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csihde 01-13-2010 10:08 PM

Nail or glue tack strips in a drain tiled basement?
My wife and I built a house three years ago, and chose not to finish the basement at that time. Well, now seems like the time. I plan to do much of the work myself (framing, electric, basic plumbing, rock, etc), but we plan to have the carpet professionally installed. I stopped into one of the big box stores and they told me they would not use nail-in tack strips because my house has drain tile around the perimeter.

Does that sound correct? If so, is liquid nails going to do the job? They want to charge me $3.50 a linear foot to do it, so I want to get another opinion before I tackle myself.

Any help is appreciated, thanks.

user1007 01-13-2010 11:09 PM

Find an independent installer to talk with. The big box stores just subcontract out anyhow. And I would get your carpeting at a real flooring store, not a box store. You will find better quality options.

Liquid nails is great stuff but if properly stretched, carpeting puts a lot of pressure on the tack strips. Conceptually, gluing them down sounds weird to me but check with an installation pro.

Sure you want carpeting in a basement?

rusty baker 01-14-2010 07:09 AM

Liquid nail won't hold. Use PL400 or Chemrex. Installers use KoolGlide glue sticks or the Pam system.

csihde 01-16-2010 08:53 PM

Thanks for the reply. Any thoughts using nails around the drain tiled perimeter? Is there a risk of doing damage to something that I can't see?

We plan to use carpet for a couple of reasons:

1) cost - don't want to lay a subfloor ($) so we can install a laminate/natural wood floor ($$). The floor plan is allowing for family room, and two bedrooms, so we would certainly do carpet in bedrooms as well.
2) comfort - we prefer the feel of carpet, especially in a family room.

just tile 01-17-2010 06:26 PM

rusty is right liquid nails wont hold. i am from oklahoma and not familiar with drain tile. what is it for?

csihde 01-17-2010 08:34 PM

The drain tile is designed to keep water out of the basement. (I found this link which helps describe: We have a new house, so as I understand it, it is a trench that channels water into a sump pump that we have under our stairs.

We live in MN, and during the summer time when it rains a lot, I can hear it running every 15 minutes or so. There is a tube that channels the water out and away from the house.

Not sure why it is called 'drain tile', as I cannot see anything when looking at the basement floor. I am assuming that it is all around the exterior perimeter, which is why I don't understand why they won't use nails; must be to prevent cracking, cause they said they would use nails on interior walls. I have also used a Ramset to fasten my partition walls that I have installed without any issues. So it sounds like glue is the way to go: PL400 or Chemrex (per rusty's post).

just tile 01-17-2010 09:26 PM

the best way to attatch tack strip is to use aluminum nails with a special drill bit that any carpet installer should have. i have been using one for several years. i am a flooring installer from tulsa oklahoma. 27 years on the job. very seldom does any kind of glue hold tack strip well enough to put a good stretch on it. good luck. and thank you for telling me what drain tiles are.

rusty baker 01-17-2010 09:49 PM

Sometimes the concrete above drain tiles is so thin that you will break thru if you try to nail tackstrip above it.

stubborn1 01-18-2010 08:15 PM

IF the basement slab was poured correctly, you should have 4" of solid concrete at the perimeter and be well clear of the drain tile. The drain tile belongs in the granular fill beneath your slab - not in it. When I hired a carpet installer for my basement, he glued the tack strips and shot them to the slab. I ended up paying about $1/SY premium for the basement install. Try talking to a carpet store instead of a big box retailer.

just tile 01-19-2010 09:21 PM

we get 4.50 a sq.yd. here. i may not be the best info for this question. but we powerstretch everything. that may not be proper procedure there. if we dont here we get wrinkles with in a few months.good luck with your project.

rusty baker 01-19-2010 09:32 PM

If it's not powerstretched, it's not properly installed.

My Old House 01-24-2010 12:39 AM

In new construction, drain tiles should be installed on the outside of your foundation, next to the wall's footing. There should not be any chance of cracking such a drain, since it is on the other side of the wall. In retrofits, these tiles are installed at the interior perimeter out of necessity ($$$), and could be just below the floor slab. If the slab is poured to the recommended 4" thickness (contractor did not cut corners) then using a mechanical fastener - carefully - should not be a problem. My first concern would be cracking the slab though, not the drain tiles. Simple carpeting tack strips do not require nails or other fasteners to penetrate through the slab. I can't tell you what you should do, as I am not a flooring installer or contractor, but I do know about how buildings are put together. I would question the local advice you received.

rusty baker 01-24-2010 09:26 AM

But why take a chance when there are adhesives that will hold the tack strip?

firehawkmph 01-24-2010 07:29 PM

In our area up north, it is common practice and actually code in my town to put footer draintile both inside and outside of the footing, schedule 35 pvc. They are tied together and either drain into an inside sump crock, or if it is a sloped enough lot, drains outside by gravity.
And Stubborn is correct, it should be placed at the base of the footing, which places it in the granular fill actually about 4" under the concrete. Code around here calls for 3" minimum thickness for basement slabs, although many are poured at 4".
When I finished my basement, the carpet installers used tackless and nailed it down with no problems.
Mike Hawkins:)

[quote=My Old House;387884]In new construction, drain tiles should be installed on the outside of your foundation, next to the wall's footing.

My Old House 01-25-2010 10:48 AM

That is interesting mph. I am not necessarily surprised by a double drain tile system, especially in a particularly wet location - you must live near enough to Lake Erie, or have an otherwise high water table maybe? Anyway, it is surprising to me that an exterior drain tile system would be brought back under the foundation to join with the interior system and drain into the sump well together . . . This means that the drain would have to either be pumped over the footing and drain across and into the sump well, or drop below the footing and drain over to the sump. The first option is expensive and the second seems unwise.

I am not a PE, and have not done any residential design work in the Midwest, but my logic would tell me to let the exterior system drain away from the house separately, or at least wait to rejoin with the interior drain AFTER the excess water is ejected from the sump. I would certainly not channel exterior water under my house and tie into the interior drainage system (assuming a single common sump). This would more than triple the amount of water going into the sump well, reducing its efficiency, life span of the pump, and also vastly increase the liklihood that the system will be overloaded and fail anyway. I'm sure there must be a reason why a building code would specify that kind of system - I just cannot think of why it might be a good idea . . . :wink: This is interesting for sure.

But again, I'm not a PE. So what do I know?

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