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Basement Finishing and Renovations Has it been 2 years already? Time to work on finishing the basement into some extra living space.


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  #21  
Old 2015-03-11, 02:20 PM
nileguy nileguy is offline
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I did barricade last winter. Took about a day for 500sq/ft by myself. I stopped basement reno for the summer and chipped away at it this winter. On the bitter cold days, it was quite toasty down there despite limited builder blanket insulation on the walls.
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  #22  
Old 2017-01-04, 06:52 AM
JMurphy83 JMurphy83 is offline
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Has anyone used ramset to secure barricade subfloor panels to the concrete floor? I have a few places in my basement where there is a small amount of give to the floor. Overall it is pretty good and secure. I hate putting in tapcons and figure that renting a ramset would be much quicker and easier.
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  #23  
Old 2017-01-09, 02:25 PM
BartBandy BartBandy is offline
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I tried a similar powder actuated fastener for my bottom plate. Not fun. Some worked great. Other nails just hit a stone on an angle and bent like a candy cane. And then I had chunks of gravel to clean up.

Tapcons are the way to go. I'd rent a SDS-plus drill and get a couple of 5/32" bits for 3/16" tapcons, or 3/16" bits for 1/4" tapcons. Those drills make quick work of concrete.
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  #24  
Old 2017-03-19, 12:18 AM
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xdarrylx xdarrylx is offline
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Originally Posted by BartBandy View Post
I tried a similar powder actuated fastener for my bottom plate. Not fun. Some worked great. Other nails just hit a stone on an angle and bent like a candy cane. And then I had chunks of gravel to clean up.

Tapcons are the way to go. I'd rent a SDS-plus drill and get a couple of 5/32" bits for 3/16" tapcons, or 3/16" bits for 1/4" tapcons. Those drills make quick work of concrete.
Good tip. I'll explore this further with my (likely) DryBarrier system as I'm starting my basement reno soon too so your advice has been quite helpful.
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  #25  
Old 2017-03-21, 07:16 AM
TheGrudge TheGrudge is offline
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Regardless of what system we choose and use, we should all give ourselves a pat on the back for using something as a subfloor.

I live in a new subdivision and I've been in many homes. So many people just roll carpet or laminate over cement.

If you're finishing a basement and you overlook one of these three things, you're in trouble - in my opinion.

1) Subfloor
2) Cold air returns
3) Proper insulation and sealed vapour barrier

Kudos to everyone on this thread for thinking about things that lie beneath the finishes. My Mike Holmes speech is over
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  #26  
Old 2017-03-21, 11:20 AM
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gerapau gerapau is offline
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Regardless of what system we choose and use, we should all give ourselves a pat on the back for using something as a subfloor.

I live in a new subdivision and I've been in many homes. So many people just roll carpet or laminate over cement.

If you're finishing a basement and you overlook one of these three things, you're in trouble - in my opinion.

1) Subfloor
2) Cold air returns
3) Proper insulation and sealed vapour barrier

Kudos to everyone on this thread for thinking about things that lie beneath the finishes. My Mike Holmes speech is over
If your basement floor is dry then I don't necessarily agree with the subfloor. Last home we needed more space and didn't have a lot of cash to spend so we finished the basement and we did carpet right on concrete. Twenty years later and it is still in great shape. Well, maybe not great shape since we did have kids that grew up playing down there but at least there is no humidity issues and a subfloor wouldn't have solved any of the issues due to heavy use. Basement was also never cold. Yes, we did do 2) and 3) though.
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  #27  
Old 2017-03-21, 12:09 PM
BartBandy BartBandy is offline
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You're asking for mold problems if you place carpet on top of concrete with no proper subfloor. If you go without plastic, the carpet will be damp because the concrete is perpetually humid. If you put down simple six mil poly, now you're trapped that moisture and there is no escape for it. Both methods are bad in the long run. There is a reason basements are known to smell "musty", and the old, common practice of placing carpet on top of concrete is that reason.

I do think DryBarrier is the best solution right now, but I agree with TheGrudge that you have to do something. I've been in basements with no subfloor, and they are always colder on the feet than basements with subfloors.


Aside: An even more expensive option that I also think is worth it is closed cell spray foam. Now your basement is the most comfortable part of your house. It's almost impossible to get a good vapour barrier seal around joists with poly. Warm moist indoor air hits the cold concrete, condenses within the pink batt insulation, and red dye runs out on the floor. You see it everywhere.
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  #28  
Old 2017-03-21, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BartBandy View Post
You're asking for mold problems if you place carpet on top of concrete with no proper subfloor. If you go without plastic, the carpet will be damp because the concrete is perpetually humid. If you put down simple six mil poly, now you're trapped that moisture and there is no escape for it. Both methods are bad in the long run. There is a reason basements are known to smell "musty", and the old, common practice of placing carpet on top of concrete is that reason.
Concrete basement floors are not perpetually humid. If you do happen to have a basement where the concrete floor is always humid then sure, a subfloor is the only way to go. Your concrete floor will be damp for the first year or so but after that most new homes in the Ottawa area shouldn't have damp basement floors. But you can do a simple test to see. Just tape a piece of poly to the floor and leave it for a while (at least a few days). If it collects moisture on the bottom then your floor is too damp to lay carpet on it. You should also probably look into why it is so damp (because it really shouldn't be). If the poly happens to collect moisture on the top then your basement is quite damp and you should probably do something to fix that before you do any renovations. Ensuring you have good air circulation should go a long way to fixing that.

If the poly is dry then I see no reason not to install carpet on the concrete if that is what you want to do. Just ensure you use the correct type of underpad that is suited to basement installations.

A subfloor will give you other benefits though like being warmer, less hard on the feet, etc.... They also do great if you ever have any leaks/floods (in these cases carpet would probably have to be removed and disposed of). To some people these benefits are more than worth the cost. But installing carpet on a dry basement floor will not usually turn into a mouldy mess.
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  #29  
Old 2017-03-21, 02:15 PM
BartBandy BartBandy is offline
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Not a mess, and not immediately, but you'll smell it eventually. It could take years. And concrete is porous. It will always be at least more damp than the air. Put a straight 2x4 on your basement floor in Ottawa. It will curve up after a few days because the bottom of that 2x4 will absorb moisture from the floor.
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Old 2017-03-21, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BartBandy View Post
Not a mess, and not immediately, but you'll smell it eventually. It could take years. And concrete is porous. It will always be at least more damp than the air. Put a straight 2x4 on your basement floor in Ottawa. It will curve up after a few days because the bottom of that 2x4 will absorb moisture from the floor.
Like I said, 20 years at my old place and carpet never smelled. I haven't finished my new place so can't say how carpet would do but I've got cardboard boxes that have been on my basement floor for 7 years now. Never moved. If the floor was damp shouldn't I have mold by now? I'll have to check the boxes but I definitely don't smell any mold.

Only places I've ever seen with mold in the carpets also had a lot in the walls and it was usually more to do with lack of any air circulation and/or someone allowing the basement to get very cold in the winter (turning the heat way down in the winter is a great way to get mold started). That or repeated leaks/floods.

Of course, your mileage may vary. If you are worried about mold then a subfloor is the way for you to go.
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