Best Flooring Options for a Basement Remodel

October 5, 2010

Choosing the right flooring for a basement renovation or conversion can present a homeowner with all kinds of sticky considerations that simply are not a problem anywhere else in the home, mainly because of a basement’s tendency to be moister than any other room in the house.

That moisture can warp hardwood and encourage mold growth in even the best of carpeting so the condition of the basement has to be considered and evaluated carefully before you begin shopping for any kind of new flooring at all.

If you are working with a remodeler to convert a previously unused basement into useful living space, a popular and growing trend, drying out the space as far as possible will be a part of the overall plan of action in order for the renovation to be a successful one.

However even the “driest” of basements can be susceptible to seasonal changes in moisture levels and the risk of flood that may affect your flooring choices.

In general traditional hardwood does not do well in basements. That does not mean though that a homeowner has to let go of their dream to incorporate the sumptuous look of hardwood into their basement renovation and remodeling plans.

One excellent alternative is laminate flooring. Laminate floors are floating floors, meaning they are not attached directly to the sub floor, which makes installation directly on the concrete or putting some kind of vapor guard down before installation far easier. Make sure that you consult with your laminate flooring salesperson before you buy though, some laminates are also not suited for below grade use.

If moisture tests in your basement are consistently coming out fairly well ceramic tile is another option that can work very well in the basement. The tiles can be installed directly on the cement floor, a durable and good sub floor for tiling is Ditra from Schluter System which will prevent any cracks from the floor telegraph to the surface tile.

Using ceramic tile flooring in the basement opens up a myriad of different design options. These days one can purchase ceramic tiles that are designed to mimic everything from fine marble to traditional hardwood, often at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

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