Can I place foam insulation over linoleum tile in a basement floor?
I’m attempting to remodel a basement that is conditioned space in climate zone 4A (MD).
What I’m working with: The house was built in 1957 and has an uninsulated slab. It has tall ceilings, more than 8 ft. The previous owners placed vinyl tile over the original linoleum tile. The original tile was laid with a black mastic. The basement appears dry. We seem some efflorescence on the cinder block walls, but the basement is not damp other than humidity. The area I want to remodel has been finished space since the house was built, other than the floor. The walls and ceilings have drywall over furring strips. The basement does smell musty, but it it is very mild by most standards. The space is connected to a garage. All the perimeter walls are underground by about five feet with four feet of above ground space. I really only want to do one room. The basement has been framed in to created several rooms.
To breathe or not to breathe, that is the question.
All I have read says its fine to place foam on a slab followed by plywood subflooring. Some say its okay to go over existing tile. But is it okay to go over linoleum? What about the vinyl. Leave it or tear it out, since it does not breath at all. I would prefer not to remove any of the existing floor as it’s in good shape, and I want to avoid removing the linoleum tiles which may contain asbestos, or the the mastic , which might as well. I have two small children. However, I’m concerned about trapping moisture in a tile made of organic material that may create mold. Although manufacturers suggest linoleum has anti-bacterial properties.
I thought of removing the vinyl, which comes up with some exertion, and then placing a dimpled barrier followed by foam and plywood. This is based on this article.
Or just foam and plywood. If I use foam and leave the linoleum, do I need to go with a more permeable foam board, to allow better drying, or less permeable.
Any thoughts on what the best way to insulate and floor a basement with a slab covered in linoleum and vinyl.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
GBA Detail Library
A collection of one thousand construction details organized by climate and house part