How do I know if I need a subfloor?

I'm planning to finish my basement. My house is only 4 years old, the basement is concrete walls & floor slabs. The previous owner framed & insulated most of the walls, two walls remain un-framed.
The basement has one main room, with a bathroom and utility room (furnace & wash/dryer). The bathroom door is in line with the slider to outside. My floor plan was to have large tile floor in the bathroom, but use the same tile in the main room for the portion that connects the slider door and bath room door. The rest (85%) of the main room would be carpet. The utility room also would be tile.
Not sure how well this will show up in google groups, the dots are tile, equalsigns are carpet:
---------- outsidewall----------------------------------------------------------- |.......................... (bar).......|......................|....................| \\slider................................ \\bathroom........|.....utility........| |........................................|......................|....................| |====================|......................|...................| |====================|----------------------....................| |=======main==========|..........................................| |======room===========|__________________| |____/ |=========================================| |=========================================|
Not to scale of course but my point is that the main room will have two different floor types (carpet & tile). Whats the best approach to finish the floors?
Also, do I finish framing the walls first, or do the floors before the walls? Or do I drywall the walls / ceilings THEN do the floors? Thanks.
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Not to kill your project but are you absolutely sure the basement is dry with an external drainage system that works. Also, attach some clear plastic to the concrete floor with duct tape, about a foot square, and check overnight for moisture under plastic.

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Right but even if its dry basements can get wet from pipes etc breaking, area rugs are often best.
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ransley - I'll run that idea by the wife, area rugs on the concrete.. not.
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We have used commercial grade carpet tiles in basements. If they get wet for any reason, it is simple to pull them up and dry them off then re-install. When finished you cannot tell anything ever happened.
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Art - we noticed some small moister in a spot where the wall meets the floor last week. All of our outsides roofs channel rain down to one area of grass on the mentioned side of the house.. this area of grass is behind and above an outside retaining wall, which lines up with the 'wet wall'.. Basically a lot of water can get put into a small area.. So I do need to figure that out before I do anything for sure. This wet wall is also one of the walls the previous owner did not finish. I can see they put some sort of filler in the wall from inside the house, but that has failed.
My plan this summer to to install some outdoor gutters, channeling the water away from the house using underground conduit (like 20 feet away from the house), next spring I'll see how much that helps.
ANYWAYS ignoring that - I was just really curious on the floor, so I can start building an appropriat budget for next year assuming gutters fix my wall.
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Our basement was finished by the builder when the house was being built. All walls studded out first. Floors last. Just use a threshhoold between carpet and tile. Also concrete cracks and may crack tile with it.

Art - we noticed some small moister in a spot where the wall meets the floor last week. All of our outsides roofs channel rain down to one area of grass on the mentioned side of the house.. this area of grass is behind and above an outside retaining wall, which lines up with the 'wet wall'.. Basically a lot of water can get put into a small area.. So I do need to figure that out before I do anything for sure. This wet wall is also one of the walls the previous owner did not finish. I can see they put some sort of filler in the wall from inside the house, but that has failed.
My plan this summer to to install some outdoor gutters, channeling the water away from the house using underground conduit (like 20 feet away from the house), next spring I'll see how much that helps.
ANYWAYS ignoring that - I was just really curious on the floor, so I can start building an appropriat budget for next year assuming gutters fix my wall.
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Kbalz wrote:

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1. You are not posting to Google Groups, you are posting to Usenet via the Google Groups portal. Your message is going all over the world, far beyond Google.
2. But to answer your questions- if basement is dry and warm, tile can go right on the slab, and slab-rated padded carpet can also. Transition strips will handle any problems with different heights. Do NOT glue the carpet down, whatever you do. When basement floods, and most do eventually, it will be hell to get up and dry out. Many people recommend the tacky-bottom carpet squares that you can peel right up and take out in the yard to dry, and even wash at the car wash if needed. Installed carefully, they don't look too bad. Do walls and paint first. I'd install a curb around the water heater, and put the washer in a catch pan, to keep minor leaks contained. If you decide to go with a subfloor for a warmer feel, get the squares with bumps on the back that allow water to run underneath, and put moisture sensors down there, or have some provision to easily peek underneath, like a lift-up panel in key spots. Figure out the slope of your floor, and do not block the path of water to any drains or sump pits. Look closely at your sliding door- did they raise the sill above slab level, expecting a floor to be installed? If not, that will be the hardest part to deal with. A thick floor will also make the bottom step on the stairs feel wrong.
3. Personally, I prefer an all-concrete basement, but that is just me. Easier to clean, for the type of stuff I like to do down there.
-- aem sends...
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'Far beyond Google' - not possible, Google reaches very far! But really I didn't know about the usenet, pretty cool thanks.
Final question - I'm finishing walls with drywall, do I leave a gap (half inch) from the bottom of the drywall to the concrete if I do a subfloor or not, or both?
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It would be typical to block drywall off the floor, but the reason is to be able to plumb the sheets and/or get a snug fit to the ceiling rock. Baseboard will cover whatever happens at the bottom within reason.
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Kbalz wrote:

You always leave at least a 1/2 inch gap at the bottom of drywall, if for no other reason than to avoid wicking water from trivial floods. 3/4" is better, if you have a 1 1/2" sill plate. It also makes it easier to get a tight center joint on wall. Hang top panel first, and jam lower up against it with the little fulcrum doohickey they sell in the drywall tool aisle. You do top panel first so you can jam it tight against the ceiling panel for a nice tight joint. You did do the ceiling first, right? (None of this applies if you are doing a drop ceiling as would be typical in a basement- you use a chalkline on the studs to line up the top panel in those situations.
-- aem sends...
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