We are about to spend at least $1200 on re-carpeting our finished
basement (25x25 feet). The existing carpet is a cheap Home Depot Berber
with the pad incorporated into the carpet. It is glued down. The carpet
smells like dog urine from the previous owner. When we first moved in, it
smelled like mildew as well but I think our dehumidifier took care of that.
It will be a big, difficult job to remove the existing stuff, and
expensive for the new stuff. Thus I seek some advice on doing this right.
1) After I remove the carpet and attempt to scrape off the glue/pad (this
will be impossible), how should I treat the floor? Is there something
that can both seal the remnants of the bad smell, and keep moisture from
below the slab creeping up? I hate to spend so much on carpet and then
have it smell like mildew after a couple years.
2) We've been looking at the basic berbers that I believe are made of
Olefin. These range from $0.80 to $1.50 a square foot (plus extra for
install). We don't need nice stuff...but I don't want something
susceptible to mildew/moisture
3) Should I request a special pad?
4) Is mildew inevitable? If so, maybe I'll consider going with cheap,
pad-incorporated home-depot stuff and consider trying to lay it myself
with glue. I figure this would cut the cost in half. We've only lived in
our house for a half-year. I don't think there is any seapage, and I
worked on the grade around the house in the fall.
If it still smells like dog pee, there's a reason for that. It's
because has soaked into -- and now a resident of -- the pad. For animal
pee, the pad has to be either cleaned or replaced (most people cut out
the affected area and replace it with new pad). This is why most people
wonder why they spend all day steam cleaning a pee'd-up carpet, but the
place still smells ends up smelling like they've done nothing. There's
also another reason mention this that will become somewhat more apparent
once or twice later on.
Once you get rid of the carpet and associated padding, the smell should
disappear because you now have ventilation of the pee'd up area AND
you've gotten rid of the actual source of it. How you should treat the
floor is for someone with a lot more knowledge than me.
From homeowner accounts I've seen or read about, Olefin is a good,
durable choice -- especially if you have kids or high-traffic areas.
Dunno. I despise carpeting. It was the FIRST thing to go from every room
in the house when we first moved in (along with the decrepit evergreen
bushes in front).
Mildew's inevitable only where you have moisture issues, including high
humidity and seepage. If your basement's dry as a bone, mildew oughtn't
be a concern. But as for the carpeting itself -- let me get this
straight: You're going to spend many back-breaking hours ripping and
scraping up one glued-down pad-incorporated room of carpeting that reeks
because you can't clean the pad only to install *another* one exactly
like it? Nothing lasts forever in homeownerville, so eventually (and
there *will* be an eventually) you're going to have to rip up the new
one for one reason or another. You might think you're getting off by
going on the cheap, but there's a very familiar term among a lot of
people here known as "pay me now or pay me later." Your call, chief.
And nothing lasting forever also applies to garden variety paint-on
floor sealant should your now-pristine slab decide to start cracking
(they all do, eventually; some bad, some not so bad) and you live in an
area where you start getting instaces where high(er) water table hydro
pressure pushes water up thru the crack(s)? Nothing you buy in a can at
the hardware store is going to stop forever all that pressure. Chances
are, the paint-on will crack right along with the underlying cement, or
if it survives, water's going to keep pushing a few hundred pounds of
pressure against that thin little sealer barrier. Something's going to
give somewhere sometime and voila, welcome to the basement seepage club.
Rug itself can be pulled up, steam cleaned, dried and deodorized. But
unless you can pull the pad, it'll all just rot and mold. And guess what
you'll be doing then? Yup, buying another whole damn room of carpeting.
Again, your call, chief. Personally, the only thing I'd think of putting
on naked basement slab without a raised subfloor is tile.
I'd consider tile. I don't think I've ever seen it in a basement though.
I would like the basement to be liveable. Right now, it is pretty
dry and is finished very nicely (w/ dry-wall and ceiling). Our home is
nearly 50 years old...poured foundation seems in good shape (knocking on
wood). I suppose that throw rugs over tile would look decent. In the
winter, I would think tile conducts the cold much more.
Do you have any ideas on the pros/cons/cost of tile vs. carpet?
And I'm with you too on the carpet in the rest of the house. I've pulled
the carpet in 2 bedrooms exposing the nice hardwood. I plan on
refinishing it sometime in the spring.
Tile will be just as cold as the concrete that it is stuck to. You'll
wind up putting down area rugs like you normally do in a living area that
is all tile. I thought about it for my basement, but I decided to just
paint the floor instead. My daughter has a sever mold allergy so WTW
carpet is out of the question.
If I did tile in the basement I would probably install radiant heat
Tile or a vinyl tile would be nice and near permanent and flood -
moisture safe. Area rugs could always be removed and dried if flooding
occurs. Pipes , water heaters , sump pumps, washers and hoses WILL fail
its a matter of when, not if . And you never get that Warning. usualy
you just find water one morning . I use area rugs on tile and yes ive
dried them out several times , and i have dual sumps.
The mill-working schlubs here in the south of Chicago have been tiling
their rec room-type basements for generations. A bit more overtime and
they got sheet Congoleum. All in all tho, decent tile squares were the
Some Pros: Spills wipe right up, animal dander and other allergens don't
take up permanent residence, cleans by wet/damp mop, doesn't hold water
to rot and mold, individual squares can be replaced, chewing gum doesn't
get all stuck in it, doesn't need a professional to install, heavy stuff
rolls across it easier, survives water disasters considerably better,
doesn't wear out like carpet, won't go up in flames from a lit
cigarette, doesn't necessarily always need to be ripped up to change it
-- and the corpse fits in a trash can or two when you do.
Some Cons: Hard and cold (cool floor nice on bare feet in hot summer,
tho), little/no sound absorption, scratches if abused badly enough,
dropped glassware will usually shatter on it every time (but even there,
no pile for shards to hide in).
Cost: Last time I was at Menard's, I noticed some pretty attractive and
thicker stick-down tile designs for about $1 a square foot. If you
couldn't care less about being all Martha Stewart about basement floor
tile, they also had the thick commercial grade glue-down stuff for 50
cents a square foot. That stuff looks OK, but mainly for places like
laundry rooms, not living spaces IMO. But if 50 cents/sqft was all I had
in the world to afford for the living area, I'd get over it. If you can
do better than that with a quality-grade carpet that won't go to shit in
a few years, be my guest.
Check out the web site below. My buddy is finishing
his basement and did a bunch of research before starting
and this is supposed to be the first step if you plan on
putting down carpet or even tile in a basement.
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