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Vinyl Plank underlayment for basement

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  • Sep 11th, 2021 10:47 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
4053 posts
1554 upvotes
Toronto

Vinyl Plank underlayment for basement

Currently contemplating subfloor and underlayment options and configurations for my basement project.

I'm completely decided that the finished floor will be Luxury Vinyl Plank, from either Torlys or Fuzion Floors (both have the anti-microbial cork backing). Torlys slightly gets the upper hand because they're the only vinyl plank manufacturer that makes vinyl stair treads/risers/bull-noses to match the floor.

I have absolutely NO issues with water leaks or moisture in my basement and humidity levels are incredibly stable throughout my home year-round. So, my #1 priority is floor warmth/comfort/quietness (opposed to water resistance). That being said, I had planned to use the Dricore R+ (with the grooved styrofoam adhered to OSB... not the plastic dimpled version) subfloor tiles, which has an R-value of 3, with either of the above-mentioned cork-backed vinyl plank products.

I was speaking with a contractor that was pushing the Torlys product and he was adamant that I did not need to use a subfloor (downplayed the Dricore R+) and insisted that I ONLY use the Torlys LV-Pro Underlayment directly on top of the concrete slab. He claimed that this floor would be "very warm and I could walk bare feet". I had a look at the sample, and this product is soooo thin, really not much thicker than the sill gasket foam I used under the bottom of my wall's sill plates, but the foam was more dense. There's hardly any info about this product online. I found one source that states this product has an R-value <1

I'm just having a really hard time believing that this product would be warmer than Dricore R+ subfloor.

Sure, Dricore R+ is certainly a thicker product and I lose just under an inch of head room (not a big deal since my basement ceilings are about 7'5").

Does anyone have any experience using the Torlys LV-Pro underlayment in a basement.... or any underlayment foam (not DMX 1-step) directly on concrete, for a finished vinyl plank floor?

EDIT: Turns out the contractor's recommended Torlys product is actually called "Torlys XV" not Torlys LV-Pro. It's still a very similar thin foam sheet. I can't find ANY info about Torlys XV anywhere on the internet.
Last edited by Repooc on Oct 19th, 2017 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
27 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2008
1763 posts
796 upvotes
Toronto
We used Torlys Everwood Premiere throughout our basement. Initially installed it over DMX Airflow - it was terrible, we had to lift flooring, remove DMX and re-lay. You can read about mine and others experiences with DMX Airflow in this post. AVOID DMX Airflow for luxury vinyl at all costs:

https://forums.redflagdeals.com/dmx-air ... s-2050199/

That said, we installed the floor straight on concrete. It's quiet and warm by itself.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
4053 posts
1554 upvotes
Toronto
jacquesstrap wrote: We used Torlys Everwood Premiere throughout our basement. Initially installed it over DMX Airflow - it was terrible, we had to lift flooring, remove DMX and re-lay. You can read about mine and others experiences with DMX Airflow in this post. AVOID DMX Airflow for luxury vinyl at all costs:

https://forums.redflagdeals.com/dmx-air ... s-2050199/

That said, we installed the floor straight on concrete. It's quiet and warm by itself.
Yeah, I came across your post and commented in that thread too.... partially why I included the proviso in my original post about not wanting to hear about DMX (1-step or airflow) products. ;)

I'm shocked that you ended up installing your Torlys vinyl plank right on top your concrete slab. Have you been through a winter yet with that setup? I just can't fathom that being very warm with virtually no thermal resistance. I think the cork layer is made to function more as a cushion and sound deadening feature rather than a thermal barrier.
Moderator
May 28, 2012
11429 posts
3752 upvotes
Saskatoon
We have Armstrong Vivero luxury vinyl plank glued directly to the basement (concrete) floor. It's a dry, level basement with no moisture issues. The floor does not feel cold at all...we installed it back in January so have had a winter with it.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
4053 posts
1554 upvotes
Toronto
Mars2012 wrote: We have Armstrong Vivero luxury vinyl plank glued directly to the basement (concrete) floor. It's a dry, level basement with no moisture issues. The floor does not feel cold at all...we installed it back in January so have had a winter with it.
Astonished Face

Man... really, eh? And you live in Saskatoon!!

Maybe using the dricore R+ with cork-backed vinyl plank is really overkill for a warm floor then. Seems like I can save a good amount of money.
Moderator
May 28, 2012
11429 posts
3752 upvotes
Saskatoon
Repooc wrote: Astonished Face

Man... really, eh? And you live in Saskatoon!!

Maybe using the dricore R+ with cork-backed vinyl plank is really overkill for a warm floor then. Seems like I can save a good amount of money.
Not just money, for a basement, every bit of height counts and the subfloor would add to it. And yes, I'm in Saskatoon, and it does not feel cold at all. You have to make sure to buy a good brand of vinyl plank though...some of that stuff you get at the big box stores are horrible.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
4053 posts
1554 upvotes
Toronto
I think what I might end up doing is; use the underlay and vinyl plank to start... try it out for a bit (especially over a winter), and then decide if I'll upgrade to Dricore R+. It's certainly the cheaper route.

If I end up with the following system: Concrete Slab > Dricore R+ > underalyment > cork-backed vinyl plank , that will certainly be the most warmest solution (next to running heating coils in the floor).

I guess that's the great thing about floating floors. I'll just wait until I'm satisfied with my finished floor solution before installing baseboard trim on the walls.
Deal Addict
May 17, 2012
2633 posts
1469 upvotes
ontario
jacquesstrap wrote: That said, we installed the floor straight on concrete. It's quiet and warm by itself.
Sorry if I am asking to you to repeat yourself. Directly on concrete? as in no underlayment product like OP describes [Torlys XV / Torlys LV-Pro] in this thread? We are looking to replace flooring in our basement as well and Torleys Lux vinyl planks look like a clear winner so far.
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2008
1763 posts
796 upvotes
Toronto
Repooc wrote: Yeah, I came across your post and commented in that thread too.... partially why I included the proviso in my original post about not wanting to hear about DMX (1-step or airflow) products. ;)

I'm shocked that you ended up installing your Torlys vinyl plank right on top your concrete slab. Have you been through a winter yet with that setup? I just can't fathom that being very warm with virtually no thermal resistance. I think the cork layer is made to function more as a cushion and sound deadening feature rather than a thermal barrier.
We had it installed earlier this year, so it was cold, and no issues. I should also add that we have a vapour barrier beneath our concrete slab (6mil poly), so that may contribute. That said, virtually every flooring shop I spoke with said they install it in basements straight on concrete, sometimes with 6 mil vapour barrier underneath if there is evidence of moisture.
Sr. Member
Feb 7, 2008
898 posts
330 upvotes
Okanagan
I'm another one who installed vinyl straight on concrete. No problem after 3 years.
Since my basement floor at some places was not even, vinyl actually 'hide' it very nicely.
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
17014 posts
15629 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Repooc wrote: I think what I might end up doing is; use the underlay and vinyl plank to start... try it out for a bit (especially over a winter), and then decide if I'll upgrade to Dricore R+. It's certainly the cheaper route.

If I end up with the following system: Concrete Slab > Dricore R+ > underalyment > cork-backed vinyl plank , that will certainly be the most warmest solution (next to running heating coils in the floor).

I guess that's the great thing about floating floors. I'll just wait until I'm satisfied with my finished floor solution before installing baseboard trim on the walls.
My basement was just finished this past winter. Used an underlay and vinyl plank on top. It's fine for me and it was not cold to walk on. I too was going to do a subfloor but as mars2012 said in a basement ceiling height is valuable and my contractor talked me out of it. Had some doubts but he has a ton of experience and I was happy with the end result.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
4053 posts
1554 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for the replies everyone.... You've definitely swayed me to just using the underlay under my vinyl plank.

I'll definitely report back in about 2 months when my reno is done (in the dead of winter), and report my findings.

Hopefully this thread helps anyone else on the fence about subfloor vs underlayment for vinyl plank
Member
User avatar
Sep 7, 2009
241 posts
34 upvotes
Bump - would love to hear a report back now that winter has passed. :)
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
2762 posts
1797 upvotes
I have luxury vinyl plank directly on my concrete and it's cold in the winter. Mine does not have the cork backing.
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2008
1763 posts
796 upvotes
Toronto
We've now been through a full winter with the Torlys and are very happy with it. The basement is the coziest room in the house!
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
4053 posts
1554 upvotes
Toronto
We're about 90% completed our basement reno project. Floors are being wrapped up tomorrow.

Our final solution was:
Concrete slab > landscape fabric > delta FL > 6 mm poly > Torlys Everwood Elite luxury vinyl plank
20180319_183152_HDR.jpg
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
4053 posts
1554 upvotes
Toronto
I forgot to mention, that the best part of this solution was that it's the best compromise (for me) between floor height and warmth. And best of all, it still allows for the concrete to breathe below the floor/vapour barrier.

The air break from the Delta FL coupled with the cork-backed vinyl planks, are a great combination for having a warm floor. I'd still be weary of installing the vinyl plank directly on the concrete, like others have mentioned in this thread, to have a warm floor. But of course, 'warmth' is very subjective.

We've used this flooring throughout our basement reno, including the bathroom, home gym and laundry room... everywhere except the dedicated home theater and the stairs, which both will be carpeted.

Super happy with the look/feel of this Ellite line of Torlys product. The patterning is VERY random across boards, and VERY hard to find 2 boards that look alike, lending itself to really looking like a natural wood floor product. The wood grain grooves embossed into the top layer are also very convincing.
Sr. Member
Jul 11, 2017
684 posts
802 upvotes
Repooc wrote: We're about 90% completed our basement reno project. Floors are being wrapped up tomorrow.

Our final solution was:
Concrete slab > landscape fabric > delta FL > 6 mm poly > Torlys Everwood Elite luxury vinyl plank
20180319_183152_HDR.jpg
That doesn't look like landscape fabric. You sure you didn't use house wrap?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jul 6, 2005
4053 posts
1554 upvotes
Toronto
Bella125 wrote: That doesn't look like landscape fabric. You sure you didn't use house wrap?
LOL... yes.. positive.

white layer is painted/sealed concrete floor
green layer is landscape fabric
grey layer is Delta FL

The landscape fabric is made from recycled plastic contents.... not typical organic/fibres (which I believe those landscape fabrics are black in colour)... this particular landscape fabric mitigates the risk for a source of food for mold growth.
Deal Addict
May 2, 2006
1278 posts
183 upvotes
Repooc wrote: We're about 90% completed our basement reno project. Floors are being wrapped up tomorrow.

Our final solution was:
Concrete slab > landscape fabric > delta FL > 6 mm poly > Torlys Everwood Elite luxury vinyl plank
Thanks for the follow-up. I've been following this thread :-)
Does the floor feel squishy at all with the underlay you've installed? I was considering OSB on top of what you had mentioned, but ceiling height is also a factor, as well i am leaning towards the same vinyl floor as you, so perhaps with the corked back there is no need for an OSB sub floor?

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