When it comes to deciding on a basement floor, almost any type of floor covering is good to install in a below-grade basement. Unless it’s a laminate or hardwood flooring that hasn’t been treated for moisture resistance, properly installed flooring can typically stand up to moisture and damp conditions. However, that doesn’t really mean that basement rooms are uncomplicated and trouble-free. Even if you ask your Harford county Maryland flooring contractor or any floor builders, they can attest that the basement floor does not play the usual rules of flooring.
Basement rooms have their own unique challenges. Because your basement is below grade, even the most porous basement slab can be prone to water vapor and moisture migrating up through the concrete slab. Dry weather, on the other hand, is no exception to the possibility that your basement flooring can leach residual moisture due to its proximity to the ground. There are countless ways that the wrong choice of flooring could lead up to creating a haven of mold or mildew lodging underneath your basement floor. With this, the choice of flooring materials for your basement is directed toward addressing moisture issues. How well will the floor covering dry out if it becomes wet? What are the most durable basement flooring options? To answer these questions, here’s our list of flooring options for your basement room.
Also known as resilient flooring, vinyl flooring is at par with ceramic tile and concrete as one of the best flooring options for your basement. Vinyl can either be in tile/plank or sheet form. Sheet vinyl flooring is a better option because it has an almost seamless and impervious surface, so it can resist water and moisture in your basement room. Tile vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is not a good choice because it has multiple seams that can absorb moisture, especially if the water stands long enough on the basement floor.
Another great thing about sheet vinyl flooring is that it is less expensive than other flooring materials. The average cost of sheet vinyl flooring ranges between $0.50 and $2 per square foot. And unlike concrete and ceramic tile, this flooring option is much warmer to touch. However, the downside of sheet vinyl flooring is that, during installation, the surface should be very clean for proper adhesion. This isn’t typically a good choice for DIYers, so may want to involve your Harford county Maryland flooring contractor in the installation process. When it comes to resale value, sheet vinyl does not contribute a big impact to make your home a substantial investment. Not to mention that vinyl flooring has a potentially high VOC emission rating.
While solid hardwood flooring is not a good choice for basement flooring, engineered wood tells a completely different story. The creation of engineered wood answers some pain points of solid hardwood flooring, specifically water damage or moisture issues. Engineered wood is much durable and more water-resistant than solid hardwood. It is a dimensionally stable flooring option because its plywood layers below the real wood veneer layer are intended to block water and maintain its shape when exposing to a limited amount of moisture. This makes it a great choice for basement rooms. In fact, it can be one of the most attractive and durable basement flooring options in the market these days. With proper maintenance, engineered wood can last for about 20 to 100 years.
While it is true that engineered wood is durable, attractive, and waterproof, it is not completely immune to moisture or rot damage. This flooring material still has a genuine hardwood veneer, so it is prone to scratches, expansion, and dents, especially when exposed to water for a long time. Not to mention that it is one of the most expensive flooring options for the basement.
Porcelain or Ceramic Tile
Ceramic or porcelain tile is a perfect choice for basement flooring because it is very durable and can be installed directly on your concrete subfloor. It normally qualifies as a finished surface and needs no additional treatment, unlike concrete flooring. Since it can be installed directly on a concrete slab, tile can create a cold surface. But you need not worry. If you want warmer basement flooring, you can always ask help from your Harford county Maryland flooring contractor to sandwich radiant heating between the tile and the concrete.
The best thing about tile flooring is its resistance to water and rot. It is 100% waterproof, which makes it better suited to damp conditions or high humidity areas. This flooring material is less expensive as well. And when you think about design, patterns, or style, ceramic or porcelain tile can provide you a world of options. It can even mimic hardwood floor planks. However, to make sure that the tile can fully serve its purpose, installation needs to be done properly. A concrete slab requires significant leveling before directly installing the tile on it. While tile installation is DIY-friendly, installing larger areas can be challenging and a little bit daunting. With this, you may want to speak to a Harford county Maryland flooring contractor to determine if it requires professional work.
Luxury vinyl is a more recent version of resilient flooring. Unlike sheet vinyl flooring that is glued down to install, luxury vinyl has a click-and-lock system. This system creates a floating floor on top of the subfloor. This makes this flooring option a good choice for DIYers. It is available in planks or squares and can be embossed with different patterns and textures. However, what makes luxury vinyl flooring an incredible choice for the basement is its durability and great resistance to water. It is nonporous, so it won’t absorb water or moisture quickly. It won’t warp due to splashes or spills. Some luxury vinyl floor products have 100% waterproof backing such as plastic or cork. This backing provides extra protection against moisture or water.
This ideal basement floor covering can also mimic the look of other flooring materials such as natural stones and wood species. For sample designs and recommendations, you can ask your Harford county Maryland flooring contractor.
Carpet flooring is typically belittled as a flooring option for the bathroom. This is because carpet flooring dries up slowly and tends to develop mildew and mold. When wet, it feels uncomfortable and mushy. However, does it mean that carpet flooring is not a good choice for basement rooms as well?
While carpet flooring might not seem like a great choice for a damp basement because of its proneness to mold and mildew, installation is still possible in a case-to-case situation. You need to make sure that the basement is completely waterproof before installing a carpet. Also, with the exception of flooding, the basement room has generally less moisture than the average bathroom. With a solid and professionally installed subfloor system, carpet flooring will work in your basement. That is why when installing carpet flooring on your basement room, it is worth seeking help from your Harford county Maryland flooring contractor to provide you the best advice before installation.
If you feel that the above intervention in installing carpet in your basement seems daunting, look for a waterproof carpet. With the help of modern technology, some manufacturers have created a waterproof carpet. This carpet is made with RX2 technology to make it water-, soil-, and stain-proof. So, if you love the soft and warm features of carpet in your basement, the waterproof version is the answer.
Some homeowners might think that installing concrete for basement flooring could be boring and bland because it is a raw surface. However, in today’s innovation, concrete flooring does not need to be in its raw state. You can stain or paint it to create a unique and attractive character.
What’s good about concrete on your basement flooring is that it requires the least amount of materials on installation. It is durable and the most moisture-hardy material you can have for your basement. Plus, it does not really need a subfloor upon installation. However, since it is a hard surface, concrete flooring can be cold. It also has a poor sound quality, making it a deficit if you are planning to install a home entertainment system in your basement.
It’s Time to Talk to Your Harford County Maryland Flooring Contractor
If you’re planning for a basement remodel, now is the right time to discuss this with your Harford county Maryland flooring contractor. As you know, a lot goes into creating a properly installed basement flooring. And it is worth talking about your options with a professional installer. Thoughtful design and installation process are huge factors in making your basement remodeling project successful. So, if you like to work with a highly skilled flooring contractor, contact us today! Carpet Ready would be more than happy to share the best ideas for your next flooring project.