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Wet Foundation - Flooring Suggestions?

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Sep 20, 2013, 10:38 AM
Wet Foundation - Flooring Suggestions?
My mother's new construction home was broken into the night we closed on it. The appliances were stolen and the house was flooded by the dishwasher hose that was cut in order to remove the dishwasher. We had negotiated hardwoods in the living area with the builder as part of the purchase and the wood floors were installed prior to the flood. All of the flooring in the home was removed and replaced after two months of using fans and dehumidifiers in an attempt to dry the foundation. A moisture sealer was also applied to the foundation after the flood as a precautionary measure. When the wood floor contractor came to install the post-flood wood floors, he mentioned that this was third set of wood floors he had installed in this house. We only knew of two, those we negotiated and those he was installing. I mention this because I suspect the house had a wet foundation before the flood. We later found out that two other homes built on the street by the same builder during the same time period had to have their wood floors removed due to buckling. The builder repurchased one home and moved the family out of the other home for months while they worked to vent and dry the foundation. My mother's wood floors have since buckled, primarily on the long side of the planks, where the planks meet the tile or the wall. She has 5" white oak real hardwoods. She is 86 and the buckled floors create a substantial tripping hazard. She loves wood floors and wants to try an engineered hardwood product. I am reluctant to put any wood back down on this foundation. Neither of the other two houses I mentioned have any wood floors, even after all the remediation work that was done. She is old school, so she likes the look of the thinner planks. What options do I have? I don't want to run the risk that the next floor will have problems as well and I've read that the tile planks that look like wood are also prone to warping. Is that a moisture issue or a manufacturing defect? I'm desperate to find something the she'll like and that will not warp or buckle.
Sep 20, 2013, 02:35 PM
I would suggest vinyl planks that look like wood, but the glue won't stick to a wet floor. I would suggest putting down a waterproof foam "noise reducing" underlayment and basement-rated laminate, but that will trap the water underneath and you will get musty issues.

the proper way to deal with this is to cut drainage trenches in the basement pad, dig down, install drainage piping and backfill with small rock after putting landscape fabric over the top to keep it out of the drainage lines, cement over, and wait to see if drainage and a sump pump fixes the floor. the test is to tape some plastic sheet over the floor, come back in a few days to a week, and see if it's dry underneath.

then you can decide on whether to install a heated floor system and tile or approved engineered wood, or tile. or rather, have the contractor do this on his own dime, as obviously the house was sited on a downhill area and was not thought out (= done on the cheap, and wrong) properly.

until the floor seepage is fixed, nothing is going to work right.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,

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