Unfinished basement and moisture

Q: I will be installing hardwood flooring next month. The flooring is going to be laid in my living and dining rooms. These rooms are located above my unfinished basement.

Is moisture a concern? Should I use a vapour barrier underneath the new floor? According to your recommendations on your site you also suggest that 3/8 sheathing be installed on top of OSB / ply. If my OSB is installed on the length.. Should the sheathing be installed the same way or on the width?

A: Some manufacturers now say OSB is OK provided it is of a certain thickness. Myself and some others are still uncomfortable with it. I would lay the sheeting across the floor. What you don’t want is the joints on the 3/8 to line up with those on the sub floor. They need to overlap.

Your basement shouldn’t be a problem unless you have serious moisture issues down there. Make sure your dryer is vented to the outside. Having said that, it is never a bad idea to lay out some wax coated or asphalt coated flooring paper first which performs as a vapour retarder.