Basements: What is the ideal flooring?
Lots of people wonder which type of flooring is the best for basements. While there is no definitive answer, there are certain types of flooring which are more suitable than others.
Hardwood is undoubtedly the type of flooring to avoid in a basement due to temperature variations and humidity, which can cause floorboards to lift, buckle or space. So, it is not recommended to install a hardwood floor in the basement of your house. On the other hand, engineered wood can be installed, as long as the base is not a concrete slab, because you can’t nail engineered wood to concrete. Since engineered wood is a hardwood glued on layers of plywood that are crisscrossed, it is more stable and reacts less to variations in temperature and humidity often found in basements.
Laminated flooring, better known as a floating floor, is a good choice for use in the basement. However, it must be paired with the appropriate membrane (depending on the characteristics of the subfloor in the basement). It is a durable option as compared to hardwood, since it is resistant to daily wear and because the temperature transfer (from the concrete slab to the flooring) is less than with others types of flooring. Therefore, it is also indirectly warmer on the feet.
Whether in a role, as planks or squares, linoleum flooring is a good choice for basements. It is water-resistant, durable (but less than laminated flooring) and relatively easy to install (some products can be installed directly on the concrete). As well, it isn’t too cold for your feet, since the temperature transfer is not very high. It is also easy to maintain and less noisy than laminated flooring.
Carpeting was trendy for a long time, even in bathrooms! The advantage of carpeting is without a doubt the comfort it offers.It is soft and warm; nobody can complain of cold feet with a carpeted floor. What’s more, carpeting is the most sound-absorbent floor covering, so it sound proofs a room. If you are thinking about installing a home theatre in your basement, carpeting is your best floor covering choice.
Tiles are also a good choice for basements; however, it is important to know that the temperature transfer between the concrete slab and tiles is direct, so your floor may be cold. It is advisable to choose heated flooring under tiles installed in the basement.
To help you choose, we have classified the various types of flooring for basements in order of increasing cost:
- Carpet $
- Linoleum $$
- Laminated $$$
- Vinyl $$$$
- Tiles $$$$$
- Engineered wood $$$$$$
So, as you can see, it is possible to install almost any type of flooring in the basement; however you have to keep a few things in mind, including how much you are willing to spend!