Choosing the right basement floor finish is always a tricky choice. Concrete is by nature porous and no matter how hard your builder tried it’s always going to feel cold and clammy to the touch. Once you waterproof it as best you can your next step depends on the use you’re going to put it to and any remaining dampness issues in your basement. Here are some options to help guide you to the right decision.
- If your basement’s just for storage and you don’t want to spend a fortune you can Paint or Stain the floor. Your main objective is to keep it clean so you can look for leaks. There are all sorts of colours and finishes available in paints and epoxies. Best of all you this is a project you’ll most likely be able to do yourself.
- Porcelain Tiles are impervious to water compared to ceramic tiles that have porous backings. They’re also temperature insulators and come in a great range of designer choices. On the downside the concrete base should be dry when you lay them which could pose an issue for a chronically damp basement, and they chip and crack when treated badly.
- Natural Stone is more expensive, but is less slippery when wet than porcelain. Unfortunately stone is if anything more porous than concrete. If you’re entranced by its natural beauty apply a below-surface chemical sealant at least once a year.
- Good old fashioned Linoleum Sheet has stood the test of time and keeps coming up shining with great new designs. Embossing makes it look like the real thing and it’s impervious to moisture too. It’s especially great if you have small kids around because it’s soft and won’t hurt tiny limbs.
- The only problem with linoleum sheets is that they’re well-nigh impossible to replace individually. Vinyl Tile sorts this problem out but introduces a few of its own. The adhesive must withstand underlying moisture and the concrete needs to be level to avoid distorting joints. That said, it’s easier to lay down.
- Laminate Flooring is inorganic and is available in moisture and mold-resistant versions. A range of stunning wood-effect designs compensates for higher costs and it’s incredibly hard wearing and easy to keep clean. It’s perhaps the perfect all-round choice.
- If your basement is dry and has a sub-floor then Carpet could be a desirable option because it has a homely feel. Choose an inorganic material that’s water resistant and comes in squares. Loose-lay them, so you can take them up if you need to do repairs below.
- Cork is right back in fashion again. It’s a renewable resource and is pleasant to work with too. Being bacteria-resistant is a further advantage. On the downside it scratches easily and is unsuited to heavy foot-traffic. Best buy an extra box to keep for spares.
So there you have it. As you can see, there are lots of flooring choices for your basement, depending on your expected use and the damp conditions present. To turn your basement into a full and healthy living space, you should consider removing all sources of dampness to reduce the risk of basement mold.
Have a questions about damp basements and mold growth? Feel free to contact us, we’re happy to answer any questions.
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