Basements come with several challenges when it’s time to choose flooring. Since it usually sees a lot of dampness and humidity, choosing the wrong floor for a basement can lead to a lot of wasted money. Having the wrong floor may promote the growth of microbes, mold and mildew which all negatively affect your health. Therefore, for a basement, you need a durable floor that can withstand rough treatment and most importantly, moisture.
There are a lot of basement flooring options that fit several specific needs and budgets. If you’re looking forward to renovating your basement but are unwilling to invest a lot of money, here are some inexpensive choices available to you.
- Epoxy Sealed Concrete
One of the most inexpensive and low maintenance options is to install an epoxy sealant over your concrete floor. Although your concrete floor will remain hard and cold, the sealant makes it resistant to water damage and microbes. The sealant also helps to protect it from cracking and staining. A regular sweeping and occasional wet mopping are required to keep the floor clean.
This floor also comes with another advantage. If you want to install any other flooring in the future, you can have it installed over epoxy sealed concrete without removing it. Available in a wide variety of colours and patterns, epoxy will also help you stylize your basement.
- Ceramic Tiles
They’re water-resistant and highly durable. Tiles also come in different colours, styles and varieties. They can be installed over a concrete floor. Although it’s water-resistant, it’s a good idea to consider installing a water barrier between the subfloor and the ceramic tiles for added protection. Tiles are, however, hard and cold and if you plan to spend more time in your basement, use area rugs for a warmer feel under the feet. You can also install radiant heating system underneath the tiles.
Note that although tiles are water and mold resistant, the grout is susceptible to mold. Treating the grout with a water-resistant sealant once a year can help you avoid the growth of mold.
- Engineered Wood
If you’re planning to renovate your basement into a living area where you can unwind and entertain friends, your flooring needs may vary. In such a case, you’ll want a more fashionable yet durable floor that contributes to the look and ambience of the room. Engineered wood is an excellent option for this purpose. It’s composed of two or more layers of wood (hardwood veneer on the top and softwood at the bottom) laminated together, making it moderately water-resistant. It can be installed over a concrete slab along with moisture barrier. Engineered wood is ideal to get the timeless look and warmth of natural hardwood. Make sure to choose a quality that’s suitable for below-grade basements.
Other inexpensive flooring options for basements are vinyl, carpet tiles and rubber mats. No matter what floor you choose, waterproofing your basement before installation is a good idea. This will eliminate the chances of water or moisture damage of your newly installed floor.