Basement Carpet- Padding or Not?


Old 05-21-08, 05:14 PM
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Basement Carpet- Padding or Not?

So I have a pretty rough unfinished basement. I recently had a sump pump/interior gutter system installed that seems to be working great to keep water out of the basement.

I'm turning the first room of the basement into a second office space. The ceiling is very low so I will not be fully finishing the room, I've just painted everything with a high-quality mold resistant basement paint and put in some new lighting etc.

I'm planning on putting some carpeting down however I'm not going to fasten it to anything so I can pull it out later. It just so happens that I found a bound remnant that fits the room perfectly so I'm just going to lay it in place.

So...I've read various things but am still confused.

Can i put padding underneath it? Should I simply use some sort of plastic vapor barrier or even nothing at all?

I can remove the carpeting should I need to in the future.

It is a very very old house so I know there is no barrier under the house and there will be some moisture that will be making its way up through the floor.

I know there are various subfloor products for such situations but the room is really rough, and the ceiling height is barely over 6' so I have no room to work with.

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Old 05-21-08, 07:12 PM
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Carpet only! A pad is a very bad thing to use in a basement.
Old 05-22-08, 03:39 AM
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Just a curious question, Airman. I agree on soft surface on such a hard, moisture prone surface. I would never put carpet in a basement to begin with. But, since the life of a carpet is in the padding (or so the carpet guys say), would it benefit to install something like Ditra, then padding and carpet, or would it be too springy? The OP got me to thinking.
Old 05-22-08, 04:42 AM
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I don't think that a pad will significantly add to the life of a carpet. I think it is more of a sponge in a basement setting.
Old 06-02-08, 05:26 AM
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I agree with Chandler, Have you thought about a solid surface type floor and then use a rug down where needed? this way if there is any flooding, you can remove it to clean or toss out. Also, pick up a good dehumidifier.
Old 06-02-08, 09:39 AM
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A pad is only really useful if your basement is dryer than most - we have one under our loose-laid carpet, but that's mostly because our basement is dry as a bone and we fully expect to pull up the pad & carpet and then throw out the pad if there's ever significant water problems - we already have some "channeling" in place for water heater/washer problems if they occur, even though they're in an unfinished part on the other end of the basement!

That said, we got a very cheap berber carpet for the basement, and the pad really improves the feel of it on the hard concrete. I wouldn't put down EXPENSIVE carpet in a basement, at least not one without a false floor or something of that nature, but you'd be surprised by what you can accomplish in the right circumstances. There are some products available that will help, but they get kind of expensive, depending on the application.
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