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Covering old basement flooring

Posted by suz_s (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 21, 08 at 16:54

After seven years in our house, we are finally going to tackle refinishing the basement. We have some rough ideas of what we want to do, but thougth we would run them by those who have gone before.

Basics: Our house was built in 1950 and located is in western Oregon. It is, for the most part, dry, although we assume there was a couple of inches of water throughout during the 1996 flood. We assume that it will probably flood again at some point during our ownership. The two rooms we are looking at refinishing are the playroom and the laundry room. The laundry room has a drain and the sump. The ceiling is low--maybe seven feet max. Handwaving room dimensions are: 15*30 for the playroom and 10*20 for the laundry room.

The first order of business will be to have the two existing windows in the playroom lengthened for egress. We will then replace the strandboard wall with gypboard, patch the divots in the concrete foundation (where the nailing strips for the 1970's paneling were pulled out), and cover the existing 1950's pink paint with something we can stomach. Then we can do the floor(s), and this is where we have our questions.

The floor is uneven. The playroom floor is 1970's vinyl tile, and the laundry room is painted concrete. The laundry room floor also slopes to the drain. As there is already a minumum of head room, we want to keep the floor buildup as low as possible. We redid the office area two years ago and used self-leveling concrete to encapsulate the 1950's tile and mastic, then laid down sheet vinyl. We don't really want to do that for the much larger playroom. We have been thinking about putting down Delta-FL and covering it with inexpensive laminate. Has anyone had experience with this? We do not want to do carpet--too many animals with the possiblity of accidents. I want someting I can mop up. Does anyone have better ideas for our Chevy (not Cadillac) house?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Covering old basement flooring

If the floor is too bad, you may want to consider using "sand mix" to level it. You must clean the floor as much as possible, removing old vinyl, adhesive and paint as humanly possible. Then you brush a mix of fortifier and Portland cement(commonly called moose milk). Then trowel out the sand mix to level it off. You could also use a standard floor leveler if the deviations aren't too bad (I think it's good within 1 1/2 inches, but check manufacturers directions). With the laminate, I have seen a lot of systems over the years that say they will stand up to moisture, but haven't done so well. I haven't seen the Delta-FL system over a long period of time, so I can't say whether it will last or not. There are several advantages to laminate though...
-It's cheap
-Quick and easy to install
-Generally very ware resistant other than harsh abrasion and moisture

I have laid it in a few daycares, etc... and it seams to hold up pretty well, as long as you can keep the moisture, and any sandy soils off of it. It is recommended to glue the joints on many systems if moisture is a concern.

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