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Question DetailsAsked on 11/15/2017

We are building a post steel house. What is the best kind of flooring to use over a concrete slab?

We are building a post steel house to live in. Wondering what is the best type of flooring to put down over top of the concrete slab.

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You can find some prior responses on flooring on slabs, and related moisture issues, in the Home > Flooring and Home > Basement Waterproofing links under Browse Projects, at lower left.

In an area where water table is not high (permantly or seasonally), and there is not lots of rainfall to wet the soil under the slab so it will usually be damp, while putting a vapor barrier down then a floating wood or laminate or carpet (not nailed-down hardwood as that punctures the vapor barrier) can work - but sometimes gives moisture problems around the edges anyway if you get water in under or standing up against the edge of the slab

Basically, if free water may come up through the slab (bottom of slab saturated) only tile and stone and similar grouted-down flooring, as well as polished or stained or epoxied / urea finished concrete (if it can be dried out enough to apply them properly) are likely to give good long-life performance. Ditto if there is any chance of flooding in its life.

If the area is dry and not likely to ever get damp, then any flooring type - though putting a vapor barrier underneath is always a good idea with flooring which is not grouted down. And even then using totally plastic materials (no wood or particle board core) is better to avoid underlying moisture accumulation damage, and using free-breathing padding and only synthetic fibers and backing and an open-weave backing and loose fiber construction (not berber or short, tight pile) in carpets minimizes the chance of mildew/mold.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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