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Question:

Can I lay particle board over concrete/cement floor then install laminate wood over it?

I have a bare concrete/cement floor. After I installed Travertine on one section, it is almost 1/2 inch above the floor. Now, I want to continue to install the other section of the floor with laminate wood, but the floor is too low compared to the travertine floor. The question are: Can I put down a particle board over the concrete/cement floor, then a foam pad (moisture barrier), then laminate wood?Will the particle board absorb water then swell up?Or do I need to put down the moisture barrier foam first, then particle, then laminate wood?If I am not using the particle board, the laminate wood floor will be about 1/8 lower than the travertine floor. is it ok?

Answer:

Do NOT use particle board. There is no reason, as the laminate can be laid over the concrete with the proper padding. The particle board may swell and cause you issues down the road. Check the instructions on the flooring. Some require a plastic vapor barrier under them, while others only need the padding. 1/8 is not a big deal. The transition strip will bridge the difference. Be sure to check for peaks and valleys in the concrete, and fill in low spots. This will prevent the tongues on the planks from snapping off, leaving gaps in the floor. Allow the laminate to acclimate to the basement for a week or so before installing. Hope this helps. EDIT: You don't need anything under the flooring except vapor barrier or padding. They are designed to be able to be installed on a concrete base. Good luck.
May 11, 2017
1/8 isn't very much. You'll need t-moulding (transition moulding) between the two materials anyway. Rather than PB or ply, why not cleant he concrete, cpply primer, and pour self leveler on it? You'll make up your 1/8 in no time, without worrying about moisture affecting the substrate. Even plywood will warp and delaminate over time if exposed to moisture. You could get marine grade plywood (mdo or something, i've only had to get it once) but it'll be hard to come by the thickness you need in any substrate. Or just leave it alone and get a t-moulding that will make a transition over the 1/8 difference. They make plenty of different profiles.
May 11, 2017

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