We are finishing our basement and adding two bedrooms and a bathroom.
The basement right now is completely unfinished, with a concrete floor
and walls. I am looking for advice on finishing the basement
floor. What kind of flooring is best for a basement, especially in the
bathroom? I would also appreciate your advice on whether to use a
subfloor, and how to keep the moisture from degrading the floor and
walls. Thank you!
All basement floors eventually get wet. Water will come from the
outside, or from a broken pipe, but it WILL come one day. IMO the only
floors that make sense in a basement are:
1) Bare or stained concrete
5) Removable carpet tiles (2'x2', ask at Home Depot).
The first three have drawbacks in terms of comfort and/or durability.
Personally I like cork.
We have had water come in on a couple occasions in our finished
basement (both times from the chimney filling up). This has been
limited to a large puddle that had spread form the unfinished portion
of basement to the finished part. We've never had anything like
standing water or anything. I considered tile or cork but both were
pretty expensive. What we did was use commercial carpet (like what
you'd see in an office building). We also went with a glue down option
instead of tacking over padding. If you go any carpet route I'd
STRONGLY reccommend no padding. Once the padding gets wet you have to
basically tear out all the carpet to replace the wet padding. They
also make indoor/outdoor carpet that can take water that looks very
similar to berber, we almost went that route but the wife thought it
looked a little too plasticy (I didn't think so). The last storm
filled our chimney and we got some water, an area of the carpet got
wet, after wet drying it and running the dehumidifier after a few hours
it was as if nothing ever happened. A week later and it's fine, no
smell, no discoloration. Contrary to the fact we have gotten water the
basement is quite dry. In that I mean, we have no water coming up from
floor, and moisture tests show no moisture is seeping up.
Tim Killian wrote:
As for the installed cost of a floor, like anything else it's: good,
fast, cheap, pick any two.
The commercial 2' x 2' carpet tiles I mentioned have a built-in,
non-absorbent pad and use a "post-it note" type of adhesive that's
removable. If they get wet, they can be pulled up easily to dry out.
They are not cheap, but they allow a reasonably good carpet in areas
that get wet from time to time.
We have normal carpeting in ours but ours is perfectly dry and we were here
when it was built to make sure it would stay that way. Ceramic tile in the
bathroom but if your concrete is still new and the tile is attached directly
to it, the concrete may crack and take the tile with it if not properly
For the bathroom, you want easy to clean. First choice would be ceramic
tiles. Easy to clean, they look the best, IMO. Next to that I'd go with
vinyl sheet goods.
For bedrooms, I'd consider the indoor outdoor carpet if you want warm under
the feet. Otherwise, I'd go with engineered wood and maybe throw rugs by the
bed. If you go with the engineered wood (see www.mannington.com ) you will
need a barrier that the dealer will also have.
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