When it comes to basement subflooring, there are a few options on how you can achieve the job. I will show you one main product that does all the essential components at the same time for the simplest of installations for anybody to accomplish.
The importance of having a proper basement subflooring installation can be the difference between using your basement as a great added living space to your home or simply ending up with a storage room. Basements will have the tendency to be cold and damp unless you take the appropriate steps to eliminate the effect of what the concrete will inherently cause. Concrete will take the colder ground temperature and transfer that temperature into the basement area. So, the deeper the walls around the house are buried, the colder and damper the basement can come and in particular with the lack of air flow.
In situations where there is a lack of air flow, the cold, damp basement will smell musty and moldy. When basements are bad enough, they’ll produce mold.
We’re going to look at how to reclaim the basement and eliminate the chance of damp, musty or moldy basements by combining what is required from a previous post Basement Wall Insulation with this new post about Basement Subflooring.
Now the basement subfloor can go in before the walls are insulated or after. Personally, I would prefer to insulate the walls with rigid foam first then put the subfloor down and add the perimeter walls and any dividing partitions after that. By doing this sequence, you’ll get a better vapor seal that is easier to apply and work with in the long run.
The product in the video below shows one of the easiest methods to install all the proper sequences required in one simple step that anyone can do and follow.
If for some reason, you would prefer to do a different method other than the Amdry Insulated Subfloor such as DRIcore, DMX 1-step among other methods, the key things to remember is you need to have a vapor barrier on the concrete floor. You would then have sleepers or as some people may like to term it as having to strap the floor. As with the products mentioned above the sleepers allow for air flow between the concrete and subfloor.
The next step is the insulation which will help with a warmer floor temperature. Products like DRIcore and similar products rely on the thin air gap as the insulator where products more like Amdry add extra foam insulation to maximize the insulation factor for the subfloor. Depending on your circumstances, the overall thickness of the subfloor may be an issue of what products you can use if you have a walk out basement that does not allow for much floor clearance. Knowing if you have height restrictions will determine which method will work best for you.
The final part to your subfloor will be the actual panel used. A lot of the products sold on a system use an OSB form of paneling with tongue and groove edges. You connect them together and make the appropriate cuts along the walls and around anything not going to be covered by flooring.
Other Subflooring methods
Other methods may be done in a couple of steps where you may paint or roll on a liquid sealer for a membrane or roll out a vapor barrier plastic and tape the seams. Next, you may put down an insulation product for basements, sleepers that you would fasten to the concrete or corrugated plastic products used in basement subfloors like the ones Can-Cell Industries creates for instance. From there you would add your tongue and groove plywood or OSB flooring to be fastened on top.
How you’ll choose to install and which method will work best for you depends on the type of basement you have with or without a walk out area. The kind of budget you have to work with will determine which route you will take. How simple the product is to install or the amount of time you have to get the job done. Total system products tend to cost more than doing each step separately, but one needs to factor in the value of their time and the time it takes to do the work without a one step product.