Installing Laminate over still wet leveler?

Discussion in 'Hardwood & Laminate Sales and Installations' started by MFloor, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. MFloor

    MFloor Pro Member

    Installing Laminate in a new consrct condo with concrete floors, some level problems came up, mainly a hump 1/2" both ways in about 3ft. Been in flooring long enough to know better then get talked into doing the prep, sanding, leveling, skiming, etc.

    I am pretty anal with my work, and always do more then is needed. So being new here still, i wanted to see what the guy whom they go to for this, and was told gets paid very well.......I like most of you, get paid way less then i should, and far from well, lets see how he goes about this.

    i have not been installing laminate for long, maybe 4-5 years, not many on concrete. Most of my 18 years has been sheet vinyl, so i have leveled some floors, and skimed tons.

    And guys, i am just going to say leveler since i dont know what the right term is, or what type was used. I can tell it was not self leveling, other then that, it looks like your run of the mill mix with water gray leveler.

    Now i recall hating to have to level layer by layer letting it dry before the next, and i am sure i didnt always do so. But that was vinyl, this is laminate. Not sure when the repair was done, was told he would be there around 8am, I got there
    around 4pm. There were more problems, but this is the main one i need help with.

    The leveler was still wet, or more so soft to the touch. you could leave your finger print by just touching it, not that i needed to, i can tell by the light grey, and the dark grey, that its not dry. But i did not know how long it had been drying, and figured it might not ever if i laid the 2 in 1 padding/barrier over it, along with the laminate, so i held off.

    When i returned today around 11am, it was still about the same. Thats when i realized he probably was there the 1st day at 8am, over 24 hours ago, and just mixed that stuff up,and slapped it down up to 1/2" or so thick. Which would be fine if whatever he used was made for that, sure does not look like it was. I know i could have maybe got the top to dry over a touch with the floor fan, and would have on vinyl. Its on both sides of the hump, about 4' wide x 8' long. I sub from one of the big boys in my state, so i made a call, said it was still wet, but i'd install it if that was what was needed. Super was already ticked "we" didnt catch the humps in the pre inspection, so another set back would not be good.

    So any know how this is going to end. I mean the 2-1 is made to keep moisture out, so the moisture in the leveler, even if it never sets up, should not effect the laminate, right? Baseboards were up before install, and getting 1/4 after, walls are i hope about as wavy as you guys deal with too. I figure if anything thats where the moisture could get to it.

    Anyway, just need to know if i am make a big deal over nothing, or is this as stupid as i think it is. I have a cheap $50 moisture meter with pins, the dry spots read mid range around 12-15, and well cant tell you the middle, meter tops out around 50%, and that thing was beeping away.

    See how this goes, might have just found my shrink. I even tryed to keep this short and to the point.

    Thanks since "we" repaired it, i figured my finding another delay was not going to be good.

    Anyway, i am a team player, and was told just do it, so i did. Just wondering what some of you guys with years on me in laminate think, or know. Will the leveler be able to dry under the 2-1,
     
  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    There's a lot of detail info missing, product used, is space climate controlled. Most levelers are 16 hours before covering with laminate, but there are fast track products that can be less. Probably not a self leveler but I can't guess. Some products are "self drying" and locks in water "somehow"(Ardex feather finish does this) and "they" say you can go over it prior to seeing it dry.
     
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  3. MFloor

    MFloor Pro Member

    Thanks for the reply. I did a refresher corse on leveling products, and alot say upto 1/2" in one layer. And since i have
    no clue what was use, or how, i assumed it was feather finish.
    I know when i used that stuff, ardex, i would end up doing
    a few layers, using floor fan to speed each layer. And when
    i tried to go thick, even with the fan, it took forever to set,
    and looked like this did. Its just the laminate this time that
    makes this seem like a bad idea.

    I have seen so much laminate with water damage, i try not to sweat to much on that crap while installing it.

    I actually have not heard about any of the levelers holding
    moisture, so thanks for that. I will check into that.
    Not sure why that would ever be a good thing, and surely not
    under laminate.
     
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    When putting down sheet vinyl I was told by Ardex technical department phone call, if adhesive trowel will not disturb the Feather Finish Brand patch, then it is good to go over regardless of the color being darker.

    There are tons of people who do not do things the right way, most so they can put food on table and pay the monthly bills, some are "forced" to do things expeditiously.

    Who cares how much money you make? Last I checked it's no one! Who's paying your bills? There is a balancing act. Learn everything you can, theory is critical I was told joining Navy at 18, so there's a whole ton of knowledge stored up there in the brain before the words come out.
     
  5. kwfloors

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

    I would wait until you can walk on it.
     
  6. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    There's a big difference between Ardex Feather Finish and most other flooring patches. Before re-branding the product several years ago, it was pretty common to hear people refer to it as SDF. The SD part of that stands for self-drying. This means it doesn't need air getting to it to continue to cure. Most of your patches that are out there in 25 lb. bags are not self-drying - they need continuous air to help them dry.

    As Mike said, a lot of the self-leveling products out there are safe to install over in about 16 hours - like Ardex K-15 for example. HOWEVER, a lot of them aren't, especially the cheaper products like Ardex V-1200. That product is a minimum 72 hours before you can cover it.

    Bottom line, is since you don't know what was used, there is no way to say for sure what the outcome will be. I guess you'll just have to stay tuned for the rest of the story.
     
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  7. MFloor

    MFloor Pro Member

    i spent/wasted alot of time trying to find answer online without any luck, should have just came here. Everyone who replied taught me something new, good looking out everyone.
    Going to end up actually using this machine for work after all. Unless i find a Thread where people vent about work BS, might set up shop there. Thanks, i hope there is no update, but i'll keep you posted
     
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