Basement Flooring Installation

Things To Remember Before Picking Flooring

Basement flooring does not play by the normal rules of flooring. Even when the weather is dry, basement flooring might collect residual moisture due to its close proximity to the ground or flooding that left your basement under water. That’s why the primary concern with basement flooring is moisture: how to avoid it and how well the floor will dry out if it has become wet.

A word commonly used by contractors is the word “grade” which is another term for ground-level.  If something is referred to as above-grade, it is safe from water vapor and most times from flooding.  Anything below-grade is at risk of water damage.

Tile and concrete tend to outperform materials like carpeting in basements.

Inorganic materials work better in basements such as tile, concrete, and vinyl.  Solid hardwood is 100% organic and does not work well in basements. Organic materials may grow mold, but they will not deteriorate.  Organic materials will both grow mold and begin to rot away.

Some different types of flooring:

  • Sheet vinyl is the easiest to maintain and clean among the various basement floor finishes. It can withstand floods very well, especially if seam tapes are added along the floor joints. Seam tape, when applied with heat, seals your basement floor and prevents water and moisture damage.
  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile represents one of the best options. It is a finished surface that is attractive. It can be installed directly on your concrete slab and most times is undamaged when flooded.
  • Engineered wood is an excellent basement floor finish because it is more resistant to temperature changes and moisture when compared to other floor finishes. It is made of thin layers of bonded wood on resin backing, which looks like a real hardwood. Engineered wood is an ideal basement floor finish in areas with extreme varying temperatures and low moisture, has great sound absorption and is one of the more attractive flooring options.

  • Concrete Flooring has become trendy.  It can be painted and stained and is the most moisture hardy basement floor option around.  Negatively, concrete provides poor sound quality and it’s one of the coldest options.
  • Plank Tile Flooring is durable, it holds up best to moisture and looks like real wood.  It has gained a higher resale value lately, considered a status item.
  • Carpeting should be installed in a case by case manner.  If your basement is completely dry year round, it may give you years of life  But if there is a water catastrophe, you will need to replace the entire carpet. An alternative is carpet squares. Although they will also get soaked, they can be pulled up in areas and replaced.
  • Laminate Flooring is highly susceptible to water damage but can work with the installation of a subfloor system.  The subfloor and the laminate foam underlayment protect against water vapor coming up from the concrete slab. This underlayment makes laminate flooring one of the warmer flooring ideas.

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