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Loose lay vinyl planks on concrete vs underlayment + vinyl

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  • Aug 11th, 2021 10:51 am
[OP]
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Apr 24, 2006
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Mississauga

Loose lay vinyl planks on concrete vs underlayment + vinyl

Trying to decide for a basement. Warmer floors are the main goal (without having to go with infloor heating).

Would it be better to go with loose lay planks directly on the slab, or use something like DMX underlayment and then your standard vinyl flooring?

How do loose lay vinyl planks not move? It seems like just from walking or moving a chair that they would lift out of place?

Can you do DMX underlayment and then looselay vinyl or do you need to strong/flat surface?

Thanks
8 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2015
1461 posts
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Durham Region
Planks on slab is not going to be warm at all unless the slab is already insulated underneath

It also wouldn’t move unless the slab is extremely uneven. Not really sure what you mean by loose lay though, vinyl planks click together like a laminate
Member
Feb 26, 2017
267 posts
124 upvotes
Good questions. I am at point to make a similar decision of whether to go with underlayment or glueing directly on top of the slab.

With underlayment, I saw a few feedbacks from people that some planks popped. I sometimes need to move heavy stuffs like washer or dryer and am afraid of this issue.

With glueing directly on top of the slab, I am wondering if moisture and mold would be a problem? Moisture has nowhere to go and is trapped that mold may grow right underneath the planks. That would be a big problem if one day I pull up a few planks and see black stuffs.
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2012
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Toronto
Would this be different if the basement is above ground (walkout) ? Assuming this would be warmer?
JS
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
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If the goal is a warmer floor then a subfloor is necessary. Dricor and then your LVP. LVP directly on concrete will be cold and hard. I did this in my basement and regret not using dricor first.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2004
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If you use LVP specific underlayment (usually of the same brand) it will give a bit of warmth as well a bit or give (if you have little kids that might fall, then it’s pretty important) without any issues with movement or “popping” of edges. If you use underlayment not meant for LVP, which are usually thicker), then you may get movement and it will also void the LVP warranty.

I’d recommend using underlayment since it’s not a huge cost. It will also help mitigate a bit of unevenness if your concrete has a bit of waviness.
Sr. Member
Mar 20, 2017
507 posts
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Underpayment is crucial for warm floors. Placing Flooring directly on slab will be cold no matter what. DMX or Dricore are good recommendations.

Popping or busted edges are the result of flexing over time caused by uneven substrate and not because of the use or omission of an underpayment (unless it’s the wrong underpayment as the poster said above) In most cases, some self leveling cement or floor manufacture shimming is required.
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2008
1852 posts
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Toronto
I think it depends on what each person considers to be a "cold floor". Growing up in a century home, the floors were always cool so you wore socks or slippers. Personally I prefer a cool floor.

We laid Torlys Everwood LVP (with cork backing) direct on concrete slab (slab has a vapor barrier beneath it but no insulation). The basement floor is comfortable. In the winter it can be cool, but is by no means as cold as tile on concrete, which is what most probably think of as a "cold floor"
[OP]
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Apr 24, 2006
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Mississauga
networksend wrote: Planks on slab is not going to be warm at all unless the slab is already insulated underneath

It also wouldn’t move unless the slab is extremely uneven. Not really sure what you mean by loose lay though, vinyl planks click together like a laminate
Loose lay is as the name implies. They are supposedly helped together by friction. You simply lay it down directly on the ground and that's it. No click or glue required. You can use a regular exacto knife to make the cuts when you get to a wall.

I've seen them in stores but I'm curious as to how it withstands day to day use.

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