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    Thread: Fix for cracked, uneven gypsum/softcrete subfloor in condo

    1. Member VW1.8Tsunami's Avatar
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      05-11-2012 09:25 AM #1
      I just purchased a condo and removed all the carpeting. I had the bedrooms re-carpeted but planned on laying hardwoods in the living areas.

      The problem is that now I realize that my floors are pretty uneven and have several large cracks in the light weight concrete. The carpet guy said it wasn't a big deal and that he sees it all the time. He also mentioned that you can buy a self leveling compound that you pretty much just pour on the floor and let it find all the dips and valleys.

      Does anyone have any experience with this stuff? It sounds like something I could do but wanted to hear other experiences.

      (not my pic)
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    2. 05-11-2012 10:21 AM #2
      The self leveling works pretty well, but its fairly expensive and depending on how bad your floor is it can get pretty expensive.

      When i used it i did a small bathroom 8x5 and i think it took 6 bags but my floor was pretty out of level.

      On thing to consider now is how your going to handle the transition between the carpeting and the wood especially if they are not true to each other.


    3. Member VW1.8Tsunami's Avatar
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      05-11-2012 10:28 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by NYCgolf View Post
      The self leveling works pretty well, but its fairly expensive and depending on how bad your floor is it can get pretty expensive.

      When i used it i did a small bathroom 8x5 and i think it took 6 bags but my floor was pretty out of level.

      On thing to consider now is how your going to handle the transition between the carpeting and the wood especially if they are not true to each other.

      what do you mean in regards to transitioning b/t the carpeting and the wood? I thought there were threshold pieces I could buy that would make the transition?
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    4. Member Cabby-Blitz's Avatar
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      05-11-2012 11:31 AM #4
      Is it gypsum or lightweight concrete? It does make a difference because of the steps involved in doing repair work. Regarding either material you are going to want to repair the cracks with a good crack repair product. With gypsum if you have been grinding the floor you are going to have to reseal the floor. Mapei Primer L is a standard product used to seal gypsum. Depending on what kind of area you have to repair, Mapei M20 Plus or Ardex Feather Finish will work. Ardex is the more expensive option.

    5. Member VW1.8Tsunami's Avatar
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      05-11-2012 12:06 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Cabby-Blitz View Post
      Is it gypsum or lightweight concrete? It does make a difference because of the steps involved in doing repair work. Regarding either material you are going to want to repair the cracks with a good crack repair product. With gypsum if you have been grinding the floor you are going to have to reseal the floor. Mapei Primer L is a standard product used to seal gypsum. Depending on what kind of area you have to repair, Mapei M20 Plus or Ardex Feather Finish will work. Ardex is the more expensive option.
      I have no idea which one it is. How do I tell? I'm doing about a 20x12 living room/dining room area.
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      05-11-2012 12:32 PM #6
      Is this ground level or on a second floor?

      You should be able to tell if it is concrete or gypsum just by looking at the cross section at the crack.

      That does not appear to be a typical crack in a concrete floor from not having control joints...that looks like a major settlement issue.

      Does a marble roll and pick up speed on either side of that crack?

    7. Member VW1.8Tsunami's Avatar
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      05-11-2012 12:42 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by JsnVR6Corrado View Post
      Is this ground level or on a second floor?

      You should be able to tell if it is concrete or gypsum just by looking at the cross section at the crack.

      That does not appear to be a typical crack in a concrete floor from not having control joints...that looks like a major settlement issue.

      Does a marble roll and pick up speed on either side of that crack?
      The pic is just a stock photo I found. However, the magnitude of the cracks are similar. I'm on the second floor.

      I'm positive it's not concrete. It's something that looks like concrete but it's much softer. But to answer your question, yes, a marble would roll on atleast one side of the crack.
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      05-11-2012 12:54 PM #8
      Follow Cabby-Blitz's recommendations for patching the crack. Maybe try to level it with the grinder so there is no abrupt change in elevation on either side of the crack. Use an 8' level, and once it stops rocking over the crack then you are good enough for laying floating laminate wood flooring.

      You do not need to fill in every little divit in the floor, the wood will float over some of the imperfections and long as it is not a trench. Your biggest problem is if you have bumps, those need to be ground down.

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      05-11-2012 04:53 PM #9
      Post up a picture of the floor and crack. It sounds like gypsum just because it's common to use it on 2nd floors for fireproofing. After retreading it most likely is gypsum because it's commonly used in redevelopment of buildings for residential condos. If the floor is chalky then most likely nobody ever sealed the floor, which is incredibly common in the industry.
      Last edited by Cabby-Blitz; 05-11-2012 at 04:55 PM.

    10. Member halchka99's Avatar
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      05-11-2012 06:16 PM #10
      i had this same exact issue on at my condo. i ended up having to use 11 50lbs self leveling bags.

      it worked real well but damn thing costs like $35 a bag
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    11. Member VW1.8Tsunami's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 08:53 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by halchka99 View Post
      i had this same exact issue on at my condo. i ended up having to use 11 50lbs self leveling bags.

      it worked real well but damn thing costs like $35 a bag
      I ended up doing this but only needed one bag. Mine was very minimal and there was only like an 8x8 spot that REALLY needed it. It seems like it did a good job.
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