Choosing the Right Flooring for your Basement

There is nothing worse than the walk across cold concrete every time you want to use your basement. This is why many homeowners consider renovating and flooring their previously unfinished lower levels. However, fears of flooding and water damage are some of the leading reasons why people continue to do nothing. And yet, those are the issues NV Waterproofing likes to remove from the equation.

Is your basement already ready?

Do not assume your basement is dry and suitable for the flooring you desire. They have the lowest surface in your home, therefore basements are the most susceptible to water infiltration and flooding. These problems must be remedied before renovations can begin.

You are given a free inspection from NV Waterproofing so that you can know the true state of your home, basement, and yard.

Moisture and Humidity

Although you will not have to worry about flooding once your home is waterproofed, there are still factors to be considered such as moisture, condensation, and humidity. Humid air is heavy air, and it tends to sink towards the lowest parts of your house. This humidity will be an obstacle if a livable space is what you desire. Humid air may create condensation when coming into contact with cold surfaces, and this moisture will encourage mold and mildew growth. Sealing your basement and selecting the proper flooring for your home will make these potential issues more manageable.

You may also choose to use a dehumidifier to keep your basement humidity at a healthy level. Your interior relative humidity should remain between 30% and 60% at all times. You may also consider installing odor and moisture resistant carpet pads. Open cell pads are recommended for use below grade, as they allow the concrete to breathe. These types also tend to be less expensive and they provide better insulation than closed cell or rubbed pads.

Once you have a dry and healthy basement, you can begin designing your new level by choosing the flooring you would like:

Carpet

Carpet is excellent if you desire a more comfortable living area. It is a warmer, softer option and it provides the space with a certain level of soundproofing. When choosing a carpet, there are key qualities which are best suited for basement use. Select a low pile (thin) carpet which will make drying easier. Cut-fiber carpets also aid in the removal of water, whereas intact carpet fiber loops tend to make that task more difficult. All or partially synthetic materials should be used, since natural options tend to be less durable and more costly. And lastly, consider laying down sectioned carpet squares, rather than wall-to-wall- carpeting, which will come in handy if water needs to be removed from a specific area.

Vinyl

Vinyl is perfect if you want durable, moisture resilient flooring which requires virtually no maintenance and are DIY-friendly. Makers also offer a wide variety of colors and textures, which can provide the visuals of wood or stone. Some types also offer a foam cushioning layer which increasing comfort when walked upon.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles boast durability, easy maintenance, and resistance to stains and mold. The can be installed easily over concrete. Condensation can appear on the surface of the tiles if proper steps to keep your basement dry aren’t taken, possibly making your flooring slippery. Ceramic tiles also come in many colors and styles.

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood allows homeowners to feature the look of hardwood floors and eliminates the worry over temperature or moisture fluctuations warping the wood. A thin veneer layer of wood is laminated onto plywood backing, which tends to be more stable than solid wood.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is similar to engineered wood, however the top veneer is a layer of tough film. Many colors, textures, and designs are offered which can convincingly mimic wood or stone. Its protective finish resists abrasions, stains, and moisture.

Bamboo

Although bamboo gives off the look of wood, it is actually a grass. This gives bamboo a natural edge over wood since it is naturally water resistant, it won’t expand or contract under humidity, and it is more environmentally conscious.

Cork

Cork, like bamboo, is earth friendly. Cork floors are anti-microbial, fire, and moisture resistant. They are known to have noise reduction properties and a naturally warm and soft feel, making it ideal for a child’s play room.

Linoleum

Linoleum is another environmentally friendly choice of flooring; made of linseed oil, limestone, and recycled wood flour. It offers excellent color options, claims to be naturally anti-microbial, and is resistant to abrasions, staining, and fire. While linoleum is water resistant, it is not water proof and should be sealed periodically to prevent damage from excessive moisture.