Railroad Line Forums - Layout Room Flooring Options - Over Concrete
Railroad Line Forums
Save Password

Forgot Password?
  Home   Forums   Events Calendar   Sponsors   Support the RRLine   Guestbook   FAQ     Register
Active Topics | Active Polls | Resources | Members | Online Users | Live Chat | Avatar Legend | Search | Statistics
Photo Album | File Lister | File Library
[ Active Members: 4 | Anonymous Members: 1 | Guests: 115 ]  [ Total: 120 ]  [ Newest Member: RLJones ]
 All Forums
 Model Railroad Forums
 Model Railroad Construction
 Layout Room Flooring Options - Over Concrete
Previous Page
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Author Previous Topic: L&WS Construction Series Topic Next Topic: Orford and Orford Bay Railway Construction
Page: of 2


Posted - 09/05/2014 :  10:36:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Eric I would look into the interlocking foam mats around the layout PA floors are cold. Maybe just a good tile floor and a big area rug. Just remember spills, and looking for that 0080 screw and washer or a number 80 drill bit, don't ask. Tom

Country: USA | Posts: 3082 Go to Top of Page

Section Hand

Posted - 09/05/2014 :  12:01:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Mark’s comment about basement height and the effect flooring has on headroom is very pertinent but 3” of sub-floor and flooring is a bit rich unless you are being very generous with an extra thick layer of extruded polystyrene for insulation, a thick sub-floor sheet material, extra-thick carpet backing and a very plush carpet. And since your home is only 16 years old it was probably built with an 8 ft basement ceiling from which you lost about 8” or so for ducting and other mechanical systems. So 1” to 1½” of flooring will probably not be a huge issue and even 3” may not be a big issue. A 40, 50 or more year old house that started out with a 7ft basement ceiling is however another story……

Anyway, given the information in your last post you seem willing to put a bit of effort and investment into your flooring. If your floor varies up or down from a datum point by less than ¼” you don’t “need” to worry about leveling it. The biggest problem with concrete slabs is that the “field” is generally quite good being fairly level and true (a single plane versus a rolling surface) but as you approach the foundation walls the floor can often slope up or down quite significantly. In my basement the perimeter of the floor, about the last 3 feet, feet ramps up by over ½”. In most places this wasn’t a problem but in the basement bathroom which is finished with porcelain tiles I had to level the whole floor prior to installing the tiles. Take a few measurements and decide if you are willing to accept the slab as is or if you want to level the worst areas or even all of it. I’ve had good success with LevelQuik, http://citytile.ca/product/levelquik-es/ Note this comes in RS (rapid set) and ES (extended set) variants. Most Home improvement and building centers carry this product but not always in the ES variant which is what you want for more working time. RS is rated to start setting in 5 minutes but I’ve had it start setting in 3. ES is rated for a 30 minute setting time so you can reliably get 20 minutes which should be plenty. (And if you find your first batch still sets before you are done you can use cold water when mixing to extend the working time another couple of minutes.)

Keeping the risers of all stairs, including the bottom one consistent, as your carpenter friend pointed out is an ideal situation but short of rebuilding the staircase is not going to be possible if you install a sub-floor and finished floor on top of the slab. For this reason you want to keep the sub-floor/finished floor sandwich as thin as possible. I have found that as long as the sandwich is less than 1½ inches it is not a significant problem. After a few trips up and down you become “programmed” to the variation and won’t even notice it. You can get used to a 2” difference (took me a lot longer in one house where I used a system quite similar to what Dave recommended) but this can become a significant hazard to visitors who are not used to the “short” last step.

There are a few ways to do a “soft” and “warm” subfloor that can then be covered with an attractive finish. The insulfloor panels I referenced earlier are about ¾” thick and are easy to work with. But their cost will add up especially if you have a large basement. There is a home-made equivalent that will save some money but costs you in time and effort (I’m invoking the “there is no free lunch” mantra here). You can use sheets of extruded polystyofoam (you must use extruded polystrofoam not expanded polystrofoam sheets for compressive strength), commonly 2ft x 8ft or with a bit of searching 4ft x 8f as the base directly over the concrete slab. Use a tape such as Tuc tape http://www.cansave.ca/products/buildingmaterials/typar/tucktape to seal all the joints and you now have a vapour proof underlay. Using a latex based contact cement bond either tongue and groove OSB or floor grade plywood to the top of this underlay. A few concrete nails or concrete screws such as Tapcons in each piece of OSB secured into the slab will stabilize the floor and it will be ready to build away. Just make sure to stagger all joints and ensure that the OSB/plywood joints do not line up with those of the polystrofoam below (just rip the first row of OSB down by 12”making a 3ft x 8ft panels and everything will be fine). I figure I’m saving about $.40 sq ft doing this compared to insulfloor. (1 room out of 3 now finished this way). Over a 700sqft basement that is a $280 saving. Since I actually enjoy the home improvement/renovation process the money saved is well worth the effort I put into this. As with the insulfloor I recommend painting the subfloor with a light coloured floor paint and deferring the final finish until all the heavy and messy benchwork construction is complete.

If you are seriously considering carpet tiles, those with approximately ½” of high density foam backing are the most comfortable. I have used these for foot and back strain relief at work stations in my woodshop and in the garage. An example is http://www.rubberflooringinc.com/interlocking-tile/foam/eco-soft-carpet-tile.html I like the keyed edges as this holds the assembly together very well. While the keying will never become invisible when these tiles are well installed the keying becomes much less prominent than one would first imagine. You could of course lay these carpet tiles directly onto the concrete slab but there would be no vapour barrier to stop moisture from moving both up from the slab or down into the slab and their insulating value is far less than extruded polystyrene in either the insulfloor or the homemade equivalent subfloor. It is when you do projects like this you start to understand why your house was so expensive!! These tiles are quite hard wearing and clean up well with a vacuum. They are easily replaced when damaged and can be temporarily removed when you are working on scenery and there is a high risk of spilling plaster/glues etc and then replaced when the area is completed.

Just a few long-winded thoughts for you to consider

Thanks and Cheers


Gatineau, Quebec.

Country: Canada | Posts: 50 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/05/2014 :  3:26:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We all know the hazards of carpet....get moldy when damp, small parts get lost, need a vacuum to get the dust, have to build a sub floor, etc.

No one has mentioned laminate flooring. I just finished putting down a 'snap n lock' laminate floor in my kitchen and it is great. Because it has a vapor retarding foam underlayment pad it also goes over concrete floors perfectly. No sub flooring needed.
AND, the price is right and you can lay it down yourself in a day or two.
The foam pad makes the flooring easy on the feet for all day work on the layout. Concrete and tile are a killer to the feet.
And laminate flooring will clean up with a damp rag.....even paint, if you get at it right away (been there). And the foam pad adds a layer of insulation too.
I paid $1.19 a Sq Ft for the laminate. If you need anymore info let me know.
You can put down engineered real wood flooring but the extra cost just isn't worth it.

Edited by - mabloodhound on 09/05/2014 3:29:00 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 6701 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/05/2014 :  4:08:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit jaynjay's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I put down wall-to-wall burber carpet with a thick felt under carpet in my layout room. I bought the earth tone and it is nice a soft (I always wear moccasins in the house). The color is great, and it's warm in the winter.


Country: USA | Posts: 5753 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 09/15/2014 :  10:56:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit dlwrailfan1's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by jaynjay

I put down wall-to-wall burber carpet with a thick felt under carpet in my layout room. I bought the earth tone and it is nice a soft (I always wear moccasins in the house). The color is great, and it's warm in the winter.

Is that over a concrete floor?



Country: USA | Posts: 649 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 09/15/2014 :  10:57:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit dlwrailfan1's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Carl and Dave for the detailed information. I have been traveling the last week and not on line. You have given me more to ponder.


Country: USA | Posts: 649 Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic: L&WS Construction Series Topic Next Topic: Orford and Orford Bay Railway Construction  
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Previous Page
Jump To:
Railroad Line Forums © 2000-2020 Railroad Line Co. Go To Top Of Page
Steam was generated in 0.3 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000