Many homeowners today are finishing their basements, now more than ever. Basement remodeling just so happens to be a great investment and it gains the homeowner more living space without the need to put on an addition. According to House Logic, basement remodels offer a high return on investment (ROI) — up to 70 percent — while at the same time adding valuable living space without increasing the footprint of the home.
But basement flooring is a little bit different than flooring throughout the rest of the home. Even finished basements, while they may feature a small window or two, are basically dark places prone to moisture. This is even more so if the basement is completely underground. Therefore, waterproofing measures must be taken.
For run-of-the-mill basements that don’t experience moisture, a good bet is sheet or plank vinyl flooring, which can act as an ideal waterproof covering for basements. Not only is it easy to clean, it’s 100% waterproof and holds its own in terms of style — especially when luxury vinyl is involved.
Basements that get a bit of moisture here and there — nothing that can’t be managed easily, really — wood byproducts and carpeting can be installed. A basement with “normal conditions” is one that has controlled humidity levels through the use of a dehumidifier and ground moisture that can be kept at bay through waterproof sub-flooring. While laminate, engineered wood and carpet aren’t exactly waterproof; they can tolerate some moisture without leading to permanent damage.
Those basements that get flooding or moisture on a regular basis need a bit more TLC, in the form of inorganic materials. The flooring type used in these situations should be 100% waterproof and should include materials like concrete, sheet vinyl, and glazed tile (such as ceramic or porcelain).
If your customer plans to use the basement as a home gym or yoga studio, recommend soft flooring that’s easy to clean. This means no carpeting, but you can go with a rubber roll if the intention is to do yoga or aerobics, or concrete if the intention is to lift heavy weights.
Basements make great home movie theaters, as they afford excellent noise protection and acoustics. However, the type of flooring will make or break those factors so the choice should be made wisely. To avoid audio reverb, which can be present with hard flooring, low-pile carpet is the best option for absorbing sound.
The major determining factor in which type of basement flooring to use is moisture. Ask your customer what kind of moisture they get throughout the year, from dry as a bone to condensation on the walls to outright pooling and possible flooding. The next factor is intended usage, although this can be tricky as basements typically serve multi-functional purposes. They could act as a mother-in-law apartment, man cave, kids’ playroom, gym, home office or craft room. Once you have these two determining factors down, you can discuss pricing and other incidentals.
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