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Old 09-25-2011, 11:36 AM   #1
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OSB Floor Without Vapor Barrier - Smart?


I'm posting this so somebody can stop me before I mess this up.

My plan is to lay 3/4" tongue & groove OSB 4X8 sheets on a painted basement floor and let it float.

I built a 24' by 12' workshop in my basement. The basement has a premium lifetime guarantee waterproof job done by the most reputable company in Atlanta. The floor is concrete painted white. I would have left it at that except I have to wheel around 600 lb machines on casters and the floor has pock marks and little divots; these also make sawdust cleanup difficult. Thus I needed to flatten the floor. There are three problems preventing the obvious way to flatten.

1.) I don't want to raise the floor height significantly, because my machine won't fit within the low ceilings.
2.) The painted concrete floor makes self-leveling compound or epoxy difficult to adhere. I can't grind the floor down to remove the paint b/c it voids my waterproofing.
3.) My budget is <$300.

The house is 1930's so the basement floor probably doesn't have a vapor barrier. At any rate, it's been bone dry for the 6 months I've live there. Basement also has a full-basement dehumidifier.

A contractor told me to put down a 6 mil vapor barrier below the plywood floor I plan to lay. However, my current plan is to skip the vapor barrier because I'm afraid it would promote mold/mildew more than just letting it breath. The OSB I bought seems perfect...

"Home Advantage is an enhanced OSB Sturd-I-Floor with built-in moisture resistance throughout the panel and an edge seal to help prevent costly edge swell. Home Advantage has a smooth, fully sanded surface and lies flat for easy installation"

I can't put screws in the floor and I'm planning to not even use construction adhesive. That way, if I do have a moisure issue and need to replace a damaged sheet, I'll just pull it up and replace it. I doubt a floating floor will cause any problems with all the heavy machines on them holding them down.

So, how wrong am I?
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:45 PM   #2
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Bump.

Really? Nobody is touching this one? Is this the wrong forum?
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:48 PM   #3
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No plastic. Use t and g then lock down with 1x4 baseboard.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:52 PM   #4
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Eric,
Just saw your post now. Tough one to call. I'm not an osb fan, but that's just personal preference. Is you concrete floor flat enough that when you put the osb down it's going to be in contact with the concrete and not flex when you walk on it? I'm not sure how flat sheet goods will stay when not nailed down in a traditional fashion. A lot of times I see sheets in a nice stack at the box stores that have some warpage to them just sitting there. I guess you could try it, seeing as you bought the osb already. Since you're not fastening it, if it doesn't work, you can always pull them up and change your plan. Let us know what happens.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:04 AM   #5
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They make a rubber underlayment just for that purpose. Saw a display in the back lumber aisle at Mennards...I have never used it
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:18 AM   #6
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The panels will warp over time. Having the machinery on top might help, but more than likely, it will be an issue. Make sure you allow spacing at all edges of the sheet and at all walls.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loneframer
The panels will warp over time. Having the machinery on top might help, but more than likely, it will be an issue. Make sure you allow spacing at all edges of the sheet and at all walls.
He could also put a group of relief cuts on the back of the boards.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:14 PM   #8
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These answers are pretty helpful. I like OhioHomeDoctor's idea of T & G and locking down perimeter with baseboards.

So...my no-vapor-barrier idea is sound?
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricCJacobson View Post
These answers are pretty helpful. I like OhioHomeDoctor's idea of T & G and locking down perimeter with baseboards.

So...my no-vapor-barrier idea is sound?

The roll on coating the waterproofing company did should be the vapor barrier..
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:13 PM   #10
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vapour barrier


Tape a piece of poly to the floor and see if moisture appears.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:15 PM   #11
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I think you are kidding yourself my friend.

You have concrete and you want to roll 600 pound equipment over the concrete but the concrete has some divots so you would rather go through of this than fix the divots?

That OSB will be all over the place in six months. Baseboard isn't going to change (or hold down) the field seams.
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