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Insulating underlayment on concrete floor #5391104 04/01/20 05:07 PM
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MoneyJohn Offline OP
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It seems like we are going to stuck home for a while (at least a month at current projection). Work is slow, even after working from home. So we are considering ripping carpet from the bedroom and putting linoleum flooring, primarily to address dust mite allergies in winter.

The wife is severely allergic to the dust mites. During summer, we wash the carpet twice a month but it is very difficult for her during the winter. Since we live in a rental and moving is not an option due to the school district, we don't care about how fancy the flooring looks. As long as we address the winter dust mite issues, we are good. The property management is not willing to offer any kind of help but they have given us a free hand on whatever we may want to do with the flooring.

We have never done anything like this before so I watched a few YouTube videos but nobody talks about underlayment that is insulating as well. We are the first floor dwellers and our floors are concrete floors. The property management has put linoleum in the kitchen without any underlayment and it gets VERY cold in winter. So insulation is a must if we are going to do this in the bedroom. Can anyone point me towards underlayment that acts as (very) good insulator as well?

Thanks in advance.

Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391122 04/01/20 05:40 PM
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marine65 Offline
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There is none for vinyl floors.
I've been in the flooring business for 40 years.


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Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391127 04/01/20 05:47 PM
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Danno Online Content
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Costco sells laminate with foam padding. That is what I would look at for your flooring. Relatively inexpensive, do it yourself and the padding adds some comfort.
https://www.costco.com/mohawk-home-harmony-pine-10mm-thick-laminate-flooring-with-splashdefense-technology-%2b-2mm-pad-attached.product.100524702.html


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Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391128 04/01/20 05:48 PM
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doitmyself Offline
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A product like Dricore will give the results you desire. It will be a challenge at thresholds, baseboards, etc..

http://dricore.com/nw/subfloor_about.php

There are also insulating foam underlayments if you consider laminate flooring. Not sure about vinyl plank.

Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: marine65] #5391252 04/01/20 07:37 PM
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MoneyJohn Offline OP
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Thanks for the comments.

Originally Posted by marine65
There is none for vinyl floors.
I've been in the flooring business for 40 years.

So that is the reason why there is no underlayment in the kitchen. I thought they were being cheapstake.
In your professional opinion, what would be a better way to go without spending too much money? As I said, we don't care about the looks at the moment. I just want her to sleep peacefully during winter. We have been avoiding ripping the carpets for a few years now and probably spent more money on doctors and treatments but none are working so this is a final resort.

@Danno, I will take a look at those.

@doitmyself, This looks pretty good. I will need to check the costs.

Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391268 04/01/20 07:50 PM
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JohnG Offline
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Quote
So that is the reason why there is no underlayment in the kitchen. I thought they were being cheapstake.
In your professional opinion, what would be a better way to go without spending too much money? As I said, we don't care about the looks at the moment. I just want her to sleep peacefully during winter. We have been avoiding ripping the carpets for a few years now and probably spent more money on doctors and treatments but none are working so this is a final resort.


I'm not a professional, but I'd say the next step up from Linoleum would be an inexpensive laminate flooring. There are some pretty decent underlayments available for them that might help some. But keep in mind we're only talking about a material that's 1/8 to 3/16" thick, so I wouldn't expect too much.

MANY many years ago, people used to put several layers of newspaper under Linoleum floors! I don't know if it was intended as insulation or just to keep the old flooring nails from popping up through the new floor!
All I know was that it was GREAT FUN in the 60's to tear up an old floor and find newspaper from the 1930's under there. The advertisements were a great read. Like new shoes for $1.50 a pair! Steak for 5 cents a pound, etc.

Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391341 04/01/20 09:08 PM
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Rolla07 Offline
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If its a rental why bother?

Only thing I know is dri core subfloor panels or something like dmx one step or delta fl. Dont think its meant to be topped with linoleum tho


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Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: Rolla07] #5391540 04/02/20 06:02 AM
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MoneyJohn Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rolla07
If its a rental why bother?

Even though it is a rental, we are living here and 'stuck' here for another 7 years (due to the school district and child's special needs). We avoided this for almost 8 years now for exactly the same reason but due to the wife's severe allergies we must do something or move and moving is not an option.
Originally Posted by Rolla07
Only thing I know is dri core subfloor panels or something like dmx one step or delta fl. Dont think its meant to be topped with linoleum tho

DMX one step looks really good. I will have to research how much insulation it can offer or if anything can be used with it. I chose linoleum for the cost. As you said, since its a rental, I do not want to spend a LOT of money and want to get it done as cheap as possible, that will last for another 7 years. And if that means, I need to spend a little extra, I am fine with that.

@JohnG, Some YouTube videos mention the use of thin plastic underlayment but that is to prevent moisture.

Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391587 04/02/20 07:17 AM
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Say no to Vinyl !!!


Try this mock up HERE or Fig 3 HERE

Last edited by BMWTurboDzl; 04/02/20 07:19 AM.

“It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you’re going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.”

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Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391624 04/02/20 08:07 AM
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ondarvr Offline
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I did the same thing you’re looking to do in our master bedroom 14 years ago.

I first applied an epoxy to the concrete, then a Dricore type product. I put luan over that and then flexible vinyl plank flooring.

The epoxy and luan could be skipped to reduce cost if desired.

The floor wasn’t ever that cold.

Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391661 04/02/20 08:59 AM
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Scenario1: demo carpet:
-demo and cut into strips carpet
-demo and cut into strips undepad
-demo tack strips
-patch concrete holes and grind/level any high/really low spots

use 6mm cork as underpad (probably glued). You will need a heavy roller.
maybe some luan sheets to level up to the existing carpet level.
use vinyl click or cheap click laminate. Or try for laminate to be AC4/AC5 (commercial grade)

Scenario 2: ghetto style
vacuum carpet twice. with a construction vacuum.
painter plastic sheets. Connect with duct tape.
if it does not have a lot of "bounce", install cheap laminate on top of carpet
threshold/doors?

Scenario 3: get a stanley steamer/commercial cleannign carpet truck company in place. you may be surprised... (those vacuums could pull/lift a bowling ball)

Scenario 4:
-demo and cut into strips carpet
-demo and cut into strips undepad
-install new underpad and carpet
or install new underpad and search for commercial/hospital grade carpet
or new underpad and outside grade carpet

DO NOT use store rentals carpet cleaners (in your wife's condition)!!!

Waht air purifier for her and kiddo?


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Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391674 04/02/20 09:18 AM
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OP/MoneyJohn,

did you had posts in the past where you complained about humidity and mold and old buildings problems?

I think this may need a whole-view approach.


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Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391707 04/02/20 09:46 AM
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Immune therapy for the wife, desensitize her to the problem. You'll run into dust mites anywhere you live, they're ubiquitous and impossible to eliminate. Get her to an allergy clinic and get the process started, it'll probably cost about the same as the flooring and eventually she'll be able to live anywhere in relative comfort.

Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: ironman_gq] #5391764 04/02/20 11:02 AM
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MoneyJohn Offline OP
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Originally Posted by pandus13
OP/MoneyJohn,

did you had posts in the past where you complained about humidity and mold and old buildings problems?

I think this may need a whole-view approach.

Yes. After that post, I spent almost a year finding another apartment in the same school district but that failed so we decided to get the management involved in addressing the problems. While they addressed a few, they refused to address the carpet issue but suggested to us, we can do whatever we may need to address the problem.

We have not tried Stanley Steamer but we have our own carpet washer that we use twice a month during the summer and that makes a good difference. We also have 2 HEPA air purifiers.


Originally Posted by ironman_gq
Immune therapy for the wife, desensitize her to the problem. You'll run into dust mites anywhere you live, they're ubiquitous and impossible to eliminate. Get her to an allergy clinic and get the process started, it'll probably cost about the same as the flooring and eventually she'll be able to live anywhere in relative comfort.

As I said in one of the follow-up posts, we have been seeing an allergist for a while and allergy shots addressed her environmental allergies very well but for some odd reason sensitivity to the dust mites increased. The allergist can not explain so Flonase is the only option during the winter to be able to sleep well.

Re: Insulating underlayment on concrete floor [Re: MoneyJohn] #5391887 04/02/20 01:26 PM
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The time to think about concrete floor insulation is sometime prior to the arrival of the first ready mix truck. l We had one inch rigid foam board placed under our pad and along the inner stem walls. Helps but would do things differently if we did it again.

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