Gone are the days of the abysmal basement flooring types—the dreary and mildewy gray concrete dungeons lurking beneath the stairs. Basements are an extension of our homes, and there isn’t any good reason to not fully use the space. Revitalizing your basement flooring can completely transform the area and the overall flow of your home.
Here we will explore the top basement flooring options and all the things you should consider before renovating your basement floor.
ABOUT BASEMENT FLOORING
When weighing the options for basement flooring, you must take into consideration that the concrete is constantly exposed to moisture. For this reason, basement flooring options differ from other flooring types.
Basement flooring is also referred to as below-grade flooring. Below-grade flooring is a contracting term for floor levels located below the ground floor.
Most flooring types will work in the basement, but some are more suitable than others. Above all, it is essential to avoid using hardwood floors in the basement because they are too sensitive to the damp conditions found in these lower levels.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING YOUR DECISION
There are few things to think about before deciding which basement flooring type to install in your basement. Here we will go through the top things to consider before investing in a basement floor.
When deciding which flooring type to install in a basement, keep in mind that harder materials typically last longer than softer materials. If you choose to fancy up the basement concrete, it will last longer than installing the carpet.
Due to the hidden location of basements, they are exposed to more moisture than the other floors of a home or building. Certain flooring types are not suitable for these underground rooms, such as hardwood flooring.
Other flooring types might react well in low-moisture but buckle with too much moisture. Carpet may be ideal for low moisture levels, but will not last long in a very moist basement. It’s good to consider the moisture levels in the basement before installing a floor.
Similar to moisture, you will need to assess the risk for your basement to flood before installing a floor. Water will damage or destroy many flooring types. If you can, fix the flooding issue before installing a new floor. If flooding persists, you might consider the epoxy or staining options from the list below for your basement flooring.
How much traffic it will get can help you decided which type of floor to install in your space. If the basement will be used for family activities, you might prioritize a flooring type that is soft and warmer on the feet such as carpet or rubber. Assessing who will be spending the most time in the basement can help you determine which flooring type is best suited for the space.
How you will use the room is another factor for deciding which type of floor material to install in the basement. If the basement is used for entertainment or as a play room, you might select a flooring type that will absorb sounds and noises.
If your basement flooring renovation project aims to save money on your energy bills, you might opt for flooring types that provide a layer of insulation. Not all flooring types will add insulation. This is something to consider in your decision-making process.
Some flooring can be directly installed or applied to the basement’s concrete floors. Always check that the concrete is level and smooth before installing anything on top of the existing concrete. If the area is not level, you still have options. You can patch areas with a fixing agent or install a subfloor.
Some basement flooring options will require a subfloor for installation. This means that a layer of wood is installed above the concrete. Once the subfloor is in place, the basement floor may be installed on top. Certain materials such as carpet and engineered wood do benefit from a subfloor.
When selecting a floor, you may not consider the ceilings after all they are on the opposite side of the project. That said, it’s a good idea to consider your ceilings when installing floors. The floors you install could alter the height of the room, especially when a subfloor is added. Find out what the minimum ceiling requirements are in your building code before installing a new floor. You want to make sure that your new flooring doesn’t break that code.
10 Great Basement Flooring Ideas
Here are the top 10 ideas for transforming your basement floor into a beautiful and functional living space.
1. ENGINEERED WOOD
Engineered wood is a great alternative to real wood for basement floors. The pressed wood and printed veneer surface can withstand mild basement level moisture. Engineered wood looks beautiful and comes in a variety of patterns and colors. Engineered wood absorbs noises and helps muffle them.
2. CERAMIC OR PORCELAIN TILE
Ceramic or porcelain tiles in the basement are a good option to combat moisture. Cleaning tile is simple, and they are virtually stain-proof. Tile is a durable flooring material that will last a long time when installed properly. There are countless tile designs, colors, and arrangements to customize your basement flooring.
3. LUXURY VINYL
Luxury vinyl plank floors look and feel similar to hardwood or stone for a fraction of the price. Installing hardwood floors in the basement isn’t recommended due to moisture. Choosing luxury vinyl for your basement flooring could be the answer if you want the hardwood or stone look. There are countless styles and colors of luxury vinyl panels. Installation is a simple process that you can do yourself. Luxury vinyl is durable and easy to clean.
When your basement is a place of entertainment, carpet is an excellent option to use as flooring. Areas with lots of activity can benefit from carpeted floors. Carpet adds padding and warmth to any floor. It is soft and suitable for children to play on.
Installing carpet in the basement can add dimension to the room and create an inviting space. There are stain-resistant and durable carpets available for basement floors.
5. SHEET VINYL
Sheet vinyl is a popular choice for basements because it is an affordable, water-resistant, and aesthetically pleasing flooring type. Sheet vinyl is easy to install and easy to take care of. Sheet vinyl provides a layer of protection between the concrete and a barefoot. Vinyl is resistant to stains and a very durable material to use for flooring.
6. RUBBER FLOORING
Rubber flooring is a good choice for basement flooring due to its water resistant nature. Rubber flooring is extremely durable and easy to keep clean. For a durable flooring type, it is soft and provides cushioning.
Another perk with installing a rubber floor is that it offers a sound barrier without any echoing. This flooring type comes in tiles and is one of the easiest flooring types to install. Rubber on floors are good insulators and may reduce your energy costs.
7. EPOXY COATING
Epoxy coating for basement floors looks slick and sophisticated. If you are looking for a non-absorbent flooring type that is resilient to stains, epoxy might be the way to go. Because the epoxy is applied directly to the concrete, the floor will withstand the tests of time far longer than many of the other flooring types. There are many epoxy colors available to use on floors. Some people use stencils to create epoxy patterns for basement floors. The overall effect is stunning.
8. CARPET TILES
Carpet tiles are another basement flooring option. They are easy to install and often cheaper than the alternative carpeting solutions. The best part about installing carpet tiles in the basement is that they are easy to replace should any spills or rips happen. This flooring option is cozy, cheap, and convenient for your basement renovations.
9. STAINED CONCRETE
Basements already come equipped with a sturdy and scratch-proof floor in the form of concrete. There are many concrete stains on the market that can turn a lackluster concrete floor into a beautiful and one-of-a-kind basement flooring type. Stained concrete is easy to care for, and no special tools are required to keep the floor glistening and clean. Staining concrete is a cost-effective way to add life to the downstairs flooring.
10. CORK FLOORING
Cork floors are a good and economical option for basement flooring. It’s easy to install, and the process is relatively quick. Cork provides good acoustic control in the basement Cork floors provide excellent insulation and provide warmth for the feet. Cork also has finishing options to enhance the appearance and durability of the material.
Make the most of your space by creating a basement worthy of awe. Installing modern flooring into the basement can completely transform the feeling and functionality of the area. After carefully considering the conditions of your basement and how the space will be used you are ready to embark on renovating your basement flooring.
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