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Unread 06-28-2008, 01:38 PM   #1
Keith Lane
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Christiansburg, VA
Posts: 2
Basement tile next to carpet - new home

Hey all. GREAT board! I have read and searched a lot but never posted until now...

I have a brand new house that I just bought in VA. I am finishing the walk-out basement and would like to have it feel just like any other part of the house with a combination of carpet and tile.

For the carpet, no moisture issues are apparent and moisture test came up with nothing but I'm still concerned about future moisture and condensation on the "cold" concrete under the carpet causing mold/mildew issues so after a lot of research I am currently planning to go with 1/2" XPS foam insulation with 3/4" OSB subfloor. (or hopefully if I can find it an integrated product like OVRX or Dricore that comes in 2x2 squares.

Now for the question: I am planning to install 18x18 travertine (1/2" thick) over part of the basement area (~300 sf). It will butt against the carpet area. I have a couple of options that I am considering and would very much appreciate the advice of the good folks on this forum. (Other ideas would be appreciated as well!)

Option 1. Install the travertine directly on the concrete with Ditra underlayment. I like this option because the concrete is flat and solid and this seems to be the easiest approach. The problems that I have with this option are: A) the tile would be significantly lower than the carpet (since the carpet is on 1/2" XPS, 3/4" OSB, & padding) and I'm not quite sure how to make that transition look good, and B) the tile may be a little cold.

2. Install the 1/2" XPS + 3/4" OSB accross the entire floor and use tapcons to anchor to the concrete. Then use Ditra on the OSB and install the tile. I like this option because it provides an insulation layer under the tile and solves the height difference issues. The problem with this approach is A) is this a good resulting subfloor for the travertine? and B) is there any issue with drilling a bunch of tapcon holes in my concrete slab to anchor the OSB?

Thanks in advance for any opinions/advice! As I said, I'm also open to other ideas. My bottom line is that I just spent a bunch of money buying a house that we will hopefully enjoy for a long time and I want to make sure that this basement area is done such that we love it and that it lasts a long time.

Keith Lane
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Unread 06-28-2008, 02:00 PM   #2
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Location: Naples Fl.
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I can't find anything on installation of the type you describe,not saying it can't be successful though.I don't know that the poly would have the support for a stone install,and if i did it i'd use plywood instead of osb.You might be better off with waterproofing the concrete and using a mudbed as per TCA,much more stable.

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Unread 06-28-2008, 02:20 PM   #3
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I don't see why you can't lay down a thick mil plactic sheet, then padding & crapet on the slab.

you say there's no moisture problem so why would it matter if the carpet & padding is on the slab.

the Ditra under the Travertine is a good idea. carpet & padding will be the same height as Ditra & Travertine.

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Unread 06-28-2008, 02:50 PM   #4
Keith Lane
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Thanks for the fast responses guys.

Brian - Regarding putting the carpet and pad directly on the concrete (with a vapor barrier): That was my original intent, but I keep hearing/reading horror stories from folks saying that they had moisture problems not due to any leakage or permeation through the slab but simply due to condensation from the air due to the relative coolness of the concrete directly under the carpet pad. The fact that you are in Florida and don't know of that problem makes me feel a lot better though since the air should be less humid in Southwest Virginia! The theory is that the insulation layer below the carpet padding would help to minimize the condensation. (I should also note that the basement has HVAC which should help with the air humidity issues and I will be installing ceiling fans for air movement and will have a dehimidifier just in case. I'm pretty cautious by nature...)

Thanks for the verification on the Ditra below the travertine. I've read that travertine can be a little finicky and while I have no cracks in my concrete right now, the slab is probably only 4 or 5 months old. I figured that the extra insurance of putting down the Ditra couldn't hurt.
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Unread 06-28-2008, 02:51 PM   #5
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Welcome, Keith.

What Brian said.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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