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Wood Sub Floors

The problem is this: concrete is porous like a sponge. If you have moisture in the earth around your basement floor, the concrete floor will soak that moisture up from the ground and release it into the basement air in the form of water vapor. The dirt around your foundation was backfilled in when the foundation was built. Because of this, it will always be looser and more porous than the virgin earth around it, and water will always collect against your home’s foundation more than anywhere else.

As this moisture soaks through to the basement and is released, it will collect on anything lying on your basement floor. If you’ve laid a wood sub floor and carpet on the floor, then you can count on that to soak up this moisture and grow mold, mildew, and rot. Your basement will fill with mold spores, dust mite feces, and unpleasant odors as your wood sub floors and beautiful carpet decays. In a few years, the damage will be more than you can stand, and the whole finished basement floor will need to be ripped up and replaced. The solution to this comes in two easy rules:

Rule 1: Never install wood floors in a basement.
Whether it’s in the form of moisture coming through the concrete, a foundation leak, or a plumbing leak from within the house itself, water will reach the basement floor sooner or later. It only takes about 48 hours for mold to start growing, and there’s no easy way to dry wood sub floors out. Installing wood sub floors in a basement is a risk at best and a disaster at worst.

Rule 2: Add a reliable plastic vapor barrier to your floor, then lay your carpeting on top.
A thick pile carpet will add warmth to the room and will absorb sounds, making the finished basement quieter than ever. It’ll be softer under foot and will make the room as comfortable as possible for children to play in.