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    Basement Subfloor Questions

    Can anyone tell me anything about basement subfloors (walk out basement)? I have around 1100 square feet of floor space to deal with, so budget is a concern. My motivation is 2 fold, heating/cooling costs and I have chronic back issues, so standing on concrete will only get worse as I get older.

    Are subfloors for concrete slabs the same as subfloors for walk out basements?


    I have seen a product that seem to be geared for basements called DRIcore. I believe Ken and Mike both have barricade flooring which seems similar. I can't seem to find the barricade stuff anywhere. It looks like Barricade Subfloor Air Plus is the same as DRIcore, but I am not sure.

    DRIcore Subfloor Panel - $1.62/sqft (R value of 1.7) [plastic bottom]
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/DRIcore-7...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds

    DRIcore R+ Aspen Panel - $1.76/sqft (R value of 3) [XPS foam bottom]
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/DRIcore-1...2402/205505261


    I could also put down 4x8 sheets of rigid foam insulation (XPS) that are 1" thick or 2" thick and put T&G OSB on top of that. This wouldn't have the air gap, but it would be thicker with a higher r value. Thicker may be better on my back and the higher R value should help with heating/cooling costs. The ceiling is 9' 4" for most of the shop. One area where plumbing on the ceiling is boxed in loses about 9" of height.

    Advantech OSB: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Advantech...2405/202084475
    23/32 OSB - $0.83/sqft - R value of 0.9

    Rigid Foam (XPS): http://www.homedepot.com/b/8-ft/N-5y...atchall&NCNI-5
    2" thick XPS - $0.91/sqft - R value of 10
    1.5" thick XPS - $0.75/sqft - R value of 7.5
    1" thick XPS - $0.63/sqft - R value of 5
    3/4" thick XPS - $0.50/sqft - R value of 4

    Rigid Foam + Advantech OSB:
    2" thick XPS + 23/32 OSB --> $1.74/sqft (R 10.9)
    1.5" thick XPS + 23/32 OSB --> $1.58/sqft (R 8.4)
    1" thick XPS + 23/32 OSB --> $1.46/sqft (R 5.9)
    3/4" thick XPS + 23/32 OSB --> $1.33/sqft (R 4.9)



    Anyone have any first hand experience with basement subfloors or subfloors on concrete slabs?
    Last edited by Jeremy Scuteri; 01-11-2017 at 04:06 PM.

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Scuteri View Post
    Can anyone tell me anything about basement subfloors (walk out basement)? I have around 1100 square feet of floor space to deal with, so budget is a concern. My motivation is 2 fold, heating/cooling costs and I have chronic back issues, so standing on concrete will only get worse as I get older.

    Are subfloors for concrete slabs the same as subfloors for walk out basements?


    I have seen a product that seem to be geared for basements called DRIcore. I believe Ken and Mike both have barricade flooring which seems similar. I can't seem to find the barricade stuff anywhere. It looks like Barricade Subfloor Air Plus is the same as DRIcore, but I am not sure.

    DRIcore - $1.62/sqft (R value of 3)
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/DRIcore-7...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds


    I could also put down 4x8 sheets of rigid foam insulation (XPS) that are 1" thick or 2" thick and put T&G OSB on top of that. This wouldn't have the air gap, but it would be thicker with a higher r value. Thicker may be better on my back and the higher R value should help with heating/cooling costs. The ceiling is 9' 4" for most of the shop. One area where plumbing on the ceiling is boxed in loses about 9" of height.

    Advantech OSB: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Advantech...2405/202084475
    23/32 OSB - $0.83/sqft - R value of 0.9

    Rigid Foam (XPS): http://www.homedepot.com/b/8-ft/N-5y...atchall&NCNI-5
    2" thick XPS - $0.91/sqft - R value of 10
    1.5" thick XPS - $0.75/sqft - R value of 7.5
    1" thick XPS - $0.63/sqft - R value of 5
    3/4" thick XPS - $0.50/sqft - R value of 4

    Rigid Foam + Advantech OSB:
    2" thick XPS + 23/32 OSB --> $1.74/sqft (R 10.9)
    1.5" thick XPS + 23/32 OSB --> $1.58/sqft (R 8.4)
    1" thick XPS + 23/32 OSB --> $1.46/sqft (R 5.9)
    3/4" thick XPS + 23/32 OSB --> $1.33/sqft (R 4.9)



    Anyone have any first hand experience with basement subfloors or subfloors on concrete slabs?
    Jeremy,
    Does your new basement have high ceilings? Do you need the R value ??

  3. #3
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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_goris View Post
    Jeremy,
    Does your new basement have high ceilings? Do you need the R value ??

    It is really cold right now and a 4000W 220v space heater and a 1500W 110v space heater can only keep it around 60 degC running for hours on end. The partitioning wall to separate the shop space is just studs right now, so the space heaters are heating a 2400 sqft basement with 9' 4" ceilings. When the shop is done it will be around 1100 sqft, so the heating/cooling burden will be less.


    The cushion is just as important as the R value for me. Lots of lower back issues.

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Scuteri View Post
    It is really cold right now and a 4000W 220v space heater and a 1500W 110v space heater can only keep it around 60 degC running for hours on end. The partitioning wall to separate the shop space is just studs right now, so the space heaters are heating a 2400 sqft basement with 9' 4" ceilings. When the shop is done it will be around 1100 sqft, so the heating/cooling burden will be less.


    The cushion is just as important as the R value for me. Lots of lower back issues.

    If it were me and I had your money.... Id build a subfloor of 2x4s with a 3/4 (min) OSB T&G floor , run my power and vac system in the floor and insulate that. Kill 4 birds with many stones.....

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    One potential issue with raising the basement floor with dri-core etc is the shortening of the lowest stair height, creating a code violation and/or trip hazard. Your overall plans and configuration may not implicate stair concerns.

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by redknife View Post
    One potential issue with raising the basement floor with dri-core etc is the shortening of the lowest stair height, creating a code violation and/or trip hazard. Your overall plans and configuration may not implicate stair concerns.
    That issue will have to be dealt with once the other half of the basement gets finished off, which won't happen for a while. The last stair to the concrete floor is 8" and the 2nd to last stair is also 8". The shop can be different if it has to, no stairs exit into the shop space.

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    I have a walk out basement with 10' ceilings. Most of the space is living space (2800sq.ft.), with about 1200sq.ft. for the shop. The living space has the glazed concrete, the shop area is just regular concrete. I have a conventional HVAC system for heating & cooling.

    I put cheap laminate down in the shop (3/8" thick), over the thin blue foam stuff. The difference in insulation is remarkable. When I run the power tools for more than 20 minutes, it gets pretty warm, even in winter. By comparison, the rest of the basement feels pretty chilly in the winter. I think any kind of flooring over the concrete will be a significant improvement. I don't know what the combined R value is for the foam underlayment + laminate, but I would expect it's less than Dricore. Once you add in drywall and one of the flooring options, you should have no problem getting it toasty warm.

    As for comfort, the floor I have definitely has sufficient 'give' to be comfortable. Any more and it would be squishy. I don't know if 1" foam + 3/4" OSB is more or less comfortable, the foam thickness is offset by the thicker OSB rigidity of course. I've stood on Dricore/ barricade flooring and it's very comfortable on your feet. Laminate also sounds rather hollow when you walk on it, Dricore does not. If I ever replace my floor, that's what I'm going with. I've never stood on foam + OSB, but I have been in basements with 1" foam + engineered wood, and that's pretty comfortable too.

    I don't think you can really go wrong with any of the options. Price-wise, it looks like all your options are within a few hundred dollars of each other. My guess is Dricore is easier to install, but $300 more than the 3/4" foam option (which has a comparable R value). Do you have any humidity issues in the basement?
    Bas.
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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    I would go with the 3/4 blue foam with Advantec option

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    Dricore is a hard plastic under OSB as opposed to OVRX Barricade which is more flexible hard foam. Both allow any water that gets under them to flow away. I investigated both and decided on the OVRX definitively.

    Back when I investigated this a search on OVRX produced a very informative website - I can't find it now - so I sense your frustration. This is the best link I came up with.

    http://barricadesubfloor.com/barricade-subfloor.html

    It seems to be Canada based, but regardless has *some* information.

    If you want to see samples I can bring some to the next Board Meeting or you can just step on Mike's floor if we have the meeting there. This stuff is great. Dricore is hard plastic - it will provide drainage, but not comfort. And it has to be leveled much more precisely than OVRX Barricade. You're welcome to visit my shop any time as well. I swear by this stuff.
    "Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s." - Billy Wilder

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    4X8 sheets os 3/4 in rigid insulation with 3/4 T/G ply should be great. I dont think you will see much difference in R value or you back increasing the rigid thinkness over a concrete floor. This method would only cost you 1 1/2'in head room also.

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bas View Post
    Do you have any humidity issues in the basement?
    I did have humidity problems when we first moved in. I had a sink put in that the dehumidifier could drain into. I have not tested the concrete floor to see if humidity was coming in through the floor. I painted the concrete walls with DryLok Extreme and it didn't seem to affect the humidity much in the basement.

    Since then I have also suspected that the humidity gauge on my dehumidifier doesn't work right. I got a hygrometer for Christmas and consistently reads 15%-20% lower than the dehumidifier. I need a reading from a 3rd source to really show which one is wrong, but I have my money on the dehumidifier reading being wrong.

    I have also sealed up several holes which were allowing in outside air (where the electric comes into the house, where the HVAC lines exit the house, a random small hole, etc). I am hoping that will all help with humidity. I don't know if it even makes sense to test for humidity coming through the floor in the winter time.

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Scuteri View Post
    It is really cold right now and a 4000W 220v space heater and a 1500W 110v space heater can only keep it around 60 degC running for hours on end. The partitioning wall to separate the shop space is just studs right now, so the space heaters are heating a 2400 sqft basement with 9' 4" ceilings. When the shop is done it will be around 1100 sqft, so the heating/cooling burden will be less.


    The cushion is just as important as the R value for me. Lots of lower back issues.
    Not perfectly related to this thread but as I too have a 4000W 220v space heater (hung on the wall in my north facing garage), let me pass this along:

    My garage was not getting much above 60 even with the heater on full blast if the outside temp was below 40. This all changed when I started running my ceiling mounted air filtration unit on low whenever I was running the heater. Now the entire space remains pleasant (even hot at times). The garage just weathered the 10 degree lows of the past week in Durham just fine. I was working out there in a t-shirt.

    Circulating the air around the space made all the difference.

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by KenOfCary View Post
    Dricore is a hard plastic under OSB as opposed to OVRX Barricade which is more flexible hard foam. Both allow any water that gets under them to flow away. I investigated both and decided on the OVRX definitively.

    Back when I investigated this a search on OVRX produced a very informative website - I can't find it now - so I sense your frustration. This is the best link I came up with.

    http://barricadesubfloor.com/barricade-subfloor.html

    It seems to be Canada based, but regardless has *some* information.

    If you want to see samples I can bring some to the next Board Meeting or you can just step on Mike's floor if we have the meeting there. This stuff is great. Dricore is hard plastic - it will provide drainage, but not comfort. And it has to be leveled much more precisely than OVRX Barricade. You're welcome to visit my shop any time as well. I swear by this stuff.

    Ken,
    Just to be 100% clear, this is what you have?

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by tarheelz View Post
    Not perfectly related to this thread but as I too have a 4000W 220v space heater (hung on the wall in my north facing garage), let me pass this along:

    My garage was not getting much above 60 even with the heater on full blast if the outside temp was below 40. This all changed when I started running my ceiling mounted air filtration unit on low whenever I was running the heater. Now the entire space remains pleasant (even hot at times). The garage just weathered the 10 degree lows of the past week in Durham just fine. I was working out there in a t-shirt.

    Circulating the air around the space made all the difference.
    That is good to know. Thanks!

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    Re: Basement Subfloor Questions

    Jeremy, I have the OVRX Barricade on my floor. I special ordered it through Lowes I believe. They now appear to only offer it in Canada. Looking at the posted photo, that is NOT the exact product I put down. Very close, but my foam bottom layer has a wider milled groove on the underside for any moisture to flow. I can measure the groove tonight, but I think that's not important. I believe mine is about 1" wide by around 1/16" to 3/32" deep. If you're not sure about the moisture in the concrete, I'd do some research on the product that will be in direct contact to make sure it will withstand the constant contact. One thing about my floor, is if I move a heavy machine on casters, I can feel the grooves at the edges of the tiles, not all, but some. Could be the floor isn't perfectly flat. I'm very happy with my floor. I keep my shop at 55 (cold months) when I'm not in there and bump the heat to about 61 when I go out. After a short time my coat is off and it's very comfortable. Usually when I leave its between 63 and 65 due to machines and etc adding to the room.

    Do some research on painting a basement floor. They will tell you to tape down some clear plastic and leave it for a day or so. If you see water droplets/moisture under the plastic, your substrate in direct contact will see this also.

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