Basement Flooring Options- Not as Restrictive as You May Think

RemodelWerks knows basement flooring is something that deserves thoughtful attention. After all, the basement is a place that may experience moisture more than any other part of the house, including condensation on the walls, given its proximity to the ground below. Also, while no one wants to imagine that a flood will strike his or her home, it can happen.

Moisture should definitely be on your mind when weighing your basement flooring options. The good news is you have many flooring options for your basement remodeling project.

Concrete & Stone Basement Flooring Options

When it comes to basement flooring, your first thought may be stone, ceramic or concrete. For sure, these materials are a good option for many basements. Many think of concrete as being drab and blah, but, paint or stain can go a long way toward transforming its look and feel. Also, concrete is the most moisture-enduring basement flooring solution.  One drawback is that it is quite cold to the touch.

Stone or ceramic tiles are another great basement finishing option because they provide the best of both worlds. Like concrete, they stand up wonderfully to water, but they are not raw surface materials, meaning you’ll be getting a truly finished look that can be installed right over the existing concrete. Consider having radiate heating coils installed under the tiles, and you’ve got a versatile, durable and warm basement floor!

Resilient Flooring for Your Basement Remodel 

Some homeowners opt for vinyl flooring, or “resilient flooring,” for their basement floors as it is a very cost-effective material—it can cost just pennies per square foot depending on the vinyl flooring you choose—and it’s a lot warmer than unheated tile or concrete. There are two vinyl-flooring options: sheet or tile. With the sheet option, you’ll be able to create a virtually seamless surface that creates a strong barrier against moisture, whereas going with a true tile design will mean many seams; thus, moisture may have a better chance of creeping in.

Other homeowners may choose laminate flooring for their basement remodeling project. It’s warm to the touch, and nowadays there are 100-percent waterproof laminate flooring options on the market. Unlike the materials discussed earlier, though, laminate flooring requires the installation of a sub-floor.

Is It Wrong to Carpet a Basement? 

To carpet or not to carpet? That is the question numerous homeowners struggle to answer when they are deciding which material to use for their basement flooring. There is some good news for those who are considering carpeting: It can work just fine provided that a proper sub-floor has been installed underneath. Also, carpet is the warmest of the materials, and it doesn’t require any sort of additional radiant heat element to create a toasty environment for your finished basement.

Keep in mind, though, that if your basement were to flood, carpet is the most difficult of the materials to dry out. It’s not impossible, but it would require a heavy-duty dryer. RemodelWerks recommends immediately hiring a professional firm that specializes in basement cleanups if you ever discover that your carpet has gotten wet—the key is to dry it out get before hazardous mold has the chance to develop.

Some homeowners may insist on having solid hardwood for their basement flooring. This material, however, isn’t the most optimal for the basement because it is wood-based. Generally speaking, anything that’s made from trees doesn’t stand up all that great to water. The solution: engineered wood flooring. Featuring a plywood base, this flooring showcases real wood veneers on top. It holds up fairly well to moisture and can be a very attractive solution for those who insist on a hardwood look for their basement.

Basement Flooring Installation Varies 

Keep in mind that depending on the type of flooring you choose the installation may vary. For instance, ceramic tile may be installed directly on the concrete slab, whereas a laminate flooring material requires a foam underlayment, generally. Resilient flooring and carpeting typically require the installation of a subfloor, comprised of plywood, two-by-fours and an underlayment to raise the floor off of the concrete slab below.

Which Basement Flooring Option Is Right for You? 

Regardless of the types of flooring you think you want for your basement, it’s important to define the primary use of your remodeled basement before making a final decision. Perhaps it will serve as a home gym and a kids play area, or maybe you’re building an in-law apartment. If it’s going to be a gym or play area exclusively, consider a rubber roll with concrete. If it’s going to be a retreat for extended family and out of town guests, you’ll want the flooring to match the use, i.e., you may want to consider engineered wood flooring or carpeting.

Also, put your trust in an experienced design+build firm like RemodelWerks to provide you with basement finishing ideas that will suit your basement floor, your home and for your lifestyle. Contact us anytime for your free, no obligation consultation!