Luxury Vinyl Plank install questions

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by StephK10, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. StephK10

    StephK10 Member

    Thank you, so much appreciated. This does lead back to the flooring discussion tho? So once the vent boxes (6 in-floor duct total; kitchen Is on floor level), are filled in with (I'm assuming) concrete, how long would I have to wait for that to cure before moving on with the flooring project? Are there other fill alternatives anyone is aware of that are ' quick cure' and wouldn't hold up the process?
  2. I like the thought of using jelly beans myself, but that probably wouldn't work...just teasin'. ;)

    No, the concrete is going to be the material used. At this point, with the amount of moisture you're already dealing with, I'm not sure waiting is going to really make a difference. The old adhesive and tile or going to sort of provide some form of barrier as well as the Visqueen.

    The real answer is that under "ideal" in-service acclimated conditions, "normal" concrete takes about 30 days per inch of thickness to reach a cure state that might pass a CaCl test or Rh test. But, that's for a slab that's open to air on one side. You're pouring concrete inside of a duct that has a partially deteriorated kreosote treated cardboard liner in it. There's no way to say with certainty how long that could take to fully cure or how much of that moisture will escape into the surrounding slab. You're going to have zero air movement, so it could literally take years.

    You might talk to the contractor doing the work to see if there is a densifier or curing compound that could be added to chemically accelerate the cure time.
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Think about split ducting systems like Mitsubishi came out with. Hopefully new efficiencies you can save money in the long run.
  4. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    You wouldn't have to fill in the entire ducting system with concrete, just the vent area. Make a plywood box (use CDX) that fits snugly into the vent, rests on the bottom and is flush with the top. Fill it partway up with stones, then partway with gravel, then enough sand to bring it within 2" of the top. Fill the rest with concrete, letting it settle just below the top. Finish with a good floor patching compound. Good to go.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. StephK10

    StephK10 Member

    Ok that's what I figured, some sort of blocking structure so just the vent box is being filled. Also just figured there'd have to be some latent time between that and then getting flooring down over it
  6. StephK10

    StephK10 Member

    A follow up question RE: vapor concerns/moisture testing...

    Is there any sense in taking some sort of reading at the floor level over the areas of both the old adhesive and areas of actual old tiling to see what it is? Like if I'm not ripping up the tile and adhesive and leaving it in place and doing the install over what is there, what does it matter what the "slab" moisture is, I just need to know what's coming up through/around it? Why would I need an internal reading of the slab if the adhesive and tile are already acting as some degree of a barrier?
  7. Outside of an old type of test called a "mat test", there isn't really an ASTM, quantitative test to measure emissions through a flooring material. ASTM F-1869 (Calcium Chloride) which measure moisture emission from the slab is for testing directly in contact with the slab, which means you'd have to remove the tile in a 20" x 20" area, grind the slab, and then perform the test. You'd also need to do a minimum of 3 test sites for the first 1000 sf or space and 1 additional test site per 1000 sf over the first 1000 sf. So if you had 1200 sf to test you'd do 4 tests.

    The mat test is simply a qualitative test that can show the presence of moisture but doesn't quantify how much moisture. It's basically taping a 20" x 20" pc of 6 mil poly down with duct tape over the area to be tested and observing whether the area under the "mat" or plastic becomes wet.

    To be honest, I don't know that spending money to do moisture testing makes a lot of sense for you, because given the age of the slab it's a certainty that you have no intact moisture vapor retarder under the slab. This means that you can assume that the slab has the potential to be at 100% Rh at times depending on the weather cycle and drainage from the slab. The only advantage to doing an Rh at this point would be to give you a "baseline" idea of where the Rh level is. This might help you gauge how things will improve or worsen based on what the weather has done lately. Beyond that, you still know you will always have the potential to be at 100% Rh.
  8. StephK10

    StephK10 Member

    Got it, thanks. At this point I was definitely going to at least try the plastic sheet test once we rip things up because I think that will be the best indicator of what will happen if I lay the 6mil poly barrier down all over. A glimpse into the future
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. StephK10

    StephK10 Member

    Update time!

    (1) Duct work is underway this week. New furnace (old one was working but its 11 years old and was having hiccups, so just getting a new one anyway) along with all new overhead distribution. Will be finished by the end of week. Will consult with my HVAC contractor and flooring contractor to decide who will fill the vent boxes in the slab floor and how.

    (2) I've fully decided on using CoreTec Plus flooring, not HD's lifeproof stuff. The Coretec seems way better all around and I'm getting it for a great price.

    (3) Meeting with my flooring contractor Thursday to go over things again/final walk through PRIOR to demo (DIY removal of carpet, pad, tack strips, etc). Opting to save some money and DIY that portion, he will focus on everything else after the fact. From some areas I've been able to see they drove the tack strips right into the tile and I am expecting to find broken tiles there...I plan on misting those areas with water for safe manipulation of the broken tile pieces, and for removal to the tack strip as well. Along with respiratory protection to be safe.

    (4) I have a big question right now as I've been lifting up some areas of the carpet getting anxious and mentally ready for this fiasco.... I'm noticing that there seems to have been some carpet adhesive (or something of the like) at the edges of the carpet that I think is going to lead to some carpet pad remnants being left stuck to the vinyl tiling. I'm trying brainstorm about what best ways to go about getting this removed from the vinyl tiling without disturbing said tile too much (avoiding any heavy abrasion to the surface due to the suspected asbestos inside...). Was thinking trying a few things along the general household remover and putty scraper route to see what happens first, then get more heavy duty if needed. Carpet pad remnants aside, I really want to the get old vinyl tiling as clean as possible to get as much of a "fresh start" before the install.

    (5) Still plan on trying to the "mat" test with some plastic to get a read on how things will react to a vapor barrier...will let you know how that looks

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