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Vinyl planks on concrete question

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  • Dec 22nd, 2020 7:20 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 17, 2012
1422 posts
321 upvotes
ORLEANS

Vinyl planks on concrete question

Hello!
I will be installing golden select vinyl tile planks(Charleston grey) in my basement, which is concrete. The planks already have a foam like backing applied to the planks. In the golden select installation paper, it says minimum of 6mil vapour barrier applied on the concrete before installing the planks. The piece of plastic is like $100 for 1000sqft. But I want something that has more cushion and a little warmer for the basement. Can I use one of these instead of just a basic plastic sheet?

https://www.costco.ca/technoflex-premiu ... 61361.html

Or

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/dmx-pl ... 1001513953


Which one would be better?
27 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 25, 2004
961 posts
432 upvotes
Longueuil
Usually vinyl planks to be installed on a hard surface so I am not sure these would be the best to use. I am also going to install vinyl planks in my basement so I am interested in hearing what others might recommend.
Try not! Do or do not, there is no try...
Deal Addict
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Dec 10, 2008
4853 posts
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I did vinyl planks directly on concrete. They had some built-in foam, whatever that's worth.

I didn't use a VB or any kind of underlayment because I didn't want to trap moisture and vapor. My thinking is, let the system breathe. In the event of a water/vapor issue (spill, leak, high humidity, etc.), it'll dry out quickly and without issue.

I didn't see much value in spending a lot of money trying to get, at best, an R5 floor.
Let's hug it out
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
36161 posts
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Ottawa
I have the vinyl planks right on the concrete. I asked the installer and I read all the instructions for thw planks and it did not require any underlay of any type, including plastic.
I suggest reading the installation procedure and calling the manufacturer and ask them.
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Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2008
1615 posts
602 upvotes
Toronto
I too installed my vinyl planks (built in cork backing) direct on concrete, however I have a 6mm vapor barrier beneath my concrete slab

Don't put an underlayment beneath the planks, they need a solid subfloor or the joints with creak/squeek and fail.
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1495 posts
643 upvotes
I'm sitting in my basement right now with 8mm SPC vinyl plank on DMX 1-step 2.0 and it's great. It's much warmer than the tile that's installed directly onto the concrete. No floating floor is going to be perfect, so I know there are some spots that dip and the floor does feel a bit spongy and a few spots crack when I walk on them, but overall it's pretty good for a floating floor.
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2005
2653 posts
776 upvotes
North York
I thought my basement floor was dry too and I put vinyl plank directly on concrete without subfloor. Then I noticed some spots there was some moisture seeping up between where I would step. Lucky my basement isn't really finished so I was able to peal up the problem area but I couldn't find any leaks or cracks where water was coming up. It has been 3 years since I put the floor down and never had this moisture seeping through issue. I thought maybe there was a leak from drain from my furnace or hot water tank but nothing. I wiped floor dry and left two random pieces down in middle and after few days underneath them it felt kind of tacky and moist. Meanwhile exposed concrete around it was dry to touch.

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I used Dricore after I ripped up the old vinyl plank. I tried to save it but it was so hard not to rip the connecting seams and mold was starting to grow which would have been a pain in the ass to clean too with bleach. It also didn't help that I had to do all this shuffling around of my pinball machines not once to remove old flooring, twice to install dricore but a third time to install new vinyl plank flooring.

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I considered the DMX underlayment as mentioned by exrcoupe above but after reading some reviews people who put laminate on top of this and had their flooring shift or unclick over time. I slide my pinball machines around to work on them and they weigh on average 300-350lbs each which is way below the DMX rating but was worried the floor would shift. The savings going the DMX route over Dricore would have been like $300-350 overall. Also with Dricore it allowed me to do my subfloor in stages of shifting my games around where as the DMX i would have been tougher to install since it unrolls like carpet. Anyways, I would advise against installing without some for of vapor barrier or breathable subfloor.
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1495 posts
643 upvotes
I don't care what the flooring manufacturers say, concrete WILL pass moisture in the form of humidity and/or droplets that will condense on a non-porous flooring that is put on top of it. Whatever the underpadding of the flooring - cork/foam/plastic, whatever will trap moisture and not let it dry out quickly enough and you'll get issues like mwong168 where the flooring touching the concrete will feel moist. DMX, Platon, Dri-core that creates a gap between the concrete and the flooring is what is required to allow it to breath. I didn't put down osb or plywood because I didn't want any organics on the floor, so the DMX and the vinyl work well, albeit not 100% perfect, but what flooring is?
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
2768 posts
1543 upvotes
Mississauga
Can I hijack this thread to ask another question. What would you do if the basement floor is already tiled. My basement is already tile. The tiling is pretty level and solid, however I am planning to put either laminate or vinyl plank on top of it to make it comfortable to walk in socks. Will it still be a good idea to add DMX on top of tile, or would you suggest to put laminate/vinyl directly on top of tile. Also, in case I decide to go with laminate flooring, can I use something like this Roberts felt underlayment instead of DMX.
https://www.homedepot.ca/product/robert ... 1000753691

I am more inclined to use some sort of underlayment to help event out the grout lines, but not able to decide which one.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 9, 2007
2030 posts
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Toronto
I put vinyl flooring with underlayment on the basement concrete slab and I hate it because I can feel concrete surface inequalities when I walk. Wish I had the money for engineering hardwood back then....
Deal Guru
Jun 11, 2005
13134 posts
1969 upvotes
Toronto
IndyBeak wrote: Can I hijack this thread to ask another question. What would you do if the basement floor is already tiled. My basement is already tile. The tiling is pretty level and solid, however I am planning to put either laminate or vinyl plank on top of it to make it comfortable to walk in socks. Will it still be a good idea to add DMX on top of tile, or would you suggest to put laminate/vinyl directly on top of tile. Also, in case I decide to go with laminate flooring, can I use something like this Roberts felt underlayment instead of DMX.
https://www.homedepot.ca/product/robert ... 1000753691

I am more inclined to use some sort of underlayment to help event out the grout lines, but not able to decide which one.
Use self levelling cement on the grout, level of out and lay the vinyl directly on top.
Jr. Member
Jul 7, 2020
172 posts
25 upvotes
IndyBeak wrote: Can I hijack this thread to ask another question. What would you do if the basement floor is already tiled. My basement is already tile. The tiling is pretty level and solid, however I am planning to put either laminate or vinyl plank on top of it to make it comfortable to walk in socks. Will it still be a good idea to add DMX on top of tile, or would you suggest to put laminate/vinyl directly on top of tile. Also, in case I decide to go with laminate flooring, can I use something like this Roberts felt underlayment instead of DMX.
https://www.homedepot.ca/product/robert ... 1000753691

I am more inclined to use some sort of underlayment to help event out the grout lines, but not able to decide which one.
I just had this done last week & happy with results so far.
I had Tiles in my basement which was very cold actually. Decided to do Vinyl planks 8mm (6.5 mm Vinyl + 1.5 mm attached Black underpad) on top of existing Tiles.
Then i debated whether to use any underlayment or not. Finally decided to go with 1.5mm Underlayment & then Planks on top. Looks very good/stable so far.
I think we hear mixed reviews where some say underlayment is not a good option but others say underlayment is good. I had to go in balance so not not so thicker underlayment. I guess it definitely helps in terms of stability & sound/temperature control.
Not sure if DMX is the right solution for Vinyl planks though but again depends on how thick Vinyl you want.
Jr. Member
Jul 7, 2020
172 posts
25 upvotes
IndyBeak wrote: Can I hijack this thread to ask another question. What would you do if the basement floor is already tiled. My basement is already tile. The tiling is pretty level and solid, however I am planning to put either laminate or vinyl plank on top of it to make it comfortable to walk in socks. Will it still be a good idea to add DMX on top of tile, or would you suggest to put laminate/vinyl directly on top of tile. Also, in case I decide to go with laminate flooring, can I use something like this Roberts felt underlayment instead of DMX.
https://www.homedepot.ca/product/robert ... 1000753691

I am more inclined to use some sort of underlayment to help event out the grout lines, but not able to decide which one.
How much thickness of Vinyl planks you are going with? 5mm or 6 or 8mm?
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
2768 posts
1543 upvotes
Mississauga
nowhere2010 wrote: I just had this done last week & happy with results so far.
I had Tiles in my basement which was very cold actually. Decided to do Vinyl planks 8mm (6.5 mm Vinyl + 1.5 mm attached Black underpad) on top of existing Tiles.
Then i debated whether to use any underlayment or not. Finally decided to go with 1.5mm Underlayment & then Planks on top. Looks very good/stable so far.
I think we hear mixed reviews where some say underlayment is not a good option but others say underlayment is good. I had to go in balance so not not so thicker underlayment. I guess it definitely helps in terms of stability & sound/temperature control.
Not sure if DMX is the right solution for Vinyl planks though but again depends on how thick Vinyl you want.
nowhere2010 wrote: How much thickness of Vinyl planks you are going with? 5mm or 6 or 8mm?
I will be going with either 8mm Vinyl or 12mm Laminate. Though I like the looks of laminate flooring a little more than vinyl. Although manufacturers say that we can install it directly over concrete, so with existing tiles it gets even more simple. But I am still thinking it might be a good idea to add some sort of underlayment to add some cushion and also help with grout lines.
Sr. Member
Dec 9, 2013
609 posts
491 upvotes
Toronto
LembergMX wrote: I put vinyl flooring with underlayment on the basement concrete slab and I hate it because I can feel concrete surface inequalities when I walk. Wish I had the money for engineering hardwood back then....
Yeah I installed Luxury vinyl plank in my basement for my previous house and my new house has engineered hardwood in the basement and the engineered hardwood feels 100x better.
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1495 posts
643 upvotes
miscbrah1 wrote: Yeah I installed Luxury vinyl plank in my basement for my previous house and my new house has engineered hardwood in the basement and the engineered hardwood feels 100x better.
Of course it will. I put solid maple hardwood with platon underlayment and an OSB subfloor in my old place and it felt awesome, but I knew it wouldn't be an issue as the basement was super dry. In my new place, it's a much older house and I wanted the durability of vinyl over real wood feel in the basement and there was a flooding issue before, so I didn't want any organics on the floor.
Member
Dec 26, 2012
287 posts
243 upvotes
TORONTO
I had vinyl planks laid down on linoleum and it was a little cold on my feet. I ripped it all up however as there was water squishing through the seams. Once my basement is all repaired, i'll never lay down any sort of organic materials as i have been dealing with mould.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3245 posts
2205 upvotes
Toronto
I'd never put vinyl directly on concrete. You're creating a super tight area where moisture wicking up from the concrete has nowhere to go.

Tape a clear plastic bag down to your concrete floor and leave it for a few weeks and see what happens. That's the same as putting vinyl flooring directly on the concrete.

Use Dricore first.
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2007
1152 posts
171 upvotes
Are you guys installing Dricore Subloor regular or the R+ version? Are you anchoring the Dricore to concrete or truly letting it float?

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