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Basement Subflooring

If you would like to remodel your basement so that you can maximize the living space in your house and significantly add to its resale value, do not be discouraged by a cold, damp concrete floor. You can still have the basement playroom, family room, exercise area, home office, or media room that you want.

Attractive traditional flooring can be installed over a prefinished, panelized flooring system that will keep the surface of the basement floor warm and dry, as it channels moisture to floor drains. These panels are manufactured from a layer of oriented strand board over a corrugated plastic base that positions the panel 7/8 inch above the concrete. The corrugated channels on the bottom of each panel create an air gap above the concrete floor. Moisture flows through the channels to the floor drain. The air gap also serves as a thermal break and provides insulation. Interlocking panel edges keep the panels tightly fitted together.

If you are thinking of installing these sub-floor panels, consider the following:

  • Each panel is about 8 inches wide and 54 inches long and covers about 3 square feet. Measure the space you want to cover before purchasing them.
  • These panels can be used as flooring themselves and so are manufactured in a variety of colors. For a really fine appearance in your room, you will want to use them as a base for a finished floor (see flooring). Carpeting and laminate flooring can be installed by putting down the appropriate padding or underlayment first. Engineered hardwood can be nailed directly to the panels, but care should be taken not to puncture the channeled base. Vinyl tiles require an underlayment of plywood, while ceramic tiles need a cement board underlayment to keep the tiles from cracking.

These sub-floor panels are sturdy enough to support heavy pieces of furniture and exercise equipment. They are also resilient, providing an ideal surface for exercise or play.

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