What type of flooring would you put on a wood basement floor?

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Posted by: from Calgary
2/10/2015 at 6:02:33 PM

I have a question that no one seems to be able to answer.

We live in Alberta and have an above ground (walls 4' high) wood basement built in 1983 (rare as hens teeth as I have found out).

We have been told to take out the wood floor and pour concrete (we're half of a duplex...not possible) or have just had looks of "are you crazy?? wood basement in Alberta??? not possible".

We had a leak about 14 years ago when our hot water tank gave out. The floor was carpeted and we were able to dry things out. Near that area the floor squeaks horribly.

We plan on taking up the carpet during a renovation and replacing it with what???

Will we have to replace the sub-floor and/or add more plywood to the existing (to deal with the squeak)? (I know it depends on what we find) Can you discuss options?

We have ever had any problems with leaks, smell etc in the basement. Solidly built house. Everything intact at present, exploring options.

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John from Deltec Inc in Montreal
Date/Time2/10/2015 at 9:03:59 PM

Hi ,

John Delorme from DELTEC in Montreal.

I would look into putting down two layers of t&g plywood 3/4 in glued and screwed at 8 inches with a vapor barrier.

You can come back on top with any floor finish.

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Date/Time2/10/2015 at 9:25:38 PM


First thing I would suggest is to have the area in question taken apart and checked for mould. As you mentioned leaks in the past, mould and other water issues (rotting wood) become a problem not only for you but also if you were to sell in the future. (Issues such as this are to be "disclosed" when selling a property).

Have the floor joists checked (they are the main supports for the floor and whatever is on top of the floor (water tank, washing machine, dryer, etc.) Replace if needed. Replace the subfloor with, at lease, one level of 3/4" T&G plywood. Tongue and groove means that there are not open seams between the sheets of plywood and the strength is distributed properly. A second layer of subflooring is not a ba idea.

Once that is done, you can almost pick whatever you desire for a finished flooring type. (Tile or slate does require the extre thickess of the subfloor to accomodate the extra weight.) Some products that I like are the better laminates (thicker is better) and some of the new products like Allure (a brand name available via Home Depot).

The main thing is to thing of the problem and work back from there.It is all workable, just take your time.

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Date/Time2/10/2015 at 9:48:52 PM

HI Ila,

I agree with John and Mark, I would also consider to add just on top of the new subfloor a crack isolation membrane (especially if you planning to install tiles), which is also waterproof.

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Ila Faye in Calgary
Date/Time2/11/2015 at 10:06:01 AM

Awesome suggestions.....couldn't find people that knew anything about the wood basements.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Will see what transpires.

Thanks for all the input.... very helpful


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