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Question DetailsAsked on 1/15/2014

How will glue-down vinyl flooring withstand water in the basement? Will it need to be replaced in case of flooding?

We are comparing a glue-down vinyl plank installation to a floating click vinyl plank installation. (The glue-down option is considerably cheaper. As our basement area gets low usage, we want to minimize cost.) We are concerned about what will happen if we get water in the basement. The vendor proposing the glue-down option has said that, in case of flooding, the floor can be cleaned with a wet vac and will be good to go. Has anyone had experience with this situation? We don't want to have to pull up glue down planks if there is water.

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5 Answers


One of the big box stores offers a flexible vinyl plank floor that uses a self-adhesive overlap designed for wet basements. Unlike any glue or click type which can trap water below the flooring, this can be easily peeled up for cleaning and simply pushed back down. No underlayment is needed as well.

Answered 6 years ago by hosey


If you are looking to keep costs down the sheet vinyl might be what you need. Armstrong has a fiberglass backed sheet good that goes down with no glue or glue optional. The fiberglass backing should not support mold and can either be left floating or glued down at the edges and seams or double sided tape can be used at the seams. If water is a rare thing some of the glues can hold up to it my only concern would be if it would get mold. Certain latex ceramic glues I have used to get mold growing in the bucket if opened and resealed and stored in my shop for too long under the right conditions and I have had to throw them out. I have had a hard time ripping up vinyl tile floors that have been flooded and not seen any signs of mold but I am not sure if they might hve been old school petroleum products.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


Don is right about the old (now illegal under fire code) asphaltic-mastic glued asphalt-base vinyl surfaces flooring being able to get wet with major problems as long as it was dried out in a day or two - but I have seen no modern vinyl that could take that.

As far as the other comment on peel up flooring, I can see maybe being able to take it up once, but I can't imagine it would stick right after being laid down a second time.

I cannot imagine ANY flooring being suitable after flooding without being taken up, as you will have water trapped underneath which WILL go stagnant and stink, even if mold does not take hold, which in itself would be a miracle. Also, almost all vinyls are a composite material with cellulose in its construction, so WILL expand and come apart if saturated.

For concrete slab floors that are expected to get wet, six viable solutions that I know of:

1) solve the water problem so they will NOT get wet (not usually very viable on a retrofit, as the bottom of the slab will still be wet with most fixes, so moisture will wick through the concrete. OBviously, this is preferable but not always economic.

2) treat the concrete surface and leave bare, sealed) or finish with a truly waterproof finish - polishing and sealing, grinding and staining, epoxy, etc

3) use a removeable, washable covering - throw rugs or area rugs or carpets that can be rolled up, hauled outside or to the garage, hosed and detergent washed clean, hung up, and dried as soon as they get wet (taken up within a day or less). IF you use an area carpet (basically just carpeting without being tied down at all except at doorways), be sure the carpet pad (if any) is waterproof (looks like tiny bubble bubblewrap), and that the carpet is designed for wetting - so its backing does not come apart in water, and cut it into sizes that will be manageable to move when WET, then carpet tape the seams back together during installation. IF flooding is just a little clean groundwater, sometypes of indoor/outdoor carpeting can be cleaned and dried by a heavy-duty carpet cleaner - Servicemaster and other disaster restoration companies can do this.

4) use a removeable plank flooring - there are a few totally plastic products with NO cellulose or fabric - I have used Pergo a few times in the past for potentially wet applications. There are very few residential marketed ones, and more commercial ones that are snap-together and designed to be unsnapped and taken back up, like to change a basketball court to a multipurpose arena. Some look like a flooring plank, some more like prefab panels (4x8 or 5x10 feet typically, or larger for arenas), and come in plastic and aluminum, some with wood or stone look-alike surfaces.

5) use a throw cover or roll-out cover like they use to protect school basketball courts during assemblies and craft fairs and such - basically same philosophy as an area rug but just plastic protector mat or sheeting - available in maybe half a dozen various colors. I ahve seen some quite nice heavy printed canvas ones - these are bigger in Europe - think the checkboard square canvas flooring that British warships used to have, that was pulled up every timethey cleared for action. With some judicious placement of heavy furniture, o such aroundthe edges works for light traffic areas, certainly not for an exercise room or ping pong or pool table area where there is a lot of scuffing.

6) plastic astroturf and non-slip mats - actually comes in a number of colors and "grains", so does not have to look like grass or black rubber. Think the carpets/mats used on patios and decks and such, the non-slip rollout mats used in pool locker rooms and such, and the link-together rubber mats designed for easing leg pain from standing at machinery or a workbench for a long time - these come in 1, 2, and 3 foot squares that I have seen. You would have to be sure to get the true solid rubber type, not the ones with a rubber coating over soft, absorbent foam.

Be sure whatever you get, that you will be able to handle it when wet to get it out and washed down, and assume whatever you use will have to be disinfected when it is pulled up - either due to having sat long enough before discovery (i.e. on vacation or business trip) so started to mold, or due to sewage backup or leak. Also, any time you have a leak or flooding, assume you will have to disinfect the basement to stop mold, and use extreme ventilation for several days to dry it out, so be cautious not only on floor covering but also on wall treatments.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


I was wondering about the mold I mentioned and the glue recommended has both an additive to keep mold from growing in the can as well as after install. The vinyl optional glue product seemas like the best choice since there are no organic materials in the product. The sheet is solid vinyl and the backing is fiberglass much like what is used for roofing shingles or boats. The must glue sheet has a felt backing and I would be a bit leary of that. I would probably recommend the glue down option as apposed to the double faced tape due to the fact if you had water problems it would be better able to prevent water entry between the concrete and flooring.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


May i ask how big is the basement ,sq ft?

Answered 4 years ago by THECONSULTANT

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