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Old 03-29-2019, 03:52 PM   #1
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Basement remodeling questions


Hello, I am going be remodeling my basement hopefully soon (just gotta get all correct information then can start). I will
Be sitting my basement up where 1/4 of it will be a office area, while the rest is going be a open plan for pool table/ tv and such. My house was built in 2001 and the basement walls are cinder block. I do have a current efflorescence issue but rerouting downspouts and getting yard graded properly to solve that.

The 1/4 room will also be where my furnace is located, will be putting a wall up directly behind it which will divide the basement up.

From doing massive research and getting confused on insulation whether to use a VB or not, it looks like the more I read using foam board caulked to my block and then putting my studs on that, then I’ll insulate in them is the way to go. I am not positive if I should go with 1” foam or 1 1/2” or 2”, so any advice on that is great. Also old owners painted the block wall white, should I use a certain caulk for this? I prefer not to nail or screw foam board just for simple ease of mind knowing if I don’t add any holes no moisture would come in that way.

When reading about the foam board route they say to use a fire blocker, stated was gypsum board, is this the preferred route or should I look at something else?

Lastly is flooring, I am ether doing LVT or carpet tile. I have read do subfloor as in either dmx and plywood on top or get the 2x2 plywood pieces with the rubbing bottom piece already attached. But recently I saw someone say foam board and plywood on top. What is best route to take of this?

I live in Southern NJ, get snow in the winter and heat during summer. Now we don’t get below 0 temp’s often in winter, actually our winters haven’t been to bad lately but yes sometimes it has gotten in the teens. Don’t know if this info helps or not.
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Old 03-29-2019, 07:48 PM   #2
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Re: Basement remodeling questions


The more foam (right type as well), the better.

On the caulking question, just use one that is foam compatible is all. Most of the foam manufacturers will have a recommendation. Depending on the foam, it must be covered and your drywall will suffice here.

Foam on the floor works as well if you are looking for warmer floors. Again, pay special attention to the type of foam with and sealing it at the seams properly.
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:27 PM   #3
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I have been reading to go with XPS foam on walls, is that the best option?

Thank you on that information with floor. For my bottom plate of the walls I’ll be building, should I put a tar paper under it so it’s sits on that instead of bare concrete?
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:28 AM   #4
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Re: Basement remodeling questions


XPS works well here.



Best bet it to put the bottom plate under the foam. Accomplishes both a thermal and capillary break.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:03 AM   #5
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Re: Basement remodeling questions


I'm not sure which "fire blocker" you're referring to, but there are two scenarios. One is some foam can not remain exposed, so a drywall cover takes care of that. The other is to provide blocking behind the top plate of wall to cover the gap between that wall and the CMU foundation.

The flooring usually boils down to a cost issue vs. your preference for "warmer" floors more than anything. The "Dri-core" squares are very expensive, even if you build it yourself with the dimpled plastic ("Platon") and lay full plywood sheets on top of it. My preference is any plywood on a basement slab should allow some "breathing" (concrete will have moisture even if the vapor barrier underneath was done correctly) and the basement will at some time have some water intrusion. So I wouldn't lay foamboard over it, but that's me.

For the plate, some people just use bare PT wood, some cut poly under it, the best though is probably the foam sill gasket.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:11 AM   #6
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Re: Basement remodeling questions


Hopefully your plans for finishing the basement involve looking at the HVAC too. You don't really need much heating/cooling, but air movement is key.

Also a typical fail is in enclosing the furnace area of gas appliances. You need a certain amount of combustion air if not dealing with direct vented furnace/WH.
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:57 PM   #7
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Yes I am getting a new furnace/condenser and tankless water heater. With that new duct work and adding some vents into the basement, 3 maybe 4 vents. From what I was told with the new high efficiency furnaces I can have a wall almost right up against the furnace but the front I need space for servicing and such. Now I’m not putting the wall right up against it but not to far either.

I was going go with all metal studs, do you think I should put the bottom metal stud plate onto a PT board? I thought about it so molding could be nailed to something but then thought it was over kill.

What I took from an article I read, put the foam board up on wall, then either use woofing fern strips and then screw your drywall to that, or foam board on wall then your 2x4 studs (wooden or metal) then drywall. But because the foam board is flammable it is recommend to put some sort of fireblock involved, which they stated gypsum board.

Now for 1/4 of the basement (separate room) I am planning on doing metal 2x4 walls foam board and probably even some insulation as well. Using metal studs because walls will be holding a lot of things. While the rest of basement (which a wall is going be dividing the rooms) might just do the foam and wood fern strips so I save some more space but not positive on that.

Far as flooring, I just want to do it right the first time, now obviously doing right would be getting house fully waterproofed and yadda yadda but I didn’t win that lovely lottery so I’m doing the best I can with the money I have. If the foam board on the slab with plywood on top is the best option I’ll do that. If the dricore is better then ok I’ll do that, whatever you guys think I’m the noob on this info. If you say foam board route what size thickness for floor is recommended?
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:38 PM   #8
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Re: Basement remodeling questions


No input on construction tips but have you confirmed you can get the pool table down there? Don't laugh - it's happened. I've heard of people resorting to cutting a slot in the main floor.
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Old 03-31-2019, 06:49 AM   #9
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Re: Basement remodeling questions


I don't see the "gain" in using steel studs in a basement setting. More difficult to install, and they can rust eventually. Using a PT plate and SPF studs and top plates will suffice and be easier to install.

If the floor is reasonably smooth and flat (not necessarily level) I would go with LVT and save money on not installing DriCore or foam. If you have any water/moisture intrusion it won't go away on its own, even with those products.

2" XPS on the walls and tape the joints with Tyvek tape. Use the glue for attachment to the CMU that is called for. Some will just eat the XPS, so be aware.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:41 AM   #10
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No that is not a dumb question it is smart, for now the Bilco door is being used to get everything big in, then once all that is in the Bilco doors are being removed and I’m either doing a egress window or just having it all filled it, Bilco doors are great but not dealing with the leaking issue.

The two main reasons I was picking metal studs was 1 dead on straight, and 2 when talking to someone he was advising me to go with metal especially in basement where water can occur omfor simple factor that he has seen water hit wooden studs and the water seep up high on those boards and cause issues.

Concrete slab is smooth, by Bilco doors were a leak happened it cause the slab to crack, so that is going to get address and leveled. So you think just LVT on the slab? Wouldn’t the LVT get damaged from the moisture?
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:23 PM   #11
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Re: Basement remodeling questions


I assume if you ever move from the house that the pool table will convey.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:49 AM   #12
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Re: Basement remodeling questions


I'm basically doing what Chandler is recommending.
2" XPS on walls - check
PT plate with standard studs and top plate.
LVT on floor-although I have to do some minor repairs to concrete

For the foam adhesive, Home Depot (and I'm sure others) has a specific adhesive/caulk for foam board. Its relatively cheapish too, but you need a lot of it. I think I used about 1 tube for every 1.5 boards.

I also now feel like I own stock in "Great Stuff" since with my waste runs running down the middle, I had to fill in a lot with the spray, and used it to go around the squares I cut for the rim joists.


For taping the seams, I did too much research and drove myself crazy. For what its worth, I came across the below testing...

https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com...0-%20final.pdf
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