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I am trying to give my basement floor an update, and I have purchased a click and lock vinyl floating floor. The existing poured concrete has some raised areas (where the concrete was clumpy and not properly smoothed 50 years ago). The floor is level, with the exception of these small bumps and divots every now and then. I am not experienced enough to try a self-leveling compound, so I thought I would use a concrete patch to at least smooth out the surface in these few spots.

Is this a doable solution? All I really care about is making sure the vinyl flooring doesn't have major pockets or gaps between it and the concrete sub-floor. Any thoughts, recommendations, or warnings about this approach?

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Spend $50 on a non contact moisture meter rated for concrete. Make sure your system is ok with whatever level you have spring/fall..

Floor grinding with a diamond cup grinder, followed by SLC (self leveling compound) for the low spots would minimize the SLC needed.

Follow your vinyl flooring manufacturer for sealing/curing/dryness.

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The problem that sometimes occur with basement concrete floors is if no vapor barrier is underneath than any ground moisture can permeate through the slab and into your living space. So if you happen to install a floor covering any moisture is going to get trapped underneath. This will cause any number of problems usually it will weaken the glue's bond resulting in bubbled or loose areas of flooring. And headaches in general. So it would be wise to heed @HerrBag's suggestion regarding a moisture check. Another moisture test is to cut a section of clear plastic (large sandwich bag will do) and duct tape it's 4 edges to your basement slab. Leave some of the plastic un-taped in the center. Leave for 24-48 hours. If there is no water droplets underneath you can be fairly certain the vapor barrier is intact and there should be no moisture transmission through the slab. And yes, you are correct to smooth the very course sections with a floor leveler before installing the vinyl. If the concrete is sound and can not be scraped up or otherwise easily removed than just vacuum any dust up and follow leveling instructions. If the rough area's are cracked and crazed so that they can be moved chisel out all loose pieces and fill with new concrete. Any fresh cement needs to cure for 30 days (on average) before covered.

  • Good to know. I will test the moisture. I was going to add a moisture barrier between concrete and vinyl flooring, but I'm wondering if this is an unnecessary step. (The guys at Home Depot said it is, but I ordered it anyway.) – Elle Sep 5 '15 at 12:04
  • is the vinyl sold as a large sheet or small squares? And I assumed it would be glued to the floor, is that correct? – ojait Sep 5 '15 at 22:01
  • According to the distributor, it does not need glue. It can just be laid over the sub-floor. It is large planks of click and lock vinyl. – Elle Sep 7 '15 at 21:29

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