Installing carpet on concrete?

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Old 09-25-16, 06:59 PM
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Installing carpet on concrete?

I'm considering installing carpet on my new home myself. What are some things I should consider? Should I nail the tack strip to the concrete, drill a hole and use aluminum/nylon anchor, or is polyurethane adhesive good enough? Since it's for basement floor, is underlay all that I need between the concrete and carpet?
 
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Old 09-26-16, 04:09 AM
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I'm not a carpet installer but I've painted 100's of new construction homes built on slabs and they always use a tack strip [except for glue down carpet] While the tack strip looks the same as the kind used over plywood it has different nails so they can go into the concrete.

Are you sure the basement stays dry? preform a moisture test on the concrete?
 
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Old 09-26-16, 05:02 AM
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Hi Charlie,
Also not a carpet pro, but want to point out that a basement concrete floor is far different from a slab on grade concrete floor. Slab on grade has taken measures to reduce/eliminate moisture passing up through that floor where most basement floors have not. I'm not talking liquid water but moisture vapor which passes right through concrete. If blocked by a vapor barrier the moisture slowly accumulates and becomes the water you dread.

Building a basement that is dry is an expensive process rarely used. Without those extreme measures you are left to manage the moisture to prevent related problems.

Bud
 
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Old 09-26-16, 05:53 AM
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Basement floors are a tough place for carpet. It can be done but you need to make absolutely sure that the floor stays dry, especially if you plan on using padding underneath the carpet. Carpet without pad can tolerate more moisture vapor as it can easily pass through the carpet but padding can act as a barrier and cause mildew in and under the pad.

Notice that I've been saying water vapor. Not liquid water. Even if the basement appears dry water vapor can pass through the slab if the slab does not have a vapor barrier. One test is to get a square of plastic sheeting. Lay it flat on the floor and continuously tape down the edges so it's totally sealed to the floor. If you used clear plastic you can see water condense but if you used opaque plastic you'll have to periodically pull up the plastic to look underneath. Make sure you check in different seasons. Just because it's dry during the dry season doesn't mean you won't have a problem when the weather is more wet.
 
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Old 09-26-16, 10:40 AM
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Having installed thousands of yards of carpet in basements, it is rare to find one with a moisture problem. But if you do it can be a mess. The plastic sheet on the floor is a guesstimate. Have it checked with a moisture meter to be sure.
If you just have a little moisture, it will usually evaporate through the carpet and pad. Under no circumstances should you put a plastic moisture barrier on that floor. It will just lead to mold growth under it. A little moisture is normal. You will get some condensation on all concrete with temperature changes.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 01:37 PM
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Thank you so much for all the responses. I have not checked out the moisture in the basement yet. Even if I use a moisture meter, I don't think it will tell the whole story. As many have said, it may not have moisture in the dry season but hard to tell when seasons changed.

Okay, so the process is tack strip, underlay, and carpet. No plastic moisture barrier between concrete and underlay, correct?

Okay, so if I don't use carpet, besides letting the concrete look bare, what other options do I have so the floor looks nice?
 
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Old 09-28-16, 01:42 PM
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Ceramic tile is a great choice on a slab.

Personally, I don't have a problem with carpet on a basement slab as long as you know there are many things that can happen which would lead to you pulling it back up and potentially replacing the pad and even the carpet.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 01:51 PM
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Okay, so if I'm going to install carpet, I should consider having a dehumidifer to remove all the moisture?

I found this and it talks about this moisture issue with plastic moisture barrier.

What Happens When You Put a Plastic Vapor Barrier in Your Wall?
 
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Old 09-28-16, 01:55 PM
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Normally it's a good idea to run a dehumidifier in a basement .... all the time, not just for the carpet install.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 02:08 PM
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I agree - dehumidifier in a basement regardless of carpet.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 06:51 PM
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Use a rebond type pad. It will let the moisture evaporate.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 08:25 PM
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What's a rebound type pad? So instead of plastic moisture barrier so a rebound type pad? Or did you mean using the rebound type pad instead of the underlay between the concrete and carpet?
 
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Old 09-29-16, 03:37 AM
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You can use a cheap method of checking moisture, Tape a piece of plastic drop cloth, about a foot square and leave it on floor a couple of days. If it stays dry you should be good. I would do it a couple of places in basement.
 
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Old 09-29-16, 05:05 AM
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Rebond is a type of carpet padding, it utilizes scrap bits of padding and 'glues' them all together.

here is an example - Rebond Padding
 
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Old 09-29-16, 07:43 AM
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Before installing carpet, a concrete floor needs a real moisture test with a moisture meter or CACL test. The plastic taped down is not accurate.
 
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Old 09-29-16, 07:46 AM
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Rebond pad will allow some moisture to dissipate through it. Rubber and/or foam pad trap moisture underneath them.
 
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Old 10-05-16, 06:07 PM
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Okay, so do I glue the rebond to the concrete?
 
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Old 10-06-16, 04:07 AM
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No, the pad gets loose laid under the carpet.
 
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Old 10-06-16, 09:44 AM
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I don't need to staple the edge to the concrete at all? If there is nothing to keep it from moving, will it bulge or create wrinkles in the long run? Thanks for all the help.
 
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Old 10-06-16, 10:05 AM
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I'm a painter not a carpet guy but have been around a lot of new construction where carpet was laid over concrete slabs. As far as I know the pad is loose laid with the seams taped. The carpet keeps the pad in place. Hopefully Sam or one of the guys that knows more than me will have time to elaborate.
 
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Old 10-06-16, 11:48 AM
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Yep, that's what happens - the pad is loose but the carpet is anchored and the pad stays in place underneath it.
 
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Old 10-10-16, 06:46 PM
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Thank you everyone for responding to my questions. It's been very helpful.

I have one last question regarding installing carpet on concrete. What about carpet tiles? How is it compare to traditional carpet on concrete? Does anyone know how tough and messy it is to remove those title carpet that are glued/taped to the concrete?
 
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