Basement Flooring Advice - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-03-2017, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Basement Flooring Advice

I'm currently getting ideas on finishing my basement and am trying to come up with the best solution for my basement floor. It is a cement floor and I live in Minnesota so it gets quite humid. There were moldy vinyl tiles that I had removed. It's to my understanding that there must be some kind of vapor barrier underneath the tile. A few questions I have are: Does this apply to ceramic tiles as well? Would I need an actual barrier underneath ceramic tile or would a concrete sealer suffice? Any advice would be great. Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-03-2017, 11:36 PM
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No, you wouldn't use a vapor barrier as ceramic is mortared to the floor. It more or less becomes part of the concrete floor.

What condition is the floor in? If it's in pretty good shape you might just paint it with a garage floor epoxy. You would have to clean the floor anyway to go with ceramic.

Probably your easiest solution would be a floating peal and press vinyl flooring. You could just lay it over what is there as long as it isn't lumpy. It's doesn't get glued to the existing floor you just lay it and it has adhesive edges which hold all the sheets together.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-04-2017, 06:25 AM
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Your thread title says "flooding." Are we discussing a basement that floods? or is the problem one of moisture wicking up from the ground?

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post #4 of 9 Old 07-04-2017, 01:41 PM
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There are concrete paints on the market to provide a barrier. I used to apply bitumen paint and then lay heavy kraft paper on top. This gave me a nice surface on which to lay tiles. Kraft paper sold by flooring stores to go under lino/ vinyl etc.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-06-2017, 11:26 AM
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I live just outside Milwaukee, so we'll have similar weather. If you have the ceiling height, maybe my approach will work for you. It's not cheap, but it's very nice.

I bought rolls of Platon at Menards and put it everywhere I wanted finished floors. Then I put OSB on top of that, Tap-Con'd to the concrete. I framed right on top of the OSB. You can use any type of flooring now since you have a typical subfloor. The finished floor will have an airspace and a layer of OSB separating it from the concrete, so that really helps to keep it from being cold.

I used pre-finished 3/4" birch in most of the basement. That's my workshop through the door. I used vinyl in the utility room because my wife washes the dog in there.

The floor never feels cold, even according to my wife and daughters.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-05-2018, 09:23 AM
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I'm clearly late to this party but you asked about ceramic tiles. I used slate tiles over my entire basement when I converted it to living space. Mortar doesn't stick well to paint, so we used several masonry bits and cut literally thousands of little holes in the concrete. They were very, very shallow - just enough to get through the paint - and that allowed the mortar to grab the underlying concrete. I had rented a concrete grinder but that did more to polish the paint than remove it. End of story is the slate is now about 15 years old and perfectly adhered.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-05-2018, 01:45 PM
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We put ceramic tile in the den. I wanted to put down P&S but I got outvoted. We really don't use the den for much as it is somewhat wasted space. Waste of time and $$$$$, IMHO. It gets very humid here in SE TN. BTW, do you have central A/C? That would help the humidity factor. There are lots of ways to do the job.

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-05-2018, 05:53 PM
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I love beautiful ceramic floors but IMO, a ceramic shop floor is not a good idea.
Ceramic is expensive, labor intensive to lay, cold, hard and breaks.
There are large rubber and plastic mats used to cover garage floors that I think would be better on a shop floor.
These large mats or tiles will make a quieter, warmer floor and much more forgiving when something is dropped. Moisture should not hurt this type of tile. Also much easier to install.
A lot of ceramic is slick. This rubber flooring is not.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-05-2018, 06:08 PM
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Mrs. wants a vinyl "water proof" floor in our basement. it would cost a bloody fortune to do the whole basement. I would prefer just doing the areas that get nicely finished and to paint the rest. Our basement is dry as in no flooding, but runs around 75 to 85% humidity nearly all the time. I run a dehumidifier and get it down to about 55% I wanted a vapor barrier under the concrete basement floor and the builder refused and would not even give me a price extra to do it. He was great otherwise. The exterior walls are all parged with roof coating. I installed a drain around the bottom of the exterior basement walls and that has yet to show any evidence of water in that system. But we have a covered porch 8 ft wide running around three sides of the house. The house is built on a small rise and the exterior slopes away from the foundation in all directions for at least 30 ft. I don't quite get why the basement is so damp.
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