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Flexible Flooring

10/19/2009 10:22 AM

Hello all, I need some help thinking outside of the box. Here is the situation: My church has a large room in need of new flooring. The floor needs to be a hard surface as it is subjected to spills. This would not ordinarily be a problem, except that the floor is a concrete slab that was poured in three pieces...and it has differential movement. Being in a rural area, there is no contractor nearby that will level the slab(s). So the church has decided to replace the flooring and use something that will not be dramatically affected by the cracks in the floor. The options discussed so far are Laminate flooring (residential grade) which being subjected to sliding chairs and tables, does not seem durable enough. However, it will bridge the cracks and flex enough to not be a problem. I brought up the option of removing the tile and staining the concrete. the detractors say that it won't look good because of the cracks. I advised sawing the cracks and filling them with an elastic seal of some sort. While not beautiful, it will look like the crack is supposed to be there and the rest of the floor surface will be durable. The other option would be vinyl floor tile... Is there some good option that will flex with the floor, be impervious to spills and scratches and look nice?

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#1

Re: Flooring

10/19/2009 11:46 AM

Dag,

Take a look at Nora Rubber Flooring as a possible answer. Material is very flexible, seamless and easy to work with. German parent company and well respected in that segment.

I have waterproofed floor installs for them as this stuff does not like vapor emissions and I've seen it used on rough/ imperfect floor surfaces. A favorite of operating rooms and food-service establishments.

Glenn

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Flooring

10/19/2009 3:58 PM

I'll look into it. Thanks!

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#2

Re: Flooring

10/19/2009 3:31 PM

How about a floating floor? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floating_floor

Because it has felt (usually) between the concrete and the laminate, it is able to pretty much ignore the minor expansion/contraction of the concrete pads. It's also relatively easy and inexpensive. As far as being durable, that would depend on how thick the laminate is that you choose.

One other option is to glue a 3/16-1/2 inch plywood to the concrete, then use whatever flooring you want nailed to the plywood. I did this with my living room 4 years ago, and it worked just fine. No gaps or squeaks, and the hardwood I choose can be refinished 3-4 times if needed.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Flooring

10/19/2009 4:02 PM

We were looking into a floating laminate. Again, the durability is where we were having doubts. I understand modern laminate is extremely durable, but I haven't heard anything about a commercial application.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Flooring

10/19/2009 4:37 PM

I understand. We also did not go for the laminate, but regular hardwood flooring using the method described above. Plywood glued to the concrete (we used Liquid Nails), then the hardwood stapled to the plywood.

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#6

Re: Flexible Flooring

10/20/2009 7:43 AM

Use the Laminate flooring. I've installed this product in numerous high traffic applications. One such was a rod and gun club on our local military base, so you can imagine the traffic that see's. That was ten years ago now and I was in there for a function just a few months ago and it still looks great. When you look into it there are a few different types of underlay you can get. I would suggest getting the (for lack of better wording) thick stiff "glue board" style. It feels like glued together fibers, that will give the floor some warmth and you can stack the stuff to make it as level as possible without any repercussions. Buy the click style flooring as it's the easiest to use and install and you will never have to worry about the floor separating. It's pretty durable so it would definitely work and look the nicest as well.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Flexible Flooring

10/20/2009 9:25 AM

Thanks Simple1! This is precisely the kind of feedback I was looking for. I have installed some laminate, but have never been around any that has been down for years in a high traffic area.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Flexible Flooring

10/20/2009 10:17 AM

How about using double sided industrial strength tape and std pine tongue and grooved planks with a polyurethane varnish.

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Flexible Flooring

10/20/2009 10:43 AM

The thing I like the most about the laminate is it's CHEAP, well at least it is here. I watched a guy drop a 24 oz' hammer from the 2nd floor of this place and there wasn't a single mark on it. When you look to purchase you'll find a notation on the box that says it's for high traffic areas. I think the stuff we used was about $2.45 Canadian per sq foot. Relatively cheap when you compare that to other flooring types. I think vinyl flooring is $3 or more nowadays. Best part is all you have to do is click it together and make sure you don't have any seams lining up. No glue!!!

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#10

Re: Flexible Flooring

10/20/2009 11:24 AM

This suggestion is along the same lines as Nora. Rubber flooring can handle the expansion/contraction issues as well as high traffic. It can also be comsmetically treated to look like hardwood and handle the traffic of basketball games and soda spills in the gym. Look at these folks for additional rubber floor options.

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#11

Re: Flexible Flooring

10/20/2009 1:15 PM

Here's one outside the box for you, how about a sand and epoxy floor. You mix a bag of real cheap sand with a buck of very strong epoxy. before the epoxy has time to set, you poor it over the floor and smooth it out. It will naturally fill the cracks. Once the epoxy hardens, (over night) paint the floor with a think coat of acrylic paint and your done. (any color you want.)

(we use it in our production machine shop, fork trucks drive on it and you can't break it.)

Laby

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Flexible Flooring

10/20/2009 4:11 PM

Sounds cool!, but I might have trouble getting the deacons to buy in!

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