Handled the wrong way, basements can be an underused and underappreciated part of your home.
But planned with care, your basement can be a valuable extension to your living space. It’s certainly worth the investment.
After all, some 30% of new family homes started in 2013 have a basement area.
Choosing the right basement flooring is an easy way to transform your basement into a room you can be proud of!
Your basement flooring depends on the purpose of the basement!
Before you can decide on a type of flooring, you need to ask yourself what you’ll actually use the basement for.
9.5% of American households use storage units for their extra belongings. Why spend that money when you could use your own home?
If you just need more storage space, you don’t need to invest in expensive floorboards!
Have a look at epoxy paint coatings. They’re great for keeping budgets low, but the range of colors lets your creativity run free.
Plus, epoxy paint coatings are resilient when it comes to any spillage, or mess created by storage.
Epoxy paint has the advantage of being waterproof, as well as durable. After all, the paint dries rock hard!
You can choose from water-based, solvent-based or solid epoxy paints, depending on your needs.
When applying epoxy, make sure the floor is cool first so the paint adheres properly. Apply one thin coat at first.
Leave it for at least 24 hours to make sure it’s dry. You might need to apply a second coat, but give it time to dry first.
You can also apply epoxy paint to the concrete before laying another type of basement flooring. Just make sure the epoxy is completely dry before you install anything else.
Alternatively, if you want an extremely low-cost and no-fuss option, try a waterproof sealing paint.
Dye or stain the concrete first if you’d like to add some form of color. Then apply the sealant direct to the concrete floor.
This type of basement flooring is perfect if you want to use the space for hobbies or DIY.
But what if you want to use the basement for something more homely?
Carpet is an obvious choice to make the basement feel more like part of the house. After all, basements are notoriously cold spaces due to their location in the house. Carpets help to insulate the room.
They also trap dust, so you might want something easier to clean. They also absorb moisture easily, making it difficult to treat water damage.
Choose low-pile carpet, which dries more quickly as it’s less absorbent.
Or, opt for carpet tiles. They’re very easy to install. And if you do get spots of water damage, it’s easy to remove individual tiles.
Polyester and nylon carpet tiles resist water much better than natural fibers. They also don’t need to be treated to resist mildew.
But you might want to look at a basement flooring option that requires little maintenance. Ceramic tiles would be a good option.
They have the added bonus of also being mold proof. And like epoxy coatings, they also come in a range of colors.
If you have a smooth floor with no cracks, then ceramic tiles can be laid direct onto the concrete. There’s a reason designers love them!
However, they are a cold type of basement flooring. If the temperature is an issue in the space, look into ways to heat your basement. Heat mats beneath the tiles can mitigate some of the cold.
Look for ceramic tiles with an anti-slip finish, just to guard against possible condensation build up.
Another problem can be acoustics. Ceramic tiles reflect sound, so you might need to invest in some soft furnishings to help dampen echoes.
Choose hardwood flooring for classic elegance
If carpet and ceramic tiles aren’t for you, then how about wood floors? They look amazing and add sophistication to the space.
Some hardwood flooring can be glued straight onto the concrete. But, remember – your basement is below the level of the ground.
That makes the space an easy target for water leaks. Basement flooring must be waterproofed to avoid damage further down the line.
You can always install a waterproof subfloor. These elevated plastic tiles let air circulate beneath them. The air keeps the basement flooring warmer and helps moisture evaporate.
Just don’t use this type of subfloor with a flooring type that must be nailed into place.
And whatever you do, avoid solid hardwood floors. They can warp or distort if they absorb moisture.
But if you really want wood floors, there are easier solutions available!
A very popular choice is engineered wood flooring. A top layer of real hardwood provides the look and finished that you want.
But an added sub-layer of plywood holds back moisture from damaging the hardwood.
The tiles or planks often click together, making installation easy!
Alternatively, you could opt for laminate basement flooring. It’s easy to lay, simple to clean, and plastic-coated!
If your laminate flooring has a fiberboard core, make sure it’s been treated to resist moisture. Otherwise, it will warp or buckle.
Some laminate flooring can actually resemble ceramic tiles or stone, as well as wood, so it’s certainly a budget-friendly option!
What about cork flooring?
Cork makes an amazing choice for basement flooring. The material actually comes from leftover scraps after bottle stoppers are made.
So it’s completely sustainable – perfect if you’re trying to minimize your environmental footprint! Just remember to seal it first, to avoid water damage.
Unlike ceramic tiles or epoxy paint, cork is also a warmer flooring option. Not only that, it also comes with its own cushioning.
And if cushioning is important, then rubber flooring is an excellent choice for basement playrooms.
It comes in either sheet or tile form. The thick tiles have interlocking edges, making it incredibly easy to install.
Rubber basement flooring also comes in a huge range of colors. Let your little ones choose the design!
But when you’re looking for flooring options, choose those labeled as being for “below grade”.
That’s no reflection on your home. It just means the material is intended for installation in the basement.
If you think you know which option is best for you, contact us today to request your free estimate!