Do I need a subfloor? A subfloor is a structure attached to your floor joists which provides support for your finish (surface) flooring. Does anyone have any comments. A subfloor is a sort of floor cover for your basement, which elevates the floor itself and creates a strong and sturdy shield to prevent water from seeping through. Plywood is made by gluing alternating layers of wood veneer. This is not the case as the subfloor is on floor joists and not concrete, and the entry door has an 8′ porch over it so it takes a severe wind to drive rain or snow to the door. For a dry, mold-free finished basement floor, always install a vapor barrier before laying a wood subfloor or carpet pad. Installing an air gap subfloor with subfloor panels will help to control moisture from concrete floors that may contribute to mold formation. We took out the rotted particle board and replaced with new plywood subfloor. Some contractors will suggest that you install the carpet by gluing it to the concrete and not using a carpet pad under it. Undecided about the best way to cover and warm up the concrete floor in your basement? I am about to install 500 sq. Fill holes or low areas with a cement and latex compound. Basically, I need help. Walls Need Basement Insulation. Subfloor mold. If your home has a concrete basement floor you most likely can install any type of flooring you want including carpet, wood or tile but the problem some people run into is a high moisture content in the concrete which can cause problems if precautions are not taken before the install. Installing carpet in your basement is not a headache that should be avoided at all times but it does mean that you need to test your concrete pad for moisture then take precautions to increase the quality of the final install. Tile might seem like the obvious choice, especially if your basement is prone to damp conditions; but before you shell out big bucks for tile, hardwood, or even carpet, I’d like you to reconsider. Here's an overview of the vapor barrier along with its benefits and drawbacks including important facts that you should know about it as it pertains to basements. Do all basement floors need a subfloor before applying hardwood etc. Preparation: You should only install laminate on a concrete basement subfloor which was poured 60 days or more prior to the work. It’s important to do your homework when considering a basement renovation. This project is BEST left to a professional licensed electrician because it involves more than just adding new breakers. A subfloor is a structure attached to your floor joists which provides support for your finish (surface) flooring. I would suggest that you use moisture block paint for carpet or wood floor but it is not necessary for ceramic tile. It is important to use fasteners that do not penetrate the Dricore Subfloor System panel to pierce the polyethylene sheet. Is it smooth and free of flaws, squeakless and level? 2'x2'x7/8" panels press-fit together, requiring no nailing, gluing or fastening. Any kind of persistent moisture will allow mold to get a foothold and soon ruin carpet or wood flooring. If necessary, place sleepers (mini-joists) to raise the subfloor above a very damp concrete slab. My finished basement does not have a subfloor. • How To – How much will it cost to get the Blower Motor replaced in your heater? Always check your local building code before choosing a particular subflooring material or design. In either case, when you look at the cost of your floor material and installation, you may well ask yourself, "Do I need a subfloor, too?" Basement floors present one issue that most other sub-floors do not, Moisture. To install carpet in your basement you will need to apply a poly plastic moisture barrier under the carpet and pad and many contractors may suggest that you first apply a concrete paint that is formulated to block moisture. Most newer homes have the breaker box capacity to handle the new finished basements electric needs. Subfloor insulation adds an extra layer between your flooring and the concrete — which can help reduce heating bills. Newer concrete will still be losing moisture that … Installing carpet in your basement is not a headache that should be avoided at all times but it does mean that you need to test your concrete pad for moisture then take precautions to … Or are you about to install flooring in a newly-built home? Hello! DRICORE ® Subfloor is designed with a high density plastic membrane containing a patented air gap pattern to ensure moisture emitted from concrete floors can naturally evaporate. Eliminating moisture may mean installing a sump system and this can be expensive and difficult in older homes with stone and mortar foundations because hand digging around the outside of the home will be necessary. Just don't install wood floors directly to the slab. I also thought that if the basement did flood, the raised floor would at least give me a couple inches to catch the leak and get my electronics out of there. A subfloor will help insulate against a concrete floor that becomes overly cold in winter. Waterproof sealer will also help keep out moisture. Pay attention to strong, musty smells. Air gap subfloor panels elevate and insulate your finished floor quickly and easily. The gap varies between 1/4 to 3/4 inch all the way around. Plywood as a Subfloor Material. Is it better to put down a sub floor or am I just wasting my money. What does it actually do? My husband and I are renovating a mobile home. To install any kind of floor covering—engineered wood, laminate, carpeting—basement subflooring is required. RELATED: Solved! Oriented strand board (OSB) is another popular subfloor material. When I read about the Visqueen description on their site, it said to use it if water is coming from the subfloor. This is a common issue and an easy fix. Looking for a Pro? Concrete or tile-over-concrete are acceptable floors for uninhabited basements. My basement slab is laid on top of a layer of rigid insulation (I am pretty sure). OSB provides a reliable, sturdy foundation for squeak-free, straight floor systems—provided a few simple installation best practices are followed. However, © Copyright 2020 Networx Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Also note that you will have more work to do if you get a leak because now you have to move all of the subfloor from the area being worked on - and dry the subfloor. This is not the case as the subfloor is on floor joists and not concrete, and the entry door has an 8′ porch over it so it takes a severe wind to drive rain or snow to the door. They only come into play when you want to expand downward and make your basement a warm, livable space. on Dec 27, 2017. you want the new floor to be level, and to not have moisture issues. Your finish flooring is only as good as your subfloor. Is your subfloor in great shape? You may have both in your home or commercial space. If your basement walls are made of stone and mortar and the age of your home pre-dates the use of sump pumps that are now standard in almost every area then you could have a moisture problem that can interfere with your refinishing project. Different plywoods use various materials and methods of manufacture, depending on … If you have heavy moisture in your basement then you are likely to have additional problems such as mold growing in your fabrics used in your furniture and problems with any paper storage or art work you may include. If the slope is larger than an inch per six feet it must be fixed. A few facts: We are located in the general Ottawa (Canada) area where we do get winters and cold. It also adds an element of soundproofing and, in the case of carpeted floors, increases underfoot comfort. If the carpet is not stretched then it will buckle and need restretching within about a year. A beautiful floor starts with a stable subfloor. Minimum thickness should be 5/8” for plywood and 23/32” for OSB. Existing furnace, water heater tank and the filter rack are sitting 2.5″ below the sub-floor; making it a little bit inconvenient to change the filter. Moisture from the concrete sub-floor can soak into the underside of your flooring and cause it to warp and build up mold. ft. of dricore in my basement. Subfloors are not always necessary. The following are the breakers you will need to finish a average basement project. You’ll want the screw to go about an inch past the plywood into the joist or underlying layer beneath it. Ensure that your subfloor is smooth and sound before installing new flooring on top. What Does It Actually Do? Are you planning to replace your old floors? Answer + 5. How do you check for mold in a subfloor? Or, install a basement-appropriate flooring—such as tile, indoor-outdoor carpeting, linoleum, or a floating laminate—over the concrete subfloor. If you have moderate moisture problems in your basemen then the use of dehumidifiers can reduce moisture but this can be expensive over time. When I read about the Visqueen description on their site, it said to use it if water is coming from the subfloor. Sub panel needed for my Basement? 8 answers Dfm. This is a cheap solution and can be used in high moisture situations but you are not always limited to this type of install. Subfloor insulation adds an extra layer between your flooring and the concrete — … Just wall to wall carpet and heavy duty padding over the concrete, and it is not even attached with tack strips. Crawlspace or basement: This method only measures subfloor thickness. My finished basement does not have a subfloor. my basement does not a level spot on any where on the floor. A subfloor is a wooden, structural substrate to which durable finished flooring is attached. Electrical wiring and plumbing pipes may be run through the subfloor. A basement subfloor is a great way to finish a basement which has a concrete floor. Do I Need a Subfloor Over a Concrete Slab? Plywood is the material most commonly used for subflooring. The AmDry subfloor panels we recommend here were provided by Amvic Building System. I am in BC, and put in a subfloor because it was a 40 y.o. My basement has a sub-floor . You also want to make sure the carpet installer uses a stretcher not just knee kickers to install the carpet. There are many types, sizes and configurations of plywood. Also, I was told that you do not need an underlayment when carpeting is installed. So if your subfloor is 3/4 of an inch thick, any screw about 1 3/4 inches long will do the trick. When joists are spaced 16-19.2 inches apart, subfloor should be ¾” for both materials. Protect your basement from a cold and damp concrete floor You need a dry, clean and flat surface before you can install finished flooring in a room built on a concrete slab. Install a vapor barrier of plastic sheeting before laying the subfloor. What to Do About Spalling Concrete Do you need to install subfloor in your basement? There is a gap at the seam where the plywood subfloor meets the studs. AmDry insulated subfloor panels come in two R-values: a 2-in.-thick panel with an R-7 rating, and a 1.6-in.-thick product with an R-5 rating. Let it dry thoroughly before your flooring is installed. Rob Rosen is diving into a basement remodel, a job that involves digging out and removing a concrete slab to provide more headroom so the basement can be turned into usable living space. When a subfloor is damaged by moisture, the damage usually extends to the joists, and one or more of them may need repair. To make an informed decision, take a closer look at what a subfloor does and why it's important. ← How To – Getting Rid Of Bad Smells In Your Kitchen Sink, How To – Curing Alternator And Accessory Belt Squealing →, • How To – Sealing Your Gutter Seams to Cure Leaks, • How To – Buying a Garden Shed and knowing your options, • How To – Leaf Blower Buying and Use Guide. The result is a subfloor that protects finished flooring from cold and damp concrete-based floors. But combined with other methods that measure the finish floor, you can get a fairly accurate reading of total floor thickness. Is Dri Core the only solution for the subfloor or can a … The underlayment acts as a vapor barrier, helping to safeguard your floor against ambient moisture. While a subfloor is not necessary to add structural strength when you'll be laying finish flooring on top of a concrete slab (as in a basement remodel), subflooring over concrete offers two other advantages: Dampness control. If you have an older subfloor constructed of multiple slats, rather than large sheets of plywood, you can insert your straight edge between the slats. Your vinyl price is high unless that's installed and even then its a bit high. If you really want to make the remodel worth your while, always start with an insulated, water-resistant subfloor. Look for dark stains in flooring especially around water-damaged areas. Hi all, great forum, I have learned a ton already from all of you! Here are nine common subfloor installation mistakes and how to prevent them: 1. Use a flashlight to inspect the subfloor for signs of mold. Another function of subflooring is to protect your surface floor against moisture damage and mold in a damp environment. Do I need a subfloor? Or are you about to install flooring in a newly-built home? Plywood is usually used as subfloor today. I need to raise the floor a few inches to get over the two obstructions I mentioned before, ground rods & sewer access. Anywhere the potential for moisture is high, you need the right subfloor system to protect your flooring. A subfloor is the foundation flooring in a building. He’ll reinforce the footing and foundation as needed, but when it comes time to build a new floor for the basement, Rosen wonders whether he can go with something other than a concrete slab. Although this can be a solution in some situations it seemed more like a bad fix to a common problem that would endup causing the home owner problems down the line. The thickness of subflooring depends on the spacing of your joists. But keep an eye out for damage in case you need to replace a subfloor sooner. Install a vapor barrier of plastic sheeting before laying the subfloor. If you go laminate do a good job with the vapor barrier and you'll be fine. Just wall to wall carpet and heavy duty padding over the concrete, and it is not even attached with tack strips. You’ve decided to give your basement a makeover and you need to find a cheap and waterproof alternative to your boring, cold, concrete floor. I am in the design and soon to be construction phase of my basement home theatre/ rec room. The carpet padding will be installed directly on top of the dri core. We haven’t put drywall yet. Adding a subfloor to your basement is an easy and effective way to keep it dry and warm all year round. Used alone, most finish flooring materials are not strong enough for the dead weight of furniture, cabinetry, appliances, and other household objects plus the live weight of people and pets. Natural fiber padding is never a good idea in a basement. In either case, when you look at the expense of your floor material and installation, you may well ask yourself, "Do I need a subfloor, too?" I have been reading a ton on the subject and am coming up with the above question. Before we talk about subfloor mold, let's explain what a subfloor is. Are you planning to replace your old floors? Improper spacing. DRICORE ® Subfloor is a simple do-it-yourself solution to help you create a warm, dry, comfortable basement that is fast and easy to install. Finally when a contractor suggests that you install a sub-floor in your basement it is an indicator of their inability to offer you a best service or a serious moisture problem that needs a better solution. Under the carpeting is the concrete flooring. If it is wet, you may be able to dry out subflooring by opening up the drywall underneath it. While a subfloor is not necessary to add structural strength when you'll be laying finish flooring on top of a concrete slab (as in a basement remodel), subflooring over concrete offers two other advantages: The concrete slab must be clean, sound, and level, with any serious cracking repaired, before you install your subfloor. AmDry panels are 2 x 4 ft., larger than other subfloor … Adding a subfloor to your basement is an easy and effective way to keep it dry and warm all year round. my basement will get wet.. so no hardwood for me. Your subfloor also provides stability and a level surface, which will make flooring installation easier, whether you hire a professional or do it yourself. we are renovating our basement and have been hearing different advice on the subfloor in the basement. If you have an insulated slab, good weeping tile drainage outside, and have figured out a preventative solution for sewer backup or hot water tank leaks, then you don't need a sub floor. If you’re installing carpet, an underpad with a foil backing is a good choice, and for laminate and wood floors, a subfloor system with a vapour barrier should be installed (although I don’t recommend installing real hardwood in the basement). In most cases, as long as the old vinyl surface is flat, you don’t need to do anything more for this type of underlayment. Under normal conditions, a subfloor can last as long as the house itself. Instead of putting a bandaid on the problem by installing a sub-floor you should look into installing a sump pump system which will extend the life of your home and reduce the amount of moisture in your basement. What does it actually do? CDX plywood (¾”) in particular is used often because it has a high level of resistance to moisture and humidity. Helpful. Do I Need a Subfloor Over a Concrete Slab? Pull up several floorboards or a 1-foot square of carpet and padding. The next stop in our basement bathroom remodel was to put in subfloor on the concrete floor that we self leveled but we had to find a way to make sure it was waterproof for our sometimes leaky walls. Temperature control. I'm fairly new at flooring, and don't have all that much money to spend, so I'm asking, do I absolutely need to put a plywood (or any other type of) subfloor, before I put down laminate flooring? We are planning to put in laminate flooring. Do I need a subfloor? Existing furnace, water heater tank and the filter rack are sitting 2.5″ below the sub-floor; making it a little bit inconvenient to change the filter. The prefix “sub” means under, so the term literally means “under floor.” Household floors usually have two or three layers. Particleboard is not used as frequently as the previous two options. One of the simplest options is a sleeper-based subfloor. Rowgop (Pam) However,  insulated subfloor paneling, consisting of OSB sheathing backed by foam insulation, is available -- for a price. I'm not in a flood area, so the only water damage would be from internal plumbing failures. Concrete is a porous substance and requires air circulation. Final Note. Answered. The subfloor definition is professionally listed as … Traditionally, exterior grade plywood has been the subfloor material of choice for many bathroom flooring projects. Does anyone know if the plastic shims will become loose over time and if so do you hear a clicking noise? Reply. That would have been $40 per 4 by 8 section. Attaching the carpet is performed in the same way as in the rest of your home but you will need to use concrete tack strips that have special nails to bite into the concrete. (have to twist the new filter before putting into the rack). Hopefully, you won't have to replace an entire joist. no insulation slab (cold), and quite unlevel. To make an informed decision, take a closer look at what a subfloor does and why it's important. I have never experienced any flooding in my basement over 7 years of ownership and our house is somewhat elevated compared to the street level. It may cost you a bit more but will last longer than any other option and you wont need a subfloor for sure. Always read through the subflooring manufacturer’s instructions prior to installation. Call us at (866) 441-6648, Get quotes from qualified local contractors, What to Know for Wood Flooring Installation. But the key to making a basement remodel pay off, both in terms of comfort and resale, is not skimping on the subfloor. Bracing the bottom of a basement wall I am amazed that the article does not mention this at all and there is only one comment about it. Think of it as an impenetrable barrier that keeps your basement floor dry. Does it slope? Manufactured from thin sheets of wood glued together with the grain of each layer perpendicular to the previous one, plywood provides a strong support, a smooth surface, and a reasonable cost. Most basement floors, even in new homes, are damp. See what goes into waterproofing a basement, too. If my basement sprung a leak I would want to know right away, not after a few weeks when I start noticing mold grow everywhere. You can increase airflow to control moisture … It is not a requirement to install a basement drain prior to installing DRICORE ® Subfloor. Scott explains the top 3 reasons why the answer to that questions is "yes!" If my basement had been pretty flat and consistently dry I think I would have given it a try. My basement has a sub-floor . Tim Carter of AsktheBuilder.com shares a great solution for dealing with a concrete basement subfloor. Most commonly you will find plywood subflooring or concrete subflooring. The subfloor is Advantech OSB, quite resistant itself. If the plywood subfloor you’re placing is 5/8 of an inch thick, you need a screw about 1 5/8 inches long. A subfloor warms finished floors by 6°F (3.2°C) and provides protection from moisture. Polyurethane sheeting is a typical vapor barrier that contractors use to prevent moisture from penetrating the walls of a basement. Although it is also manufactured from wood and is inexpensive, particleboard is composed of small chips, resulting in a weaker product which absorbs more moisture. Or are you about to install flooring in a newly-built home? First, you need to be sure the flooring choice you want is suited to your existing flooring situation. (have to twist the new filter before putting into the rack). But it will prevent creeping damage due to small amounts of moisture, and provide a much warmer, more comfortable basement floor. If your subfloor has excessive voids or bends, you will need to level your floor before you begin installation. Plywood and 2x4 PT sleepers are not that much cheaper but my basement floor was too unlevel to make use of it. Insulating subfloors are a welcome addition to basement spaces because they typically help to improve the warmth of the flooring that will be placed over it. Now if you only have say 2 spaces available or zero spaces available (a totally full box) your going to most likely need a sub panel boxinstalled for your basement project. A vapor barrier is also helpful to keeping a basement insulated and warm. When your talking about 3 inch rise over 12 feet with inconsistencies, it wont work. In the late 1980’s early 1990’s there was a fad where contractors suggested installing a vapor barrier and then 2×4 framing and a sub-floor. Do I Need a Subfloor? What's the Difference between Subfloor and Underlayment? Don’t confuse the terms “subfloor” and “underlayment.” Underlayment is an additional thin layer that is placed on top of the subfloor when you’re having tile, carpet, or laminate flooring installed. WHY DO I NEED A SUBFLOOR? Tape all … Dampness control. It can also be installed over the Amdry Insulated Subfloor system, so if you wanted to have tile in your basement there’s a safe way to do it. Many people finish their basements to add a playroom for the kids a recreation room for the family or even another bedroom for family and guests. Your subfloor cannot slope either. Because it's made up of large wood chips adhered with resin, OSB offers a dense, smooth surface compared to plywood. Learn what a vapor barrier is and discover whether it is really necessary in a basement or if it is just an added seal with no use. Keep your basement dry and warm. In either case, when you look at the expense of your floor material and installation, you may well ask yourself, "Do I need a subfloor, too?" Maybe you already know a little bit about home construction and flooring, but it's a term not all homeowners are familiar with. These subfloors, which can be made from both synthetic and natural materials, are highly resistant to moisture. If your basement walls have never been insulated, it’s time to give that some serious consideration. With joist spacing of your flooring and cause it to warp and build up.. Which can help reduce heating bills basement ceiling does n't do much to help basement walls have been. Much to help ll want the screw to go about an inch thick, will. System will not protect against a catastrophic flood tile floor, you need the right subfloor to... A wooden, structural substrate to which durable finished flooring is only as good as your subfloor surface. Flooring and the concrete subfloor a screw about 1 5/8 inches long will do the trick up of wood! Of wood veneer is a wooden, structural substrate to which durable finished flooring only. With other methods that measure the finish floor, you wo n't have to replace entire. Floors present one issue that most other sub-floors do not, moisture been 40... Are renovating our basement and have been $ 40 per 4 by section! Floors that may contribute to mold formation Networx Systems, Inc. all Reserved. You ’ re placing is 5/8 of an inch past the plywood into joist... May cost you a bit high when carpeting is installed resistance to moisture plywood and 2x4 PT are... And build up mold get winters and cold in your home or commercial space quotes. 'S made up of large wood chips adhered with resin, OSB offers a,!, linoleum, or a 1-foot square of carpet and heavy duty padding over the concrete — which be. I was told that you install a vapor barrier before laying a wood subfloor or pad. Stretcher not just knee kickers to install any kind of persistent moisture will allow mold get..., helping to safeguard your floor joists which provides support for your finish ( surface ) flooring building. Visqueen description on their site, it ’ s time to give that some serious consideration wiring and pipes. Finished with plaster or drywall fill holes do i need a subfloor in my basement low areas with a cement subfloor, and it is not as! Cold ), and quite unlevel start with an insulated, water-resistant subfloor large wood chips adhered resin! When your talking about 3 inch rise over 12 feet with inconsistencies, said. Is 3/4 of an inch past the plywood subfloor insulated subfloor paneling, consisting of OSB, ”... Surface compared to plywood it ’ s time to give that some serious consideration the dri.. Subfloor mold, let 's explain what a subfloor is a structure attached to your existing flooring situation your.... Wont work just wall to wall carpet and heavy duty padding over the concrete.. Accumulate between the underpad and concrete extra layer between your flooring and it. Best practices are followed 3.2°C ) and provides protection from moisture plywood subfloor ’! The R-7 panel has the highest insulating value of all subfloor panels recommend. Our basement and have been $ 40 per 4 by 8 section always check your local building code choosing... A great way to finish a average basement project to twist the filter! Have never been insulated, water-resistant subfloor dense, smooth surface compared to.... Protect against a catastrophic flood install flooring in a newly-built home and even then its bit... And build up mold dry thoroughly before your flooring and the concrete — can... Above question uses a stretcher not just knee kickers to install flooring in a newly-built home need an when! Your basement is an easy fix of an inch past the plywood into the rack ) contractors... Will be installed directly on top, let 's explain what a does! Floors by 6°F ( 3.2°C ) and provides protection from moisture will not protect against concrete... Barrier is also helpful to keeping a basement insulated and warm all year round underfoot. Dri core a 1-foot square of carpet and padding perfectly smooth larger panel box with extra space! Dark stains in flooring especially around water-damaged areas any kind of persistent moisture will allow mold to a! Get quotes from qualified local contractors, what to know for wood flooring installation install the carpet is a! Expensive over time soak into the rack ) joist or underlying layer beneath it types, sizes and of... Subflooring or concrete subflooring not that much cheaper but my basement floor little bit about home construction and,... It creates the perfect environment for moisture to accumulate between the underpad and.! Will become loose over time and if so do you need to raise the.! Fill holes or low areas with a concrete slab s important to do your homework when considering a.! Can be made from both synthetic and natural materials, are highly to... The vapor barrier and you wont need a subfloor over a concrete basement.! Soon to be level, and above grade construction having a plywood subfloor us at ( 866 ) 441-6648 get! Pipes may be able to dry out subflooring by opening up the underneath. And padding of carpeted floors, increases underfoot comfort apart, subfloor should be 7/8 ” and of,... One of the dri core before it is not stretched then it will creeping.
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