Author Topic: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?  (Read 1326 times)

Healthie

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Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« on: November 02, 2020, 05:54:41 PM »
Hi everyone,

My basement got sewage backup and they had to rip everything up. The bedrooms and bathroom are up on sleeper floors and the hallway and rec room are not. It's not a huge space, so I've thought adding a sleeper floor to the whole thing makes sense: keeps the ground warmer, level, and no weird transitions are necessary between rooms.

My contractor friend said the sleeper floors are a good idea and people like them; that it's a smart investment that I'll get out of the house.

The contractor I'm having do some work on my house said people don't tend to like them; and they typically have requests to rip them out when doing work for people.

So now I'm curious what other people think - I'm still leaning towards putting them in; as the basement does get cold. My other option would be to put down self-levelling concrete; so it's still expensive and I have cold floors. My plan is to keep this house for a rental. Do you like a sleeper floor in the basement?

sailinlight

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2020, 06:06:24 PM »
What country do you live in? I have never heard of the phrase "sleeper floor" before in the USA.

draco44

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2020, 07:37:27 PM »
I think the OP is debating whether or not to install a sub-floor in the basement on top of the concrete slab before installing the top layer of flooring, rather than just putting the flooring directly over the concrete. Some call floor joists sleepers.

I don't have strong feelings either way in this case, but I hear basement sub-floors are common in cooler regions. I saw a "pro" sub-floor article here: https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/lifestyles/homes/house-works-basement-subfloors-essential-for-comfort-health-406694/ and thought this part sums it up:
"When it comes to basements, conditions are different than above-ground spaces so subfloors serves three unique roles. First, any good basement subfloor adds insulation so your feet stay warmer in winter. Second, good subfloors provide protection of the finished flooring from water or water vapor moving up through the concrete, discouraging rot and mold forming underneath. And third, every good basement subfloor needs to stop indoor air from migrating downwards through the finished flooring, condensing out hidden moisture during humid summer weather. The condensation dynamic is key and often unrecognized. "
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 07:40:42 PM by draco44 »

Healthie

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2020, 09:35:56 PM »
Yup, it's a sub floor. I've heard they call it a sleeper floor when it's in the basement. Draco44 that sounds reasonable enough to me to put it in.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2020, 09:36:46 PM »
I think it depends. In my old house the basement ceilings were a bit low to begin with. Making them even lower would not be desirable. In my new house, there's plenty of ceiling height so I'd gladly give up some height in exchange for insulation.

theoverlook

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2020, 07:31:02 AM »
We put a product called Platon in our finished basement rooms. It works well and is water proof so might be a little more durable than wooden sleepers, though if sewage backed up into anything I can't imagine not wanting to rip it out down to the concrete because the sewage smell would never go away if you didn't. But if you're talking about just making the floors level and comfortable, platon followed by OSB followed by Quiet Walk (or other such soft subfloor) and then the finish floor did a great job making our basement rooms quiet and comfortable and warm-floored.

Goldielocks

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2020, 01:48:32 AM »
I put in sub floors in our basement, they are approx 1" in depth, maybe a bit more.   We used solid foam topped with plywood.  Warm feet. Yay.
We live in a cool region with dry summers and like it a lot.  The only issue is that the first stair riser to the upstairs is now a bit shorter than the others.

The only reason IMO to remove them would be if they were not everywhere and you had a weird step transition into the rooms.

Papa bear

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2020, 06:47:14 AM »
They make different products for basement subfloors.  You don’t have to run sleepers. I would price out the differences.   With sleepers, you’re probably losing a minimum of 2 1/4” height. That could be terrible, or be just fine.  Some of the other products are less than 1”.

I know that this might fee like splitting hairs here, but a basement at 7’ tall with a beam running the center and ductwork shrinks up fast.  You want to try and maintain at least 6’6” of finish head height. Any less and you’re running into the “why finish this anyway”
question. 


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Fishindude

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2020, 09:50:31 AM »
I don't like sleeper floors in a basement.  They are typically installed by jackleg contractors or do it yourselfers to cover up a problem such as a damp floor, unlevel concrete, cracked concrete, etc.  This creates a hidden space for mold to develop, rodents, bugs, etc.   

A much better solution is installing your finish flooring system right over a good concrete floor slab.   If your slab is bad, repair or replace it.

Goldielocks

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2020, 06:53:11 PM »
I don't like sleeper floors in a basement.  They are typically installed by jackleg contractors or do it yourselfers to cover up a problem such as a damp floor, unlevel concrete, cracked concrete, etc.  This creates a hidden space for mold to develop, rodents, bugs, etc.   

A much better solution is installing your finish flooring system right over a good concrete floor slab.   If your slab is bad, repair or replace it.

Brrrr... cold feet.

ToTheMoon

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2020, 09:10:18 PM »
We live in a cold (in the winter) climate and our basement ceilings were already very low so losing 3/4" to a Dri-Core type layer was not a great option. We were trying to mitigate the cold feet issue, so elected to put down a 3mm cork layer, with our basement flooring on top (we chose more cork - but I would not recommend for a rental.)

I was shocked at the difference that it made!

Goldielocks

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2020, 09:46:25 PM »
We live in a cold (in the winter) climate and our basement ceilings were already very low so losing 3/4" to a Dri-Core type layer was not a great option. We were trying to mitigate the cold feet issue, so elected to put down a 3mm cork layer, with our basement flooring on top (we chose more cork - but I would not recommend for a rental.)

I was shocked at the difference that it made!
I was a bit tongue in cheek..   as I have been using our less than 3mm underlayment for a laminate floor as ground cloth when I go camping.  It is also a huge difference... not as nice as 3/4" solid foam, but distinctly better than nothing (or just vinyl tile on concrete).

MayDay

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2020, 06:34:14 AM »
Brr? Who cares! It's a basement. Put some slippers on!

^^ I say that because I live in the north and have had a variety of basements at my and various relatives and friends houses, and no one has this.

I also have dealt with one regular old water in the basement problem and one sewer backup. Both scenarios have made me "team no fancy basement flooring" for life. Make the concrete nice, or if you have the old asbestos tiles, leave them be. Then get big area rugs (or get carpet bound like a rug and get a regular rug pad for under it). Then when you inevitably have a problem, it is a small problem that doesn't require ripping out all the flooring.

Goldielocks

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2020, 01:20:34 PM »
Brr? Who cares! It's a basement. Put some slippers on!

Two words... basement suite.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2020, 03:56:18 PM »
Brr? Who cares! It's a basement. Put some slippers on!

Two words... basement suite.
Eight words... not going to make or break a rental.

Goldielocks

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2020, 02:09:35 AM »
Brr? Who cares! It's a basement. Put some slippers on!

Two words... basement suite.
Eight words... not going to make or break a rental.
Who says I am renting it?.   It's me (or my kids) down there.  I like warmer toes and not feeling like a basement.

Hotstreak

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Re: Sleeper floors in basement bedrooms: install them everywhere?
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2020, 11:03:46 AM »
Brr? Who cares! It's a basement. Put some slippers on!

Two words... basement suite.
Eight words... not going to make or break a rental.
Who says I am renting it?.   It's me (or my kids) down there.  I like warmer toes and not feeling like a basement.


OP is going to rent the property in question.