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Best product to repair, seal and waterproof my CEMENT floor before putting down plank flooring

I recently pulled up my living room carpet and plan to put down plank flooring. Underneath is a great cement floor that has very little damage except for the divots where we pulled up the tack strips. What shold I use to repair those divots? And what would be the best product to seal and waterproof the CEMENT floor before installing the plank flooring?


Thank you 

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Posted 2014-01-24T20:08:17+0000  by redneckpenguin redneckpenguin

Hello redneckpenguin and welcome to The Community!  We are glad that you are here.


 Concrete Patcher.jpg

Interestingly I just had a customer ask me how to fill in the tack strip holes in his concrete floor!  Quikrete recommended their Concrete Patcher; use a trowel to fill in the holes (divots).  There is a “curing time” that will need to be taken into account depending upon the next product that will be applied to the floor.  For example, in the case of floor stains, you will need to wait 7 days for a water-based application and 28 days for an oil-based application.


Can you provide a more information about the next part of your project?  I understand the need for waterproofing.  Flooring manufacturers will include information on moisture testing (calcium chloride) and the tolerance for levelness (usually within a fraction of an inch over a 10 foot span) which will give guidance on the installation process.  You may only need to use an underlayment, which includes a moisture barrier in addition to sound reduction and cushioning.  You may need to use a waterproofing and crack prevention membrane if the floor has fractures.  Additionally you may need to apply a self-leveling underlayment if the floor is not within the tolerances of the flooring material.  There are possible several scenarios and different products may be recommended depending upon the situation.


I look forward to hearing back from you.  Best wishes on your project.

Posted 2014-01-24T20:52:53+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL

After I finish prepping the CEMENT floor, I want to put down the Allure Trafficmaster Vinyl Plank Flooring - the kind with the grip-strip.  Before putting the planks down, however, I want to seal and waterproof the cement - not for moisture coming up from below, but to prevent damage from moisture seeping down between the planks (because I have kids, grandkids, and pets). I would rather not have to put down underlayment if I don't have to. Cost is a major concern as is the ability for me to do the work myself.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thank you.

Posted 2014-01-25T05:20:28+0000  by redneckpenguin

Hey redneckpenguin,


Eileen isn't in today, so I thought I'd fill in for her and answer your questions.


As long as the existing subfloor has been cleaned and it is as level as possible, you can then place a moisture barrier before you install your TrafficMaster Allure flooring.


This is mainly done in case the slab itself, not the floor above, gets in contact with moisture. Below grade slabs are very notorious for this; basements typically have a large presence of moisture in it.


I personally don't like moisture barriers that are in sheet form; using a painted on coating is much more effective.


One that I like is shown below used typically for tiles, but for your situation it will be just fine.


You simply apply it on the slab via a roller or brush. Two coats will give you the moisture barrier needed. Click on the bucket of it below for more information.



We carry numerous clear coats of water resistant finishes in our store, but the RedGard above is one of the absolute best to create a moisture barrier for your new floors.


While you don't necessarily have to put down a moisture barrier for a slab that has no presence of moisture, it never hurts to have it. As long as your Allure flooring is installed correctly, you should have little to no worries regarding moisture seeping through the planks.


Let me know if you have any further questions.




Posted 2014-01-25T14:46:58+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Thank you for the information. I intend to do the living room, dining room, family room and hall floors.  In total I have about 850 sq ft of floor.  Could you please tell me how much I'd need to put two coats on this amount of floor.  If two coats are good for waterproofing, would three coats be better or a waste of money?  Money is tight, but I want to be sure I never have to worry about it... ever.  Thank you.

Posted 2014-01-27T01:19:46+0000  by redneckpenguin

Hello again redneckpenguin! 


Properly applied, two (2) coats of the Redguard Crack Prevention and Waterproofing Membrane are sufficient for waterproofing.  Three (3) coats would be a waste of time and money with no added benefit.  The product is dry when it turns solid red, with no visible pink color. Typical drying time is 1-1.5 hours for each coat; depending on ambient conditions, drying time can be as much as 12 hours.


For floor coverage, 1 gallon covers 110 square feet per coat and the 3.5 gallon bucket covers 385 square feet per coat.


For your 850 square feet floor with 2 coats of product, you will need to cover a total of 1700 square feet.  This means you will need to purchase 5 of the 3.5 gallon buckets to cover your floor with 2 coats.  (You could use 4 of the 3.5 gallon buckets + 2 of the 1 gallon buckets for a small savings).


Please keep us posted on your project and best wishes with the waterproofing.

Posted 2014-01-28T14:54:41+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL

Wow. That's over $700 just for that. Is there a cheaper product that is as good or almost as good? Or more affordale option?

Posted 2014-01-28T17:32:43+0000  by redneckpenguin



Just like anything you buy in will be getting what you paid for. While there are plenty of other options out there, I had a specific reason for you using RedGard over your slab.


I recommended RedGard not because of the seemingly high price upfront, it's the fact you pretty much never have to worry about moisture issues from the subfloor.


The price 'seems' steep, but the reason why it is is the fact it does something that no other moisture barrier also prevents crack prevention on the slab.


It won't be as effective, but you can use a clear coat of what is shown below. It's not as expensive as a lot of other sealants out there but it is cheaper than RedGard.


Click on the image below for more information.

One gallon does 250 square feet, so you'd need 4 of them to completely cover the area.


As stated earlier, there are other options out there, but you won't get as well of a moisture barrier. You can use the Behr waterproofer above. Avoid any plastic sheets or underlayment, as this can trap the moisture, which could lead to mold/mildew down the road.


Let me know if you have any further questions,


Posted 2014-01-31T16:27:40+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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