Basement Remodeling Update and Installing Subfloor to Prevent Water Damage

Project: Basement Finishing and Family Space, Episode 8, Part 1

Bob is back in the nearly completed basement family room in Melrose, MA. The new space has progressed from a dingy, damp lower level to a finished family room. He reviews the basement finishing system from Owens Corning that completes the room with walls, ceiling, and doors. To keep the space moisture and mold-free, Basement Systems has installed perimeter drainage and now a dehumidifier designed to remove water from the air at lower temperatures. An interlocking basement floor system is also installed to protect against water seepage and rot from contact between water-conducting concrete and organic flooring materials. The interlocking floor panels are attached to the floor, covered with padding, and topped with carpet tiles arranged to create a unique pattern. Easy-to-assemble, plywood-based Slide-Lok cabinets are configured and assembled to bring storage and work-surface space to the basement. These customizable storage units have adjustable plastic feet that keep them off of the floor and accommodate uneven floors. Upstairs, California Closets has inventoried the clothing and designed a storage layout with a hanging wall, shoe display, shelving, bureaus, vanity, and makeup space. Chimneys are repaired and relined with flexible, stainless-steel liners, and a remote-controlled, programmable gas fireplace insert is installed in the living room.

Part 1: Basement Remodeling Update and Installing Subfloor to Prevent Water Damage
Bob recaps the work done so far in the basement remodeling project. The Owens Corning Basement Finishing System has provided the walls and the ceiling for the new basement family room. One of the most important facets of this project is preventing moisture from causing damage in the basement. Bob talks with Larry Janesky of Basement Systems Inc., about the equipment being put in place to prevent moisture damage. An underlayment is being put on the floor to prevent water transfer. The underlayment is a plastic interlocking subfloor made specifically for basements. Organic material, like wood, should not come into contact with the concrete subfloor because water vapor rises up through the concrete and can create problems with mold. Traditionally, people remodel basements by putting visqueen down on the concrete, laying down pressure-treated 2x4's, insulating in between the boards, and then laying down a plywood subfloor. The ThermalDry inorganic underlayment is a better solution as it has tracks to allow some air circulation. With a traditional subfloor, water vapor condenses into water underneath the visqueen then transfers to the wood and organic materials in the subfloor, causing mold and rot. Plumbing leaks can also result in a wet subfloor, causing the plywood to buckle and mold to grow. ThermalDry underlayment is quick to install, which saves time and money. The panels lock together with teeth and a shiplap design to stop the water vapor. The tiles allow for a little expansion and contraction and take up only a half-inch of the basement's ceiling height. This underlayment system costs about the same amount as the traditional method but, unlike traditional subfloors, does not require replacement after a water episode. If there is a water problem, the tiles can be lifted up, dried, and put back in place once the water issue is addressed. On a flat floor, the tiles will lay flat and the perimeter tiles will be secured to the floor. The completed floor will be made up of three layers: the underlayment, the pad, and the carpet. These multiple layers will minimize any sound from the rigid plastic coming into contact with the concrete slab. The Melrose home has a wavy basement floor, so extra fasteners will be put in to hold the underlayment down. A dehumidification system will be put in the basement to draw water out of the air before it becomes a problem. It's important to use a dehumidifier designed specifically for basements as most dehumidifiers are rated for 80 degree temperatures and basements typically are much cooler than this. In this project, the dehumidifier installed was a SaniDry Basement Air System which has air filtration built in and is Energy Star rated.
Part 2: Carpeting the Basement and Organizing the Home
Part 3: Repairing the Chimneys, Installing a Gas Fireplace Insert and Completed Cabinets in the Basement Family Room
Bob Vila helps a young family with an old house create family and recreational space for their active kids. Projects include replacement window installation, innovative plumbing solutions, and smart storage to make indoor and outdoor spaces ideal for this growing family.

Also from Basement Finishing and Family Space

  • Episode 1 - Removing Unwanted Junk and Combatting Basement Moisture


    <p>In Melrose, MA, a family with two young sons needs extra room and looks to Bob and his team to repurpose their damp basement for expanded living space. Homeowner Sarah Monzon shows Bob the backyard of the 1921 gambrel with a stone retaining wall they created to manage the slope for the kids&rsquo; play yard. She explains how the exterior has water intrusion and moisture buildup problems. Inside, Cyrus Beasley rips out the under-stair closet and assesses the stair support required while the plumber disconnects the old soapstone sink. The Monzons then clear out years of junk and demolition waste before calling 1-800-Got-Junk to stack, sort, and dispose of everything to donation centers, recycling sites, and the dump for a set price. Larry Janesky of Basement Systems reviews the exterior drainage problems of the home with Bob and then explains how they will reduce moisture on the inside. The crew breaks up the concrete floor to create an interior drainage trench, applies Clean Walls to isolate the stone walls and send moisture runoff to the drainage trench and sump, installs Thermal Dry radiant barrier behind finished walls to prevent moisture transfer, and creates a hole for the sump.</p>
  • Episode 2 - Basement Waterproofing, New Plumbing, and On-Demand Hot Water


    <p class="MsoNormal"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:DocumentProperties> <o:Template>Normal.dotm</o:Template> <o:Revision>0</o:Revision> <o:TotalTime>0</o:TotalTime> <o:Pages>1</o:Pages> <o:Words>221</o:Words> <o:Characters>1265</o:Characters> <o:Company>Blue Iceberg LLC</o:Company> <o:Lines>10</o:Lines> <o:Paragraphs>2</o:Paragraphs> <o:CharactersWithSpaces>1553</o:CharactersWithSpaces> <o:Version>12.0</o:Version> </o:DocumentProperties> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG /> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves>false</w:TrackMoves> <w:TrackFormatting /> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing> <w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing> <w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery> <w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> <w:DontAutofitConstrainedTables /> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx /> </w:Compatibility> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]-->Bob and Larry Janesky of Basement Systems review the work being done to cut a drainage trench in the concrete around the perimeter of the basement floor. Water will be channeled through the trench to a sump &ndash; dug at the lowest spot in the basement &ndash; where it can be pumped out of the home. <span>&nbsp;</span>A triple safe power pump protects the home even if there is a loss of power.<span>&nbsp; </span>Bob reviews the work done on the existing plumbing once all the waterproofing and flood-prevention measures are put in place in the basement. Al Leone of Leone Plumbing Corp. first cut the pipes into sections for easy removal and demonstrates some of the specialized work he does to install the pipe, including using oakum, a joint runner, and poured hot lead to form a joint seal. Old brass water pipes are replaced with PEX tubing, creating more headroom in the basement and the sink and laundry lines can be easily relocated.<span>&nbsp; </span>Bob talks with Dan Driscoll of Rinnai about the new on-demand water heater being installed. The heater is a whole-house system sized for a three-bathroom household, laundry, and cleaning. An on-demand, tankless water heater saves basement space <span>&nbsp;</span>and is energy efficient because it does not store hot water. Driscoll opens up the water heater to show how the system works. Once the water is turned on, sensors detect the amount of water being used and the temperature of the incoming cold water. The on-demand system is about 40% more efficient than gas-fueled tank water heaters and 70% more efficient than electric tank water heaters.</p> <!--EndFragment--> <!--EndFragment--> <p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Episode 3 - Moving the Oil Tank for New Heating, Cooling, and Air Filtration


    <p>Bob is in Melrose where John Ambrosino of Total Temperature Control installs the new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Because of clearance issues, the unit is installed horizontally and tied to the joists with steel rods. Ambrosino explains how the unit pulls air in for exchange, to be heated or cooled, then pushes it through a fan and into the ducts for circulation. The 16 SEER unit is very big for maximum efficiency, quiet operation, and up to 45 percent savings over current energy costs. Mark Hagan shows Bob the Trane CleanEffects whole-house three-stage air-cleaning system that cleans the air of 99.98 percent of particulates, filtering first for large particles, then charging the small particles and capturing them in a collection filter for healthy indoor air. Don Adams of Bond-Tite Tank Service shows Bob how they move the oil tank, reattach it, set it in a trough to catch leaks and drips, and apply Tank-Guard to isolate condensing water and prevent tank corrosion. Bob talks to Howard Brickman about how to control squeaking floors either by drawing the wood floor tight against the subfloor with screws, connecting blocking to the joists and subfloor from below, or shimming the space between the subfloor and joists.</p>
  • Episode 4 - Basement Finishing System and Custom Windows

  • Episode 5 - Exterior Upgrades for 1921 Gambrel

  • Episode 6 - Hardscaping, Removing Rot, and Fighting Insect Damage

  • Episode 7 - New Backyard Fence and Basement Half-Bath

  • Episode 9 - Low-Maintenance Landscaping, Gutters, and Pantry

  • Episode 10 - Stucco Painting, Exterior Repairs, Shutters, and High-End Decking

  • Episode 11 - Basement Moisture-Proofing, Home Audio, Blinds, and Appliances

  • Episode 12 - Exterior Lighting, Audio, Video, and D├ęcor for the Melrose Home

Hi, I'm Bob Villa. Welcome to the show. Our basement finishing project is very far along here in our cottage in Melrose.

Today we are putting down a floor underlayment system that really handles the moisture, and some carpet tiles that create a beautiful pattern.

We're also going to be showing you closet systems, a whole bunch of storage cabinets that are really furniture grade, and we're also putting in a fireplace insert.

Stick around. It's good to have you with us.

Well, there's a lot happening in our basement space today, but before we get into talking about carpets and cabinets that need to be assembled let's recap a little bit, because you know, it's complicated taking an old, crummy basement and turning it into a nice room.

Our Owens Corning Basement Finishing System has provided all the walls and the ceilings, but there's a lot behind the scenes that's very important. And one of the most important parts of the job is making sure that moisture and dampness are gonna, are not going to ruin everything that we're putting in here.

All right, Larry Jeneski's with us now from Basement Systems. And Dan, you've got the products, and we've been taking a lots, lots of measures here to kind of waterproof this basement area, and this is the latest.


This is the an under-lament, right?

It is. It is a plastic sub-floor made specifically for basements.


And you know, in a basement, it's very important that we don't have organic material on the floor because we have water vapor coming up through concrete...


...that's porous, and we don't wanna have mold underneath the floor.

Well, traditionally, a lot of people would just put down visqueen right over the concrete. And then on top of that, you could lay down pressure treated 2x3's or 2x4's and you can insulate between, with a rigid insulation, for example, and then on top of that, you could put a regular plywood floor.

Why is this a better system?


Well there is couple of problems with putting this green on the floor and one is that water vapor condenses into water underneath it.

Underneath the plastic, right?

That's right.
And then, another problems is, you know, the basement is a big hole underneath the house that's full of pipes and one day there's gonna be a plumbing leak.

So, the water will line up in the basement and when that wood subfloor gets wet and it's just sitting there saturated the plywood buckles, and mold grows and rot happens and it's just we gotta keep the wood off of a basemen t floor.


You've made the point.

And Dan is into, I mean, he just started in that corner.

So, there's also the efficiency of speed and cost involved here, right?


How do these fit together?

Yeah, they just lock together with a teeth and a ship lock design and that stops the water vapor. And what we're gonna do afterward is...

So even though I see a kind of a crack there in the grid.

It's interlocking, so that it's visual but it's not actual.

That's right. That's right. That crack doesn't go all the way through there.

That crack doesn't go all the way through.

That's right. Yeah, there's a room for a little expansion and contraction between each tile. And another nice thing about this is it only takes up a half inch of your ceiling height. And in a basement that can be precious.

That's a very good point, yeah. What about the cost? Is it more cost effective than going the old route?

It's about the same.


It's about the same. But you know, this is the last sub floor you'll ever have to install in a basement.

If you do have any kind of a water problem, God forbid , you can come right down here and lift them up and...


And dry it off. And figure out what the source was and then you can put them back down.

You can.

They're not going to be damaged by the damp.

That's right. Water will not affect it at all.

Yeah. Yeah. And what about, is it just gonna lay flat on the slab?

Yeah, usually on a flat floor. It will lay flat and we'll fasten the perimeter tiles so then when they put tact strips for the carpeting, they're pulling against the tack strip when they stretch the carpeting and the The tack strip is fastened to the tile. The tile is fastened to the floor, and everything's good at the parameter.

So, it's a three part system including the underlayment, the pad and then the carpet.

That's right.

And that of course, is gonna muffle any kind of sound that, any sound concerns that you might have, because it is a rigid plastic.

Yeah, well, in this particular case, this is an old house and this floor is wavy gravy. I mean, it's got undulations , and bumps and little knobs in the concrete. It's not a flat floor, so what we're gonna do is, we're gonna add some extra fasteners where it's necessary to hold it down nice and tight.

And then the last question is, very often people will have to go down and buy a dehumidifier, even though they have taken all these measures to control moisture. They still feel there's damp in there.

That's right.

And the furniture which is going to get ruined or whatever, or mold growth, what do you suggest in terms of dehumidifying space?

Well you need a dehumidification system that's made for basement environments. Most dehumidifiers are rated at eighty degree, sixty percent relative humidity. And at 80 degrees it's easy to take water out of the air because you cool it a little bit and you get condensation.

But in basements we have temperatures that are much cooler, maybe 62 degrees, 65 degrees.


And we need a dehumidifier that is made for that environment. In here, we've installed what we call a Sanidried Basement Air System. And it is a 100 pint per day de-humidification system.

It has air filtration built in. It's very energy efficient. In fact, it's Energy Star rated. And it will perform very, very well in basements that have the cool temperatures.

Thanks, Larry and this underlame is going to be ready for carpet in no time.

That's right. Yeah. And, we seem to have wall-to-wall carpeting down, but actually its Binvetec carpet tiles. We thought a perfect choice in a basement would be a product that wasn't, you know, wall to wall, huge rolls and stuff.

These are squares that can be replaced, should you ever have to replace one. And you assemble them.

They're, they're non-adhesive, which means that they're not permanent, you know, they do stick.

And one of the interesting things is that creating this pattern, which you see here, is something that you can really get creative with. Because, the way the design is made, anyway that you lay them out, something works out. They all match, the curve , the balls and the different shapes.

So that you really can't make any mistakes putting them down.

And you can get very creative with the pattern, as you can see here, in the overall kind of, what you see on the floor. It's very, very nice. It's not quite finished yet, but right now, we want to say hello to Mr. Hamelin here.

Hi, Bob.

And Jarrod, you are from Slide-Lok, and Slide-Lok is the built-in furniture manufacturer that is gonna supply all these.

Yeah, what Slide-Lok is, is it's a garage storage cabinet, that also can be used in the home. And it's a plywood-based product and the really neat thing about our cabinets are the plastic leg extensions that we used to keep the cabinet off of the floor.

The Slide-Lok refers to the joinery, if you will. Right?

Correct. A dove-tailed joint that's far superior to any butt joint or dado joint.

These are the back pieces that attach to the wall, the doors, inner shelf Yeah, that's an adjustable shelf.

So we've got three of them.

This looks like a bottom.


This is the male part of the dovetail.


Slides in.

Alright, well, I'm gonna get the box and the packing material out of the way. And this is, you know, again in the wonderful age of the internet, this is the kind of thing you should shop for on your computer.

And you design and figure out how much you can use and how much you need.

And we're just going to quiet down here, and watch you put it together.

Okay. What your are doing is just apply a small bead of glue in each of the joints.

Any wood glue will do. The shelf basically just slides in .

Hence the name.

Yep, slide-lock. These holes that are in the shelves are for the plastic. leg that I was talking about earlier.


Now that's a great feature, not having to worry about a toe kick situation where you could in fact have rodents nesting.


Just slides in. Put the two nailers on.

This is what we are going to screw through to attach it to the wall.

These are the plastic legs here. You can see they are adjustable. All the cabinets come with all of the installation screws and hardware that you will need.

OK. Hey, Jarad, we will check back with you later, when you are farther along. Meantime, there's another sort of storage solution we've been working on, upstairs in the master bedroom closet, where we had another very disorganized space.

Well, the master bedroom closet, if it's done the right way, can really save a marriage. No one wants to wake up everyday to a messy space where they can't find things, it sets you up for a gloomy day.

So, what I have done, when I met with Sara, is, we came into a closet where they had tried to get the organization to work themselves.

They had some beautiful dressers that were in here, but they just weren't exactly in the right space. There was clutter on top, the hanging wasn't accessible, it just felt felt very heavy in here.

So what we did is, we took an inventory of all the clothes and everything that was required to come into the space, and this is a design that I presented to you Sarah, say this something that we're going to do.

Dave is going to start building the drawer unit right here to start off with.

At California Closets, we use all full extension ball bearing slides so that when you pull the drawer out you can get full use of the entire space.

We've maximized the space here, by adding some hanging on this wall. If you remember, when came into the room, we have a lot of clothes on rack, sticking into the center of the room.

On this wall right here we're going to be putting double hanging which is going to maximize the surface area.
Now that everything is installed, this is the perfect chance to go through the closet and look at all the features. Here we have the lady's shoe shelves which is perfect, as we mentioned before, for showcasing different shoes.

Just walking through the bureau area. Nice wide drawers for organizing personal item . Vanity section with a jewelry drawer on top. Second sliding tray as well as a hidden magnetic lock.

The vanity counter top, fabulous place to put her make-up on. With the natural light which helps in applying makeup. Over here, we have different lengths of hanging to keep ourselves organized. And here is the valet rod to set your clothes out for the next day. Belt rack that pulls out beyond the clothes once everything's in.

This is a hanging wall where we put different height of hanging , which helps you to keep your clothes very organized.

Finally Ricardo's area, where he has his own space for shoes, his own drawers for socks and underwear, t-shirts. The belt rack, tie rack and his own ballet hook.

And then finally look at all the floor space we have gained for a real walk-in closet. One of the home improvements that we wanted to do here, was to repair the chimney. Because, old houses often have chimneys that need some work done. From the masonry to sometimes relining and it even gets more complicated, but we also install the Rinnai insert. Watch.

We actually had two chimneys to deal with on this house. The furnace chimney flue needed to be lined to meet code. Especially, since we'd just replaced the heating system.

You never know when an old brick chimney is going to become a fire hazard, since it's usually built into the structure of the house.

It's important to use a flexible, stainless steel liner to protect your home from any danger of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

This is a B vent stack. It's specifically designed to vent gas appliances. It's a double wall pipe. It has a concentric construction. So we have a pipe inside a pipe. That protects the heat of the natural draft that we need to properly vent the flue gas products out of this chimney. The pipe is manufactured in various length sections. We're using three-foot lengths today. And it basically is a Banna lock system and it's just a twist lock and that locks it in place. So once we are up on the roof, he will be able to assemble this and simply drop it down from the top of the chimney.

The fireplace chimney needed some attention urgently, inside and out, so we could safely install a new gas fireplace insert. There was a lot of damage to the brick at the top of the chimney, so those bricks were removed and replaced by Tim Martinson of Upside Down Chimney Sweeps, here in Melrose.

I noticed that these bricks are all solid, and down on the bottom these bricks seem to be loose, so I pulled one of the bricks out just to see how loose it was, and the mortar and everything came right out. So, what I'm going to do is just take these bricks out and just re-mortar them back in.

The vent pipe connects This hub on the out light of the fireplace. It will then have the gas and electric connections made over here on the right side .

We are drilling the heart of the fire place to run the gas line up through to supply gas to the fire place.

Would the corrugated stainless steel gas line, brought up into the the bottom of the fireplace. We've then brought it over top, connected through a straight adapter, into the black urn pipe, which is equipped with a drip T.

That's the nipple and cap on the bottom and then we go directly end of the side of the fireplace into gas valve.

The unit is equipped with two pilot assemblies similar to this. We then have our log set burner.

There are two burners here, and this will supply the gas to the log set itself. And then what is unique to the renai is that we have our high efficiency heating burner which is separate and sits The log set, and that will give us the great comfort and great heating efficiency.

It comes equipped with the remote control, and the programmable thermostat will allow you to have the unit come on the morning, and then shut itself off when you go to work or school.

It could then come back on in the afternoon, and it would shut itself off after everyone has has gone to bed. It can be operated on its thermostat, or it can be operated off that programmable control.

Giving excellent heating efficiency and comfort. Once we have the unit in place, one of final things in the far boxes to take the log set, and to locate it in the firebox.

OK, what we're going to do now is we're going to insert the finished surround. And this is going they act as a transition behind the Rennai fireplace is going to be our finish around up against the masonry fireplace. And this is the last piece of trim we need to finish the installation.

And the best part is, there's no messy pile of wood outside. There we go. Here come the BTUs.

And we're back in the new family room, and the fellows have installed just about all the units that are going in here. So this one is actually going to be the part of the room where you have some storage, kind of a work surface. I think they're planning a little bar area here, a wine fridge.

And how are you doing over here? Have you? Yeah, you've got all the shelves in place, right?

Yeah, I'm just finishing up here. Just putting the shelves in, the last touches.

Now, one of the interesting things here is that this stuff is originally meant to be garage storage furniture, right?


And we have put it in family room space.


And it looks like nice furniture.

Yeah, and one of the really great things about this cabinet is plywood based product. There's absolutely no particle board in these cabinets at all.

Yeah, you said that. That's a good point.


And it looks great, Thanks.

Thank you.

And, of course, in the back where he's installed two big kind of top to bottom units I want to point something out. This is an old house, an old slab and if you look over there, you can really see how the floor dips.

It's not at all level, and if you look at the bottom line of these storage units with their adjustable legs. That makes such a big difference because the whole line and the whole unit is nice and level.

But, that's it for this week. Next time we'll be gardening. We'll be putting in some very interesting new products, some of them man-made, and we'll also be putting in aluminum gutters.

Till then, I'm Bob Vila. Thanks for joining.



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