Saving Your Floor From Deterioration: Basement Flooring Tiles With a Built in Vapor Barrier Mechanism
5 min read
November 24, 2021

Saving Your Floor From Deterioration: Basement Flooring Tiles With a Built in Vapor Barrier Mechanism

5 min read
November 24, 2021

When the basement floor is not properly maintained, it will start to deteriorate and lead to mold growth. If you're looking for a way to protect your flooring, then basement flooring tiles with a built in vapor barrier mechanism may be just what you need! These vinyl tiles come with a special anti-moisture coating that will help prevent moisture from seeping through and damaging your floors. 

With a vapor barrier, it can be difficult to keep moisture from penetrating your flooring. Keep in mind that with the lack of vapor barrier mechanism built in, moisture will seep through and cause damage. This article will further discuss how basement flooring tiles with a built-in vapor barrier mechanism can help you save your floor from deterioration and more.

Tiles and the Things You Should Know About Them

Tiles are one of the best options homeowners want to incorporate into their house because they are cheap and available in many colors and sizes. If your floor has tiles, you just have to be careful, though, and prevent heavy objects from falling, for there is a great tendency that your tiles will crack. Overall, tiles are a perennial favorite, and they have different types. Check out the list, and you might want to incorporate some of them in your dream house!

Example of floor tiles

Carpet Tile

Also known as squares, carpet tiles can make your basement warmer and homey without having the threat of facing moisture issues that can also lead to mold formation. The best way to install carpet tiles is by placing them over the concrete floors. This way, you can easily pull off a tile if you notice moisture formation.

Cork Flooring

Cork squares are usually made from cork oak and are breathable and soft. Most homeowners use cork flooring in their kitchen and gym. A cork flooring is rot-resistant that gives your floor a longer lifespan and doesn't absorb water easily. You can simply mop and vacuum your cork flooring to remove spills and dirt.

Floating Flooring

If you want to DIY your flooring, you can opt for a floating floor and play with the tiles like you do a jigsaw puzzle. However, you have to connect the pieces in perfect juxtaposition to develop a stable and steady surface. Keep in mind that the tiles are not completely attached to the floor since they are connected to one another, made possible by the friction between the pieces.

Floating flooring has several examples, such as:

  • Engineered Flooring. Wooden flooring systems are the best example of engineered flooring. Flooring boards can be nailed to the subfloor made of plywoods. However, some already offer boards with floating installation. With the floating approach, you can enjoy the natural protection and comfort of wood.
  • Laminate Flooring. This is the most popular example of floating flooring and is rarely attached to the main concrete ground because it is installed in the floating approach. This technique allows the flooring to efficiently react by expansion and contraction following your room's requirements.
  • Vinyl Floorings. They can be glued directly to the subfloor, and the vinyl flooring tiles or boards are manufactured in engineered pieces partnered with small crevices and grooves for interlocking. The boards are locked together and still provide enough space for moisture management underneath the flooring.

Ceramic Tile

If you want tiles that are water-resistant and easy to maintain, ceramic tiles are a perfect choice! You can also easily install ceramic tiles and attach them to your house's foundation. Ceramic tiles can be installed in different subfloor approaches that include plywood subfloors.

The Vapor Barrier Mechanism

Water vapor can deliver severe damage to your house. Unattended wet floor paves the way to the formation of mildew and mold that can eventually ruin your floor. To prevent your floor from deteriorating, vapor barriers can help to prevent your floor from moisture. Actually, the vapor barrier mechanism is specifically used for building walls. However, the same approach is applied to floors known as moisture barriers.

The water vapor is measured using perms or permeability. There are three classes of moisture barriers that you can use at home. These classes have different levels or abilities to protect your floor against the water that can permeate the flooring materials.

  • Class I Vapor Retarders - the impermeable class of moisture barriers that doesn't permit the fluid to pass through. Class I is the strongest moisture barrier that includes rubber membranes, metal sheet, glass, and plastic sheets as primary examples.
  • Class II Vapor Retarders - materials that are semi-permeable class that allow small amounts of fluid to flow through. Such materials are 30-pound asphalt-coated paper, bitumen-coated kraft paper, extruded polystyrene, and plywood.
  • Class III Vapor Retarders - the permeable class of moisture barriers that allow large amounts of water vapor to pass through. Fiberglass insulation, 15-pound asphalt coated paper, concrete block, brick, gypsum board, and board lumber are the common examples of Class III vapor retarders.

In selecting the right class of moisture barrier, you have to check the following things:

  • Climate. Vapor barriers are not necessary for mild climates. However, a moisture barrier is necessary if your house is located where the climate is drastic and includes snowy winters and humid summers.
  • Grade Level. Remember that basements that are below-grade level are more prone to moisture formation. And if the house doesn't have a basement, the ground level is susceptible to moisture.
  • Subfloor Material. A moisture barrier is needed if you install the flooring over concrete. This way, you can stop the vapor from getting to the floor.

FAQs About Moisture Barriers

There are frequently asked questions when it comes to moisture barriers that will further help you decide if you need one or not at home.

Is plastic sheeting a good moisture barrier?

Plastic or polyethylene sheets are excellent moisture barriers because they prevent moisture from passing through other materials. In fact, plastic sheets are classified as Class I moisture barriers and they are very much recommended.

What is the ideal thickness of a moisture barrier?

The ideal thickness depends on the location of your house. The thickness of a moisture barrier ranges from 6 to 20 mils. You can opt for 6 to 11 mils in dry areas, while 12 mil or higher if your place is located in an area with a wet or humid climate.

How long does a moisture barrier last?

A moisture barrier lasts for a long time. Since it is installed underneath, it's not exposed to other harmful materials.

Do moisture barriers need a cursory inspection?

Moisture barriers are typically tear-proof, but you still need to do regular inspections to ensure that your basement floor tiles are well-maintained. You can conduct an annual inspection or the one who installed the barrier. If you will do it on your own, check the edges first and look for rot or tears.

Which is better, moisture barriers or waterproof insulation?

Waterproof insulation has thermal properties that maintain the temperature in your house while preventing water vapors from getting in. However, you need to replace it regularly, or else it will grow house mildew and mold particles. Moisture barriers are better than waterproof insulation because they can also provide waterproof flooring and can give your home a bit of insulation and protection.

Select the Right Moisture Barrier for Your Flooring

Moisture barriers are really thin compared to the other materials that make up your home. However, they are a crucial part of your humble abode because moisture barriers can protect your house against vapors that can slowly contribute to the deterioration of your flooring.

If you haven't installed moisture barriers under your floors yet, do not forget to include them in your renovation plans or if you look forward to building your dream house.

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