18 09:14 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: JLawrence08648]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8642
Loc: North Carolina
The living area of the slab , should have a vapor barrier under the concrete. The garage is any ones guess. I would take a 12x 12 or better a 2ft x 2ft piece of clear plastic sheeting and tape it to the garage floor. wait a few days or a week and see if there is any moisture under the plastic.


Edited by spasm3 (01/25/18 09:14 PM)
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#4646436 - 01/25/18 10:02 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: JLawrence08648]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6213
Loc: MI
It seems that if there IS a moisture problem, laying down a vapor barrier might still be a problem? What happens to moisture that condenses under the barrier and sits there for years? Mold? Algae?

Would installing over an engineered subfloor system be a better solution? DriCore and Barricade are a few examples. I don't know. I'm asking.

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#4646441 - 01/25/18 10:08 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: doitmyself]
maxdustington Online   content


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 630
Loc: Toronna
Originally Posted By: doitmyself
It seems that if there IS a moisture problem, laying down a vapor barrier might still be a problem? What happens to moisture that condenses under the barrier and sits there for years? Mold? Algae?

Would installing over an engineered subfloor system be a better solution? DriCore and Barricade are a few examples. I don't know. I'm asking.


It sounds like you should consult an actual professional not sales staff at the flooring store. Many places are unfamiliar with the products they sell.

It really depends on how much you want to spend, I always see those tiles at the store but I have never seen them or even heard of them being installed and I renovate houses in Toronto professionally.

EDIT: Just paint it and rock on, that vinyl plank has good water resistance. It is also cheap enough that if it does get trashed it is whatever. That stuff feels cheap and we only use it for basements because for the reasons mentioned above.


Edited by maxdustington (01/25/18 10:15 PM)
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#4646444 - 01/25/18 10:10 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: JLawrence08648]
dishdude Offline


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8732
Loc: Phoenix
I bought my house about 3 years ago and did a flip but moved in instead of reselling. Pulled up the laminate that was existing (house is on a slab) and there was a lot of moisture between the vapor barrier and slab. Replaced it with new laminate and a plastic vapor barrier. I think the cold slab against the warm flooring causes a natural amount of moisture to condensate - even in Phoenix.

I remember when shopping there were a lot of different options, and some included a pre-installed sound/vapor barrier.
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#4646445 - 01/25/18 10:10 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: JLawrence08648]
Panzerman Offline


Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 4203
Loc: Port Orange, Florida
I am in the process of re-flooring my entire house. I definitely like tile better but not the price.
You don't need to seal the concrete. Don't skimp on the underlayment though. I had laminate with backing and they talked me into underlayment anyway. I hate that room it feels bouncy. I used three types of underlayment. I like the one that is thin black like scuba fabric it works Great but you really don't need anything.
Look at this way if the concrete sweated your carpet would get wet. It's fine.
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#4646447 - 01/25/18 10:11 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: Panzerman]
dishdude Offline


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8732
Loc: Phoenix
Originally Posted By: Panzerman

Look at this way if the concrete sweated your carpet would get wet. It's fine.


Carpet breathes, laminate doesn't.
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#4646453 - 01/25/18 10:17 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: Panzerman]
maxdustington Online   content


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 630
Loc: Toronna
Originally Posted By: Panzerman
I am in the process of re-flooring my entire house. I definitely like tile better but not the price.
You don't need to seal the concrete. Don't skimp on the underlayment though. I had laminate with backing and they talked me into underlayment anyway. I hate that room it feels bouncy. I used three types of underlayment. I like the one that is thin black like scuba fabric it works Great but you really don't need anything.
Look at this way if the concrete sweated your carpet would get wet. It's fine.


I noticed the bouncy feeling as well but it goes away after a while in high traffic areas and makes the floor feel more like a real wood floor instead of laminate on concrete
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#4646455 - 01/25/18 10:18 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: maxdustington]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6213
Loc: MI
At my workplace I have required professionals come back and redo sup par work on more than a few occasions. Bad concrete. Wall in a wrong location. Illegal wiring. You name it.

It's my responsibility and ultimately rests on me. If you had added the word competent in front of professional, it would have been much more palatable. I haven't dealt with moisture underneath a vinyl floor plank and was simply asking.

So, how do you handle moisture underneath basement vinyl plank flooring?

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#4646465 - 01/25/18 10:27 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: JLawrence08648]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5511
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
I would never install a long life product on un-sealed concrete. I just would not do it ...
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#4646494 - 01/25/18 11:05 PM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: doitmyself]
maxdustington Online   content


Registered: 01/21/17
Posts: 630
Loc: Toronna
Originally Posted By: doitmyself
At my workplace I have required professionals come back and redo sup par work on more than a few occasions. Bad concrete. Wall in a wrong location. Illegal wiring. You name it.

It's my responsibility and ultimately rests on me. If you had added the word competent in front of professional, it would have been much more palatable. I haven't dealt with moisture underneath a vinyl floor plank and was simply asking.

So, how do you handle moisture underneath basement vinyl plank flooring?


I was under the impression that this was just the ground floor of a house on a slab. If I were concerned about moisture build up under my basement flooring I would repair my leaky basement before putting a floor down.
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#4646557 - 01/26/18 02:29 AM Re: Should I seal slab before lay vinyl laminate floor [Re: dishdude]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 29746
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: dishdude
Originally Posted By: Panzerman

Look at this way if the concrete sweated your carpet would get wet. It's fine.


Carpet breathes, laminate doesn't.


It also wicks up and absorbs moisture while it is breathing. It could also allow mold to grow on the padding or carpet backing. I've seen it in several clients homes over the years.

OP I would consult the manufacturer of the laminate floor product you plan on installing.
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