Basements are generally below grade and will, therefore, be likely to have to resist constant damp conditions. They are also less likely to have sufficient natural light coming in and will be having to depend on artificial lights. The chances of basements being cold, damp, and often prone to flooding, makes the choice of flooring for them an issue which requires a lot of thought.
Basements can be partially below the ground and are often built on concrete slabs at the foundation level and this concrete can often be uneven. This limits the type of flooring that can be used over them. Basements are also rarely a priority and thus lead to homeowners not wanting to spend too much money on flooring. The fact that basements are prone to dampness requires that a lot of attention be paid to make the concrete below any flooring, waterproof, and this can greatly add to costs.
Flooring in a basement can greatly add to its utility, and make it comfortable to use. It can also add to the general level of light. Before you start considering the various options for your basement flooring, you need to first decide on the use you intend to make of the space available in the basement. If you plan to use it just as a storage space or workshop, you can leave the floor as it is, without adding to the floor. But you will need to make sure that the basement flooring is water resistant and will not invite dampness that can lead to damaging the goods you store there or the tools you keep in your workshop.
Basements can also be used as a playroom for kids, a family room, or even an office. And nothing prevents you from making it into an extra guest bedroom or for an added bedroom for your growing children. You need to decide on who the users of your basement will be. If it will be children or any elderly members of the family, you will also need to give a lot of importance to the access to space, so that it remains safe.
Flooring choices in basements can be wood, carpet, laminate, vinyl tile, or tiles of ceramic. Rubber tiles are also good as a choice for basements as they are softer and will not get damaged by any dampness that can creep in. If the floor is subject to dampness, and your choice is a wooden floor, you need to raise the floor by laying down a framework off sleepers made of highly-seasoned wood that has been given proper coats of waterproof paint. It is customary to cover this framework with plastic and roofing felt before you nail or glue the wooden floor tiles.
You can always lay a laminate floor over the same wooden framework. Laminate flooring can also be placed directly over the concrete floor in the basement if you can be very sure it will never have to contend with any moisture or dampness. Where you are very sure of your waterproofing, you can also choose a carpet on your basement floor. This is an alternative that gets over the problem of having a floor that feels cold. Using carpets made of synthetic material will give them better resistance to damp. Padding can help to insulate the carpet from any mold or mildew that can result from any dampness.
Vinyl tile is another choice for basement flooring that can be quite economical and easy to lay either on your timber frame or even directly on the concrete subfloor. Ceramic or rubber tiles are also flooring alternatives that can be considered, especially if your basement is going to be a play area or games room that will see a lot of traffic and movement. Ceramic tiles can be cold to the feet, and you may need to consider adding area rugs or similar material to warm the floor. Rubber tiles will not have this problem, and besides, they will also act as a moisture barrier.
Choose basement flooring materials that have light colors as this can add to accentuating whatever natural light gets into the basement. Installing a vapor barrier under the flooring is a must and must be given as much importance as the final choice of the flooring itself. Applying a coat of epoxy paint on the concrete can work just as well. Be sure to use epoxy paints that are meant specifically for damp concrete floors. Creating a subfloor goes a long way in protecting your basement flooring material so that it is never in direct contact with the concrete below that can be damp at times. A floating floor will always work well with any choice for floor material as long as they are properly installed over a moisture barrier and are also properly sealed. It is also crucially important to make sure the basement flooring is water resistant.
Some flooring materials can come with built-in moisture barriers and these can easily address the problem fo dampness that most basements are prone to. You can even get tiles that have plastic bases molded into them, and these bases help to keep the tile above the floor and allow the floor to breathe.
The best options for basement flooring tips can be sealed concrete covered with a thick layer of epoxy paint. Epoxy paint when it dries and becomes hard provides the basement floor with a durability that is necessary for maintaining a basement floor. It makes for an ideal floor when a basement is used as a workshop or a recreation area. This paint is also waterproof and makes it ideal for use in damp conditions. The paints come in a wide variety of colors and there is nothing to prevent you from using it in a mosaic of colors.
Your flooring of a basement also needs to go hand in hand, with access, lighting, and ventilation, if your idea of laying down a floor is to make the basement into a completely usable space that adds to your living area in the home and makes your house that much more of a home.