Everyone wants to make the most of their home’s square footage, and upgrading your basement’s potential as viable living space is a great way to do it. To make your basement the space of your dreams, you’ll need to start small. Choosing the right flooring has different rules in a basement than in other rooms; if you make the wrong selection, it could be potentially disastrous. That’s why we’ve laid the groundwork to bring you the best basement flooring ideas for your home. There are many more options available for suitable flooring in your underground space than in years past. Note: When you start shopping around, you’ll notice the term “low level.” Don’t let this worry you; it simply means that the material is intended for underground or basement installation. Keep an eye out for this term when evaluating your flooring options. Manufacturers are well aware that consumers want stylish, durable, innovative and eco-friendly products, and the basement flooring market is no exception.
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How do you plan to use your basement?
This is the initial question to ask yourself. If you want to use your basement for a work area or play room, you’ll want flooring that’s durable and easy to clean, such as stained concrete, vinyl, or linoleum. Planning to make your basement a cozier living space? Look for laminate, carpet or cork. This is also the time to do a little soul searching about how much maintenance you are willing to do on your flat. If you want the fastest and cheapest surface, just paint your concrete floor. However, keep in mind that it will wear out in high-traffic areas and may need to be renewed every few years. Maybe you want a basement floor that can outlast your house. If so, ceramic tile may be the way to go. It is simply a matter of preference and budget. It’s your home, your money, and your workload, so do what feels right to you.
basement floor ideas
The options you will find are much more sophisticated and elegant than you might expect. There are just about as many options for your basement as there are for any other level of your home. The only flooring you should stay away from is solid wood, due to its susceptibility to changes in temperature and humidity. Solid wood flooring is expensive, and the risk of it warping and cracking in a basement installation makes it a big risk that probably isn’t worth it. taking. If your heart is set on a wooden look, don’t despair; Many of the options listed below will satisfy your wood grain desires. Browse our flooring gallery and read on to learn more about preparing your basement for new flooring. The installation costs listed below are general guidelines for professional work; check service providers in your area for specific quotes.
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Engineered wood is a thin veneer of solid wood that is bonded to a core of plywood. Style options in this department are vast, and durable, easy-to-clean, and easy-to-install options have plenty of options for this manufactured floor. The cost is $2 to $20 per square foot, depending on the style selected, and installation costs add $4 to $5 per square foot.
Like engineered wood, laminate flooring consists of a layer of plastic resin bonded to a core of plywood. Laminate can be tricky, as many samples resemble real wood, ceramic tile, or stone, making it desirable for those on a tighter budget who still want the upscale look of natural materials. As a bonus, many varieties offer moisture and mold resistance, making it a perfect choice for damp basements. The cost is $3 to $5 per square foot, and installation is an additional $4 to $5 per square foot.
Tile remains a popular choice for basement flooring thanks to its durability and extensive style options. In addition to the wide range of natural patterns available, ceramic tiles are touted for their water-repellent nature, but can become slippery if condensation occurs, so consider a non-slip finish. The cost of ceramic tiles is from $1 to $15 per square. foot, depending on the selected style; installation costs an additional $5 to $10 per square foot.
For the DIYer or those on a budget, vinyl tile is a great option. Mosaic tiles come in numerous patterns and colors to match any decor, and self-adhesive options allow for easy installation and replacement. The cost is $1 to $5 per square foot, with an additional installation of $1 to $2 per square foot.
The popularity of this soft, breathable and eco-friendly material is on the rise. Cork is naturally resistant to bacteria and water, making it an ideal choice for damp basements. Cork can show scratches and heavy wear, so be sure to consider your lifestyle beforehand. However, it is relatively cheap to replace. The cost is $2 to $12 per square foot, and installation is an additional $3 to $5 per square foot.
If you want durability on a budget, linoleum may be the option for you. Available in many vibrant colors and patterns, this flooring is durable, naturally antibacterial and easy to maintain. Plus, it’s eco-friendly (made from linseed oil) and resistant to mold and moisture. It costs $1-$5 per square foot, and installation costs an additional $3-$4 per square foot.
The idea of a rug in a basement might make some people cringe, but its warmth and wide variety of styles and budget options still make it a popular choice for basement flooring. While some are concerned about the susceptibility of carpets to moisture, moisture-resistant pads are available, and many low-level synthetic carpets offer resistance to mold and mildew. and replacement Cost is $2 to $4 per square foot for carpet and $1 to $4 per square foot for padding, plus installation for an additional $2 to $4 per square foot.
Concrete floors are all the rage right now, partly because of their minimalist style, but also because of their low price. Surprisingly, concrete offers a variety of options, from acrylic paint to stain and epoxy coating. Paint costs about $30 for 80-100 square feet if you do it yourself, and a new application is needed every two to five years. Staining costs $2-$4 per square foot, while long-lasting epoxy coating costs $3-$4 per square foot.
Make sure your basement is ready
Special considerations must be taken when adding flooring to your basement. Moisture is the most obvious (more on this later), but there are other issues to deal with before laying the flooring. If your basement is like most, the air ducts for the upper levels are accommodated in the basement ceiling. You’ll need to consider the thickness of the flooring you’re adding; even just a couple of inches can take your home out of your city’s ceiling height requirements. Low profile options are available if that is your situation. Most of us don’t give much thought to the level of the concrete slab that is the basement floor, unless it has a drastic slope. When a floor is installed over concrete, even slight slopes and flaws can affect the finished project. If the basement floor is level, you can repair minor cracks with an elastomeric concrete sealant. A sloped basement, meaning it slopes more than a half-inch every 8 feet, will require low spots to be filled with self-leveling cement. This will require some preparation of the old concrete and adherence to the manufacturer’s instructions, but if done correctly, you’ll have the level foundation you need to show off your new floor. As mentioned above, the challenge in most basements is moisture. Addressing any moisture in your basement is a prerequisite for installing flooring, no matter the type. No one wants to install a beautiful floor only to have it damaged by moisture, mold and mildew. The moist, humid air in your home is heavy and naturally sinks into the basement, where it condenses against the concrete slab floor. A dehumidifier can help prevent this type of moisture problem. That concrete slab is also porous, allowing outside moisture to seep into the basement. There are several ways to prevent this from damaging your flooring, including sealing your basement, installing a vapor barrier, or making a raised subfloor on which to install your flooring.
Better laid plans (and floors)
No matter how well you prepare your area, there is always a chance of flooding. If your basement is prone to flooding, make sure the ground is sloped around your foundation to help water escape from your structure; install a sump pump (as well as a backup); and choose floor products that can get wet. Moisture tests should be performed on your concrete slab. Any result above 10 percent should prompt you to investigate and resolve the cause. Dehumidifiers, sealants, vapor barriers, and subfloors are all potential solutions for a damp basement. Keep in mind that a raised subfloor can create its own problems in the event of a flood by allowing a new microclimate (and mold and bugs) to thrive between the concrete and the floor. If you have a subfloor and your basement floods, the subfloor will most likely need to be removed. Your best-designed plans (and floors) can be a gamble in a basement. Pipes break, floods occur, moisture invades. Make sure your new floor is reflected in your homeowners insurance. By choosing a floor that can withstand a bit of moisture or can be easily removed and replaced, you’re giving yourself the best of both worlds: a finished basement floor and peace of mind. The flooring options you have for your basement are almost limitless. By examining what you want your space to be used for, the realities of your basement, and our basement floor ideas, you can create a living or work area that increases the value of your home, from the bottom up.
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