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Basement Flooring Options & Ideas

If you are planning on finishing your basement, you may be wondering what type of flooring to install. You have several options depending on your budget and any moisture problems you are dealing with. Moisture is the big issue in planning your flooring. Tile and carpeting are most used in a basement.

Paint
Paint is an inexpensive way to add color to your floors. You must buy paint made especially for cement floors, so ask your paint dealer for guidance. They may have several finishing options in addition to paint. When you are painting a floor, it must be clean of dirt and dust and completely dry.
You can also have color added to your concrete, but usually this must be done at the time the concrete is installed; so if your basement is already done this may not be a possibility.

Vinyl
Vinyl is another fairly inexpensive flooring alternative. It comes in self stick tiles and there is even vinyl flooring that looks like wood that is available in a self stick. Vinyl is also sold in rolls and can be glued to your floor.
It is a great option if you have children, as spills clean up easily and it is a little warmer than tile. However, if you have any moisture in your basement, the flooring will eventually come unglued along the edges.

Ceramic Tile
Tile is a great choice for your basement flooring, as moisture will not affect it. You can find ceramic tile for 60 cents a square foot on clearance or it can be up to $10 or more a square foot for high end tile. You can get a great looking tile floor for $2 to $4 a square foot. You can lay your tile right over your cement floor if it is level. The floor must be free of paint, dirt, and dust. If you have a painted floor you wish to tile, rent a sander and sand off the paint. Vacuum up all loose dust and power wash with soap and water, or use a broom with soapy water to clean and rinse the floor. Allow the floor to dry THOROUGHLY before you lay the tile.

Carpet
Carpeting will keep your floor warm and cozy, but again, if you have moisture problems, it may mildew. A raised sub floor will help this problem, but it can be expensive. For a raised floor you must lay a grid of 2x2s on the floor and to 1 plywood or floorboard on top of the grid. This will keep your carpeting off the moist floor, but you must still have a dehumidifier to pull the moisture from the room. Many people just put the carpeting on the cement floor and never have any problems. It all depends on how water tight your basement is.

Another issue to consider in addition to moisture is if you could possibly have sewer backup due to heavy rainfall. Your carpeting must be removed and thrown away if this ever happens to you.

My advice to you is if you want carpeting in your basement, buy a moderate to mid priced carpet so if you do have any problems, you will not be out a lot of money.

Tile Carpet Mix
If you have moisture around the edges of your basement, you can lay a two to three foot tile border around the perimeter of the basement with a carpet inlay in the center.

Natural Wood Flooring
While wood flooring is beautiful, it is seldom an option for bathrooms or basements due to moisture. It is not recommend.

Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is similar to wood in that it absorbs moisture. You could try a laminate floor with a raised sub floor, but it could be an expensive mistake if it takes up moisture from the floor.
 
 
 
 





 



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