What's the best way to install engineered flooring on a slab?
I would like to put engineered flooring in my living room. My house is built on a slab. I have heard several conflicting opinions about the proper installation of these products. My questions are: Do I have to put down the black vapor barrier and the bubble underlayment? Can I put down one or the other or neither? I do not want to glue this floor down. Can you give me any advice?
Submitted by expreswall

I just put down a floating type floor with engineered wood in my basement and I love it.  You certainly do need to install the 6 mil vapor retarded (plastic sheets-don’t have to be black); this will help keep any moisture coming up from the slab to move to the sides and not get trapped beneath the floor.  Make sure the edges of the vapor retarder run up and around the floor at the perimeter and that there is enough room so there is a chance for the floor to move and to allow moisture to escape. As far as the bubble underlayment, I chose to use a closed cell foam that came in a 3’ wide sheet.  You do need some type of cushion beneath a floor like this, the thicker the more comfortable.

Community Answers (2)

The only point I would add to Mike's answer is that you need to be sure the flooring you've selected is lock-edge (pieces need to snap together) and that the flooring is approved for a floating installation like this. I agree that the closed cell foam is a better product. Sometimes you don't need the plastic if you use the closed cell foam and tape the seams. Joel @ The Renovation Place.
Submitted by JoelRenovationP