Questions re Coretec install on concrete slab

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by JC25, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. JC25

    JC25 Member

    Hi Everyone,
    I need some professional advice regarding possibly installing Coretec plus in my condo in nj.
    The condo is on an on grade concrete slab (built in 1980's). I have approximately 850 sq ft area (living /dining rm/hallway/2bedrooms) which is currently covered with carpet. I would like to replace the carpet with a hard surface floor and have been looking at laminate as well as vinyl plank options.
    I prefer a traditional light natural oak color and I'm seriously considering Coretec rocky mountain oak.
    I have received 4 estimates from local flooring retailers ranging from $6,500- $8,300 and none of the estimates include the cost of leveling the concrete slab if needed, which I am told cannot be estimated until carpet is removed. After doing a fair amount of research regarding the possible challenges of installing this floor on a slab, that I'm being told may be uneven, I am really concerned about moving foward with this project.
    Would appreciate your responses to the following questions:
    1. What percent of extra material is usually ordered for an install of Coretec plus...5 or 10%?
    2. Coretec tech support has advised me that the level of the slab should not vary more than 3/16" within a 10 sq ft estimators are saying that most slab floors are not even/level and they may not be able to meet Coretec 's leveling guideline ....would appreciate hearing from any Coretec installers about this....
    3. If the floor has some high/low spots how is this typically addressed? My estimators are saying grinding the area is not an option due to the fine dust that would be created....are there grinders that can contain the dust?
    4. What is the typical cost per sq ft for Coretec plus?
    5. What is the usual rate per sq ft for installation of Coretec?
    6. Should I install a moisture/ vapor barrier estimators say it's not necessary and are concerned that the trapped moisture may create mold and mildew under the barrier.... but Coretec recommends it ...what do you think....what type of moisture barrier do you recommend
    7. I'm reading that older slabs may create more moisture ....should the estimators test for moisture and what method is usually used? What moisture level is acceptable for vinyl plank installs?
    8. If my floor needs to be leveled when the carpet is removed how much more per sq ft should I expect to pay?

    Thank you so much for your help!
  2. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    OK, so that's a lot of questions. Good on you for educating yourself!

    1: 500 - 1000 sqft typicall about 5% waste factor.

    2: Almost every manufacturer requires this tolerance, it is absolutely obtainable. It is rare that a slab is poured that we'll from the beginning however. Might be hanging myself put a bit here, but we have all installed on slabs that were a wee less flat than that :)

    3: THEY ARE LYING TO YOU! Grinding concrete is step on to leveling just about everything. Dust containment systems are available from/for every major tool brand on the market to either make traditional grinders dust less or buy a dust less unit. From there it is leveling and filling.

    4/5 I have no idea I'm not In your area

    6: Poly is a great idea. Don't believe their lies.

    7:Moisture readings should be taken on every concrete slab. Period. There are two acceptable methods. Calcium Chloride tests will give a moisture evaporation rate, not suggested to be over 3lb for your product. There is also an in situ moisture test referred to as a relative humidity or RH test. This tops out at 85% for your product.

  3. Chris 45

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

    #6. If Coretec recommends it then why skip it? 6 mil plastic is cheap. $100 for 1000 sq ft. They are worried about moisture build up? What do they think will happen under the floor itself??? Any potential moisture will build up and toast the cork backing.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. JC25

    JC25 Member

    Thank you Mark for your response to my questions.
    #2: Based on your experience with Coretec what tolerance level above coretec's guideline have you found to work without compromising the material?
    #3: I figured that there had to be dustless systems for the floor grinders.....why do you think I am being told otherwise?
    So grinding the floor is the usual first step to leveling the floor....should this be included in the estimates I have already been given....or is this usually an additional cost above the original estimate? Is using leveling compound an alternative to grinding ?

    #6 what brand of poly vapor barrier do you recommend? Also one estimator quoted $1 a sq ft to install this a fair price?

    #7. Are both moisture tests required or one or the other? Are these tests usually done at the time the flooring estimator comes to measure?
    Thanks again for sharing your expertise.
  5. JC25

    JC25 Member

    Thank you Chris for your input on this....I agree that this is something we will need to do.
  6. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    This is why I like gluedown vinyl plank, though it follows the contours of slab. So what is occurring is the core TEC is rigid/flat on top, but may leave voids underneath.

    Grinding is not included in prep usually, dust containment equipment is a must but installers are not equipped, or self leveling ready. Prep can get costly.

    You're pricey up there, I think the installers were getting 1.65 a ft to install laminate with a lot included,furniture, removal,etc. here in poor ol FLA.
  7. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    I cannot really say what is acceptable outside tolerance, it is just a thing one gets use to...I realize this is useless to tell someone so let's just about ignore I said it. Sorry. It is just the way that tolerance level is measured is open to a lot of interpretation and to be honest, it is best to be followed.

    People are sometimes reluctant to grind concrete because they don't have the tools. Simple as that, also is my experience I have a much easier time charging for "more leveling" than a little grinding and patching.

    Brand of poly I can't tell you anything on other than what Chris said, where I am I can only get one brand and I can't even tell you the name of it...

    Extensive prep is usually above and beyond a quote but should be noted somewhere. A dollar a foot to supply and install poly seems a little on the steep side. I charge 25 cents a foot and I feel like I a gouging people. Retail cost of the material at the lumber store is 60 dollars for 1000 sqft.

    Both tests are not required. Industry is moving towards in situ testing because it is faster and more accurate. I still like the Calcium test for moisture vapour because it is what I am most familiar with and know.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Chris 45

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

    Dust containment equipment for grinding concrete is fairly expensive. I'm going to guess that the average residential installer doesn't have it so I could see why the estimator says no to grinding. Even I don't have the necessary equipment for grinding anymore. Not worth my time anymore for what I do on a daily basis. I consider it to be a specialty and those that do have the equipment will charge appropriately.

    Moisture testing and subfloor flatness are both going to be prerequisites for maintaining your warranty. Coretec is pretty forgiving, even more so than other brands. Here's a floor drain in a basement that Coretec followed the slope very well. I think it all depends on who you are dealing with as well as the skill and comfort level of the installer. If you're dealing with a box store, that's not likely to be the cream of the crop.

    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. JC25

    JC25 Member

    Thank you all for your very helpful advice.
    Mike, you are so right everything is so pricey here....makes me wish I could live somewhere else .
    Glue down sounds like the better install method but my concern is it would be very costly and difficult to remove .

    Mark thank you for your honesty and great insight re your industry practices etc.
    Can you explain what in situ testing actually involves?

    Chris thank you for your explanation re why installers don't want to get involved with the use of grinding equipment.
    Thanks for the question is wouldn't the locking mechanism fail over time if the floor slopes to any extent?

    With regard to the installer's experience, what is the best way to know if a flooring company's installers have enough experience to install Coretec?
    I am being told by one estimator that they have installed 10 Coretec floors this sufficient experience if they also install wood and laminate floors?
  10. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    It's rather easy to remove with a walk behind self propelled scraper. I was thinking of you earlier in that a good DI wire could save some big money. Prep for smooth surface would be important for gluedown, won't sound hollow and can tolerate water intrusion. Just my take, to each is own.
  11. JC25

    JC25 Member

    Mike, what's a DI wire and how would it save a lot of money?
  12. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Sorry, DIY'er

    Say 7300$ divided by 850 sq ft =8.58$ per square foot for something cash n carry @3.00 ft + DIY

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