Pressure treated bottom plate required??

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Aaron Gould, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. Aaron Gould

    Aaron Gould Stunt Coordinator

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    This might be slightly off topic, but I know many of you home theater builders have must have encountered this...

    Is "Pressure Treated" wood required for use on the bottom plate of a framed wall?

    I saw this on Google while searching for something else. Please tell me it is not required. I've already framed 75% of my basement with standard 2x4x8 pieces (Premium kiln-dried lumber from Home Depot). I can only assume they're all not pressure treated... If this is true, why is this necessary? [​IMG]

    I really don't want to rip down the walls just to replace the bottom plates! Especially now that they're nailed into the concrete floor.
     
  2. Christopher~O

    Christopher~O Stunt Coordinator

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    My brother is a professional framer and we did exactly what you did....
     
  3. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    I don't think it's really required. It's recommended to avoid the wood from wicking moisture out from the concrete floor. If you have a resonably dry basement... you shouldn't have a problem with standard wood.
     
  4. Aaron Gould

    Aaron Gould Stunt Coordinator

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    My house is brand new (construction was completed this past January). The entire foundation is surrounded by "Platon" (http://www.systemplaton.com) which has a 30-year warranty against leakages, so hopefully that'll keep the moisture at bay...

    So far there has been no moisture apparent, but it has only been four months since moving in.
     
  5. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    Aaron, a good test for moisture is to carefully duct-tape a 2-foot square piece of thick, clear plastic (like the stuff they use for vapor barriers) to the concrete floor. After 48 hours look to see if any droplets of moisture have collected under the film. If not, you are dry. If there is just a little is is likely just from the concrete curing. If there is a lot then you might have future problems.
     
  6. NathanH

    NathanH Stunt Coordinator

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    Someone told me that they thought the bottom plate of P/T wood is a code requirement where I live, so I put it in mine to be safe. But if you're not having it inspected... Probably have to check with your local talent to be 100% sure, but I'm guessing it isn't really necessary.

    Good idea, yes - necessary, probably not.
     
  7. Aaron Gould

    Aaron Gould Stunt Coordinator

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    In my city, I just found out that it's required that a permit be obtained for basement refinishing. Of course, just about everyone I know doesn't bother (including me). So even though an official "should" be inspecting the work, they won't be. [​IMG]

    Perhaps I'll try the "vapour barrier" test. Do you think that the concrete would still be curing after 4-5 months?

    On a side note, should concrete sealant (or whatever that grey paint is) be applied to the floor before I carpet in the future?
     
  8. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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  9. Nate_S

    Nate_S Auditioning

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    I can not stress this enough: ASK YOUR LOCAL INSPECTOR

    I had about 90% of my basement framed up for my theater when one of my friends asked me if I had used a PT bottom plate. I of course had not, so I proceeded to call the local inspector. Sure enough I had to have a PT plate, I also had to cover all of the basement block walls with plastic before I framed up against them. This is a perfect example of crazy local codes. I had to tear out everything and start over. [​IMG] Ever seen a grown man cry? [​IMG]

    On the other hand if you're not getting a building permit you can do anything you want [​IMG]
     
  10. NathanH

    NathanH Stunt Coordinator

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    Before I put up my frames, I waterproofed all the concrete, even though I've never had any water in my basement. It wasn't the grey paint stuff, but a concrete sealant - I think by Thompson's. I applied two coats. Anyways, it took only a few hours over a few days to put it on.

    Overused, yet true cliche: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    Nathan
     
  11. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    You can buy some stuff used to PT the wood at Home Depot "Jasco" or some such. It's a moisture sealer and termite protector. It can be injected into the wood via small holes you drill. It works great and can meet code depending on where you live. It's what I used. Just be warned, it stinks for several weeks after application. But it will do the trick.


    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  12. Mark McGill

    Mark McGill Stunt Coordinator

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    If your vapor barrier test is good, then there is no need for concrete sealant. Just make sure that you use a rubber carpet pad. This will block out any residual moisture plus it will not get a basement smell over time. Also for all basements make sure you have good air flow. Too often people "shut off" the basement when it is not being used. All this does is prevent movement of air which builds up moisture. Keep in mind, cement is like a big sponge. Some moisture is always present. Good luck.
     
  13. Aaron Gould

    Aaron Gould Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the tips so far guys...

    I'm not sure I'm going to bother with the pressure treating. I don't see myself living in this house for more than 10 years, so it probably won't affect me in the time I'm here.

    Mark: I'll definitely get a rubber underpad. I hadn't thought of that. My basement will have good airflow -- there is a cold air return in the middle of the room, as well as two heating/cooling vents. There is also a small window in the side for nice spring/fall days.

    I think I'll be insulating the remainder of the exterior walls, then covering it with vapour barrier...
     

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