Wood foundation, floor covering ideas

I have a small cabin (20x24) located in an area with sandy soil. The foundation is wood as is the floor of the basement which is 3/4" plywood (presumably treated) over 2x8 floor joists.
I'm installing radiant tubing in the building including in the basement.
There appears to be no rot or weakness in the plywood flooring.
Looking for options for floorcovering: bamboo, ceramic
Any thoughts, suggestions or potential problems? One issue is IF plywood ever needs replacing, perhaps I need something removable.
Building is about 20 years old and there appears to be no moisture issues (yet).
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Franz,
You have a basement and a foundation made out of wood? This is most unusual.
Dave M.
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On Fri, 01 Feb 2008 08:11:48 -0500, David L. Martel wrote:

Not really... it is an acceptable method of construction. US Forest Products Lab has all sorts of literature on this method of construction. Not for every region or soil due to drainage issues. Works best in well- drained soils. The concept is fascinating. It's regular frame construction with the first floor becoming the basement.
Also cheaper and quicker to put up.
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On Fri, 01 Feb 2008 08:11:48 -0500, David L. Martel wrote:

Google
wood foundations
for additional info and ideas.
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"franz fripplfrappl" wrote

I'm sure it's properly treated. BTW, at this age, you may want to see if there is a spray treatment you should reapply. This would be the time to do it to make it easier.

Just ideas here as no experience with this type of construction, but it seems you'd want to watch weight issues? You have no problems now but adding a layer of ceramic is pretty heavy. Seems to me you miught create a problem with that, which wouldnt happen with a lighter material.
Those pop in place, nail-less wood floorings (bamboo and other types) work nicely if the floor is very even. For the bathroom and kitchen, there are light weight 'tiles' that look like linoleum but in 1ft squares and seem they would be perfect there. You can even get them in a 'woody look' and then you can mop them easier than a wood floor (especially a plywood one!).
A thin layer of an underlayment is put down with a trowel and then you just apply the tiles over it. If the kitchen is open to the rest, may want to just keep the same wood floor pattern there though with the nail-less laydown type.
If the place is a rustic cabin look (sounds like it) consider one of those round 'American braided rag rugs' for the central 'living room' part. They last a very long time and would look nice in that setting.
Oh one last part. Thank another poster for this as they gave it in feedback some time back when I'd not have thought of it. If getting the nail-less wood floor covering panels, be sure to get all the same batch at ones. They have 'dye-lots' on them like paint. They can have slight variations among them so you dont want a mis-matched color at the end when you run out. Thats not an issue if you get the type that you stain and coat yourself, but it's reputed to be fine with the other type (which I've never worked with, laid my last floor before they had such nifty stuff on the market).
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Well, I have heard of wood basements, but a wood basement floor is a new one on me. I presume there is a space under the joists? Plywood is somewhat vapor permeable, and if you cover the floor with something vapor impermeable, you could potentially trap moisture under there. So I would want a trap door somewhere to give the area a periodic inspection.
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I've studied PT wood foundations a bit, and have been in a couple of PT foundation home. If done right (extra attention on drainage etc), they work quite well. They really are all wood floor and walls.
The first thing you notice about them, compared to concrete basements, is that they smell and feel different. Dryer, no musty smells, warmer.
I think you've probably hit the nail on the head - that it would be relatively unwise to put in a highly impermeable floor covering for risk of causing the subfloor to degrade. But I don't know "how unwise". Perhaps some hidden venting would suffice (or already be present). Properly done, there's already vapor barrier in it.
I think it would be a good idea to consult with a flooring manufacturer's support line, explicitly mentioning "wood foundation".
Some google searching may assist. This is a good introduction to them:
http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/pubs/cbd/cbd234_e.html
The OP should do some research to ensure that whatever he does doesn't affect the existing foundation. Which may involve adding more moisture barrier etc.
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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