Options for subfloor in basement with low ceiling?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Alen Koebel, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. Alen Koebel

    Alen Koebel Auditioning

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    My brother-in-law is renovating his basement and he wants to add a home theater. He has removed the current floor, which was very cheap laminate (and poorly installed). He has come to me for advice about what he can replace it with and so I come here. I assume carpet is his best option acoustically but what does he lay it on? The concrete floor does seem quite dry. But bad things can happen. His ceiling is only 7' 7" to the bottom of the joists so he wants to minimize the height of anything he adds beneath the carpet. He could go with DRIcore but that eats up 7/8" of headroom. That's not all that bad but the panels don't come cheap:
    http://www.dricore.com/en/ewhat.htm


    "Subflor" is another product that seems to be essentially identical:
    http://www.subflor.com/


    ThermalDry is an all plastic option that's only 1/2" high, but I'll bet it's even pricier:
    http://www.basementsystems.com/produ...or_matting.php


    Finally, the thinnest and likely the least expensive option I've found are a couple of products from Superseal: All-in-One and Warm-N-Quiet, which are 1/8" and 5/16" high, respectively:
    http://superseal.ca/all_in_one_subfloor.html
    http://superseal.ca/subfloor_plus_foam.html

    Opinions? Preferences? Has anyone used these products (especially those from Superseal)?
     
  2. Greg Monfort

    Greg Monfort Supporting Actor

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    Greets!

    Historically, jute padding was/is used in vehicles, basements, etc., since it has good acoustic damping properties and can be 'hung out' to dry, just like the carpet, but today's various carpet's construction only work well with certain padding materials, so Caveat Emptor: http://www.carpetguru.com/pad200.htm

    GM
     
  3. Alen Koebel

    Alen Koebel Auditioning

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    I may not have expressed myself very well. There will be - has to be - underpad. What I was referring to were the options for the subfloor underneath the pad. Almost everyone says *not* to lay the pad directly on the concrete.
     
  4. DavidHuguet

    DavidHuguet Agent

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    Have you found prices for the above products yet? I like the all-in-one idea but can't see how you'd install carpet on it without it popping up under the pressure from the carpet stretching...

    dave
     
  5. Ryan_Papineau

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    I'll be going down the same route in the near future. For myself I'd decided to go with something similar to the DRICore that you linked(and thanks, I saved that link for future reference). For me, I live in a fairly cold area so think that there will be some extra insulation from the cold concrete. I do agree that from what I saw of the costs at Home Depot that it isn't cheap, but in my opinion anyhow it seems worth it.
     
  6. Alen Koebel

    Alen Koebel Auditioning

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    Prices: In Ontario, Canada DRICore is $7.55 CDN (about $6.60 USD) for each 2' x 2' panel at The Home Depot. Subflor sells in Canada at Rona, a competitor to The Home Depot, and in the US at Lowe's. Lowes calls it Supra Floors but it's the same stuff and sells for $5.89 USD for a 2' x 2' panel. I don't have prices yet for the other options but comments by the manufacturers on their respective web sites lead me to believe that ThermalDry is more expensive than DRICore or Subflor, and that the Superseal products should be considerably cheaper.
     
  7. dickTH

    dickTH Extra

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    I'll throw my 2 cents in as I own a carpet store, and have been in the business since I was a wee lad.
    I have no problem whatsoever putting carpet and pad down in a basement, most pads and carpets will breath and allow hydrostatic moisture to go right through.
    Do the moisture test and see what happens, but if there has already been carpet down and there was no musty smell, I wouldn't worry about it. If you are in Ontario, as I am, running a dehumidifier in the basement during the summer is a good idea.
     
  8. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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  9. dickTH

    dickTH Extra

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    That stuff looks like the outdoor carpet stuff. Might be good for flood prone area's but I doubt it's very nice to walk on Might be worth looking at a sample though
     
  10. rademacher1939

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    I don't know if this helps any but I just finished building my basement also.
    I live in Northern Indiana so I am in the snow belt. I also have low ceilings of (7').
    I just layed the pad (sun burst) and carpet right down on the floor. I went with a Shaw carpet that was made up of recycled material. It will wear well and cleans up pretty easy. I know about the clean up part because my sister spilt a glass of red wine on the two week old carpet. The backing of the carpet seemed to have a bit heavier backing.
    I hope this helps some.
     
  11. dickTH

    dickTH Extra

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    Yeah, it is made from recycled pop bottles, obviously very stain resistant (Ever seen a stained pop bottle? [​IMG] )
    Could have been their SoftBac backing, it's almost like a felt on the back, makes for a softer feel, dimensionally stable and the installers don't scratch the baseboards.
     
  12. a2cpc

    a2cpc Extra

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    We just redid the floor in our basement. We went with a Pergo floor with area rugs scattered around. I know this may not be the optimal for a home theater, but placing the rugs and some soft/fabric wall hangings will probably do the trick for me. I think movies and the like sound better in a "dead" enviroment, but sports and other live events sound better to me in a room with a little "brightness" to it.
     
  13. Nickrh

    Nickrh Extra

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    I have pretty much the same setup as you, around 7' ceilings and concrete floors, Initially when we built this addition to the house there were some leaks but we got that all taken care of and now i just have regular carpet padding and carpet on top of it, I have had no problems with this setup and it has been 5 years. The carpet doesn't get cold and i live in michigan so its very cold in the winter season. If its not leaking (And beleave me you would probably know cause you would smell it) Then i would not worry about all of this other stuff unless you want something to acoustically treat the floors.
     
  14. Bud Huey

    Bud Huey Stunt Coordinator

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    I am not sure who told you not to put carpet directly on the concrete flooring, but it is done all the time here (Atlanta, GA) in basements and on slab foundations. Do the plastic test and if it looks OK just put the carpet and the pad directly onto the concrete and just run a dehumidier in the basement if you want extra protection.

    If you are really worried you could go with rubber backed carpet squares. They now come is some really good looking patterns and if installed correctly you would never know they are squares. I use an industrial grade version of these in my garage and they work great. If they get wet there is no pad underneath to mildew and I can just pull up the square and replace it if an "accident" occurs.

    Good Luck,
    Bud
     
  15. Brian.R

    Brian.R Extra

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    I used the Drycore squares in my Michigan basement and really like the results. They get you up off the concrete so the room feels more like a regular room and not a basement. My old house had carpet/thick pad on concrete and it was always colder when you walked without shoes. And, while it isn't a lot, when the kids fall down there is more "give" ... I'm also more likely to lay down on that floor than the carpet over concrete floor.

    So, my opinion is if you are looking for more of a functional room that everyone will use just like a main-level room, then get the subfloor. If it's just an occasional room that won't be used to play in, entertain without shoes, etc. then you can get away without it.

    This is probably one of those items that goes under the thread we have going about "what I would do differently when building my HT". Now that the money is spent, I don't regret it at all ... but there are probably some who regret NOT having put it in. I also think about someone's tag line here which says something like "Buy the right thing the first time even though it costs more, only cry once!".
     
  16. Andrew Stoakley

    Andrew Stoakley Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Alan,

    It's been a while since I've posted here - life gets in the way - but I've written several posts on this forum about how much I enjoyed using the DriCore product and the benefits it's added to my home theatre. Just type DriCore in the search function and that should bring up all my old posts.

    You can also email me and I'd be happy to share my experience and happiness with the product.

    Cheers,

    Andrew Stoakley
     
  17. asmilansky

    asmilansky Auditioning

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