Are you renovating your basement, but you’re not sure which flooring option to choose? This is the only guide you’ll need.
Basements are susceptible to moisture and cold temperatures, even when the weather is dry and warm. If you’re renovating your basement, you’ll need to consider the types of materials that can prevent issues that arise because of these conditions. Different flooring options are better for other rooms, and basement flooring needs particular care and attention.
We’ll make sure to cover the best basement flooring options that will keep your basement in top shape for years to come. Don’t just settle for concrete! We’ll also go over styles that will make a basement comfortable and attractive if you plan on turning it into a rec room, a den, or a second living room.
Before You Get Started
It’s important to make sure that any issues within the foundation of the basements are fixed before the new flooring is installed. The original concrete floor can sometimes have large cracks in it that will do subsequent damage to new flooring. This means hiring a professional to come in to examine the floors and fix any cracks or other issues you may not be able to do on your own. For example, if water leaks into the basement when it rains, this is a huge issue you’ll need to fix before adding new flooring.
Besides obvious cracks and water issues, make sure that the floor is even before laying down new materials. A contractor will help with this; however, if you were hoping your renovation would be a DIY project, don’t worry. While this step usually does require the help of a professional, we’ve outlined some flooring options that you can do yourself.
Vinyl flooring is a nice option for basements as it can mimic the look of hardwood or natural stone, but it’s not as expensive. If you’re on a budget or prefer to allocate your dollars elsewhere, vinyl flooring is a great option also because you can install it yourself. It’s great for beginner home-improvers and looks great.
This is also a great option because vinyl is water-resistant. As mentioned before, basements tend to retain moisture, which can expose them to mold and mildew. (Side note, a great way to keep moisture out of your basement is by getting a dehumidifier). Vinyl flooring doesn’t latch onto the water and is fairly durable. It’s easy to clean and comes in a variety of different styles and patterns — you can even find vinyl flooring that mimics the look of hardwood or marble.
The downside of vinyl is that if there are lumps on the concrete floor or any other irregularities, it will show through. That’s why it’s important to follow the above step and make sure the foundation is in tip-top shape before laying down new flooring.
Ceramic Tile & Porcelain Tile
If you’re looking for an alternative flooring option to vinyl that still offers durability, style, and is budget-friendly, look no further than tile.
Your two options when it comes to tile are ceramic and porcelain. Ceramic and porcelain tile are considered cousins as they are both clay-based and kiln-fired, but the clays made to use porcelain are of a higher density. They’re also fired for longer, making them stronger and less porous (which is great because that means they don’t retain moisture).
Ceramic tile can be installed directly onto concrete floors or an underpad. It gives a clean and modern look to a basement, and if you choose a lighter color, it can make the space appear brighter and larger. Ceramic tile is usually less expensive than porcelain and offers great texture if you’re looking for depth, as both glazed and unglazed tile tend to keep the natural patterns of the clay.
Porcelain tile is almost impervious to water, so it’s great if you’re worried about moisture or water, especially in spaces like the bathroom or laundry room. Porcelain is a little more expensive than ceramic, but if you’re looking for a clean, smooth surface, it’s your best bet. The only downside to porcelain and ceramic tile in the basement is that both materials can be cold and hard. This is important to keep in mind if you want to turn the space into a rec room or lounge area. Both types of tile will also need to be installed by a professional, as it requires a fair amount of skill to make sure everything is even and prevent future issues.
If neither vinyl flooring nor tile is what you’re looking for, then you might be interested in looking into engineered hardwood. This is an interesting option for basement flooring because hardwood itself is not a great idea for basements. Hardwood is probably the worst material you can choose for a basement because of its susceptibility to water damage. However, engineered hardwood is different.
Similar to plywood, engineered hardwood has a thin layer of real wood bonded to a composite board. Composite board is a dense material made up of wood fiber, plastic, and a binding agent. Because of the way, it’s manufactured, engineered hardwood allows you to have all the amazing benefits of hardwood, such as warmth and style. Still, it can be installed in a basement without you having to worry about future issues.
Engineered hardwood is durable and less costly than hardwood. Just like tile, it’s compatible with underfloor heating systems if that is something you’re hoping to install. It’s available in different styles, colors, and finishes, almost indistinguishable from the real stuff. While engineered hardwood can still be damaged by water, the water has to contact the wood for an extended period.
Plan Your Next Renovation
The best basement flooring options for your home will depend on the climate you live in, your budget, pre-existing issues, and how you plan to use your basement. Remember what’s important to you, especially if you’re hoping to treat the renovation as a DIY project.
If you want your basement to be used as a workshop or solely as a place for laundry and other chores, your flooring needs will look a lot different than someone who wants to use the extra space for a home theatre or a small rec room.
Either way, make sure the flooring option you choose will protect your home against damage and last for a long time. Sarana Tile is an established tile and hardwood flooring provider serving Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton. If you have any questions about basement flooring options, reach out to their professional staff.