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Old 09-06-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
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finishing a basement - advice needed


I am planning to create some finished space in my walk-out basement and am looking for some ideas and suggestions.
It is a walkout basement. I plan to leave the "back" side (away from the walkout section) unfinished and create two rooms on the "walkout" side. I have sliding doors and large windows on that side.

For flooring, I am leaning towards Tyroc subfloor. While moisture is not an issue, I like the idea of some moisture protection. It also provides some insulation and a "softer" base than the bare concrete. On top of that I am looking at a laminate floor.

Ceiling height is about 12 ft (unfinished). I am thinking of finishing to a 9 ft height and leaving the area above that open. This is one of the things which has me wondering how to proceed.

I was thinking of extruded poly sheets (XPS) on the concrete and framing inside of that. Do I need to XPS the entire height of the wall? Just to the top of the areas which will be framed? Or simply above grade (which will be different heights along the walls)?

For wall framing, I am deciding between metal and wood studs. I am used to wood, but see that metal offers some advantages. Any pros/cons on these two choices?

If I go wood studs, are there any alternatives for the toe plate? I really dislike the idea of wood directly on a basement floor (or even the subfloor). While water isn't an issue now, there is always the possibility of a washing machine malfunction or other catastrophe.

How to best secure the framing? The toe plate can be secured through the subfloor to the foundation. Since I am not going the full 12ft+ to the joists, what is the best way to secure the top of the framing? I am thinking it can be anchored to 2x3 or 2x4 "furring strips" secured to the foundation wall. If so, should those strips be placed over the XPS? Also, what is the proper way to fireblock the framing in this situation?

Finally, I am wondering how to best insulate. I know fiberglass batting is "standard" for such projects, but would prefer an alternative. This home is in the country and mice are an issue. They seem to love the batting as a nesting place and I am trying to find an option that might not be so friendly to these critters.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Old 09-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #2
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finishing a basement - advice needed


There is a lot to answer and a lot of unknowns. Talk about taking a shot in the dark.

Provide before and after photos when completed.

Good luck.

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Old 09-06-2012, 01:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
There is a lot to answer and a lot of unknowns. Talk about taking a shot in the dark.

Provide before and after photos when completed.

Good luck.

While I appreciate the response, I was hoping for more than luck.

What are the unknowns which prevent a substantive answer to any of my questions? Maybe I phrased my questions wrong...

Tyroc: I have only heard positives. Any negatives?

Wood vs. Metal studs: Pros and Cons?

Using wood studs in basement: what is recommended for toe plate? Metal, pressure treated, regular lumber?

Framing a wall to less than full height of foundation wall: Best practices for securing top plate and fire blocking?

Insulation: Alternatives to fiberglass batting which are less appealing as a mouse nesting place?


Attached is a photo and diagram of the "before." I was hoping for a little more information before I arrived at the "after."
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:37 PM   #4
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finishing a basement - advice needed


If you haven't done this sort of work, may I suggest a book called "Taunton's Build Like a Pro - Remodeling a basement - Revised Edition"?

I am looking to re-do my basement as well and found it to be very useful.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #5
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finishing a basement - advice needed


12 FOOT CEILINGS??? Geez, I am jealous here finishing off a 1950s house with slightly less than 8 feet.

While not offering anything specific, I would recommend to look at the floor above and see if you will need to do any work (wiring, plumbing, etc.) up there. You will not have the same access that you do now.

I am going to carpet. It will give the basement a "warmer" feeling i believe. My outside landscape grading is spot on so I do not worry about moisture.

Search "basement insulation". There are a million good responses from GBR as to what to do.

Me: wood stud frame, pressure treated bottom plate, 1" XPS glued to walls.

If I were you, I would be tempted to frame as high as I could, if not all the way to the bottom of the floor joists. You can't have too high of a ceiling. Plus no fire blocking if you do that (I believe).

B
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Beepster;1004475]12 FOOT CEILINGS??? Geez, I am jealous here finishing off a 1950s house with slightly less than 8 feet.
{/quote]

Hehe. I had it built that way. Something I forgot to do in my old house and always regretted.

Quote:
While not offering anything specific, I would recommend to look at the floor above and see if you will need to do any work (wiring, plumbing, etc.) up there. You will not have the same access that you do now.
I don't think I would ever need access in that area. However, my plan for a 9' basement ceiling would leave me a 3' space above the finished area. Since the back half of the basement remains unfinished, that space is easily accessible.

Quote:
I am going to carpet. It will give the basement a "warmer" feeling i believe. My outside landscape grading is spot on so I do not worry about moisture.
I am not concerned about moisture, however, there is a washing machine in the unfinished area. I am too concerned about the "what if" possibilities. For what I have planned, the laminate will work better from a "design" standpoint. The two rooms will use area rugs on top of the laminate.

Quote:
Search "basement insulation". There are a million good responses from GBR as to what to do.
thanks. I will do that.


Quote:
Me: wood stud frame, pressure treated bottom plate, 1" XPS glued to walls.
I kind of figured that would be a good way to go. Been so long since I tackled a project like this, I wasn't sure if there were better ways. Seeing materials like "Tyroc" for subflooring reminds me that construction techniques have advanced in the past 20 years.

BTW - aside from the XPS, did you put any insulation?

Quote:
If I were you, I would be tempted to frame as high as I could, if not all the way to the bottom of the floor joists. You can't have too high of a ceiling. Plus no fire blocking if you do that (I believe).

B

Yes it is tempting to go full/almost full height with the ceiling. I think 9' is a good compromise. I just don't think an 11-12' ceiling will look right for what I have in mind. It also provides considerably less access space above for wiring, speakers, etc.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:32 PM   #7
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finishing a basement - advice needed


For flooring, I am leaning towards Tyroc subfloor. While moisture is not an issue, I like the idea of some moisture protection. It also provides some insulation and a "softer" base than the bare concrete. On top of that I am looking at a laminate floor.
- Know nothing of this product. Deal with moisture issues before finishing basement, don't rely on a product like this.


Ceiling height is about 12 ft (unfinished). I am thinking of finishing to a 9 ft height and leaving the area above that open. This is one of the things which has me wondering how to proceed.

- Can use a suspended ceiling like in many commercial spaces, they do make nice tiles for them. here is one company http://www.cgcinc.com/en/products/su...aspx?pType=DIY

- Or you could put in ceiling joists2x4 or 2x6 depending on span and drywall it.Or metal ceiling like old houses.


I was thinking of extruded poly sheets (XPS) on the concrete and framing inside of that. Do I need to XPS the entire height of the wall? Just to the top of the areas which will be framed? Or simply above grade (which will be different heights along the walls)?
- On entire wall, do a search on this forum and you should find lots. Also the Building Science website has loads of info.


For wall framing, I am deciding between metal and wood studs. I am used to wood, but see that metal offers some advantages. Any pros/cons on these two choices?
- Metal is lightweight, easy to cut, always straight, but have to learn how to do the details around windows and dorrs


If I go wood studs, are there any alternatives for the toe plate? I really dislike the idea of wood directly on a basement floor (or even the subfloor). While water isn't an issue now, there is always the possibility of a washing machine malfunction or other catastrophe.

- Bottom plate should be pressure treated and run a bead of acoustical sealant under it.


How to best secure the framing? The toe plate can be secured through the subfloor to the foundation. Since I am not going the full 12ft+ to the joists, what is the best way to secure the top of the framing? I am thinking it can be anchored to 2x3 or 2x4 "furring strips" secured to the foundation wall. If so, should those strips be placed over the XPS? Also, what is the proper way to fireblock the framing in this situation?

- Use full 12' wall and secure to bottom of floor is best,

Finally, I am wondering how to best insulate. I know fiberglass batting is "standard" for such projects, but would prefer an alternative. This home is in the country and mice are an issue. They seem to love the batting as a nesting place and I am trying to find an option that might not be so friendly to these critters.
- How flat/smooth/straight are the concrete walls?
You can use thicker Xps, some even come with 1x3 in them for fastening drywall to, but your walls have to be straight and smooth to use these.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:25 PM   #8
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mae-ling,

Thanks for the info. Moisture is not a problem at all. Just thinking "worst case" scenario down the road. I like the idea of a subfloor and one that has some moisture protection seems a better idea than one with no moisture protection.

Was definitely planning on some type of drop ceiling. Thanks for the link. Will give it a closer look when I get to that stage of the project.

On the insulation... are you suggesting thicker XPS in place of additional insulation between the studs? That would seem like a good solution for me.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:42 PM   #9
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Joe,

you could use the XPS laid on your concrete slab, tape the seams. install your wood sheathing subfloor over that. The XPS will provide you a separation from the concrete and the subfloor. Now you can install any type of flooring you desire.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:02 PM   #10
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Joe - you could go with thicker XPS then studs
or
IF your wall is flat , smooth, straight, put on the xps then put 1x3 strapping on it to attach your drywall to.
Or you can get a foam insulation with 1x3 already embedded into it.
Here is one brand http://www.nudura.com/en/insulatingbasmentwalls.aspx

Last edited by mae-ling; 09-06-2012 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:17 PM   #11
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Where are you located for the foam thickness?

The Nudura system is EPS foam, figure added thickness for the same R-value and retains way more (13%) incoming moisture (4.0) than XPS (0.3)--- look at the "blue" chart on R-value retained when wet -- https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...z5KEzgJVBCTo-g... and no glue to stop air movement -- http://joneakes.com/jons-fixit-database/743, and EITHER Tyvek (58 perms)n or Typar (16 perms)- quite the difference in vapor permeability for an air barrier- and drywall at (30perms)--- you want it vapor open for any moisture that does get past the XPS (unless the f.b. is very thick--- just ADA the drywall-- http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...wall-approach/. Use a poly/foam sill sealer under the p.t. bottom plate for an air/thermal/capillary break (even if you know the poly sheeting is under the slab; http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...-building-code
Otherwise the studs conduct the heat to the plate to warm the concrete/earth below, a good idea on interior walls as well. Fire-block at ceiling level between the studs to keep your family safe; an very good article by a fellow moderator-- How to fireblock framing

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Old 09-07-2012, 10:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR in WA
Where are you located for the foam thickness?
If you mean geographically, I am in NY state. From a chart that was mentioned in another thread, it seems I am in zone 6A.

Thanks much for the info and links. Lots of info to digest... Never realized this stuff could be so involved.

I had read through the fire blocking thread already. More great info.


At this point, I will probably go with Tyroc subfloor, XPS on the walls (thickness TBD, based on r value) and wood framing. I am hoping I can get enough r value from XPS to avoid batting in the studs.

I plan to keep my wall height at 9' and work out how to build the framing itself up the extra 3' to the joists above. This will leave an area above the ceiling (some from of wood ceiling - I have seen some products which look like t&g boards) which will be fully accessible from the unfinished side of the basement. Nice to be able to run AV wires without having to tear things apart.

I still have to work out some issues to properly fireblock the design. Again, the thread mentioned is a great reference for this.


With the XPS... I have seen some references to build framing 1" off the XPS (no contact). Other references say to build the frame on/in contact with the XPS. The Nudura with frame built in seems to support the second method. Is one way better, or does it matter?

Last edited by joe99; 09-07-2012 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #13
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New York has its own building code; pp. 34, on fire-blocking- notice required every 10’ horizontally; http://www.dos.ny.gov/DCEA/pdf/9E%20WB%20combined.pdf
You may also need other special considerations for the drop-ceiling cavity; eg. http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic...9_8_sec007.htm

R-10 continuous foam board is minimum code for your location; http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/ic..._11_sec002.htm

With a frost depth of 40-50”, and the above grade distance of 3’+- http://www.soundfootings.com/pdf/US_...t_DepthAVG.pdf, that’s 7’ of above grade cold. Compare that to the heat loss with different thickness of foam board; http://www.quadlock.com/technical_li...Insulation.pdf

Compare the same in the chart for different below-grade insulation systems stated on page 69; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...study-analysis Notice the moisture risks with different types of systems, a very good article.

I’d have a pre-permit meeting with the local AHJ to meet amendments, etc.
More on your empty wall and floor system later today…

Gary
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:15 PM   #14
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So you may need to fire-block the frame wall to the floor joists above, building the wall full height which also allows foam board full-height for a good air seal on the concrete wall. Local AHJ may require a p.t. stud every 10' of running wall, tight to the concrete for fire-blocking, off-set sistered next to a standard lay-out stud (use a capillary break sill sealer on the edge to concrete).
Tyrock floor sounds good although I personally would rather use FL, two reasons; they say a gap to concrete wall or perimeter wall for expansion is alright; http://www.tyrocinc.com/tyroc-installation-guide/ BUT, the whole idea of an impermeable material is to stop sub-slab moisture from reaching dryer framing material/living space, FL says- no perimeter gaps; 8th one down; http://www.cosella-dorken.com/bvf-ca...roducts/fl.php

I haven't yet found the perm rating on the Tyroc rubber-bottom material, though the FL is only 0.3 perms (good); http://www.cosella-dorken.com/bvf-ca...roducts/fl.php
The second reason is; you need a large air-space surface area to counter the moisture drive from the slab, equalizing with pressure to retard effectively. The rubber under the Tyrock appears to be way smaller air channels compared to the air space between dimples of the FL (1 to 5 or more?), that is very important to me anyway: 2nd para.; http://www.cosella-dorken.com/bvf-ca...roducts/fl.php

Explained further here, Figs. 2, 3: http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ms?full_view=1

The Tyrock core is better than plywood over FL, though you shouldn't need the added mold/mildew resistance the magnesium oxide supplies; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_oxide

OR, just use XPS, then plywood, or furring strips- photo 3; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...g-your-basment

Any air-space behind a wood frame wall chase requires fire-blocking every 10', an empty wall cavity MAY move heat to the top framed area due to convective loops IF the temperature differences are there. Air seal rigid f.b. to the rim joists; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...l_seal_rev.pdf

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Old 09-10-2012, 07:59 AM   #15
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Wow. That's an incredible amount of information. Thanks very much.

Delta FL looks like a good alternative to Tyroc. I will give the two options more thought.

One question on the FL... I see the options and method for installation with various floorings. Simple enough. What about framing walls (non-load bearing)? Does the FL get installed to the slab edge and then the wall built on top of that (similar to Tyroc)?

Along a similar line, will I be creating trouble with these two items:

1. there is existing framing around the stairs. The bottom plate is attached directly to the slab. I do not intend to remove this framing. I will install the subfloor system around it.

2. Only half the area is getting finished/framed. Subfloor, framing, etc. will only run be in the finished area. Is the edge between the finished and unfinished area a problem? I am guessing that I would install the subfloor material up to the edge of the finished area and seal it at that point. Some of the documents you link to discuss equalization of pressure and this makes me wonder if any issues would result in the area without a subfloor material.

Thanks.

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