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Home Depot 449-217 - Lowe's 178921


Basement Ideas - Subfloor Comparison


Not all Basement Subfloor Systems are the Same

When it comes to basement ideas, a Subfloor is a necessity not an option. Why do you need a basement Subfloor system?

For basement remodeling, there are three important features that a basement Subfloor must provide:

  • Basement Floor Moisture Control
  • Basement Floor Insulation
  • Basement Floor Sound Control

        Basement Floor Moisture Control

Basement concrete floors, because they are built right on top of the soil are cold and damp. Warm, moist interior air, particularly when the relative humidity is higher than 50%, will always condense onto cold surfaces, such as single-glazed window glass, uninsulated foundation walls and bare concrete floors.

The basement Subfloor system should prevent moisture from condensing onto the concrete surface because it blocks cold conduction through the concrete floor slab.

Concrete floors are porous and hydrostatic water pressure will cause water to migrate through the slab and onto the basement floor. Sometimes during power outages sump pumps fail or foundations will leak due to extreme weather conditions.

For your basement ideas remember the basement Subfloor system should have an air space to allow water to flow away to a floor drain or to evaporate naturally with air change in the room.

        Basement Floor Insulation

An uninsulated basement concrete floor can account for up to 1% of a home’s energy loss. Applying finished floors on top of concrete are typically very cold in winter time and is not a good basement flooring idea.

A basement Subfloor system should provide adequate insulation to help prevent excessive heat loss and provide a warm comfortable walking surface.

        Basement Floor Sound Control

Installing finished floors directly to the hard unforgiving concrete floor results in floors that are rigid and uncomfortable and in the case of hard surface floors make a hollow-sounding “clacking noise".

A basement Subfloor system should provide a solid, stable surface for a finished floor that is quiet, contours to the uneven concrete surface and provides a cushioned “spring” feel.

     Basement Subfloor Comparison Chart


Barricade™ Modular Insulating 2’ x 2’ Panel

Modular 2’ x 2’ Wood Panel with Dimpled Moisture Membrane

Rolled 4’ x 8’ Moisture Membrane


Moisture Control

Equivalent to a Type I vapor barrier building code approved for basement wall and floor use

Not a Type I vapor barrier

Equivalent to a Type I vapor barrier building code approved for basement wall and floor use

Seam Seal

Continuous air-tight seal at the panel seams on the top and bottom

Seams between panels have an open gap on the underside

Continuous air-tight seal with taped seams

Insulation Rating

R 3.2

R 1.75 (as per website)


Improvement in Warmth of Finished Floor

15º F or 10º C

6º F or 3º C


Leveling System

Panel insulation contours naturally to concrete irregularities. Minimal to no leveling required with easy-to-use shim pads

Panels have a rigid plastic base that does not conform to concrete irregularities. More leveling required with leveling squares provided

Cannot be leveled



Floating tongue and groove system with press-fit attachment

Floating tongue and groove system with press-fit attachment

Rolled out onto concrete surface


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