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Concrete not an option for basement, looking for alternatives

Concrete not an option for basement, looking for alternatives

Old 01-11-19, 03:07 PM
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Concrete not an option for basement, looking for alternatives

I have a situation where it is not possible to pour concrete in my basement. My house does not have vehicle access and all materials have to be transported down a trail, then two flights of stairs. Hauling and mixing concrete by hand is not even on the radar here.

My basement is under the house but not below grade, it actually sits on bedrock mostly. This keeps it very dry for a basement, but there is enough moisture that the planks the previous owner put down on the ground are dry rotting and mildewing.

The area that needs new flooring is small, only about 250 sq. ft. I do not intend to finish the basement but use the area for laundry, storage, tool storage with workbench and backdoor access to the house when I need to peel my muddy boots and rain gear off to dry.

The basement is already too low to construct a wood frame floor. While I do want it to look good, I would like to go cheap. I am also very eco conscious and don't mind spending a bit extra on sustainable materials. Here is my plan so far:

-Pull up the existing planks and excavate any dirt that is left underneath. There shouldn't be more than an inch or two in places, fingers crossed, bedrock is visible surrounding the area.
- Haul in some 3/4" minus gravel to level out the area and compact it.
-Looking into putting in a padded underlay with vapor barrier, so the gravel does not puncture the vapor barrier. There's a dizzying array of options here. MP global makes quite a few with vapor and padding combined, there's cork with vapor barrier or I could but padding and poly layered separate.
-Add flooring. I would like something cheap, durable to muddy/wet boots and tools, and eco friendly. So far the best options seem to be recycled rubber flooring (often used in gyms) or perhaps linoleum/marmoleum. Or perhaps even wood, as I have come across some good remnant deals in the past. I am also open to suggestions.

My real confusion lies in the flooring. Can I throw rubber gym flooring over an underlayment/vapor barrier and have it lay flat ontop of compacted gravel? or will it be lumpy? same goes with linoleum, does it have to be bonded to work properly? Do I need to lay plywood before flooring or can I just throw flooring down? Will plywood sheets end up level with each other when on top of compacted gravel? or is it difficult to get gravel completely level?

Any tips or suggestions on method or materials would be highly appreciated, thanks!
Old 01-12-19, 03:37 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

While it would be a lot of work, I'd consider bagged concrete maybe pouring just a section at a time,
Old 01-12-19, 04:01 AM
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You need about 3 yards of concrete. It's a small pour but I would look at the cost to pump the concrete to the house or hire several guys to mix and pour it on site.

You can put crushed stone on the floor but you can't get gravel to be totally flat and if will likely move some underneath a mat. Stone dust can be compacted and dressed to be quite smooth and won't move much under a heavy gym mat. But... carrying in stone or stone dust is going to be heavier than concrete so there will be a lot of heavy lifting and stone can't be pumped through a hose.
Old 01-12-19, 05:50 AM
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I would consider putting down some gravel to level the base and get it to the grade you want and then install a vapor barrier. Then lay pressure treated sleepers down and build a floor on that. For the decking use pressure treated plywood. You can then lay any flooring you want.

Another option would be to make an indoor paver patio. Put down some compactible base and then 1" of paver sand and pavers. That would be a very durable floor for sure!
Old 01-12-19, 10:57 AM
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I think the paver stone or patio stone would probably be the most durable option then you could go over it with a vapor barrier and thin subfloor.

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