Think of your basement as a whole for a minute, and not just the flooring part of it.
What is the purpose of the basement?
Does it have a purpose at all?
Do you just use it to store things, or do you use it as a living room of sorts?
Are there rooms in the basement that people in your family stay in?
Like any other room or area of your home, your basement has its purposes. Determining the purpose of your basement is one of the first things you need to do when exploring flooring options for it.
Original flooring foundations will not hold up
No matter what you use the basement for, leaving the original foundation is very risky. Although it appears to be an option, flooring for a basement really is not an option in and of itself.
Why is this?
Think of where the basement of your home is located. It is not only located close to the ground, it practically touches this ground.
This leaves the original foundation suspect to damage caused by rain or snow, increases the chances of pests to come in and make nests, vegetation can creep up from the ground to the basement floor, and other things.
Flooring for the basement is highly, highly recommended for this reason. But like there are numerous flooring options for other areas of the house, so too exist numerous flooring options for the basement.
Situations where basement flooring is a risk
Even though basement flooring is highly recommended, there are some situations where installing basement flooring could be a detriment.
If the place you live has a history of floods, or if your home is built in a place that is very moist where there is a good chance of things from the outside growing into the basement and onto the floor, you’ll be taking a risk if you do flooring for your basement.
Putting in flooring in a basement that is subject to being altered by acts of nature can not only damage the foundation of the basement floor, but can also damage whatever new flooring of the basement. While the chances of these kinds of things are not high, they are still possible and you need to prepare accordingly.
Fortunately, there exist a few basement flooring options among these that are waterproof. These will be mentioned.
While it is usually a good idea to get flooring for your basement, there are risks involved. The right flooring option can lower that risk and the wrong flooring option can make the risk bigger. It is important to understand which flooring options are best for your situation.
Questions to ask before pursuing basement flooring options
Just running out and doing flooring for your basement is not a good idea. Aside from the usual preparations you should be making when it comes to basement flooring, you should also ask yourself a few key questions before deciding on a flooring option for your basement.
The first question entails the purpose of your basement. What kind of room is it going to be? Will it encounter a lot of traffic or a little traffic? The more traffic the basement encounters, the more durable the flooring will need to be.
Are you interested in aesthetics of the basement? Will it be a family room, where all kinds of get-togethers will be hosted? If that is the case, you might need to be aware of certain things that happen outside the house that could affect the basement, among other things.
These are just a few questions that you should ask alongside any other flooring related questions that you may have.
Optimized flooring options for the basement
Now that you have some information, know what kind of preparations you might need to make as well as what kinds of questions you might have when it comes to flooring options for the basement, here are just a few flooring options for the basement that are especially effective.
Rubber flooring/rubber interlocking gym tiles
Made from the same flooring materials that make up the floor in most gyms, rubber flooring is a very optimized basement flooring option. They are not only easy to set up, but they are also durable and waterproof.
While they are not really available in any particular colors, and while darker ones can make the basement look a little darker than it should be, rubber flooring is still really nice if you are using the basement as a gym or even as a family room.
Engineered vinyl planks or tiles
Different than wood planks and tiles that may not hold well on a basement’s subfloor and laminate floors that are not waterproof, engineered vinyl planks (also known as EVP) are waterproof and hold up very well.
These basement floors are optimized because of how versatile they are. They take all the aesthetic value of wood and laminate and make them even better. EVP is quickly becoming an industry standard when it comes to basement flooring.
One caveat when it comes to EVP flooring is that the subfloor of your basement needs to be perfectly smooth. If it isn’t perfectly smooth, you’ll need to go to some other kind of flooring.
Tile planks in porcelain or ceramic
Similar to EVP, these are also waterproof. But their materials last a lot longer than EVP. So if you want to do basement flooring just once and not need to worry about it again for a very long time, consider this kind of basement flooring.
A common problem with the other two basement flooring styles is that it is difficult to clean them. Something that sets tile planks apart is that they are much easier to clean, which is nice if you are using the basement as a family room or any other kind of room that encounters a lot of traffic.
The only drawback to tile planks is that they can get very cold. This is especially true during colder climates and colder seasons.
These are just three examples of some of the most optimized basement flooring options in existence. No matter what kind of basement flooring you pursue, remember that being informed about it is much better than getting basement flooring on impulse.
Do not forget that there are different basement flooring options for different homes and uses of the basement. Keep all of these in mind and make an informed decision use the above three examples to see what kind of flooring option for your basement is right for you.