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Old 10-06-2010, 02:14 PM   #31
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Basement subfloor questions


Came across an article from a canadian newspaper regarding FAQ on how to finish a basement with Mike holmes.........(subfloor, walls etc etc)

EVERYONE KNOWS MIKE HOLMES RIGHT ???

I am NOT a flooring expert by all means (never claimed to be) and have prepared some floors the exact same way explained in this article and I was told by the "professionals" that it was wrong........ok then, thats fine with me. I still feel it is a much better method than alot of other methods out there.

Anyway........I cant believe Mr. Mikey is making tonnes of $$$$ educating people the wrong way.....


=================================================

'How should I properly insulate my unfinished basement?" That's one of the most popular questions I (Mike holmes) get asked by readers. One, from Longlac, Ont., wrote in to ask how far he had to go down his basement wall with interior insulation. He'd been told different things by various contractors he'd had in to quote on the job — but the general advice was that he only had to go two feet below the outside grade.
No! This is not only wrong, it will lead to problems in the long run. I guess those contractors were thinking that the temperature of soil below the frost line remains fairly constant year round. It's the upper part of your basement that has wider fluctuations in temperature.
But it's more complicated than that, and you need to educate yourself before you get a contractor in to do the job.
The most important thing about finishing your basement is to make sure to insulate the space properly, or you are just going to create the perfect environment for mould and mildew to thrive. Exposure to mould and mildew can lead to health problems — not the kind of thing you want your family exposed to.
Most people think insulation is important because it keeps the basement warm in winter, but it's even more important in the summer, when heat and humidity can cause a lot of moisture to build up.
Because basements are mostly underground, they have a unique situation with regard to air temperature. At the level of the basement floor — many feet below grade — the temperature remains fairly constant, just like the soil outside your foundation walls.
But, as you go up toward the ceiling, the temperature will rise. The air temperature near the ceiling of your basement is always higher than at floor level.
So, what's the big deal with that?
The big deal is, once you've finished your basement (if you haven't insulated properly), warm air from inside your nice new drywall will come into contact with the foundation walls behind the insulation. Warm air holds moisture, and this moisture will condensate when the air cools as it comes into contact with the cold exterior wall. This moisture will collect in your insulation, in your wood framing, and even pool at floor level behind your finished walls. Mould spores — which are everywhere — will flourish.
And, no matter what, if you insulate your basement the same way you do an above-grade wall — using wood studs against the wall, with batt insulation in between and vapour barrier over that — you will have air movement and problems with condensation, and very likely, with mould.
I recommend you use rigid foam insulation against all the outside walls and the floor — two inches thick on the walls and one inch thick on the floor. This foam comes ship-lapped, so each piece fits snugly against the next with no gaps.
Be sure to glue the foam to your walls and floor with an adhesive that is rated for use on foam, otherwise it will ruin your insulation. Each seam should be tuck-taped, and spray foam used to fill any gaps around the edges.
Then, install studs over the top of the foam layered walls and 3/4" tongue & groove plywood over the top of the foam layered floor and finish your basement. I'd recommend using mould-resistant drywall as well. (All rigid foam insulation is mould and mildew resistant and won't hold moisture, even if you have a flood in your basement.)
What this will do is create a thermal break between the air inside your basement and the air outside. It will eliminate any air movement behind the walls that could lead to condensation.
Think of it like a beer cooler — they are made of rigid foam insulation. It might be a hot sunny day at the beach, but inside, your beer stays cold and the ice doesn't melt. And there's no dripping condensation on the outside of your cooler either. That's what the thermal break does.
It's the same as for newer toilet tanks — they all come lined with rigid foam to stop the annoying drip of condensation you used to get on old toilet tanks, caused by the cold water inside the tank meeting the warm air of the bathroom.
It makes sense to finish your basement and take advantage of that extra living space — for a family room, media room or playroom for the kids. But make sure you insulate the space properly, or you are just going to create the perfect environment for mould and mildew to thrive.


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Old 10-06-2010, 09:40 PM   #32
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Basement subfloor questions


i'm surprised nobody mentions some of the products that were designed for this purpose.

dimpled sheets: deltaFL, platon
interlocking tile: dricore, subflor, barricade

i have no arguments to which is better, but the OP wants to find solutions and these are some, in addition to the "traditional" methods that have already been mentioned.

Last edited by acerunner; 10-06-2010 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:38 PM   #33
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Basement subfloor questions


Mike Holmes is bright and entertaining but to me he is to contracting as the late Steve Irwin was to zoology. Both competent but neither the end all authority in their respective areas of expertise. To me ceramic tiles and thinet are a perfect finish to a ordinary basement slab. Of course this assumes the slab is sound and w/o unusual defects like a crack the size of the San Andreas Fault with a stream of water flowing through. Any other flooring choice should allow the concrete to breathe to prevent mold and other nasty problems. Just my perspective.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:47 PM   #34
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Mike holmes doesn't know about installers that have eaten their work for dinner....retired guy and Rusty have laid some floors....look at holmes.....He is a glorified salesman....his knees don't hurt....I'm about due for knee replacements after 15 yrs of installation.....
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:34 PM   #35
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Aaron, you know the old saying, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink". Some people come on here wantng to be told that they are doing things right, when told they aren't, they don't like it.
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:05 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaroncarpet View Post
Mike holmes doesn't know about installers that have eaten their work for dinner....retired guy and Rusty have laid some floors....look at holmes.....He is a glorified salesman....his knees don't hurt....I'm about due for knee replacements after 15 yrs of installation.....
Im sure if anyone here had Mr.Holmes' bank account for the last 10 years the knees wouldn't be hurting as much considering they would have probably cut down (or even stopped) with the physical labour by now.


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Some people come on here wantng to be told that they are doing things right, when told they aren't, they don't like it.
Care to elaborate ?
Anyone in particular you referring too ?
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:59 PM   #37
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Holmes is like most TV contractors. "Jack of all trades, master of none." A modern day Bob Vila. Growing up I worked for my father, a GC, who did everything. In those days, we poured the foundation, framed the house, did the plumbing, electrical, drywall, everything. When I finished my military time, I started doing floors. So yes, I know when someone on here or on TV doesn't have a clue. And I see a lot of it.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:47 AM   #38
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I see...........

I've also encountered (and know) tons of "professionals" out there whos work I wouldnt recommend to a single person out there....even if they were last contractor standing. Heck! some of them call themselves professionals just because they've been doing work for years & years & years.

I simply say just because you've been doing it for a long time dont mean your doing it right.........and unfortunately alot of times that is the case.
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:03 PM   #39
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Holmes, Vila, Dean Johnson, Norm, they all do some stuff wrong.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:29 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by retired guy 60 View Post
....To me ceramic tiles and thinet are a perfect finish to a ordinary basement slab..... Any other flooring choice should allow the concrete to breathe to prevent mold and other nasty problems. Just my perspective.
I have a slab on grade downstairs room that I had to remove the wood floor from due to mold/fungus decaying the 50 year old wood. There was no sign of water intrusion, but a drop cloth left on the concrete floor for a few days is a little bit damp. I've killed the mold/fungus, patched the small holes left by breaking out the masonry nails [which held 2x4 sleepers]. I plan to put Pergo flooring down.

Do you think I should use a concrete sealer to keep moisture down?

Pergo recommends that I use a vapor barrier and nothing else. I'm inclined to seal the concrete, put down ridgid foam insulation and Pergo on top of that.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:41 AM   #41
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With sealer, moisture can accumulate, gravitate to the edges and wick up the walls.
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:18 PM   #42
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With sealer, moisture can accumulate, gravitate to the edges and wick up the walls.
how about densifiers or epoxies? Are those any good at controling moisture? Is there such a product that can seal the moisture well enough to the point where you can freely put down any flooring material you want?
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:06 PM   #43
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I installed Pergo Accolade laminate in my upstairs bedroom and it was inexpensive, easy to install and looks really nice. This product has a foam-like pad on the bottom surface and does not require anything additional . Like all laminates refinishing is not possible so when my HVAC guy dropped a tool, the only way to repair the damage was to replace the board which was fortunately at the end of the run. I would never install this product in a basement where there is any dampness or the possibility of a water leak. The Pergo I used seems to have a masonite base under the laminate surface and this material will swell from dampness and absolutely self destruct from standing water.
Now a bit of trivia. While the television home repair and renovation personas that are popular today such as Holmes, Johnson, Abrams might make a decent living, Bob Vila was only earning a high school teacher's salary way back when. After he became a spokesman for Sears Craftsman tools to boost his income, the producers of the show felt there was a conflict of interest and when they could not come to a compromise they gave him an ultimatum. That was the end of Bob Vila's role on This Old House.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:11 PM   #44
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Quote:
Is there such a product that can seal the moisture well enough to the point where you can freely put down any flooring material you want?
NO!

Boy, that'll get an argument going I suppose!

Basement concrete floors are always susceptible to rising moisture. Moisture is always present to some degree. A natural phenomenon is for moisture of this type to seek evaporation. To evaporate, it must rise. Trying to seal it [in] isn't at all practical in most cases. For long lasting results without mold and mildew a floor must be allowed to breathe (evaporate). Tile is the most practical application for the promotion of overall uniform evaporation of the substrate.

If a tarp left on the floor has resulted in moisture on the tarp, then there is moisture in floor.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:28 PM   #45
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[quote=Bud Cline;515620]NO!

Boy, that'll get an argument going I suppose!

Basement concrete floors are always susceptible to rising moisture. Moisture is always present to some degree. A natural phenomenon is for moisture of this type to seek evaporation. To evaporate, it must rise. Trying to seal it [in] isn't at all practical in most cases. For long lasting results without mold and mildew a floor must be allowed to breathe (evaporate). Tile is the most practical application for the promotion of overall uniform evaporation of the substrate.

I agree. Just a question regarding this. Isn't it possible to waterproof a slab at the time it is poured either by putting a vapor barrier below it or laying out a barrier so it lies midway within the slab? I'm thinking that the slab might suffer weakness with the barrier imbeded within it, assuming it can be done.

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