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
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.
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
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).
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
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
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.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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