Tear up basement floor or cover it?

Help Support House Repair Talk:

jimintroy

New Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Troy, NY
Hi all. I've got a corner room in my basement that currently has an old vinyl/linoleum over wood floor. That is on top of concrete. I'd like to put a new floor down right on top of it -- something like DMX and then cork or something else. The basement is musty but never floods. The floor is a pretty sound surface at present but God only knows how long it's been there and I'm a bit concerned by the old wood top, along with the sleepers they sit on. As that wood continues to decompose, is that going to create a permanent mold situation? Tearing up the old floor would be a colossal project that I'm really not relishing at the moment. Thanks for any advice.

-Jim
 
Last edited:

joecaption

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
2,555
Reaction score
479
I think you already know what right way would be to do this.
I'd bet you already have mold and rot going on under that floor.
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
6,401
Reaction score
2,420
Location
Erie, PA
There is an old saying about throwing good money after bad.
 

jimintroy

New Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Troy, NY
Messages received loud and clear. Also, while wheeling around in a rolling chair, one of the castors punched through the flooring. A screwdriver inserted in the hole went clear down to the concrete (about 3"). So I cut out a chunk. The existing floor, which I'm sure has never been replaced and is upwards of 50 years old, was, starting from the top: linoleum tile / hardwood / pine subfloor / 2x4 sleepers embedded in the concrete floor. The sleepers were completely rotted out and the concrete was dampish to the touch. The subfloor was well on its way and the hardwood had, in spots rotted through.

basementFloor.jpg

So I'm thinking I'd really like to avoid organic materials in the rebuild. One issue I'm not quite sure about is whether the underlayment should try to seal off the moisture that's trying to get through from the concrete, as suggested in this Delta FL promotional video, or to allow for ventilation at the edges as this DMX installation video.

-Jim
 

Jeff Handy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
893
Reaction score
314
Location
Chicago suburbs
My instinct says to allow ventilation, but not based on any flooring experience.

Every basement I have seen gets damp somehow.
From water wicking up from below, through cracks and seepage, from broken pipes or sump pump failures, water heater leaks, etc.

So any water trapped down there will just stink and cause mold.
 
Top