Author Topic: Advice on concrete floor  (Read 3021 times)

meadow lark

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Advice on concrete floor
« on: February 09, 2013, 06:27:01 PM »
Finally got sick of all my allergies and ripped out the carpet in my bedroom.  3 big dogs.  I thought it would be old tile underneath (the rest of the house is) but instead it is a concrete slab with a thin sheet of what I assume is a vapor barrier.  1960's house, might be a 1970's addition.  The underpayment is glued to the concrete, and mostly but not completely intact.  Bottom layer is black, top layer looks like linoleum.  Has a kitschy photo pattern of shag carpet with little bits of baby blue and pink.  Actually kind of cute, but I am wondering if it is asbestos based, if I need to cover it up fast for health reasons, if I can leave it there for a year until we tile or carpet, (will decide based on whether we sell it or rent it out.).  Any suggestions?  I don't mind the look, I just don't want the allergies anymore!

johnnylighthouse

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Re: Advice on concrete floor
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 07:20:20 PM »
Even if it is asbestos it is only a hazard if it is "friable" i.e. crumbly.  As long as it is intact and not crumbling it won't get into your lungs, which is the mechanism of injury.

Jack

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Re: Advice on concrete floor
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 08:57:41 PM »
I could be wrong, but I believe a vapor barrier ought to be under the concrete slab. I'm thinking your shag-photo surface was either intended to be a finished floor, or it's some kind of padding or thermal insulation.

It's too bad: if it weren't there, my suggestion would have been to polish and/or stain the concrete floor itself instead of putting something else over it. I guess if it turns out not to contain asbestos, you could scrape/grind it off...

meadow lark

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Re: Advice on concrete floor
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 09:22:00 PM »
I think I have decided just to scrub it well, while trying not to mess it up at all.  Then we are going to tile it in September ourselves.  Planning on waiting because my wife - the handy one, had a total knee replacement on Monday.  So no plans for working on it for several months.  I love the stained concrete look, and if it had been just concrete I probably would have done that, although I have heard a lot of people don't like it and think it looks cheap - which matters because we are considering selling in 18 months, in which case we probably should recarpet the bedrooms.  But we may just rent it, in which case we will tile the whole house.  After assuming we would sell b/c the numbers wouldn't work out for a rental, I re-did my numbers and now I am not sure.
  Thanks for the advice guys!

TomTX

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Re: Advice on concrete floor
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 06:38:39 AM »
Crappy stained concrete looks cheap. Well-done stained/polished concrete looks like a variant of polished stone.

GuitarStv

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Re: Advice on concrete floor
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 09:23:56 AM »
The idea of tiling over this partially deteriorated layer seems like a recipe for problems and lifting tiles.  I'd check if it's asbestos, and if it's not rent a floor grinder and completely remove it before putting time and effort into a nice tile floor.

dragoncar

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Re: Advice on concrete floor
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 01:01:10 PM »
Crappy stained concrete looks cheap. Well-done stained/polished concrete looks like a variant of polished stone.

And, unfortunately, can be just as expensive :-(