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Old 04-27-2010, 11:35 AM   #1
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Looking for opinions on Finishing a Basement

I am currently planning to complete my unfinished basement and would like to have your opinions and suggestions

Here is my current plan

The basement walls and floor are all poured concrete
4 total rooms
- large rec room
- bathroom
- bedroom
- furnace/laundry/storage room
Live in Saskatchewan, Canada
- summers +40 deg C
- winters -40 deg C
So far no water or dampness issues have been seen

Proposed Steps:
1. Apply a coat(or two) of concrete sealer to the walls
- some water tight product to prevent water sepage
2. Install 2" foamboard(polystyrene) directly to the exterior walls
- using foamboard adhesive
- taping all joints
3. Frame entire basement
- going to use floating wall design to allow for expansions
- all bottom plates will be treated 2x4's
4. Install subfloor
- using 1/2" foamboard directly on the floor
- taping all joints
- then on top of that using 5/8" treated plywood
- secured to the floor using concrete scews
5. run all electrical and plumbing through walls
6. drywall and finish
7. complete ceiling install
- still havent decided to either go drywall or panels
8. Install flooring
- carpet except bathroom
9. Complete bathroom

As you have noticed on the exterior walls i am only using the foamboard then studs then drywall. From what i understand the foamboard acts like a vapour barrier and it is not a good idea to use any poly vapour barrier in the basements. Any thoughts on this?

Also i dont not want to use any fiberglass insulation between the studs becasue i have read that if that type of insulation gets wet it stays wet and can grow mold etc...... I could always use celulose insulation between the studs as it is mold resistant but i dont know if its nessesary or not. Any thoughts on this?

Please let me know any opinions or thoughts you have

Thanks in advanced!!


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Old 04-27-2010, 11:39 AM   #2
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If you haven't look for basement threads using the "search" function...you'll find more info than you want.


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Old 04-27-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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I'm just a homeowner, but I can't see how cellulose, which is biologic in origin, can be more mold resistant than inorganic fiberglass. My understanding is the reverse, that once cellulose gets wet, it'll never dry.

From my reading on another forum hosted by a TV show from your country, rock wool (Roxul?) is fairly water resistant. They regularly seem to put that in the stud bays on that forum.

I don't recall if they put in another vapor barrier on the inside, but it might depend on what the inspector wants, if applicable. Maybe vapor could condense somewhere in the fiberglass in your climate, even with 2", R10, on the wall.

You might not have to drill the floor. Some (again, on that other forum) use gobs of the adhesive to glue the wood down.

You also have to think of the rim joists. Most on the forums seem to prefer foam of some sort. I'm not sure what the house contractors are supplying, but I bet it's good old unfaced fiberglass. I put foam board in the rim joist bays, which is a pain, and I noticed some frost on the rim joist, but no deterioration (6 year old house). The plain old unfaced fiberglass might allow the moisture to dry when it gets warmer so maybe it's not a big deal. Sealing any air leaks in that area is important though.

I'm (slowly) doing my basement and so far have put a couple of layers of 2" foam on the walls. My walls are fairly flat and true. I glued one layer on, strapped it on with furring strips held on by tapcons, and glued a second layer (which I milled a slot in with a dado blade on a table saw). I haven't put the drywall on top of it yet, but I think it'll work. Not sure if it'll work, but you'll be able to bounce on that wall without making a hole in it. I plan on using DenseArmor sheetrock, but I'm not sure that's necessary.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions and opinions!!

Other questions I have is when creating the subfloor: foam+plywood combo
The best way to do this would be to finish the entire floor like this THEN build the walls over top correct?
or should i build all my walls first and build the subfloor around my framing?

I believe the first one is correct but can someone comment please and let me know for sure?

Thanks again
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:01 PM   #5
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By code you need a path of egress if you plan to add a bedroom down there.

This will require a egress window usually:

This is expensive but required!!! If you do not put this in you cannot sell the house as a +bedroom and this makes escape from the basement possible if there is a fire... no egress window + stairs on fire = well bad times.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:55 PM   #6
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What about recommendations for insulating the exterior walls?

Rright now I see 2 options:

1. Install 2" foamboard directly to the exterior walls using foamboard adhesive, and tuct taping all joints. Then build stud wall against it.

2. Install stud wall and install regular fiberglass insullation between the studs (obviously after i have run all electrical etc...) and then staple on some poly over top

Currently i am thinking of doing option 1 but while researching the materials it would be alot more expensive then option 2.

Would it be worth it? Or what are the advantages/disadvantages to both methods?



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