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I have a basement with a grade leading to a drain in the floor. The previous owner added a wall over the drain and put self-levelling cement on one side of the wall, over top of existing linoleum flooring. Then carpet was laid over the levelled floor.

I want to install click vinyl in place of the musty carpet. I've ripped up the existing carpet and linoleum; now I'm trying to figure out what to do with the cement. I wasn't sure what the grade looked like under the cement, so I ripped up some of the cement. I'm not exactly happy with the cement being on top of the linoleum and I'm unsure of the wisdom of blocking a drain from one side (although the washer is on the other side of the wall and does have drainage). I figure I have at least a few options:

  1. Tear up the remainder of the cement and re-lay new cement. I gather self-levelling cement is expensive so this is my least-preferred solution.

  2. Pour new cement around the old cement. This still doesn't provide any drainage, keeps the old linoleum in place where the old cement is, and I don't know the impact of pour new cement around old.

  3. Some other method that would allow drainage under the click vinyl.

What is my best option here? Should I be caring about keeping the drain accessible on the non-washer side of the wall? Is there a downside to pouring new cement against old? Is there another alternative to keep the floor level enough to lay click vinyl (i.e. a grade of less than 1/4" per 10 ft)?

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