Types of Basement Flooring
Transforming your basement into usable space starts with new flooring
By Robert Ferguson
Turning the basement into something other than a storage area maximizes the square footage of a home. The first task is to assess and correct any moisture problems of the existing floor, such as by sealing or installing a subfloor. Next, determine the type of floor that is suitable to the needs of the new room. Will it be a workshop, a family room, a playroom for the kids or a laundry room? It is important to match the room's function to the proper type of flooring.
The basement's existing floor is probably concrete. This type of floor has its uses. If the room is going to be a workshop, storage area or laundry room, then this type of floor is suitable, as it is durable and easy to clean.
Ceramic tile is a durable and easy-to-clean flooring with many styles and color options. It holds up well against water and humidity. Because basements are usually cold and damp, the tile would tend to be cold as well.
For basements converted to rooms that have less traffic and where moisture is not a problem, laminate flooring could work well. Composed of wood fibers, resins and a foam underlay, it is durable and easy to clean. It snaps and locks together with no glue or nails needed.
In basements that have absolutely no moisture problems, carpet is an option. It comes in a wide range of prices and is available in many textures and colors. It helps insulate the concrete floor below and adds a warm feel to the room. However, be advised that any moisture causes mold concerns, and particularly with carpet.
Rolled Flooring or Mats
Rolled flooring or mats function as an insulator for basement floors. Made from a thick rubber, they are not affected by moisture and water. They are easy to install and can be taken outside for cleaning. The downside is that they are not particularly attractive.
Paint the basement floor with latex, polyurethane or epoxy floor paint. The latex would be the least expensive type, though scratching, peeling and chipping could be a problem. Polyurethane is a durable option. It is more expensive and harder to install but will last a lot longer than latex. Epoxy would be the most expensive of the paint options. It is a three-part installation but is durable. With all three painting options, sealing the floor first is recommended. Use these products with proper ventilation.
About the Author
Robert Ferguson is a licensed building contractor with more than 30 years of experience, focusing primarily on residential remodeling, repair, renovation and construction.
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