Cork in the basement ...

Discussion in 'Cork Flooring Q&A' started by ColoradoBill, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. ColoradoBill

    ColoradoBill New Member

    G'day.. As a 'DIY'er, I've spent quite a lot of time (to say nothing of the $$$) 'remodeling' this 83 y.o. "Denver Bungalow" home, upstairs and down, adding entire rooms and additions over the past several years; wholesale plumbing replacement, new electrical service, new gas lines, new doors and windows, MASSIVE amounts of insulation in the attic and in the old walls, new roof, etc. etc. Y'might say, this is NOT the same house anymore. And no doubt the neighbors still celebrate the changes to "the old girl' which arguably has increased THEIR property values measurably ...
    But I have a question regarding our decision a couple of years ago to rip out the old vinyl/asbestos 9" sq. tile that was applied liberally throughout the basement (the term 'ugly' does not do it justice ... "Terrible" might have been closer..). Initially we tried some pretty nice 'high-end' carpet and pad that was recommended for 'below-grade' installation by the firm that installed it, but this was a mistake from the 'git-go'. Comfortable, yes, but with pets in the house as well..? Maybe not so smart ...
    So after a lot of research online, and input from some local flooring 'pros', we decided to go to a good grade of floating cork flooring and ‘premium-grade’ underlayment that (again) was rated for 'below grade' applied on top of 8mil ‘vapor barrier’. And it looks GREAT …. So far, I am not disappointed in how the installation has proceeded. Once ya get goin’, it’s some fast stuff to install. And I shoulda done this initially…
    But now I am facing a question regarding how I can 'deal' with the floor drain very near the laundry room area at the far end of the basement, which is also close to the nearby hot water heater cabinet I built around both it and the forced-air gas furnace when we originally remodeled the basement several years ago. Let me first say, the flooring guys I talked with cautioned me about 'moisture issues with concrete', so we did the testing recommended and find there is very minimal moisture up here on this hill, especially with the amount of large grain sand, gravel and rock I found beneath the concrete when I replaced the drain for the basement bathroom shower (which was a SORELY needed improvement - now TWICE the size it was). So before I attempt the 'approach' to this area, I'm looking for input on how I can deal with this. I'd LOVE to continue the cork all the way thru, out of an 'eye' for the appearance of continuous flooring, but how..? Besides... cork flooring and accidental water exposure..? nyeh-eh.. ain't happenin'...
    FYI: the floor drain is actually IN the laundry area, approx. 2 ft. from the utility sink and washer ('side-by-side'), and less than 5 ft. from the hot water heater. (BTW: I cut a 'channel' into the concrete and now intend to 'bury' a dedicated 3/4" PEX drain tubing directly from the new collection basin I put beneath the HW heater, to the 'bell housing' of the floor drain in an attempt to anticipate future 'disasters' ... ). One thought I had was to find a 'matching-color' small tile 'sheet' (12" sq. tiles), and use this to slope toward the drain. Home Depot has a great looking 'River Rock Mosaic' tile sheet which I'm sure could be used for this, since it can be 'shaped' during installation to accommodate this slope. MY thought was to just install ceramic tile in the laundry area and transition to this 'river rock' tile sheet, as well as from cork to tile with the appropriate materials where they meet, but “The Boss" doesn't like the cold temperatures of tile on concrete - which I don't disagree with. (But, isn't this why God made 'throw rugs'?) So here I am asking: what are my 'alternatives'..? How have you 'pros' approached this? (bearing in mind I’m no ‘pro’, just a DIY’er with obviously too much time on my hands…)
  2. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    How big is the laundry area that you want to tile? Maybe a vinyl product would do it with no seams. Vinyl or Linoleum would be a bit warmer than just the concrete. That or do a heat mat under tile to warm the tile.
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    You asking us to divert gravity for you? If you flatten and put a drain cap on top any overflow can run far, and underneath. So it's an open area that you want continuous flow? It maybe should have been separated from big area into a room that could be tiled. As Ken says then a warming mat could be installed under tile. Schluters Ditra Heat seems to be preferred.
  4. A permanent floor is all that can be worked with. Sheet is easier and warmer than anything else. Sadly a cork glue down tile cannot be installed in abasement (below grade) without some SERIOUS money invested in moisture mitigation. And even then it could have problems.

    Sorry to say but the "boss" is going to have to give a little on this one. The cork floating floor has "ruined" her for other floors. These old floors with drains and channels need the tough stuff.

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