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Proper way to finish cement floors and cinder block walls on the first level of slab house

We recently purchased a renovated beach house across the street from the ocean in southern Maine.   It is a two unit house (upper unit and lower unit) built on a concrete slab and the lower unit has cinder block walls that were finished with dry wall.   This beach house is insulated with heat.   While doing a repair in the lower unit, we noticed that the previous owner installed laminate flooring on the concrete with no vapor barrier.  We were concerned about this so we have removed all of the laminate flooring and there are a few 10” in diameter circles of mold.  We have scrubbed the floor with vinegar and a hard bristle broom and it is drying with a dehumidifier and fans.

First Question….What is the best flooring to use in a house near the beach that is on a concrete slab with cinder block walls and are there any special installation requirements for this situation?  We were thinking tile.

Also, since we learned that the floor was not installed properly (no vapor barrier), we are planning on cutting a hole in the drywall to understand how the drywall was installed on the cinder block walls. 

Second question…What is the proper way to install drywall on cinder block walls  (first floor not underground) on a slab house with vinyl siding outside? 

Thank you very much for your help!

Re: Proper way to finish cement floors and cinder block...


I would use firring strips on both the floor and the walls to fir out the space so that air can circulate and keep the floor and walls dry.                  Both cinder blocks and concrete are very pourous, and will let everything pass thru, air, water, eventually dirt from the outside.

If it were me, I would remove all the vinyl siding and use the clap board siding with an air barrier. This will keep the outside of the walls dry. I would never put vinyl on any structure. It just looks cheap and does not last nearly as long as cedar siding that is well maintained. In that area, I would prime all sides twice with oil based primer and use two coats of marine grade oil based paint.


Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

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