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Old 10-22-2009, 01:05 PM   #1
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Comparisons of different ways to build floor on concrete


What are the pros and cons to the different types of floors you can build on concrete?

The concrete in question is the basement floor in my house. House is fairly new (5 years), no leaks and basement is un-finished.

I have looked at the Dricore system at the local HD, however that will cost me over $3K and then on top of that installing laminate or hardwood will be another couple of $K's.

Can someone help me with the pros and cons of other floor types versus the Dricore and approximate costs?

Approximate area to cover is 1500 sq. feet.

TIA!

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Old 10-23-2009, 07:52 AM   #2
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Comparisons of different ways to build floor on concrete


acid-stain & seal w/vapor transmittable sealer + throw rugs - $ 2.50 - $ 6.00sf

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Old 10-27-2009, 10:23 AM   #3
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Comparisons of different ways to build floor on concrete


Before the dricore stuff, we just used PT 2x2 or 2x4(flat), 16" OC with standard 3/4 plywood on top. If you want to get fancy, you can level it while you work by snapping chalklines where your joists will be on the floor. Then use a laser pointed down each chalkline, and measure from the laser to the floor every 16 inches, and write the measurement on the floor. You will end up with a 16" grid on the floor. Then use these measurements to rip treated lumber so that it accomodates for sags and humps. When you put plywood on top, leave 1/4" around the edges for expansion. No need to attach joists to the concrete, as the floor can "float" The cost for this will probably be cheaper, and the finished product much easier to walk on. It eliminates individual panels rocking on a bump in the floor.
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Old 10-27-2009, 03:41 PM   #4
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Comparisons of different ways to build floor on concrete


Quote:
Originally Posted by CustomBuild View Post
Before the dricore stuff, we just used PT 2x2 or 2x4(flat), 16" OC with standard 3/4 plywood on top. If you want to get fancy, you can level it while you work by snapping chalklines where your joists will be on the floor. Then use a laser pointed down each chalkline, and measure from the laser to the floor every 16 inches, and write the measurement on the floor. You will end up with a 16" grid on the floor. Then use these measurements to rip treated lumber so that it accomodates for sags and humps. When you put plywood on top, leave 1/4" around the edges for expansion. No need to attach joists to the concrete, as the floor can "float" The cost for this will probably be cheaper, and the finished product much easier to walk on. It eliminates individual panels rocking on a bump in the floor.
Any need for a vapor barrier?

I don't quite understand this part - "If you want to get fancy, you can level it while you work by snapping chalklines where your joists will be on the floor. Then use a laser pointed down each chalkline, and measure from the laser to the floor every 16 inches, and write the measurement on the floor. You will end up with a 16" grid on the floor. Then use these measurements to rip treated lumber so that it accomodates for sags and humps. "

regarding how to make sure the floor is level.

Can you please explain some more for this noob? Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:33 PM   #5
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Comparisons of different ways to build floor on concrete


Chipboard is a popular choice here. Usually 18mm T&G laid on 50mm slabs of polystyrene insulation. Joints staggered and glued. A vapour check is usually laid over the insulation on new work to prevent trapped construction water getting to the boards. This is one of the cheaper methods.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:23 PM   #6
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Comparisons of different ways to build floor on concrete


Trying to describe construction is harder than actually doing the work! Ok, lets focus on just one joist. We are to assume that you know where you are going to put your joists, and have the layout snapped on the concrete. You can set the laser level any where on the floor, but preferably at the highest point. A laser that projects a horizontal line works best, that way you can just point it in the general direction of your work. Then starting at the wall on one joist layout, measure from the floor to the laser line, and write that measurement on the floor. Continue in this fashion, every 16" on the same joist layout. Lets say your measurements are 4", 4-1/8", 4-1/4", 4-1/4", and 4-3/8". You need to know how high the line is off the foor, so you measure from the floor to the line directly in front of the laser. This gives you a baseline. So, if this measurement is 4", and you want a minimum of 1-1/2" joist, then you will be subtracting 2-1/2" from each of the measurements to know how thick the joist should be at that particular point on the "grid". Now to make a joist. Start by marking 16" increments along the length of the lumber you will be using. Then transfer the measurements on the floor to the corresponding mark on your board, subtracting 2-1/2" from each measurement. In this example, you will have a + mark at 16",1-1/2"; 32",1-5/8"; 48",1-3/4"; 60",1-3/4"; and 72",1-7/8". Then it is just a matter of connecting the + marks with a straightedge and cutting! Just be sure to have the blade on the same side of the line every cut you make. I hope this wasn't too drawn out or hard to follow. I tend to get longwinded when there is noone there to stop me.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:29 PM   #7
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Comparisons of different ways to build floor on concrete


Guess I wasn't longwinded enough. I forgot to answer your other question. Most new construction codes require a vapor barrier to be placed on top of the gravel, and under the slab, so one isnt needed. Anything you do put there, in my mind, will just catch any spills that find their way under the floor.

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