For questions generally relating to habitable spaces in a home below ground level, and to foundation types that include a space of this type.

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2answers
7k views

Vinyl tile installation over a concrete basement floor with moisture

I would like to put some sort of flooring over part of my basement. Something with the look and simple installation of an interlocking garage tile (example) would fit the bill -- this isn't a living ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

What Cement Based Product Is Used for Smoothly Finished Floors?

I recently replaced a floor drain in my basement around which I had dug out the concrete, gravel and clay soil. When I sealed it back in, I laid down a bed of gravel and sand, and then used a ...
3
votes
1answer
120 views

What is this this square hole in bathroom rough in used for?

I have a plumbing rough in that is located below grade in my basement. The system consists of a 2" sewer pipe and a toilet rough in connected to an ejecter tank. In the middle there is what appears to ...
3
votes
2answers
870 views

What is the minimum thickness of foam board when insulating a basement

What is the minimum thickness of the foamboard insulation that can be used when insulating a concrete basement wall when it comes to moisture control and temperature control? Obviously thicker is ...
3
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2answers
250 views

What type of cleaner should I use to remove a puke stain from concrete?

My cat puked on the basement floor in a couple places, but I can't seem to clean the stain. So far I've tried simply mopping with Pine-Sol®, which didn't work. Then I tried scrubbing/mopping with ...
3
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3answers
317 views

Re-framing basement walls after flooding. Drain tile with no concrete?

Im getting ready to re-frame basement walls after basement flood (shocking images attached). I'll be doing this for every wall portion that can possibly flood: 1) ridgid XPS foam insulation ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I prevent water from leaking into my basement?

How do I prevent rain water from leaking directly into the basement? As you can see in the diagram below, rain water drains into small concrete cracks (near the bright red line shown below) and finds ...
3
votes
1answer
358 views

Do I need to get an engineer for badly poured conctrete basement floor?

I am having a new home built on Cape Cod. The day they poured the concrete floor a storm was predicted and it rained and snowed that night. The floors are a mess, pitted, uneven etc. The builder ...
3
votes
1answer
290 views

How can I find out if a vapor barrier is requried for finishing a basement to code?

I'm planning out a basement finishing project, and I'd like to do it correctly. I've done a lot of research but what I can't tell is if I do, or do not, require a vapor barrier. I was hoping from a ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

What to do about subfloor covering sole plates?

My basement already has framing and insulation around the outside walls, along with a few outlets in them. If I were to do 3/4" OSB over 1" XPS for a subfloor the sole plates of those outer walls ...
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5answers
8k views

How should I encapsulate a basement wall with chipping paint on a porous surface?

I have a basement wall with several layers of chipping paint. I can't say officially, but I'm pretty certain the bottom layer (dark green in the photos) is lead-based, while the upper layers are not. ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I improve the cold floor in my ground-floor unit?

My home is a ground-floor unit in a condominium. The floor is really quite cold and I'd like to do something about that. I saw in another question the suggestion to use Platon. Would I be able to put ...
3
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3answers
87 views

What are the pros and cons of paint vs epoxy for concrete floors?

We will be finishing our basement in our new house - over the next two years or so. Eventually, we will put down flooring in most of the basement (although some parts will remain unfinished). ...
3
votes
3answers
144 views

How to run wire through steel garage floor system

We are building a carriage house, with a 4 car garage and a basement underneath. The basement has steel I-beams and the metal b-decking that the garage floor is poured on top of as a ceiling. What ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

Electric floor heat in basement without tile

I'm planning on putting electric floor heat in a daylight basement room which has a concrete pad. However, we don't like tile, so we'd like to use something else--preferably something that looks like ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I attach the framing of a shorter wall to a higher wall above concrete?

Back again with another framing question that I simply haven't been able to answer. For Reference: Gray - Concrete Pink - XPS Insulation Darker Browns - Existing Wood Light Brown w/ Dashes - new ...
3
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3answers
11k views

What is a good solution for hiding insulation in an unfinished basement?

First off, let me note that I am a tenant in this house. My landlord lets me do small improvements, but I'm not going to finish the basement with drywall myself. Basically, we have an unfinished ...
3
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3answers
3k views

How do I fix the cracks in my brick foundation?

I have some cracks in the foundation of the house I am about to buy. The house is 100 years old, there doesn't seem to be water leaks. The cracks don't look to be offset. Attached is the picture (...
3
votes
1answer
645 views

Is this old basement floor concrete, grout, or something else?

What is the likely construction/material of the basement floor shown below? It's not very flat, and the surface appears sandy. It's almost as if some kind of skim-coat was applied to the dirt floor. ...
3
votes
1answer
717 views

When waterproofing my basement, should I apply 11 mil plastic in addition to the dimple board?

I'm currently interviewing contractors for exterior basement waterproofing. The difference in price is not significant, but there is one major difference. The contractors will: Trench down below ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Should I seal, waterproof a concrete basement floor before painting?

What is the best sealer/waterproofer to put on a basement floor that I just want to paint. New construction, no water problems, but washer & drier & water heater are in basement and add to ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

open cinder block wall in basement

I am replacing some framing and sheet rock that has been contaminated by mice. The basement has cinder block walls that come up about half way for some reason. The house was built in the 1950s. In ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Backwater valves, furnace drains, and vent pipes

I'm having a house built and I got a picture of the drain pipes in the basement prior to pouring the slab, and it looks like this: The left blue circle is a floor drain for the furnace, the right ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

What length of Tapcon/ramset nail for base plate?

I'm wavering back and forth between installing a my baseplate to my basement floor with either tapcons or ramset. Tapcon Pros: Can use existing impact driver and only need to buy Impact bit set ...
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Is a leveled wood frame for a basement floor a good idea?

Just bought an old house. One half of the basement has a nice headroom. The floor is painted concrete, and is pretty uneven and ultimately slopes towards a floor drain. I'd like a nice floor. Can I ...
3
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2answers
370 views

What can I do about my deteriorating basement floor with a large hole that seems to go right through to clay?

We live in 90 year old house with an unfinished basement. I've been working on removing a lot of the crap that the previous owner did, and removing a lot of concrete debris. Then I ran into this ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Cost of XPS panels vs. sprayed closed cell foam

I'm starting the process of finishing my nearly full height (7'2") basement and am costing out the insulation. Based on my research of what's best below grade, I'm debating between XPS foam panels (...
3
votes
3answers
145 views

Can I remove the framed wall on the outside of my basement?

I have a 20 year old house (which is a basic colonial box). The basement has a standard poured concrete exterior wall. Against the concrete exterior wall, they framed a standard wood 2 x 4 wall, ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Rim Joist Insulation without a Sill Plate

I've seen a few similar questions but the answers don't add up... I would like to use some rigid foam insulation to insulate my rim joists. Here is the problem: everything I have seen shows putting ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Drain clogged by grout

The contractor I hired to tile my basement bathroom dumped a bunch if grout sand down the drain. it is clogged solid now that the plumbers came back to do their water test. we have been trying to get ...
3
votes
1answer
406 views

Is there a recommended distance between fasteners on sole plates?

We've just started installing pressure treated 2x4s as sole plates in our 5 year old basement. We drove 3 nails into each 8' plate, one at each end (around 3 or 4 inches in) and one somewhere at the ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I put tile in my basement over Ditra and existing mastic?

My basement has been prone to getting water for many years before I bought the house. We're having the basement walls repaired (excavated outside) & sealed. So this problem should go away. The ...
3
votes
1answer
397 views

How can I prevent the water from my neighbor's leaky gutter from entering my basement?

There is some water leakage in my stone basement on my neighbor's side (which is otherwise, very dry for a stone basement). As you can see from picture, the side of our house is loose stone (may be ...
3
votes
1answer
340 views

Can I convert a basement window to a door?

We have a poured concrete basement, serving as the foundation of our home, which was built in 2008 in central Minnesota. The basement has 3 vinyl windows, the sills of which are around 1' above grade....
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I insulate interior basement walls that are not against the exterior walls?

I'm in the process of building an office and family room in my basement and need some help with the walls and insulation. There is a perimeter drain in the slab around the exterior walls that ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Worthwhile to insulate basement ceiling while remodeling?

I have an existing finished basement where I'm in the process of replacing an severely damaged plaster ceiling with drywall. I've got the entire thing open, and as it's an old house (1925) there is ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I apply rigid insulation between existing basement framing?

I'm replacing wood paneling in my basement with drywall. There are 1x furring strips attached to the cinder block and covered with tar paper, and the wood paneling was attached to those strips. ...
3
votes
2answers
608 views

Is there a way to sound proof my basement while I've got part of the ceiling open?

We had a header beam installed in our basement. The floor joists are exposed for 1ft (~30cm) on both sides for the length of the beam. The basement is an apartment, so I'd like to add some sound-...
3
votes
1answer
251 views

Basement Bath floor

I'm putting Platon drain board on the slab of my basement because I'm concerned with humidity and moisture. Then I top it with laminate. What should I do with the bathroom? Can tile be put on top ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Uses of a damp basement

I have an old brick house (1960s) next to a river, the ground surrounding the house is normally wet. The basement is very humid and just use to store stuff that can't go bad. I will most likely get ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

basement subfloor - do i need sleepers for this solution

I'm going to install a basement subfloor. I want to follow option 3 from this site: http://homerenovations.about.com/od/additions/a/BasementSubfloor.htm. A nice option because the foam insulation ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Can I have a “hollow” basement bathroom floor?

I'm going to jackhammer my basement's concrete floor to install plumbing for a new bathroom. Normally, after the plumbing is done, we should pour concrete to it again. What will happen if I just "...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Should I bother to flip basement ceiling insulation that's on backwards?

the rolled faced insulation on the ceiling of my unfinshed unheated basement is on backwards(vapor barrier facing down instead of up towards the 1st floor),1st floor is uncovered hardwood. Insulation ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

How do I dry up a stucco wall that presents efflorescence?

I have determined the source of the water and I would like to believe that I stopped that with a temporary fix (a large tarp that will cover my patio which used to collect water at the base of the ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

Can you lay ceramic/porcelain tile over existing mastic without grinding the floor?

We had a basement flood, and consequently had to rip out the vinyl floor tiles in our basement. The tiles were not asbestos (we had them tested). But after the tiles came up we discovered that they ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Must NM cables around panels in unfinished basements be protected?

I'm thinking about installing a new circuit. The panel is on the wall in an unfinished basement. Three questions: Is the new NM cable going down to and around the panel considered to be "subject to ...
3
votes
1answer
643 views

What is this material on my interior foundation walls?

I have a poured concrete foundation. A portion of my basement is unfinished. It looks like a white plaster has been sprayed onto the foundation wall inside my house: I suspect spraying as there are ...
3
votes
1answer
400 views

Why does the exhaust in my basement bathroom drip condensation in warm weather?

The exhaust in my basement bathroom drips condensation in warm weather, and the drop ceiling tile gets mildewed. I did not use insulated ducting to the outside. Should I wrap insulation around it ...
3
votes
1answer
462 views

Remodel Recessed Lighting in New Basement?

I am finishing my basement and will be installing a drop ceiling. Right now the ceiling is open. I purchased some recessed lighting on clearance at Home Depot for $5.00, normally $20. After doing ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What type of flooring can be used on a concrete slab?

I have a split ranch house in NY and the downstairs hallway and half bath / laundry room currently has vinyl tile on a concrete slab. I would like to cover the vinyl tile with a new floor. What is ...