Long question on Cold Basement Floor


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Old 11-10-09, 01:08 PM
J
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Long question on Cold Basement Floor

Laminate or Vinyl? Insulation options?
Okay folks, here's the sitaution. I have a basement office with carpet installed directly on the concrete floor by the former owner. It is COLD in the winter. I recently watched an episode of Holmes on Holmes where he put down pink board, underlayment then nail gunned it into the concrete and then put down floating flooring. The problems with this solution are 2 fold:

1. I am only doing part of the basement and the door to the office goes to the main basement floor with Traffic Master vinyl tiles directly on concrete. So the difference in floor heights might be as much as 2 " if I use the pink board option.

2. The Traffic Master is too slick for my dogs that slip on it if I don't have a rug down, but I don't want wood in the basement, even engineered wood, that the dogs might scratch up or that might create a moisture problem.

I went to Home Depot and found a confusing array of options. So I want a wood-look non-wood product, but it has to have some texture for less slippage. My wife is thinking of the vinyl strips with the 1" black overlap.

I have been reading online as well , and I'm getting a wealth of opinions and warnings for insulating the floor and installing subflooring. I wanted to get feedback on some best options and cautions.

Options suggested for insulation and base:
DriCore, Ovrx Barricade, ThermalDry, Delta FL, Superseal, And heated flooring.
Basement Flooring with Barricade Subfloor Tiles
SUPERSEAL subfloor plus foam- sound deadening material for floors
DRIcore Subfloor Systems
Cosella Dorken Concrete Subfloor
(Delta FL seems to have lost the english version of a website)
Warning 1. Even though my basement has not flooded and is not likely to, I read of horror stories of those who installed DriCore that flooring and DriCore had to be ripped out because the plastic cups and/or wood underlayment would not dry out, could become a mold hazard, etc. I suspect the same would be the problem with pink board and OSB or Barricade (which uses DOW Blue Board) ? Some said the design flaw in DriCore was fixed since 2007. However it is pricey, and I don't know how much insulation factor it would give.
The Barricade product offers more insulation than DriCore, but it doesn't seem much different than using pink board and your own underlayment...

2. If you have to use plywood underlayment over any system, wouldn't it be subject to the same moisture/flooding problem? The floor guy at HD said that using the thin luan board may cause buckling if the plywood peels, separates, etc. The OSB is about $20 a sheet, so that plus the 1" pink board (at $14) and you you will have 2" between rooms. From what I figure, there is only about $150 difference between using pink board vs. DriCore for my 2 rooms.

3. Installers of ThermalDry complain about the problems they have experienced with the product.

4. I read that using laminate basement flooring over any system might be a problem because it doesn't "breathe." Wouldn't that be the same for vinyl strips over pinkboard with OSB??

5. It seems Delta FL may allow you to put a flooring directly over it without a subfloor or underlayment? Not sure about Allure or vinyl strips... But would DFL insulate and provide a better protection against water problems?

Superseal seems like a similar, less expensive product than Delta FL but it is hard to find.

6. The heated flooring mats. The problem is that for a DIY, you have to lay in mortar mix over the entire floor. I have 2 rooms and I don't need the heating under the entire floor. Using thin set under the whole area would be a waste of time.

Bottom line, everything I've heard so far is to stay away from wood products, laminates, engineered wood, etc. in a basement due to moisture problems. I can't imagine that OSB over pink, or DriCore or Barricade with their particle wood surface, are any safer... But what of the Superseal or Delta solution with vinyl?

I appreciate any feedback, suggestions, experience, and advice.
Thanks
Jeff

I don't have drain in my walkout basement. It is outside. The only moisture I note so far is that the basement tends to get humid with various outdoor temperatures. I have to use Damp Rid in the closets that are next to the front wall that is below ground and change them about once every month in the summer.
 

Last edited by jefferis; 11-10-09 at 01:25 PM. Reason: more info
  #2  
Old 11-10-09, 01:41 PM
B
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Too long for the moment. Remember, a great solution for one basement may not work on another, all basements have moisture issues and when a pipe breaks or water heater leaks, it all goes to the basement and MUST be dried out before the mold starts. Which usually means ripping everything up to start over.

Here is a link to help.
BSI-003: Concrete Floor Problems —

Bud
 
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Old 11-11-09, 09:43 AM
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Thanks Bob, I'm going to try smaller questions :-)
 
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Old 11-11-09, 11:41 AM
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A few comments.

I heard that about dricore, too. Also like you I note it has changed design; if you see it now at home depot it has I think different bottoms than the older round ones. I may have dreamed it but perhaps in a dricor faq I read that they ahve had it submerged for up to 3 days without damage. My guess is that you can have a flood and it will dry out. However, it is wood, and untreated at that, and I am personally very hesitant to follow their advice on building my new basement walls on TOP of the dricor because if I ever have to remove it my framing all has to go, too. That sounds like no fun at all.

Insulation will be superior with the holmes on homes method, and it seems the same as baricade: 1" XPS on the floor with OSB two layers thick. Finehomebuilding has at least one article with this approach, too. Somebody in some other forum for some reason hated this approach as he said water got between his concrete and the foam and never came up. Of course over time it should because the concrete is porous but it could definitely take a long time. Probably minimized in severity if the gap around the edges of the flooring are foam-sealed.

I ran pricing between foam+OSB and dricor and they were close. I have to say I think dricor would be a great deal quicker to put in place, especially if you have uneven problems and can use their shims. I assume that around uneven parts on a floor with the foam approach you'll need either a lot of tapcons or leveling compound everywhere first.

I have no idea how much weight foam+OSB can take. I think foam is perhaps up to 25 PSI? That would be high, but the dricor faq did say they have put 5000lbs on a square foot, so definitely that stuff is super strong.

Regarding breathing, I think this depends on your situation. My concrete floor has a vapor barrier under it and the 12X12" patch test (foil or plastic on concrete sealed around edges with packing tape) demonstrated no moisture. I bet I could get away with less breathing concerns than somebody with a moist floor. If you have breathing issues again dricor is probably worth looking at.

I haven't looked into it yet but when I am finished my basement I intend on making sure my insurance covers all water damage so that if it does flood and have to all be replaced I won't have to be the one doing it. I want to finish my basement once and only once myself
 
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Old 11-11-09, 12:13 PM
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the feedback. That is helpful.
Jeff
 
 

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