I've just bought my first home and have started the long-term and rather daunting task of getting it into a decent state. First on my list is the Kitchen floor. See photo below. I pulled up the smelly old lino, and the 10mm plywood below, to reveal floorboards that are mostly ok, but then completely rotten in places (where there's been a long standing leak). All the boards are a little damp underneath as the soil is too high (touching the beams) and so there's no ventilation, but they're not too bad (yet). Also, about 1/3rd is concrete - laid where I think there was a major leak in the past.

Long term I know that I'll want to completely replace the floor and will re-do the kitchen. But I wont have the money for a while.

In the meantime, I plan to let the damper bits air for a week or so, then lay a cheap laminate floor until we can do it properly.

Something like this: http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/20284903/
With this underlay: http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/00018076/

My immediate questions are (noting this is just a temporary, approx. 1 year solution):
- As the floorboards are reasonably sturdy (at least they are where we'll be walking), will there be any need for an extra (plywood?) layer between boards and the laminate?
-The concrete part of the floor is cracked and damaged. Any advice for what to do with this before laying a floor on top? It's currently at the same level as the floorboards.

Many thanks

Photo showing concrete floor

  • Thinking about using some of this to level out the concrete before the floor goes down: wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Concrete-Repair-Mortar-5kg/p/154058 any thoughts?
    – Jamie G
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 12:09
  • In the end I used the Concrete Repair to fill in the holes, which made a big difference, but I needed more than I thought - the one tub didn't go far enough and so there are still some slightly noticable dips. I then laid the underlay + flooring directly on the concrete and floorboards. It would have been more sturdy if I'd put a plywood layer down first, but it's certainly good enough for a temporary floor and has made an amazing difference. Total: £120 from Ikea and one long day's work: i.imgur.com/qzUCpUk.jpg. Worth it until I can afford to completely re-do the floor and the kitchen.
    – Jamie G
    Commented Jan 8, 2015 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


Is this over a crawlspace? Fix your dampness and ventilation problems first before you invest a lot of time/money into the cosmetics. You will probably find more issues. Why do you want to do this twice (now, and again in a year)? My suggestion is to do it right, once.

Concrete shrinks as it cures, so cracks are probably only a cosmetic issue.

  • Thanks Mark. I think there's supposed to be a few inches / a foot of ventilation below the boards - there are air bricks on the side of the house, but I don't think there's supposed to be crawl space. I simply do not have the money to do it right now. The bathroom (above) leaks and so that has to be done first. That's the budget gone.
    – Jamie G
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 12:01

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