Subfloor Options for Basements

Before laying flooring, it's necessary to choose a basement subfloor that will provide you with protection and stability.

Floor Installation

Floor Installation

By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik
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Subflooring is the material that lies beneath your basement floor, providing stability and durability.

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Wood panels, such as plywood or oriented strand board, are common subfloor choices. However, because wood is a naturally porous substance that will absorb moisture, when used as a basement subfloor, these materials are often installed on mini-joists known as "sleepers," which allow it to sit above a concrete pad. Some experts also recommend coating the panels with a waterproof sealant for extra protection. Once a wood subfloor is installed and waterproof, you can install carpet, laminate and vinyl floors right on top.

Insulating subfloors are a welcome addition to basement spaces because they typically help to improve the warmth of the flooring that will be placed over it. These subfloors, which can be made from both synthetic and natural materials, are highly resistant to moisture.

A vapor barrier will protect flooring from the damp. This is a simple sheet of plastic that is taped over a concrete floor and will help keep out moisture.

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