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 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
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
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.
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.
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 2x2’s on the floor and ¾
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
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 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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