Use of a vapor barrier under Coretec, over a wood subfloor

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Steve Olson, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member Senior Member

    The situation could be from a couple of different sources, but the result is the same. A wood subfloor with discoloration from a leaky appliance, or worse, a toilet. The proper thing to do is replace the subfloor, but, on occasion, its not going to happen. I've thought, that using a product like Fortifiber's Aquarbar B under Coretec installations, might be a good idea. My only concern, would be that it could (doubtful) make noise, and then, because I deviated from the norm, Id be responsible. My concern is that any odor from the staining, would be absorbed into the cork, and would then infiltrate into the room.
    Or as happened this week, there was staining from the toilet. For me. that was a "must" replacement. But the contractor treated the area and told the customer it was ready to go. I didn't install the flooring in those area. I was filling in for the installer that started the job, he will have to decide how to work around this dilemma.
    So, would 6mil plastic be a solution in the bathroom area, with Coretec going over?
    Is AquabarB a good idea under the Coretec, on a wood subfloor, as a preventative measure, or over discoloration from water? Seems like a slippery slope to me, either way.
  2. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    call me crazy but as a simple solution aquabar sounds like a fabulous idea. Keep any staining from migrating and wouldn't lock moisture completely into the wood either because it can breathe. You might be on to something.
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    This moisture thing has been on my mind for quite awhile, like a few years, I still haven’t grasped everything and missing a water damage restoration course hasn’t helped.

    One thing needing separation is water as a liquid, and water as a vapor. Then it needs to be quantified in order to know what to do to control it.

    Materials have Permeability ratings, which quantify vapor to pass thru. Aquabar, visqueen,asphalt felt,epoxy resin moisture vapor retarder, so the word for nothing passing through is impermeable. My understanding about building envelopes is vapor needs to travel back and forth without being trapped. Take tyvek on walls, it is not impermeable. Trapped moisture will rot wood, grow mold since it is a food source.

    The membranes slow the movement of moisture to a level that doesn’t damage flooring if the amount of moisture is known, and the product determined keeps the moisture level below the amount that visual damage is seen.
  4. kwfloors

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

    I would kilz it and install it. No need for vapor barrier over wood.
  5. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Kilz takes time and aquabar takes seconds though. Not saying Kilz wouldn't kill it...... see what I did there, just oil based death stink paint vs cutting a sheet of paper. Situationally I still think it would be a fabulous venture.

    Ripped up some hardwood about 5 months ago for a repair, fridge water line leaked, someone used poly underneath of it.. that water went nowhere, the plywood was so wet it broke my moisture meter :). Took 3 weeks for the saturated subfloor to come back down
  6. Steve Olson

    Steve Olson Hardwood/Laminate Guru Charter Member Senior Member

    I have Kilz on hand; that idea was nixed, and i don't understand why. The area of concern could of been treated and laid over. Using Aquabar under the cork backed Coretec makes sense to me. Besides the obvious moisture retarding properties, it wold also make installation easier, slow down, if not stop, odors from being absorbed into the cork, and provide a clean surface for the flooring. That toilet area should have either been cut out and replaced, or hopefully they cover it with some plastic sheet.
  7. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    I find myself looking for foolish solutions to simple problems all the time. The right way isn't possible due to cost or time or the lunar cycle so we are just left to come up with something that makes sense to us and hope for the best. Keeps us on our toes right??

    I mean, if i had an endless budget and endless time i don't think anything would ever be a question
  8. Dan Schultz

    Dan Schultz Certified Wood Floor Inspector Charter Member

    It's always the lunar cycle. Time and cost are just scape ghosts.
    • Funny Funny x 1

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