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Options for Basement Flooring

Choosing appropriate flooring for your basement can be particularly difficult. Not only do you have to consider what will look best in your interior design scheme, you also have to factor in what flooring will function the best in your basement environment. Basements present unique challenges for flooring because they are prone to excess moisture.

Because the concrete sub floor of a basement comes in direct contact with the ground, water can seep in from below. Concrete can act like a sponge, and if it isn’t properly sealed, any flooring you put on top of it can be seriously damaged. Moreover, moisture leads to mold and mildew problems that can be harmful to your health and offensive to your nostrils.

Before you even begin to consider options for basement flooring, you have to make sure your basement is sealed against moisture. You can have a flooring specialist come in and examine your basement, or you can check it yourself. To check your basement for moisture, start by simply taping down a piece of impermeable plastic so that it is airtight against the concrete foundation.

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Leave it there for at least a day, and then check to see if any moisture has accumulated on the underside of the plastic. Do this in several areas of the concrete. If you find moisture, you will need to have the concrete sealed. Seek out the assistance of a flooring specialist for the best results. In some cases, installing a vapor guard, a high density polyethylene sheet, can be a life saver.

Once you have effectively resolved any moisture problems, you can decide what type of flooring you want to lay down. The most common types of flooring used in basements include cement, carpet, hardwood floors, laminate floors and ceramic and porcelain tile. Which one you choose is a matter of personal taste, the function of the room, and how dry your basement stays. The humidity of your basement will have a lot to do with the climate of your region.

If you live in a region that is prone to excessive rain or flooding, no amount of waterproofing will protect your basement completely. In those cases, it’s best to choose flooring that will not be destroyed by a flood. Painting or staining a concrete floor is a good, affordable option. There are a lot of options for painting concrete floors. Stenciling and faux finishes are very attractive and practical, and if you don’t like the final result, you can always cover them with another flooring option.

Part 2: More Basement Floor Options

 

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