Basement Flooring Options When Remodeling

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Basement remodeling is an immensely popular project that thousands of homeowners decide to undertake every year. A well-planned and finished basement can be put to many practical uses that vary from being just a guestroom of the visitors to a complete entertainment room.

Choosing basement flooring for any part of the house is quite a tricky affair, all the more so for basements. The reason is not far to guess, as we all are aware that basements are typically prone to attracting moisture from the atmosphere. That somewhat imposes limitations on the choice of flooring for the basement.

Any basement remodeling project would necessarily involve some means of getting rid of the most of the moisture therein. Here is a very simple test to assess the moisture content in you basement floor. Take some non porous material, like a black trash bag and seal it using an adhesive tape around a couple of different points on the floor of the basement. Let it remain there for 24 hours and then check underneath the material. If you notice any condensation of water vapors, it means your basement needs to be treated for getting rid of the moisture.

Having taken measures for making the basement dry and on finding the results satisfactory it’s time to look for an appropriate flooring material for your basement. Here are some of the more popular options, helping you to choose one.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring – Here is a modern material that can better withstand moisture than the conventional hardwood flooring. Being thinner than the natural hardwood, it allows for installation of additional insulating material, which in most vases is desirable, if not essentially needed.

Laminate Flooring – For a moderately dry basement, laminate is the best way to get the looks of hardwood without spending a lot of money. However, some laminates are not so well suited for floors that have even a little bit of extra humidity. You would do well consulting a flooring specialist to know the right laminate before investing into one, for a damaged hardwood flooring is beyond economical repairs.

Ceramic Tile – In their case the subfloor needs to be just dry enough for holding on to the adhesive. So, you have to pay some extra attention while the subfloor is being prepared.

Flooring Options that may not work well – Considering the expense and the likely risk associated don’t make it worthwhile to install low grade of hardwood floor. Engineered hardwood is definitely a better material for floors below ground level and the results are very satisfactory and beautiful.

Even carpets in the basement may be risky. You should understand that even a basement that you might consider dry is sure to have more moisture content than the rest of the house. It’s a natural phenomenon that can’t be helped beyond a point. Having a carpet over the entire basement is an invitation to mold and mildew that ultimately is sure to ruin the carpet. But, you may still have the comfort of using a carpet there by incorporating a couple of well positioned area rugs.

Carpeting Basement Floors And Taking Care Of Mold

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I have my office in the basement of my home. That allows me to have large space of around 700 square feet to work in with all the needed furniture, not only for self but for the visitors too. There is a large desk that includes a TV and all the electronic paraphernalia that you’ll find in any corporate office.

Moisture is a problem therein, not that it ever got flooded. My basement can be treated as dry. But being below the ground level, it attracts moisture. It’s my dehumidifier that makes me realize of its presence - it gets filled up twice a month in winters and now and then once a day when the humidity rises.

Carpeting Basement Floors

I often wonder if my carpet would remain as dry in the absence of a dehumidifier! Would my carpet get sprayed with water? And what happens to the volume of water that the machine is unable to collect for whatever reasons?

Moisture can enter even new constructions despite the provision of a moisture vapor barrier. A French drain around the house or the gutter system could be the cause of it. And, let it be known that moisture leads to mold.

As one can’t see mold around or feel it in the air that one breathes, you are left wondering what’s so bad about mold!

I'm not an expert but I conducted a bit of research on the subject of mold. Mold has tiny spores, with hundreds of thousands of them capable of fitting on the head of a pin. They can penetrate thru our immune system to enter into our lungs. On entering the lungs they can get in our bloodstream and oxygen and may permanently scar lung tissue. Some of the common symptoms are: colds, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and shortness of breath among others.

Fortunately I enjoy good health, yet I can feel it at the end of a day’s work in my basement office.

One way out is carpeting basement floors with area rugs. Applying concrete stains or having sealed decorative concrete floor coatings helps to contain mold. Maintenance of sealed concrete becomes easy and helps preventing building up of mold.

One big benefit of having area rugs is that they keep the basement warm and are conveniently rolled up for being sent to the cleaner. They are conveniently replaced or removed. But, the slight limitation is that you can’t have light easily moveable furniture on the rugs. That’s because frequent movement of furniture adversely affects the life of rugs.

It’s comfortable walking on a wall to wall carpeting. But, it’s frequently glued down on the floor, meaning you wouldn’t like to have it replaced too soon, especially with all the tastefully bought furniture for your office cum home. That’s because it’s quite a task to get them unglued and the subsequent removal of dried gum from cement floor is a tough job indeed. Did you notice that wall to wall carpets have tack strips that have been hammered down along its edges? As you remove them, the holes get exposed and need to be suitably filled up using filler.

Here’s a tip for you if you plan to use your basement more often. Rather than having wall to wall carpeting or even area rugs, you would be better off with a decorative concrete coating!

Basement Floor Paint - Choose The Right One

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While remodeling your basement, application of the right kind of basement floor paint is of prime importance. You wouldn’t like to apply some paint that is too hard to clean or wears off too soon. That’s what makes it so important to choose the right material for applying on these floors.

The best known paints for such applications are known as epoxy based paints or simply epoxies. Though primarily developed for industrial application due rough and tearing circumstances over there, they were eventually found ideal for certain domestic application, like basement or garage flooring.

Basement Floor Paint

Epoxy paints are extremely durable and highly resistant to chemicals like oil and grease. That in effect makes them ideal for use in garages or the porches.

Additionally, these are waterproof, and we all know how prone the basements are to humidity and the accompanied dampness. These epoxies are known to raise the heat resistant characteristics of paints.

On the whole, these paints don’t need much maintenance. They offer easy application and are highly durable, the reasons that they were found highly desirable for industrial applications.

The most durable basement floor paints are the most expensive too and are cent percent solid pints, followed by 40-60-percent solids. Because of the price and the durability features these are primarily found desirable for industrial uses, making them rather unviable, as far as economy goes, for domestic applications.

The type of epoxies used for domestic purposes are water based and much more economical to use. Moreover, these are conveniently available at most hardware stores

And, for the convenience of homeowners these are available in very many colors. That’s an important consideration not to be ignored if you plan to use them, as you certainly would want the color to go along the rest of your cooler scheme that’s already there in the basement or the intended room.

Application of these paints is not really difficult. The only thing you need to ensure before applying such paint is that the surface be prepared by thorough cleaning so that there is no dust.

In short you have to take care that there are no imperfections on the floor before application of such paints. The ultimate quality of output largely depends on how well you prepared the floor. Another factor is the purpose for which you intend using your basement. If it is gong to work as a storehouse for all the household junk, it doesn’t really matter how well you prepared the floor.

It is important to carefully plan and purchase your paint. Keep the area of the room and its functionality in mind, and even what you might like do with this room in the not too distant future. If you are the type who likes to have frequent changes of color or d├ęcor of the room, choose your paints accordingly.

Using concrete sealer gives a better finishing touch to your basement floor, in terms of looks, as well durability. Isn’t it nice that epoxy kits and the connected hardware needed for their application are available at most hardware stores!