Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Finished Basement Flooring Options
When it comes to finishing your basement one of the biggest concerns is the flooring. Basement floors are often just a concrete slab. Before choosing flooring for your basement it is imperative to determine if a moisture barrier had been laid down previously or if you will be dealing with moisture seeping through the concrete slab. Most often when it comes to basement slabs a concrete moisture barrier is not present. This leads to issues that are common when homeowners wish to finish their basements.
If you are unsure if a moisture barrier is present underneath the concrete slab in your basement the easiest method to figure it out involves some time and plastic garbage bags. Lay a few plastic bags out over the concrete basement slab and tape them into place. After a few days check to see if the plastic bags feel wet or feel like they contain any moisture on the underside of the bag. If moisture is present than your basement slab does not have a moisture barrier present and this will limit your flooring choices.
If you want to keep your options open when it comes to flooring in your basement consider a waterproofing the basement floor. This will allow you to choose more openly what you desire for the flooring within your basement. Carpet is a common want in cold, damp basements. The floor should be waterproofed as well as cellulose underlayment before padding and carpet is laid. This will help to create a moisture proof floor in your basement with carpet flooring.
Free floating engineered flooring is a great option in basement flooring. A foam underlayment allows the flooring to float the basement floor. This underlayment creates a space that balances any unevenness in the flooring as well as providing a moisture barrier.
Laminate flooring is yet another option in basement flooring that is popular. When using laminate flooring, the look and feel can be warmed up using throw rugs throughout the basement space. Laminate is only a good choice in basements that have relatively low moisture levels because the backing is susceptible to bubbling in spaces with higher moisture.
Ceramic tile can be installed in basement flooring as well. This is a great option however one that does tend to add to the coldness already associated with basements. If you are installing ceramic tile note that low moisture basement ceramic tile will last longer than if placed in high moisture basements.
If all and all you decide the flooring options in the basement are too risky and to dependent on moisture look into painting your basement floor. Even with high moisture levels concrete paint will adhere to the floor and will last a fair amount of time in between maintenance. Add warmth with throw rugs that can easily be picked up, washed and dried.