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  • Old home on an old concrete slab

  • Lance Blessing

    June 26, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    We decided to use some equity in our home to build a master bedroom (plus some) addition on our home. We are about 1/2 way finished with construction. We live in Mesa, AZ (suburb of Phoenix) so it is really hot this time of year. We don’t have a basement… this home was built on top of a concrete slab, as is the new addition.

    Since the addition is going to expand our kitchen/dining area, we decided that now would be a good time to change our flooring. We fell in love with the look and price of some laminate flooring and purchased it already. Since it isn’t water proof, we also purchased some porcelain tile to use in the laundry and bath rooms.



    I’ve been tearing up the old ceramic tile the last few weeks. I’ve got a decent amount of prep work ahead of me. The last area of tile that I need to pull up goes over the old sunken living room that was filled in by the previous owners. I saved that for last due to the amount of grinding I’m going to have to do once the tile is up.

    So, at this point in the project… I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to level out this floor, and repair the cracks. One thing that worries me about the products I’ve been reading about is that you are supposed to use COLD water with the mix. I wouldn’t say that our tap water is cold during the summer… maybe in October. That said, construction here doesn’t stop in the summer… so I’m guessing lukewarm water must be OK.

    I was considering using something like ‘Henry 565 FloorPro Self-Leveling Underlayment’ or ‘MAPEI Self-Leveler Plus’ in the areas where the laminate will go. However, it seems like I would need about five people to pour the entire area (three mixers, one pourer, one spreader). This would also be an expensive undertaking, considering the square footage. I’d also have to pour it over the concrete in the addition to ensure the areas I’m installing laminate are level, which seems like a waste.

    It certainly would be less expensive to patch the areas that need it, maybe with Henry’s 549 feather finish, and level everything out by hand & trowel. I am not an expert working with concrete, so I’m looking for some recommendations! Let me know what you think what would be the best way forward with preparing for the laminate to go in… and what product(s) I should purchase to get the job done right.

    I’m still working on my blueprint. Should have it posted before Friday.

    Thank you,

  • Joe

    June 28, 2021 at 8:40 am
    • Lance Blessing

      June 28, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      I was hoping you would say to say away from the self leveler. Especially since the addition is all brand new concrete. Seems like that is the more expensive way to go. 😕

      However, if self leveler is the way to go due to the amount of repair work to do, then I’ll go that route. I saw a YouTube video of a guy (MrYouCanDoItYourself) using the spike shoes, and some tri-pods to ensure the leveler was at the desired height. I can segregate the rooms with the damn. I also can fill the bath with water and set aside some buckets… then add ice to them to cool them down.

      I used my meat thermometer to check the temperature of our “cold” water. It is 82 degrees. We keep the indoor temperature at about 76 degrees in the summer here in the Phoenix area… that is 20 – 40 degrees cooler than it is outside!

      I got my blueprint done! I’ve attached it to this message. Areas where there are dashed lines is where flooring will not be going.

      Let me know if there is any other information I can provide you with. I’m probably going to tear up the tile and start grinding on the old sunken living room area tomorrow.

      Thank you for your help! God bless you!

  • Joe

    June 29, 2021 at 8:40 am
    • Lance Blessing

      July 14, 2021 at 5:56 pm

      Sorry for the delay in my reply. July is vacation month this year. Pretty soon we’ll be heading out again, and won’t return again until August.

      Today I grabbed a nice straight 2×4 and went around the floor. Unfortunately I can’t find any area longer than 2 feet where the 2×4 doesn’t have a gap. This home is 45 years old, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by this. The only place the 2×4 sits nicely along the floor is on the slab in the new addition. I don’t need to make a decision which way to go (regarding leveling the floor) until I come back from this upcoming vacation… so I think I’ll pray about it until I return.

      Regardless which way I go on the leveling, I definitely plan to begin working on the cracks first. You mentioned using membrane and cloth, but I’m not sure how to go about this. One video I watched on YouTube suggested:

      1. cleaning up the crack with a crack chaser blade on my angle grinder
      2. make sure the crack is super clean with no loose debris
      3. fill the bottom of the crack with something compressible
      4. patch over the top

      Does that sound about right to you? Do you have any videos already made on treating cracks in a concrete slab, or have any suggestions on a video I can reference where the person is actually doing things properly?

      I’ve added some photos of the planks I purchased. I wasn’t sure if you wanted an up close view of the ends… or if you wanted a photo of the whole plank. I went with the former, so let me know if you need to see something else.

      When I’m finally able to install the planks, I think I’ll go east to west (according to my drawing). The hallway is so short compared to the length of the great room that flows into the kitchen. I’m working with 8″ wide planks, so it won’t be too bad going horizontal all the way down the 15′ hallway. That will make it easier for me to flow the planks into the bedrooms & closets off the hallway. Furthermore, that would make my planks run perpendicular over most of the cracks in my floor, instead of parallel with them… in case the foundation shifts some more in the future.

      Thank you for your help! God bless you

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