LESLIE: Ira in New York has a question about basement flooring. What can we do for you today?
IRA: In my basement I have a cement slab …
IRA: … and I want to know is there an adhesive-based product that I can put directly on the cement before – I got something from a home improvement center that I put down and it’s coming up. [Or does all cement have water coming through it?] (ph) And how do I prep it? I mean it’s just a nightmare with this cement floor.
TOM: I think you probably don’t want to use something that adheres to the basement floor. You’re probably better off using something that floats on the basement floor. For example, a good choice for a basement floor would be laminate flooring. It locks together and it’s self-supporting. It’s not going to go anywhere and it doesn’t have to be glued down to the floor.
IRA: Do all cement floors eventually have moisture come up if it doesn’t breathe?
TOM: Well, it is a very damp surface and certainly you could paint it with an epoxy-based paint and that cuts down on the amount of moisture. You can pay attention to the grading conditions at the outside of your house …
TOM: … because that water eventually wicks down and gets into the cement. But cement is very hydroscopic. It really sucks up water just like a sponge. And so sometimes you have a hard time getting things to stick to it. That’s why I think a floating floor is a much better choice.
IRA: Are there inexpensive floating floors or are they very expensive, floating floors?
LESLIE: No, laminates come in every price point and, of course, the price point affects what it looks like. There’s a ton of different kinds out there. I mean you can even find some just at the home center that are available for you to walk away with immediately.
IRA: OK, now do you put underlayment – do you have to put underlayment first or they have (inaudible at 0:03:25.7)?
TOM: (overlapping voices) No, you don’t use underlayment for any type of insulating purposes or anything like that but some of these either have an underlayment attached to them or there’s a separate underlayment product that’s like a very thin foam …
LESLIE: Like a thin foam sheet.
TOM: … and that just gives the floor a little cushion.
IRA: The product I put down from the home center actually said I can put it directly on the floor and it’s coming up. And I just didn’t think that was – you know.
TOM: Well, we’re going to fix that.
TOM: Think about laminate. I think that’s a better option.
IRA: OK, very good. I thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.