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Laminate Flooring

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ike

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Any flooring experts out there?

I've decided to replace some carpet with laminate flooring. Can I use the existing carpet underlay (it's medium thickness rubber waffle type stuff). The floor is flat, sealed concrete.

Looking at the underlay options for the flooring in B&Q, they are all somewhat more resilient than the carpet underlay. My worry is that if I were to use the existing underlay, if a chair leg for example is directly over a joint, damage could occur due to to much give (I intend to use Floormaster LOC flooring).
 

Johnboy

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When I laid mine I used the stuff supplied specifically for the purpose. I would think you could be right about too much give in carpet underlay. The proper stuff was not very expensive so I would not risk it.

john
 

StevieB

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I have layed quite alot of laminate in various houses and found that the green fibre board stuff was far better than the thin white stuff that comes on a role. I would be wary about laying over underlay for the reason you state - its got too much give in it.

I have also both stuck this fibre board to concrete floor as recommended (with wall panel adhesive) and left it free floating but butted the edges against each other. There was no obvious difference, is just that if you bond it to the floor then want to replace the laminate with carpet at a later date the adhesive lays in ridges and needs removing. This took several hours and a hammer and chisel (brick not wood!) on one job I did. :roll:

also, if its a large room make sure you leave a decent expansion gap all round the room. I did one round the bottom of a set of stairs where there was no skirting so cut the flooring tight to the stairs to leave a neat finish since they didnt want one of the plasic beading edges. Big mistake - the floor just lifted in the middle of the room :oops:

Not trying to teach you how to suck eggs, just trying to stop you having the same problems I had. Experience is great, but I wish you didnt have to wait so long to get it :D

Steve.
 

ike

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Steve,

Why in your experience is the woodwool better than the thin stuff like 'Combilay'? Is just better heat insulation, or sound insulation as well? I have walked on some peoples floors and they kindoff act like a sound board - really hollow and clacky. Do you reckon thats down to the thickness of the underlay?

Ike
 

StevieB

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Hi Ike,

I think the preference is personal to be honest. The green fibre board is easier to lay and fit, its also easier to cut. It doesnt tear like the thin roll stuff does and you can walk on it before adding the laminate on top. It also makes it easier to lay as you go than the stuff on a roll.

The clacky sound seems to occur when there is a gap between the laminate and the underlay. This could be because your laminate has lifted, or because the floor area is quite small so standing in the middle of the room lifts the board at the edges (any type of underlay will have some comression in it, but again the fibre board has less than the rool sheeting IMHO). Again, make sure your expansion gap is sufficient so that if you stand in the middle of the floor, if the laminate is lifting slightly there is enough room for it to flatten at the edges rather than just raising somewhere else. It could also be because your subfloor is not flat (think chipboard sag rather than concrete floor not level) but the laminate is quite rigid so tends to sit over the sag rather than follow the contours of the subfloor. this the creates a pocket which closes when you stand on it and produces the 'clacky sound'.

Laminate is also quite echoey (sp?) so really depends what else is in the room to absorb sound.

HTH,

Steve.
 

ike

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Steve,

Thanks a lot for your advice. I'll definitely use the wood wool sheets. :D

cheers

Ike
 

ProShop

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ike":3qb73dzv said:
Steve,

Why in your experience is the woodwool better than the thin stuff like 'Combilay'? Is just better heat insulation, or sound insulation as well? I have walked on some peoples floors and they kindoff act like a sound board - really hollow and clacky. Do you reckon thats down to the thickness of the underlay?

Ike
The underlay does make a difference, but also the thickness of the laminate flooring as well and if the laminate has lifted from the underlay (usually due to no clearance at the wall edges etc) helps to prduce that hollow clacky sound. Incidentaly real wood laminate floor is thicker and much, much warmer than the other types and also sounds much quieter.
John
 

woodburner

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I agree with Steve here, the thick(ish) "wood wool" stuff (what an excellent name for it) is my preferred option having tried both that and the really thin (~ 3 mm) foam. It's warmer, but most importantly it's a load quieter. I'd stick a plastic sheet down on a concrete floor too (only a cheap thin one mind). I never bothered sticking the underlay tiles down but they seemed to do the job just fine.

Dod
 

Manny

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I've laid a few also (though I would'nt have one myself) and agree that the fibre underlay gives a better result but being thicker may result in door trimming. Also not suitable for kitchens as not water proof.

PS not a good idea to glue fibre underlay down as it needs to move and as your laying onto concrete I'd put a membrane down before underlay
 

ike

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To all,

When I looked more closely at the spec for the wood wool and the 'Combilay' 3mm foam stuff, I noticed that,

Woodwool has better sound insulation, but not so good for heat insulation.

3mm foam (the make I looked at anyway) is best for heat insulation (surprised), is a moisture barrier in itself but is poorer for sound insulation.

So my conclusion was that for a ground floor concrete floor (with no underslab insulation) the foam is the one to go for. Likewise if I were to use laminate flooring upstairs, obviously heat insulation isn't important but sound certainly is. And given that a boarded wooden floor is more likely to be uneven than a concrete slab, the wood wool is best.

Just thought I'd pass on my thoughts on the subject should anyone else be wondering what to best to use.
 
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