Do I need a vapor barrier

Discussion in 'Laminate Flooring Q&A' started by EddieHaskell, May 7, 2019.

  1. EddieHaskell

    EddieHaskell Active Member

    Hampstead Elements glueless laminate, 8mm. Purchased with Sentinel quiet premium underlayment. Installed over an on grade concrete slab. The flooring says I need a vapor barrier under the underlayment, the underlayment states it has moisture protection but not a vapor barrier,the little picture shows moisture from above see photo. I suspect I do need a vapor barrier, they say no, but it took 20 minutes to get an answer
     

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  2. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    The product you're working with appears to be a closed-cell urethane foam underlayment. These are typically not a vapor (gas) retarder but they will stop liquid moisture.

    That being said it will not hurt a thing if you choose to use a 6mil poly (Visqueen) underneath of the product. Overlap your seams in the visqueen by 6" inches and tape with clear 2" packing tape. This will give you an extra layer of "assurance" regarding a potential moisture vapor issue.
     
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I would like to know it’s permeability rating. Specs on Floor and Decor says it’s green, 100 sq ft! Etc. How infantile.
     
  4. EddieHaskell

    EddieHaskell Active Member

    Thanks for the replies, I am trying to help a neighbor after they already purchased these items. Too Bad, when I called the store they said they do sell an underlayment that includes a vapor barrier for more money. When I asked, do I need that one, since the laminate instruction says you do if installed over concrete, they had me on hold for 20 minutes, then said no, but not very convincingly. They don't seem to know and their products and don't provide any specs. Like pulling teeth to get info. Not much out there on the internet about their products. As recommended, I will add 6mil visqueen
     
  5. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Vice versa for wood subfloor you would want moisture to escape verse s being trapped.

    For future reference, try to get with technical services for product info. Stores specialize in supplying product, only help they generally give is getting product out the door. Except in the grocery line, somehow the stock crew must be union and delays the cashiers kinda like that bridge issue a few years back.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  6. EddieHaskell

    EddieHaskell Active Member

    Here is the response from tech support so far....."To provide you the correct information. What are inquiring about today?"

    That's after asking the question about the vapor barrier needed with their Sentinel "moisture protection" underlayment
     
  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Sorry, phone conversation is way better. It’s hard to get the jist without hearing the reply, instant questions,thoughts,concerns,etc. even some personal opinions are thrown in but I think the company records so they may be reluctant to.

    If the perm rating is equal then forego the visqueen. Simple to use numbers for a determination.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  8. EddieHaskell

    EddieHaskell Active Member

    Thanks Mike
    If the perm rating is equal to what? And they don't list the perm rating?
    Is that what I need to ask them??
     
  9. Chris 45

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

    Vapor barrier is cheap. Since you can’t get a clear answer I’d play it safe and just put a vapor barrier down.
     
  10. EddieHaskell

    EddieHaskell Active Member

    I will, since they don't seem to know anything about the product they are selling. Flooring specs state minimum 6 mil virgin polyethylene sheet required. Nothing like buying a product with zero support behind it. The flooring is really cheap looking and thin. Now to make the floor flat, onward and upwards.........
     
  11. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I called awhile back about “virgin” visqueen at the box stores, the stuff stocked in paint and bldg materials was not virgin. Suppose it could promote some growth due to recycled organic contents.
     
  12. EddieHaskell

    EddieHaskell Active Member

    Oh no, more stuff to consider, so don't use the added plastic unless it's virgin poly????
     
  13. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Shhh
    Now you are really just complicating things :)
     
  14. EddieHaskell

    EddieHaskell Active Member

    Just got this back, so have it in writing from the company...
    "Yes, Moisture protection and vapor barrier is the same thing. Yes the underlayment does have it attached"

    Also found the missing 10 foot aluminum straight edge to check concrete sub floor for level. On my way.......Gee Mrs Cleaver, is Ward out of town for the weekend
     
  15. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Nice. I was hesitant to drop a straightedge on my slab. Found one hump I assume that was from screeding excess. The grinder found the ridge but it’s more severe. Hard to see the aggregate showing is still the high spot(1/4”?)
     

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  16. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I know you can handle that Mike.
     
  17. EddieHaskell

    EddieHaskell Active Member

    Their response was to send the attached doc, without answering the question below

    "Just so I have this correct, the flooring I purchased at your store states in their specs, I will need a minimum of 6 MM virgin polyethylene under the laminate.So you are saying that the Sentinel Quiet premium underlayment meets that requirement?
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Chris 45

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

    That’s because they don’t know. If they give you a firm yes then they are opening themselves up to the liability of giving you an incorrect answer and being held responsible for it.
     
  19. EddieHaskell

    EddieHaskell Active Member

    So simply add the 6mm under the underlayment? It won't cause any problems, if by chance there is a double vapor block. I just want to do the install one time, I guess know one else reads the install specs? Cause they are ******* clueless
     
  20. Chris 45

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

    Put the vapor barrier down don’t think twice about it.
     
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