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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm demo'ing the separate basement suite in my 1970's bi-level in order to rebuild and rejoin it to the house (need the space).

There was a spongy spot on the floor in a bedroom closet. Just got the carpets up and discovered this:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/7oqdxx2cLg4H9fYb9

The subfloor "joists" are 2x lumber embedded in the (rough) concrete. They do not appear to be pressure treated. There is no vapor barrier on the concrete.

Anyone ever deal with this before? I need to replace the floor and would like to do so minimizing cost and maximizing headroom (low ceiling down here).

Any insights - especially from experience - are much appreciated.
 

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retired framer
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Nope. That's a new one for me. I would demo it depending on how deep the footing is you may gain a few inches too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The wood sleepers (I think that is the better term for the 2x wood under the floor) seem quite loose in the concrete, actually, so removal shouldn't be too bad.

Is it possible to pour a ~1" layer of concrete on the old concrete to level and smooth it? Will there be cracking or breakage due to the old/new interface and the thinness of the new?
 

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retired framer
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The wood sleepers (I think that is the better term for the 2x wood under the floor) seem quite loose in the concrete, actually, so removal shouldn't be too bad.

Is it possible to pour a ~1" layer of concrete on the old concrete to level and smooth it? Will there be cracking or breakage due to the old/new interface and the thinness of the new?
If you can get one out you will be able to see what is under it, maybe there is another slab under there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did some more wrecking and updated the album with some more photos.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/7oqdxx2cLg4H9fYb9

The wood sleepers have flat concrete below them. I can't tell if they were laid on hard concrete with more poured between them, or if it was a single pour. Concrete folks can maybe advise?

My naive ideas at this point:
1. Jackhammer out the whole thing (as suggested), possibly lowering the floor (with possible underpinning of foundation as a result) and repour the basement slab ($$$$$$$ - hiring that one out)
2. Put pressure-treated lumber back in those nice 2X4 slots (with/without poly? with/without foam?) and lay down a new 3/4" PT plywood floor. ($$ - can do myself)

I'm really hoping and praying that someone here can offer some good insight. I know... "hire a professional" - the problem is that professionals in this (isolated) town are usually unreliable, do a bad job, and cost a fortune.
 

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retired framer
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I did some more wrecking and updated the album with some more photos.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/7oqdxx2cLg4H9fYb9

The wood sleepers have flat concrete below them. I can't tell if they were laid on hard concrete with more poured between them, or if it was a single pour. Concrete folks can maybe advise?

My naive ideas at this point:
1. Jackhammer out the whole thing (as suggested), possibly lowering the floor (with possible underpinning of foundation as a result) and repour the basement slab ($$$$$$$ - hiring that one out)
2. Put pressure-treated lumber back in those nice 2X4 slots (with/without poly? with/without foam?) and lay down a new 3/4" PT plywood floor. ($$ - can do myself)

I'm really hoping and praying that someone here can offer some good insight. I know... "hire a professional" - the problem is that professionals in this (isolated) town are usually unreliable, do a bad job, and cost a fortune.
Better would be if you posted the pictures here.

You do that by looking below and find go advanced and then find manage attachments and follow instruction from there.



Things are not as they seem, The bearing wall, is that a 2ply beam above it? how long and how tall is that beam?
 

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retired framer
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Houses are usually built before the basement floor is poured, so I suspect that beam was there and the wall was not.

It should have looked like this before the floor went in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Things are not as they seem, The bearing wall, is that a 2ply beam above it? how long and how tall is that beam?
The beam is 4-ply 2x12. The span is 15' 2".

The bearing wall is just a 2x6 wall with double top plate. Here's a photo of the beam/wall interface. Thanks for the attachment instructions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Houses are usually built before the basement floor is poured, so I suspect that beam was there and the wall was not.
The wall beneath the beam? I noticed only part of it has a top plate (?!?!) It very much looks "wedged in".

The other end of the beam is in the gable wall. I imagine there is a post below it resting on the foundation, built into that wall. I can't see because I've only removed the inside wall against the foundation - the post would be inside the upper part of the wall.
 

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retired framer
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The wall beneath the beam? I noticed only part of it has a top plate (?!?!) It very much looks "wedged in".

The other end of the beam is in the gable wall. I imagine there is a post below it resting on the foundation, built into that wall. I can't see because I've only removed the inside wall against the foundation - the post would be inside the upper part of the wall.
So that wall is just a divider, you can do as you please with it. the beam is doing all the work. I would like to see a couple studs out to the end of the curb. Are you in western Canada?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So that wall is just a divider, you can do as you please with it. the beam is doing all the work. I would like to see a couple studs out to the end of the curb. Are you in western Canada?
Thanks. I am - Yukon, specifically.
 

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retired framer
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I did some more wrecking and updated the album with some more photos.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/7oqdxx2cLg4H9fYb9

The wood sleepers have flat concrete below them. I can't tell if they were laid on hard concrete with more poured between them, or if it was a single pour. Concrete folks can maybe advise?

My naive ideas at this point:
1. Jackhammer out the whole thing (as suggested), possibly lowering the floor (with possible underpinning of foundation as a result) and repour the basement slab ($$$$$$$ - hiring that one out)
2. Put pressure-treated lumber back in those nice 2X4 slots (with/without poly? with/without foam?) and lay down a new 3/4" PT plywood floor. ($$ - can do myself)

I'm really hoping and praying that someone here can offer some good insight. I know... "hire a professional" - the problem is that professionals in this (isolated) town are usually unreliable, do a bad job, and cost a fortune.
I think I saw some water in some of those pictures. I suspect the floor below was done by home owner and likely was messed up so they did what ever they did to fix it. but with the water there you need a perimeter drain anyway and that would be a trench around the perimeter.
I think if you do that you will find it may as well all come out.

Usually the concrete floor sits on top of the footing so where ever the footing is the floor would be lower I think.
 

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Hammered Thumb
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I didn't follow whether its the whole basement or just a little area, but it doesn't seem logical that they would pour a normal slab and then later put more on top with sleepers. Only if someone was trying to cover something up or it's some crazy Canadian way of doing things. You can see they didn't trowel any of it, just dumped it and spread it out with their flat shovel. So it looks more like a thin mud slab. If you have a hammerdrill you can test the depth around different places. A <2" slab you could probably demo with a sledgehammer.

I thought I saw what was wetness in one of the pics too.
 

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If you can get your hands on Traditional Details for Building Restoration, Renovation, & Rehabilitation dated 1932 - 1952.
They used 2"X3" tapered Sleepers over a concrete slab than the sleeper taper side down the area between the sleepers were filled with 1&1/2 or 2 inches of cement some were troweled smooth some rough finish. The wood floors had a 7/8 inch sub floor with a 7/8 inch finished floor.
 

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retired framer
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If you can get your hands on Traditional Details for Building Restoration, Renovation, & Rehabilitation dated 1932 - 1952.
They used 2"X3" tapered Sleepers over a concrete slab than the sleeper taper side down the area between the sleepers were filled with 1&1/2 or 2 inches of cement some were troweled smooth some rough finish. The wood floors had a 7/8 inch sub floor with a 7/8 inch finished floor.
Interesting, so maybe built by an old timer. I have never seen that. :wink2:
We can see why they don't do that anymore.
 

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Normally I would suggest plastic, sleepers, 3/4" plywood then whatever flooring you want to use.

But after viewing the pictures.

Either one of these,

 
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