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        posted
        I’m hoping to get some help from people who have concrete floors. My wife and I are in the process of remodeling our home. The house sits on a slab with electric baseboard heating. There is currently carpeting everywhere from the previous owners. We’re trying to figure out what to do with the floors but we’re stuck. Replacing the carpet with newer carpet is not an option due to my allergies. We have a lot of sq ft to cover so a laminate is our only option if we’re going to respecting the budget. Staining or epoxy floors are also an option.

        Here’s where we’re stuck, the Laminate will cost about $4000 and the stain concrete about $600 - $800. So without having a budget for electric heating mats and super premium padding we’re not sure if the extra $3400 is worth installing the laminate. We love the look of both stained concrete and the laminate floors we picked out (I like the stained concrete WAY more) but there’s two major areas of concern.

        We’re concerned about how cold the floors will be. I think even with the laminate and the additional padding we quoted, the floors with still be pretty cold. Probably not as cold as epoxy concrete but is the difference worth $3400?

        The other road block is the hardness of the floor. With less than ¼ inch of padding is the “softness” of the laminate worth the extra $3400? I think it’s still going to be a pretty hard surface.

        We’re renovating all rooms in the house but 2 and we can take that $3400 saving from the floors and apply it to another project. We’re just not sure if there is any real benefits to the laminate in our situation. Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated. I’m hoping people with laminate over concrete could chime in.

        Thanks

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: SC1982,
         
        Posts: 15 | Location: United States | Registered: Jan 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Sounds to me you have already made up your mind but here it goes anyway.
        Concerning slabs carpet and padding are the warmest on the feet.
        Then comes laminate with padding.
        Then hardwood.
        Then tile or vinyl.
        Then stained.
        You have options to use combinations. Will you be barefoot, wearing slippers etc.. This would determine what to use and in what areas.
        One problem area is the bathroom...
        Another option is a built up floor, this will raise the height of the floor. You would have to raise baseboard trim and cut doors and jams. But this would solve your problems.
         
        Posts: 887 | Registered: Jan 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Ron45, Thanks for the information. Honestly, I really want the concrete but my wife raises some valid concerns. Okay fine, the truth is out, I've dragged the DIY community into a renovation dispute. lol

        I think we've both come to a reasonable compromise and this is why I reached out to the community. Going by your chart outlined, which makes sense to me, how far away is laminate from a stained floor? If I were to point a temperature gun at the concrete stained and I got a 30 degree F reading and then I pointed it to the concrete covered with laminate, all else being the same, what's a reasonable guess as to the temperature difference? Would you expect a 10 degree difference or a 40 degree difference? Personally, my guess is it will be the exact same, at most a 5 degree difference.

        My wife and I are on the same page regarding these two concerns that if the difference is trivial then we'll go the cheaper rough as we both think the stain will look better in our space. If there is a huge difference in hardness and temperature between stained and laminate then we'll go with the laminate. We can't agree on how much of a difference to expect.

        Our hope is that someone on here has some experience or heard of a story or something that could help us make a final decision.

        Then we'll have to pick the color....
         
        Posts: 15 | Location: United States | Registered: Jan 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Truth be told we can sit here all day and tell you the benefits of the difference. Like how much you will save on your energy bill or how much warmer it will be on your feet. This is something you can test for yourself. Pull back some of your carpet and padding overnight, in the morning step on the carpet then onto the bare concrete floor.
        You can get some damaged laminate floor from a store and lay it with some padding, then do the same test.
        This way the choice belongs to you and your wife.
        Come back and let us know, we also love pictures.....HINT.
         
        Posts: 887 | Registered: Jan 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        I think you'll be surprised as how much different it feels to have a padded floating floor vs painted concrete. The actual temperature may be closer to your 5 degree guess, but how it feels will be much different.

        The recommended pad for a floating floor on top of hardwood is not the standard 1/8" foam but a more dense 1/4" mat that also serves as a moisture barrier. Blocking the moisture is one reason why the floor will feel warmer - even if the temperatures are fairly close. Isolating the floor surface from the concrete is another. Beyond that, the floating floor will make for a much more 'finished' room, compared to painted or stained concrete.

        Your biggest downside will be cost. A good grade of floating floor will start around $3 to $4 per SF. The pad will be an extra 50 cents per SF. The cost of painting or staining will be a fraction of that.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10428 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Thanks for all the information. The battle has been lost, or won... depends on who's side you're on. My wife bought the floors yesterday while I was at work. I should have known something was up when I got a vague txt about the floors and then 13 sweet loving text messages afterwards. lol

        I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

        @ron45 - I don't have any pictures but I took a really bad video before I started the project and posted it on youtube for my parents. I take a video of my progress everyday but I've only had time to upload one.

        http://youtu.be/q-oKS1ObAbo
         
        Posts: 15 | Location: United States | Registered: Jan 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I watched the video and think your house has great potential. The fire place in the middle looks dated, but I really like them when cleaned and finished. If I can find the pictures I will post them.
        The link below has so many ideas and how to's. Clink on the link then scroll down, also look to the left and at or near the top you will see HOME, ROOMS, SKILLS, etc.. Click on these too. I thought maybe you and your wife would enjoy this site.
        http://www.familyhandyman.com/rooms
         
        Posts: 887 | Registered: Jan 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I am planning lately to have an concrete floor home at home and i am happy to see some problem and solution cause i don't really have some idea what problem i can encounter for changing my floor .Lately i am really annoyed about my carpet and i am always asking cleaning services at http://www.aton.fi/ and it is one of my reason why i am going to change my floor to concrete.
         
        Posts: 11 | Location: Philippines | Registered: Sep 09, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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