Installing 6mil Poly Vapor Barrier

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by marruda2, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Apr 20, 2012 #1

    marruda2

    marruda2

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    Hello,

    I'm going to be installing Allure Vinyl Plank flooring in my basement. The instructions recommend treating the concrete with a sealer or laying down a 6mil poly vapor barrier if the basement has moisture issues. I know the basement does get a little damp so I intend to lay down the 6mil poly as recommended just to be safe. I've been searching for instructions on how to do this, and from what I can gather I should overlap the seams of the poly 6-8" and duct tape them, and also run the poly 2-4" up the wall. The questions I have are as follows:

    1.) Should I duct tape the poly to the wall and/or the floor, or should I just leave it "floating"?

    2.) Can I cover the 2-4" of poly on the wall with baseboards? If not, how do I go about hiding it?

    3.) Some articles/people advise against laying poly on the basements concrete floor as it may trap the moisture between the poly and the floor and cause mold issues. This doesn't make sense to me as the mold would require some "food" and neither the concrete or poly are organic. That said, I'm not a professional and would like to be sure. Are there any concerns with laying the poly directly on the concrete slab/floor and then laying the vinyl planks directly on top of that?

    4.) Do you have any tips or things to watch out for when installing this type of flooring?

    Here is the link to the flooring I plan to install: http://www.homedepot.com/buy/flooring/vinyl-resilient-flooring/trafficmaster/allure-country-pine-resilient-vinyl-plank-flooring-11361.html

    If you click on the More Information button, there is a link to the installation guide.

    I apologize if I am not supposed to post outside links...I did a brief search for the forum rules but couldn't find them.

    Thanks in advance,
    Marruda2
     
  2. Apr 20, 2012 #2

    havasu

    havasu

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    That moisture barrier is designed for above grade slabs, where any moisture has a way to exit correctly. The moisture build up under the vapor barrier will cause you problems. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it will happen. I would install french drains and a sump pump along the perimeter to ensure the water has a way to exit the basement.
     
  3. Apr 20, 2012 #3

    Ernesto

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    Yea, or it might look like Havsu's swimming pool under there. You can buy vented vinyl base. But as per the instructions I would use a trowel on vapor retarder first, then 6 mil, then flooring.

    "Water resistant for use in high-moisture areas, such as basements, kitchens and bathrooms"
     
  4. Apr 20, 2012 #4

    marruda2

    marruda2

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    Thanks for the response.

    The house does have a sump pump but no french drains as far as I know. I wish I could take the time to do things right and install french drains but unfortunately I'm in kind of a tough situation. I don't actually own the house yet, but am in the process of buying it. My lender/bank is requiring that the basement flooring be finished before we can close the deal (for various stupid reasons). Normally this would fall to the buyer, but its a short sale and she can't afford it....so my only choices are install the floor in her house ASAP so we can close, or start looking for another house (which due to my current living situation isn't really an option). Because of this, I have until the end of this weekend to get a floor down. Sorry I didn't post all this info up front, but I wasn't sure it would be relevant and was trying to keep my questions as straight forward as possible.

    Giving that I have 2 days to install some type of flooring, over a concrete floor in a semi-damp basement, what would be the best route to go? I realize there may be no way to do this "right" in such a short time, I'm just looking for the least-bad option. I would prefer to use the vinyl plank flooring I linked because I like the look and already purchased it (so the planks could acclimate in time). Would a concrete sealer as recommended in the instructions cause any problems if the floor is below grade? If I can use it, how long does it normally need to dry? Since this is a floating floor, could I pick it back up after I move in then have french drains installed and lay it back down?
     
  5. Apr 20, 2012 #5

    marruda2

    marruda2

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    Thanks for the reply.

    So your saying if I use a trowel on vapor retarder first then the 6 mil I shouldn't have the problem Havsu mentioned above? If that is the case, do you know the answers to questions 1 and 2 in my original post?

    Also, could you tell me more about this vented vinyl base, I haven't heard of one before? Are they expensive? Are they solid? As I understand it, the vinyl planks need to be laid on something very solid or they can come apart at the seems because they are so flexible?
     
  6. Apr 20, 2012 #6

    Ernesto

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    You going to have a tough time pulling that preglued stuff apart. Go for a click vinyl plank. Just leave a gap around the perimeter and no base for now. The vapor retarder I am talking about is Bostik MVP4.
     
  7. Apr 20, 2012 #7

    Incognito

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    I really like the Bostic MPV4 barrier and then the plastic as a solution to your peculiar, rush situation.

    overlap the plastic 6-8 inches and duct tape

    run the plastic up the walls but use BLUE painter's tape an inch or two higher than the base you choose.

    do a good job with the tape and don't be cheap because it's going to be in the way BIGTIME when you're installing, especially as you make the cuts. Just tape the whole wall up firmly and be done with it.

    when it comes time to put on the base notch an 1/8' or 1/4' off the top of a small scrap piece of base. Use a sharpie (magic marker) to scribe the top of the base, less the fraction of an inch. Now with a relatively sharp blade in a utility knife go along and cut that plastic right on the line.

    some guys I've seen use silicone to glue up wood base

    typically I find the studs and get nails or screws plus some silicone along the top of the base

    the silicone won't help you with the plastic there if wood base is going up you need to do a good job with the nails

    I haven't put rubber base on a floor like or regular laminate with the plastic

    so now I'm confused

    I suppose you'd have to cut the plastic flush to the height of the flooring-----not really a big deal with the MPV4
     
  8. Apr 21, 2012 #8

    Ernesto

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    A couple manufacturers make vented vinyl/rubber wall base. Or if you are ingenious you can make yer own.
     
  9. Apr 21, 2012 #9

    Butcher

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    Do share....please.
     
  10. Apr 21, 2012 #10

    Ernesto

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  11. Apr 22, 2012 #11

    FloorMaven

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    There's no documented evidence to support the theory that MVE travels horizontally under a vapor retarder. Therefore, perimeter venting is over-kill. Also running it up the wall is unnecessary as the edges of the flooring are moisture resistant. The moisture protection is really for the adhesive's sake.

    6 mil stretched directly onto a slab is adequate protection IMO. If you need seams over-lap 1-2 ft & tape with triple layer over-lap of 2" polyethylene packing tape. Careful to work out crease folds as they tend to show through.
     
  12. Apr 22, 2012 #12

    FloorMaven

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    I find the trowelable retarders harder to find with the advent and advancement of the dual purpose adhesive/retarder technology.
     
  13. Apr 22, 2012 #13

    Incognito

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    **************************************
    I tend to agree that on vinyl products it's overkill to cove the plastic. If it's there in the instructions and that Allure product fails so frequently-----you'd be nuts to skip that step.

    I've only used plastic under floating engineered or laminated stuff so telegraphing wasn't a concern. In those instances I was simply reading and following the instructions that came from the box. I do these kinds of floors pretty seldom and those directions seem to be constantly changing and product specific.
     
  14. Apr 22, 2012 #14

    FloorMaven

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    Here's a snippet from the specs. I tried to upload the pdf but the forum limits the file size to 19.5kb.

    They don't provide specs on how to install the 6 mil. Even though the OP claims the basement is occasionally damp, he's assuming the sub-floor has excessive MVE. It could simply be poor ventilation. Maybe he should do a simple mat test on the slab.
     
  15. Apr 22, 2012 #15

    Ernesto

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    The maven has finally arrived!
    I totally agree with your asessement. But you know those manufacturers and their hired guns report what they see, course most will not pull base back especially if it is glued or fastened and caulked.

    Who was the genius who thought up that little gem of an installation practice? I had never had an issue prior to that before they started putting that into installation practices.
     
  16. Apr 22, 2012 #16

    FloorMaven

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    Usually the first 4 letter word out of your mouth Ernesto is- TEST. I'm surprised you didn't mention it here. I'm not an advocate of extensive testing, I'm a 'seal it and forget it' guy. That is when it's being done professionally and according to specs.

    I believe some technical people decided that a chimney effect was created by covering the slab, forcing the MVE to the perimeter. Usually the 6mil (8mil in the case of the now defunct wilsonart) stopped short of going edge to the edge causing the floor to absorb moisture though the exposed core cut edge. I remember when wilsonart's specs included coating each cut edge with their adhesive/sealer.

    In this case and in most involving Allure flooring is that it is chosen for economic reasons though basement floors usually require extra attention, at least more consideration. I think I'd find out if I actually have a MVE problem before I decide how to proceed.

    I recently installed about 800 sf on grade concrete.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  17. Apr 22, 2012 #17

    Incognito

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    The BIG LIE. If repeated enough everyone believes it.

    I QUOTE from the video you linked to:
    "With Allure there's no messy adhesive and no floor preparation required."

    It should say the adhesive comes on the tongues and grooves (recesses) of the interlocking portions. So there certainly is an adhesive. Because there's an adhesive there's LOTS of obvious considerations about handling the product and the conditions before, during and after the installation. Those can be seen in the FINE PRINT of the disclaimers/waivers written in the instructions and usually somewhere on every box. They don't want you to catch this til the boxes are loaded in the room, opened and you're already knee deep.

    To say there's NO floor preparation required is complete and utter nonsense. ANYONE in my industry who would ever say such a thing immediately loses 100% of their credibility. Again, once you're knee deep and the money is in their register they expect you to read the fine print detailing the minimum degree for floor preparation.

    Floor preparation is a hot button issue in this industry. More like a hot potato. No one wants to address the reality of the TIME and MONEY necessary because it's really hard to sell the materials when the cost of prep can be TEN times what they've considered spending for the room/house/business/institution.

    YES floating floors are designed to minimize this whole disastrous issue. But it doesn't make it go away. Less glue issues, less flatness issues--------by design. Not ZERO glue and ZERO flatness issues. Sure sounds good though at the time of sale. Probably does hold "true" for 80-90% of the sales with decent existing conditions.

    A wet basement isn't usually going to fall in that 80-90%
     
  18. Apr 22, 2012 #18

    FloorMaven

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    But the adhesive isn't messy and technically it's sub-floor and substrate preparation that is always necessary in some shape or form. For the sake of argument, "floor" preparation from the manufacturer's perspective as used in their advertising could mean that nothing is required to be done to the flooring prior to laying it down. It could mean that you don't need to wipe the back of the flooring like you would with ceramic, porcelain, stone or vct. You don't need to peel something off the back like with peel and stick tile. You don't need tackless or a pad or other underlayment. It could mean any of that.

    Personally, I don't sell "floor preparation" or "floor prep" as those type of things are included in my sq. ft price. I do sell sub-floor and substrate preparation and repair. I think the installation community is doing itself a disservice by using improper nomenclature and labeling everything floor prep.
     
  19. Apr 23, 2012 #19

    Ernesto

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    I've installed quite allot of it and not really that concerned seeing the 8lb limit as it is pretty high as far as other resilient floors go. Certainly a test would be a great idea below grade though. Least a ph test. Seeing how the guy only has a couple days to get'r done, the MVP4 and plastic should hold water. And if it didn't, hence the directive to use a click so it would be easy to un-install.

    I'd take them seriously cept for the fact they use; speaking of misuse of terminology; hydro static pressure in this sentence;
    I'm surprised you missed that floormaven.
     
  20. Apr 23, 2012 #20

    rugaddict

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    i would go with a looselay glass backed sheet vinyl and call it a day
     

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