Basement Floor Finishing Questions

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Old 07-08-08, 11:54 AM
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Question Basement Floor Finishing Questions

My house was built 9 years ago and the basement was unfinished. My husband and I will likely be doing this project ourselves. Last year we installed a drop in ceiling with ceiling tiles. My husband wants to be able to get to the pipes easily if need be in the future. Nothing has been put on the concrete floor and I constantly get dust. We currently have no leaks in the basement but you never know what will happen in the future. We have noticed that there is a crack between the concrete floor and the cinderblock wall that has appeared over time. Our soil is red clay and last year was a very dry year for our area. 1.) I would like to know what to use to fill in that crack and also if its compatible with staining and sealing the floor. I am thinking of having the floor stained and sealed. I have seen some that were professionally done and looked very nice. My husband is totally against putting anything on the floor or walls that would hide a possible water problem in the future so carpet and drywall are out. 2.) What's your thoughts on staining and sealing too? Pros/Cons. Your advise/expertise is appreciated.
 
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Old 07-08-08, 02:12 PM
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Here's what I know

about basement floors.
Just like you said, a basement might be dry at one point but, if there is no reliable waterproofing or drainage system in place, or if you have no idea on how reliable it is (i.e. exterior french drains are known to clog with debris), it might develop moisture problems overtime.
And many kinds of sealants usually used in basement floors tend to bubble and peel after some time because they are not good handling electrostatic pressure from the water under the slab.
If you want a nice finishing option for your basement floor, I'd consider a basement specific flooring system, like ThermalDry. Those are all-in-one solutions, that are completely waterproof and eliminate the need for vapor barriers and sub flooring. They are tiles that can be placed directly over the concrete, held in place by an interlocking system with no adhesives and come in a variety of finishing options and colors. You can walk on them immediately after installation . Should your basement develop water problems in the future, you can just remove some of the tiles to check the concrete for cracks. If a piece gets damaged or worn, simply replace it.
They are 100% waterproof, so will never rot or grow mold. The manufacturer also offers waterproof wall finishing systems, equally versatile and way superior to drywall, that you and your husband might want to look into.
Here's the link:
http://www.totalbasementfinishing.com
 
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Old 07-08-08, 03:15 PM
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Staining/finishing the concrete will not hide any floor problems, if you have any. One quick test for moisture problems is to tape a 12" square piece of plastic or aluminum foil to the floor, seal all edges tightly. After severals days, pul it off. if there is moisture under the patch, you have hydrostatic water pressure(moisture under the floor). That will limit or dictate the type of floor you might install, but staining/finishing the concrete can still be done.

Normally the basement floor is not poured tight to the wall, the floor floats with respect to the walls. There is usually a 1/2-1" gap around the wall. This is a drain area should things not work and the walls leak. Anyhow, do not try to patch this "crack", it should be there.
 
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Old 07-08-08, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CyFree View Post
about basement floors.
Just like you said, a basement might be dry at one point but, if there is no reliable waterproofing or drainage system in place, or if you have no idea on how reliable it is (i.e. exterior french drains are known to clog with debris), it might develop moisture problems overtime.
And many kinds of sealants usually used in basement floors tend to bubble and peel after some time because they are not good handling electrostatic pressure from the water under the slab.
If you want a nice finishing option for your basement floor, I'd consider a basement specific flooring system, like ThermalDry. Those are all-in-one solutions, that are completely waterproof and eliminate the need for vapor barriers and sub flooring. They are tiles that can be placed directly over the concrete, held in place by an interlocking system with no adhesives and come in a variety of finishing options and colors. You can walk on them immediately after installation . Should your basement develop water problems in the future, you can just remove some of the tiles to check the concrete for cracks. If a piece gets damaged or worn, simply replace it.
They are 100% waterproof, so will never rot or grow mold. The manufacturer also offers waterproof wall finishing systems, equally versatile and way superior to drywall, that you and your husband might want to look into.
Here's the link:
http://www.totalbasementfinishing.com
I am new at this posting so bear with me. Thank you for your suggestions and the website. I will definitely take it into consideration.
 
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Old 07-08-08, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
Staining/finishing the concrete will not hide any floor problems, if you have any. One quick test for moisture problems is to tape a 12" square piece of plastic or aluminum foil to the floor, seal all edges tightly. After severals days, pul it off. if there is moisture under the patch, you have hydrostatic water pressure(moisture under the floor). That will limit or dictate the type of floor you might install, but staining/finishing the concrete can still be done.

Normally the basement floor is not poured tight to the wall, the floor floats with respect to the walls. There is usually a 1/2-1" gap around the wall. This is a drain area should things not work and the walls leak. Anyhow, do not try to patch this "crack", it should be there.
The basement was sealed all around the outside of the house and all gutters are piped to a lower field behind the house. The inside walls have been painted with dryloc and we have a dehumidifer that runs all the time. There are 2 floor drains in the basement and 1 right outside the basement door. I will certainly try the aluminum foil on the floor to test for additional moisture.

Thank you for your input on the crack around the wall. I was very concerned. I've been considering turning the basement into a game/entertainment room for the family. The kids are getting older and seem to have friends over all the time.

What kind of floor molding would you suggest putting around the walls to hide the crack?

Would you suggest hiring out the staining/sealing of the concrete or is that something that my husband and I can do without too much difficulty?

As always, your input is greatly appreciated.
 
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