Be Careful With Basement Flooring
It has been years of looking at the same dreary basement and now you have decided that it is time to install some basement flooring. Basements are very tricky when it comes to flooring because of the changes in the environmental conditions surrounding a basement and because of the presence of any basement flooring material's worst enemy, moisture. The first thing you are going to need to do is check and see if you have a moisture issue in your basement and the way to do that is to replicate the way flooring would seal in on top of your concrete basement floor. Take a large garbage bag and cut it open so that it folds out into a rectangle. Take that rectangle shaped plastic bag and tape it to the concrete floor in the corner of your basement. You may want to do this in all of the corners. Make sure the tape is sealed tight. If you cannot get tape to work then lay something heavy along the edges of the plastic just so you seal it to the floor. Then wait at least 72 hours.
After at least 72 hours lift the plastic from the concrete floor. If you have any collection of moisture at all under the plastic then you have a moisture issue that needs to be addressed before you consider any basement flooring at all. Contact a basement expert to help you take care of this. Basements, even the best basements, fluctuate over the course of a year and even if you get a clean moisture test you may still have moisture problems at some point during the year. That is why certain basement flooring materials are probably best to never be used in a basement.
The Do's And The Do Not's
Never use real hardwood flooring or rugs as basement flooring. At some point in the year, even in the best basement, you will get moisture collecting usually in the corners. Moisture will warp and ruin a hardwood floor and moisture combined with a rug and padding can cause a mold problem that could drive you out of your home. Engineered flooring and laminate hardwood floors may work because both are made from composite wood material that may be able to handle the shift in climate. Engineered floors are hardwood floors made in layers and laminate is composite wood coated with a protective finish. But if there is any way to talk you out of any kind of permanent basement flooring like rugs or any kind of hardwood floors I would like to do that.
The absolute best basement flooring option is to paint the concrete floor with a specially formulated paint that is designed to withstand the moisture found in basements. You can choose from a variety of colors and you can even get a color scheme going with the walls. From there you can use throw rugs and area rugs to give it more of a flooring kind of feel. It is the best way to do it and it will cause you less headaches down the road.