Basement floors are no different from any other kind of floor, that is why a lot of flooring materials that you have used for other rooms, you can also use for your basements as well if they can withstand the challenges faced by the basement floors.
A perfect basement floor material should be able to withstand the following challenges that are commonly faced by the basement floors.
1) Exposure to dampness: Dampness is one of the major problems that basement floors have to face. This is because most of the basement floors are underground and closer to the earth’s surface, and that is why they are exposed to dampness. This increased exposure to dampness is harmful to most flooring materials as it can easily destroy them. Flooring materials such as solid hardwood are not considered the best pick for basement flooring, and the reason for that is their inability to survive against the dampness. Not only solid hardwood but also many other flooring materials that are not good in preventing moisture and dampness are not good for basement floor material.
2) Exposure to pest attacks: Dampness in most cases causes pest attacks in the flooring materials. That is why hardwood floors are not considered the best pick for basement flooring. Some hardwood floors such as engineered hardwood, have better protection and chance of survival against pests as compared to solid hardwood. This is because engineered hardwood is stronger, and also has chemical layers that prevent pest attacks and protect floors from degeneration due to pest attacks. That is why you should carefully choose a flooring material that is pest-resistant.
So, whatever flooring material you may choose for your basement, you should make sure that it can withstand these two challenges. Below are some of the other properties that you should look at in a basement flooring material.
PROPERTIES TO LOOK FOR IN A BASEMENT FLOORING MATERIAL
Below are some of the properties you should consider when choosing a basement flooring material.
This is one of the main properties that you should look for in a basement flooring material. A hard flooring material has more strength and structural rigidity. This means that the flooring material will be better able to withstand any kind of pressure exerted over its surface. Not only this, it would survive the high traffic and would prevent scratches from the surface of the floor as well. If a flooring material is not hard enough, there is a chance that dampness and pests might attack this type of floor, and it would be easy for these two to destroy it within months. A floor with more hardness would also survive longer and would require less maintenance over time.
Basement flooring materials should be highly durable, this would help these floors last longer. As you know, basement flooring requires a lot of hard work, and money, so it would not be an ideal condition if you have to replace or repair your basement floor again and again over the years. To prevent this, the only good option you have is to choose a flooring material that is highly durable and can last longer. There are a lot of highly durable flooring materials that you can use for basement flooring purposes, such as tiles, engineered wood, concrete flooring. You are free to decide the flooring type but keeping durability in mind is something that would help you save future expenses.
Damp/ moisture/ water resistance is very important for basement floors. As you already know that the basement floors are more exposed to dampness, if the floor is not damp protected, it would get damaged very quickly. The same goes for moisture and water. If the basement floor absorbs water, water would destroy not only the surface but also the internal structure of the floor as well.
This would result in the destruction of the floor over time. Water is a problem for the surface of the basement floors because it mostly gets spilled over the surface, while the dampness and moisture from the soil are dangerous from below. That is why you should choose a flooring material that has a harder surface that does not absorb water and also has a resistance against the dampness and moisture in the soil.
To tackle the challenge of pest attacks, basement floor materials must be pest-resistant. That is why using soft materials on basement floors is not a good choice. You should always choose hard and rigid material that is not an attraction for the pests. Wooden floors, especially the softer solid hardwood flooring materials are not a great choice. They provide high strength and rigidity but they also attract pests. You should keep this factor in mind while deciding on a flooring material for your basement floor, otherwise, you would have to spend a lot of time and money on repairs, and replacing your basement floor.
Low maintenance is an additional requirement for a basement floor but yet it is important. This is because if the floor material that you used requires more frequent repairs and costs more on repairs, it would cost a lot of time and money and you would have to redo your floor again and again. To prevent this, the only good solution that you have is to look for a flooring material that has all the best features that you are looking for and also is easy to maintain, and also costs less to maintain as well. These types of floors usually also last longer and provide more strength and power to your basement floors as well.
Easy to clean
This is also an additional yet very important quality to look for in a basement flooring material. Cleaning the floors is hard work that requires a lot of time. That is why you should choose easy-to-clean flooring material for your basement. There are a lot of materials that are better and easy to clean as compared to other materials. Most floors when they are new, do not create any problem during the cleaning process, but as they start to age, and parts of the floors get scratches, and dents, it becomes hard to clean. Also, if the floor is hard to clean, there is a chance that it might create a hygiene problem as well. That is why choosing an easy-to-clean basement flooring material is very important.
Protection from scratches
If basement floor material has no protection from scratches, there is a chance that over time, it would get more scratches as compared to the floor material with protection. That is why having a floor that has some sort of scratch protection is better as compared to a floor with low protection against scratches. Scratches can sometimes cause a lot of damage as well, such as in wooden floors, scratches allow the water to reach the center of the hardwood and damage the floor.
Not only this but they also cause problems while cleaning as they can hold dust, and bacteria as well. Once your floors get scratched, you have to repair these scratches and these cost a lot of money. That is why having a flooring material that has some sort of protection from scratches is important.
Cost-effectiveness of the flooring material in terms of the purchase rate, delivery, installation, finishing, and repairs is something to keep in mind while choosing a basement floor material. For most people cost efficiency of flooring material is very important as they do not want to spend a lot of money on just a basement floor. That is why they choose a flooring material that costs less to purchase, but they forget that this type of floor might cost them more in terms of repairs and installation charges. You should know all the related costs of flooring material and then select the most cost-effective one.
Rich Look and Feel
Apart from all of the above requirements, you should also look for a flooring material that has a nice look and a great feel under the feet. If your basement floor material looks pale or is not comfortable to look at, it is not a great choice. Also, a flooring material if it is not comfortable to walk on or does not provide a nice feel, is not worth investing your money in. That is why I would advise you to also keep the look and feel of the finished floor in mind. Choose the colors that are according to your furniture and your interior settings. So, that your basement floor incorporates your entire theme and is not different from the house. Also, keep the comfort of feel and rich look in mind while choosing a basement floor.
Best Flooring Options for the Basement
Now, you know all about the basic requirements for a basement floor and also what challenges a basement floor faces. It is time for you to know what are the options that you have for basement flooring that fulfill all these requirements and can also withstand the supposed challenges.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood floors are extremely strong, and they are also different from solid hardwood floors. They are not just raw wood planks that are cut, shaped into floors, but they are engineered in the factories. They contain a lot of other materials that enhance their ability to withstand pressure, scratches, and water-damages. Not only this, but these floors are also very rigid and hard and provide sufficient strength that helps these floors become reliable and last for centuries.
Most people think that these floors can also get damaged because of pest attacks, but this is not true. These floors are made using chemicals that make them less attractive for pests. So, pests do not attack these floors, even if they do, these floors still have enough strength and ability to withstand for years. A well-maintained engineered hardwood flooring can last for over 100 years. This makes these floors extremely long-lasting and durable. Also, they cost less in terms of maintenance and easy to clean as well.
- Can last for over 100 years.
- These are strong and durable floors.
- Have Scratch-resistance.
- These are Pest-resistant.
- Easy to maintain and clean.
- Cost more in comparison to other materials.
- Hardwood’s color fades away over time.
- Some cheaper engineered floors are not of good quality.
- Not 100% moisture and water-proof.
Natural Stone Tile Flooring
Natural tile flooring is one of the most reliable and long-lasting flooring solutions for basement floors. These types of floor tiles are carved from natural stones. These stones are rock formations and that is why they are extremely hard and strong. Not only this they also provide extended protection from scratches, dampness, and water damages. These floors are even stronger than engineered hardwood floors.
There are a lot of different options for users to choose from the available varieties, colors, and types of stones. As these floors are strong, their surface is also less susceptible to scratches and damages, which is why they require less frequent maintenance. These floors are very smooth that makes them easy to clean as well. These floors provide a very nice and comfortable smooth feel under the feet.
- Strong and durable.
- Can last for centuries.
- Very smooth surface.
- Requires less maintenance.
- Easy to clean, requires less cleaning.
- A huge variety of colors, sizes, and shapes to select from.
- Some are affordable.
- Most natural stone floors are expensive.
- Feel extremely cold and hard under the feet.
- Tiles are heavy and cannot be installed on your own.
- These floors are smooth but very slippery.
Ceramic Tile Flooring
Ceramic tiles are made using a lot of materials including clay, sand, water, and cement-type materials. These floor tiles are also extremely hard and provide rigidity and integrity to the entire floor. These are also a cheaper option in flooring tiles, that look and feel similar to the natural stone tiles. Their extreme strength and rigidity help them last longer. This makes these tiles a highly durable option for basement flooring.
Ceramic tile floors are also scratch-resistant and can resist moisture and water absorption as well. This type of floor requires less maintenance as they are strong and protected from scratches. That is why these floors are easy to clean. The ceramic tile flooring is a great alternative to natural stone tile flooring and also to the engineered hardwood flooring.
- Very strong, durable, and hard.
- Long-lasting floors.
- Require less maintenance.
- Easy to maintain and clean.
- The surface is smoother.
- A huge variety of options to select from.
- An affordable option for basement flooring.
- Tiles are breakable.
- They have hard and cold surfaces.
- Tiles are heavy.
- Installing the floors requires extra work.
Before choosing any flooring material it is important to learn what type of challenges a basement floor may face, and also what should be the important properties to look for in flooring material. Dampness and pest attacks are two of the major problems that underground basement floors mostly face. That is why you should choose those materials that are strong enough to survive for a long time in that environment. Basement floor material should always be a hard material because harder materials have more structural integrity and rigidity that they can survive there for a long term. Apart from hardness, durability and pest-resistance are also two important qualities that one should look for.
The pest-resistant material would survive longer as compared to the material that is not pest-resistant. That is why you should only choose the materials that have better pest-resistance. A basement floor must also be easy to clean and maintain, this would significantly decrease the amount of work required to clean the floor and maintain it properly. It can also help you save a lot of money if a floor requires less maintenance. Basement floors should also be protected from scratches and wear-n-tear. This would further lower the maintenance and repair requirements for basement flooring. Cost-effectiveness is another important feature to look for in a basement flooring material.
The final selection of the basement flooring material is yours but if you keep these requirements in mind, then you would be able to choose better flooring material for your basement floors that would last longer, require less maintenance and cleaning work. That can also help you save a lot of money that you otherwise would have spent on repairs, maintenance, and installation of the floor.