Coretec LVP Hollow Sound

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by steveh, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. steveh

    steveh New Member

    Hi, newbie DIYER here so forgive me for any forum faux pas..I am in the middle of my project installing Coretec Plus Design Inspiration Oak in 3 separate bedrooms. Roughly 600 Sq ft in total. The home is in south Florida, and after issues with 3 year old bamboo planks curling (install done by Pros), I've decided to go with LVP due to humidity and moisture concerns.

    I've finished the larger room, and moved on to next room. The finished room looks great and I'm very pleased with the appearance and style of the planks. However I am very dissatisfied with the sound. I accept there is a bit of a plastic feel and sound when walking on it, especially when barefoot. But, there a distinct hollow sound, especially if you just tap your foot, which is driving me crazy.

    I have installed over concrete slab, which is in excellent condition and is free of cracks and very level. I did place a .006 inch moisture barrier, basically a plastic sheet, on the slab. I removed all baseboard trim and cut under door trim to allow the required 1/4 inch gap around the room. The planks are locked together correctly and lie flat th the eye. I can tell when locking them if off, and have been very careful to ensure all are clicked together properly.

    I have a neighbor who used similar product thru entire home over ceramic tile and no such hollow sound. I am wondering if the moisture barrier is contributing to the sound and am considering just removing it.

    Looking for input from the pros...
  2. SteveG

    SteveG Pro Member

    How did you determine the flatness of the slab? 10ft straight edge?
  3. steveh

    steveh New Member

    no, actually just used a level .. the floor itself is very smooth and crack free, so i was only concerned about it being level. Also went around with a 12 inch Spackle knife to find and scrape any small bumps of dirt or paint from original build before carpet was installed .
  4. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    When Steve asked about the straight edge, he specifically asked about a 10-footer. That's because the standard is 3/16" in 10' - a variance you probably can't see with the naked eye or the average consumer oriented level (4-6', usually only 4'). Level isn't very important, flat is.

    If your planks bridge low spots in the slab, you will hear the planks bottom out when you walk across them and you'll hear hollow sounds more when you tap the floor with gaps under it. And you may also notice the sound of the floor more in an empty room than in a room filled with furnishings like bedding, upholstered chairs, drapes and closets filled with clothing. Those kinds of furnishings will absorb sound, empty rooms will resonate sound.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. steveh

    steveh New Member

    got it, thanks. Will check that next. So is it then possible that the plastic vapor barrier, which I tried to get down as flat as possible, may bunch up slightly under the boards as they slide around during install ? Am I better with no barrier ? Should I try a concrete/tile sealer instead ? I removed carpet and the foam padding showed no signs of mold or mildew even though it is likely 15 years old.
  6. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    If it was the plastic vapor barrier making noise, it would sound like plastic vapor barrier making noise and you would know immediately that it was the vapor barrier. I’ve only experiences this once in over 20+ years so it is highly unlikely that that is the source of your hollow sound.
  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Carpet and pad breathe so moisture will not accumulate under pad to a degree of just water vapor transmission.

    Without the plastic barrier you can have issues as well, not sure exactly but some vinyls curl if the vapor transmission is over a certain limit. Another risk to take if you install without. I suppose it could make some noise.
  8. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    Not the moisture barrier. Hollow sounds come from it being hollow under the planks. Voids from slab irregularities.

    Did you use any pad under the cor tech or use the cork backed planks? Even know a concrete slab looks perfect by eye or a 4' level, it's not. 99.999% of the time there will be prep work. Grinding high spots & filling low spots to ensure a flat floor for minimal noise and possible flooring failure.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. steveh

    steveh New Member

    I had the cork backed planks. Neighbors installed (by PROS) right over ceramic tile, so I felt my smooth concrete slab would be as good or better. Granted there may be some imperfections. I also used a spackle knife to get up any drops of paint, glue or concrete before laying the barrier.

    I finished room 2 of 3. I am very please with the outcome and sounds a little better as well, so maybe there was a few imperfections creating the gap and the hollow sounds in room 1. At this point I dont think it bothers me enough to undo/redo anything and hoping over time the cork adjusts to those imperfections and things improve slightly.

    Will provide updates after room 3, which I will more carefully inspect with the straight edge approach mentioned above.

    thanks everyone !
    • Like Like x 1
  10. ChiWhat

    ChiWhat New Member

    Would really like to hear an update on this.

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