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Discussion Starter #1
After water came in through the window casement during the snow thawing, it's time to fix this up. The window part is fixed and now i need to take a decision on the flooring of this 132 sq. ft bedroom.

The original floor was made like this:

1" by 1" wood slats spaced out on the cement floor
mix of plywood and osb sheets (with cedar shims to level a few places)
thin plastic sheet
1/8 " foam
laminante flooring.


Time to install a floor! I've kept the original laminante flooring (95% of it is not damaged from water) but here is where i'm confused.

Should i replace the wood slats with a plastic subfloor (example: delta - FL) due to the moisture? BTW I live in Northern Ontario

What's important to me is the moisture control and a leveled floor.

What do you guys think? Anyone else gone through something simular?
 

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General Contractor
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85 Posts
Skip the wood

cousy74,

Here in the Pacific Northwest, using wood in contact or near contact with a basement floor, even treated wood, is a risk. I also think shimming floors is a fussy process that can often go wrong. I steer clients to:

1) A level concrete floor, either with new concrete, a total new slab, self leveling compounds, or a mix of the above. Something solid, impervious to water, nothing organic.

2) An engineered basement floor panel/tile system (there are now a quite few manufacturers in addition to DRIcore) over the above.

3) Breathable/permeable/porous carpet tiles if we are going straight over concrete. I do not want to trap moisture between my floor layers. I am ok trapping it under my floor, but only if there is a drain system in place so the moisture has a place to go.

It also all depends on how wet/dry the basement has been to date and of course the budget.

Good luck, have fun,

Rory
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Rory,

After speaking to an uncle of mine that used to build houses. He told me that some of the home owners would ask to have sub floors and what he did was add floor vents in different areas so that air can cirulate underneath the sub floor. I never heard of that and never noticed theses in houses that i've visited. I'm thinking of adding 6-8 floor vents myself so that the moisture will have a better chance of escaping.
 

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Below Grader
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68 Posts
I would not use wood or wooden compounds on a basement floor at all.
Not as floor, not as subfloor. Even the driest basement has some moisture seeping in through the concrete. Wood soaks up moisture and supports mold growth.



In addition, moisture in basements comes from more than just ground water seepage. Think plumbing leaks, a leaky water heater tank, a sump pump failure, a running toilette, a backed up drain, a tree root clogging your drain tile. Let's not mention mother nature. According to Floodsmart.gov, 25% of the flood insurance claims filed are for areas within the "low risk flood zone".

There is a whole industry created around removing wet, moldy stuff from people's basements because people will just chose the wrong stuff to finish them.

There are many basement flooring options out there that are safe and can actually survive a typical basement flood. Some like these vinyl and carpet tiles, are all-in-one, and they don't need a subfloor, which saves you some inches if you have a low ceiling.



I suggest you look for them.
 
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