How to Select Flooring When Refinishing Your Basement

Covering ugly basement concrete is one of the best improvements you can make when refinishing your basement. However, it can be overwhelming, as well as confusing when you start checking out all the options. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when deciding on flooring for your basement.

Tired of staring at cold, hard, ugly concrete, many homeowners select carpeting for refinishing their basement. What’s more, they don’t have to strain on their knees installing tile squares. But before you rush out and select carpeting, or do anything, first determine if your basement has a moisture problem. If your home is situated up high, such as ours, then chances are, you’re fine. What’s more, if it a daylight basement (or one that is not but below ground) you probably don’t have to worry about moisture. Whenever I complain about walking three sets of stairs in my tri-level home, I remember that flooding won’t be a problem as my basement is above the ground.

But it’s still good to test your basement for moisture problems. Stains of discoloration on paneling, wood posts, drywall, damaged rain gutters, mildew on any objects and musty, damp smells indicating mildew is taking over are some red flags there’s a problem.

And, you can also take a dry cloth and leave it on the basement floor for a few days. If any moisture appears, then you have a problem, and certainly don’t want to install carpeting. But even if you have a dry basement, as well as one that above grade, carpet is not the best option. Consider the foot traffic brought in from the garage, etc .Also, keep in mind that damp air can seep through the fibers, concentrating at the base of the carpet pile, leading to an unpleasant musty smell.

Also, if you live in a relatively humid climate, you won’t want carpeting. When we moved from Florida to New England, I never thought I’d have a problem with a humid basement, but much to my dismay I found myself fighting mildew in our Connecticut basement. Fortunately, our basement was tiled rather than carpeted. However, I spent much time on my knees cleaning mildew from the tiles. For this reason, you need a dehumidifier in your basement to cut back on mildew problems, as it will cut down humidity between 65% to 75%. It’s also important to keep your basement windows shut during hot summer weather.

Before deciding on flooring, ask yourself how you intend to use your basement. For example, will you use it for a recreation or playroom for your small children? On the other hand, will it be a general family room where they everyone hangs out, watching television?

Carpet tiles-—Although carpeting isn’t the best option, carpet tiles may be a good idea for a playroom. Colorful primary colored tiles of red, blue, green, orange, and blue is invited to any child. What’s more, carpeting will be softer for when a baby or toddler falls, learning to walk. The beauty of carpet tiles is that you can easily replace a tile if you have a problem, rather than ruining the entire carpet. Just do a simple Google search for “carpet tiles”, and you can find companies that specialize in them. They’re also fun in that you can easily rearrange them, creating a new look for your room.

Wood Flooring—If you love wood floors, choose laminate rather than solid wood. This is because laminated floors resist moisture more than wood floors. What’s more, you’ll receive a warranty for basement installation.

Linoleum—Vinyl flooring or linoleum is an inexpensive chose for basement flooring. Both linoleum and vinyl flooring can be applied directly to your concrete floor using a particular adhesive. Besides transforming the look of your basement, linoleum or vinyl flooring is easier on your budget, allowing you to spend more money on other facets of your project. I prefer linoleum because I don’t have to install it myself.

Vinyl tiles—You can probably save a lot of money by installing vinyl tiles yourself. Check with your home improvement store, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot for details. The beauty of vinyl tiles is that if you ruin one tile, you can easily replace it with another one.

Painted floors—Finally, you can always paint your basement floor with concrete paint (either solid or semi-transparent.) If you’re artsy you can create your own unique designs on your base color. Just make sure to prime your floor with primer before applying paint. Not only is painting your floor much cheaper, but it’s also a way to show off your creativity.

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