Remodeling a basement opens up a whole new area of your home for playing, working out, relaxing or entertaining. Once you’ve decided on how you want to use the space, this opens up your choices for the rest of the room, including flooring.
Finding the right flooring can be tricky in a basement, a part of the house susceptible to moisture. Water can leach in through concrete floors, causing considerable damage if not treated properly. Condensation is another concern. Humid air sinks to the lowest part of the home, usually the basement. Once there, it comes in contact with cool surfaces, which creates condensation.
Prepping for renovations
Sealing your basement floor from water infiltration is essential to any basement remodel, especially homes that have ever had water leach into their basement. Next, look for cracks and sloping along the basement floor. Patch minor cracks and flaws with a concrete sealant. Low spots can be filled with a self-leveling compound found at home improvement stores.
Installing a subfloor is also an option. This separates the concrete slab from the flooring you install. Some subflooring is applied in liquid form, like a sealant. Others are wood platforms while others are as simple as moisture-resistant pads.
If you are using the basement as a workshop or as a kids play area, consider keeping the concrete floor exposed. Slip-resistant paints are available for basement floors as low-cost as $30 per gallon. Epoxy coating systems are also available. These paints combine a solvent-based adhesive coating with decorative color chips. It is slip-resistant, lasts longer and is far tougher than a concrete paint or stain, but costs more.
Flooring for a full remodel
Most people looking to invest in remodeling and finishing a basement want to get rid of the basement feel that comes with concrete. With proper installation, the options for flooring are wide open.
Carpet makes a typically cold basement room feel warmer, while also providing some sound proofing. Wall-to-wall carpeting is relatively affordable and easy to install. Choosing a durable carpet, such as nylon, will help the carpet last for years.
If moisture is a concern, you can put a moisture-resistant pad under the carpet. While this tends to cost considerably more, there is value in protecting the carpet.
Ceramic tile is also a popular choice. It has a classic and clean look that can work with a number of different home styles. It doesn’t provide much in the way or warmth and can get slippery if wet, so a basement needs a good heating and dehumidifying system if you install a tile floor.
Vinyl flooring has long been an affordable and durable choice for basements. It can be rolled out in one large sheet and cut to fit, or smaller tiles can be installed by the homeowner. Vinyl comes in a wide range of colors and textures, including some that look like real stone tile. The trick with installing vinyl is that the floor must be completely level and smooth. Imperfections will show through and could damage the floor over time.
Engineered wood and laminate wood provide the hardwood floor option without the risk of damage from whatever moisture remains in the basement. Engineered wood has a thin layer of veneered hardwood on top of a plywood plank. Plywood is more flexible than hardwood, so it will not damage with shifts in temperature and humidity. Laminate flooring has a plastic resin on top of plywood and comes in planks or tiles that snap into place, making it easy to install yourself.
If you have questions about other kinds of flooring for basements, or are looking for a builder to work on your basement remodel, call Dube Plus Construction.