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Flooring and Carpeting/Cracked gypcrete/installation of laminate upstairs condo


cracked subfloor
cracked subfloor  

cracked subfloor2
cracked subfloor2  
Hi Perry,

I hired a Home Depot contractor to install laminate in my upstairs condo in Calif.  When they pulled the carpet back in the living room, the subfloor had a lot of cracks in it.  Most looked superficial, but there was one area that the contractor was concerned about because it moved slightly when they stood (with movement) on the area.  The contractor was concerned that if he primed it and went ahead with the install (like one of his supervisors said to do.  (He ended up calling another supervisor...)) that the gypcrete might recrack at some point and cause the laminate to become unlevel.  I am using a good underlayment (MP Global Best 400).  I am not 100% sure the subfloor is gypcrete, but know it's common in multi-unit developments in the area for the time period and it looks like a soft concrete.

What do you suggest would be a good fix for this situation?  The Home Depot contractors won't install because they say they can't do anything with the subfloor other than possibly seal/prime and fill any uneven areas.  I already purchased the laminate and am getting a little anxious about the whole thing....  I've attached two images of the floor.  I have two additional images, if you would like to see those as well.  I appreciate your response.

Forgive my tardiness Cecilia my life is complicated sometimes...on to your question.

   If you are installing a laminate flooring then the truth of the matter is that it is a "floating floor" unless there is some kind of mechanical attachment that is unknown to me. So if your floor is floating over the sub-strate with a rolled out foam isolation layer beneath it then the lightweight concrete can be primed and any loose material removed and new product added to refill the void. It's not complicated really as the lightweight concrete need only minimal preparation so long as there isn't any crumbling surface area already present. Any loose material can be swept up and new material skimmed out or filled in if a larger amount is needed to be dealt with. The big thing to watch for is any "elevated or humped" up spots that can cause the laminate to be "levered or torqued" out away from the high point. As long as everything is flat then there should be no significant reason to delay the install....ok? That's it Cecilia I hope this helps you with your project, feel free to return anytime....

Perry V./

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Perry Vellenga


Ceramic Tile/Marble. I can answer questions about floor preparation, tile selection, layout questions, performance of products, expectations of finish, compatabilities, questions about grout and epoxies, evaluating an installer, asking the right questions to check competence...more? 33 years this August 2012/ many years in commercial application from exterior finishes to Mall store fronts/ interior finishes like floor packages in stores inside Malls examples: The Limited, Lerner/NY, Lane Bryants, Bombay Co., Now involved in Residential new construction covering all types of interior finishes and designs.


I worked in an exclusive field of floorcovering called "Tenant Development" which is by invitational bid only, by way of a National bid list. These are large floor packages usually over 3500 sq. ft. of 18" x 18" Marble and Granite and many other types of Marble and sizes. They are specialty stores where the floor package can cost upwards of $50,000 for one store. I have also done "Structure" stores and J. Riggins stores, Lane Bryant,Express and Body Shop stores where wood flooring is used. Presently work for a National Flooring Company in the Residential new construction arena that covers most interior design elements..Granite Slab tops/wood flooring both job finished and prefinished ect..

My response's are published all across the Internet and picked up by multiple Interior Design sites and Industry related web sites where people have questions...

too many most of which don't count...

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