Remodelling a DIY basement is a great way to add unique flair to your home. While many people allow their basements to remain cold, dark storage units, they are missing out on the opportunity to take advantage of the extra space! Basements are extremely versatile, with the ability to become anything from a home gym or game room to an extra bedroom or even a music studio. Depending on what you plan to do with the space, there are several ways to approach remodelling, and one thing is always certain: The cold, hard cement basement floors will have to go! There are a ton of great basement flooring options, but picking the right one and installing it yourself can be overwhelming. Follow this quick guide to help you pick out a material and install your brand-new flooring in a basement.
Pick a type of flooring.
The first step to putting new flooring in a basement is to pick the type of flooring that is best for your space. Considering the versatility of a DIY basement, you need to begin with a good idea of what the room will be used for and the specific flooring needs of that purpose. For example, a family game room will require a more forgiving floor to walk, run and possibly jump on. Flooring in a basement that is used as a game room should be able to prevent slips, enhance traction to hold heavy game tables in place, and contain the noise of rambunctious kids at play. This application would benefit most from a rolled rubber cellar flooring, which enhances traction, lessens impact, and absorbs sound.
Besides rolled rubber matting, some popular basement flooring options include epoxy coating, vinyl sheeting, interlocking rubber mats, and puzzle-like tiles that snap together for a seamless finish. Rubber and vinyl the most popular materials for flooring in a basement because they are resistant to moisture and enhance traction for increased safety. This is a great quality for basement floors because the space is so much closer to the outdoors than the rest of the home. Rubber neutralizes floor temperatures to provide a comfortable walking surface, and the material acts as a protective barrier to separate excessive moisture and dirt away from delicate base-floors.
How to Install New Flooring in a Basement
Prep your Base-Floor
Prepping your concrete basement floors for an upgrade can be quick and easy or incredibly time consuming—it depends on the current condition of your cellar flooring and what type of surface you plan to cover it with. Epoxy and other types of painted flooring in a basement will require the most preparation, as the concrete remains exposed. Most popular basement flooring options instead cover the surface with rubber or vinyl, and only require that the surface be smooth and level.
First things first, before you can install any kind of flooring in a basement, the existing surface will need a deep and thorough cleaning. This shouldn’t be too much trouble; you can use your favourite household degreaser to remove build-up of wax, dirt, or grime that may be on the cement. Make sure to mop away any cleaning solutions you use, because leftover soap and degreaser can ruin new flooring in a basement. It’s always a good idea to over the cellar flooring a few times with a vacuum, broom, and dust mop to make sure no dust is left behind.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to skip straight to the next step and start installing your new basement floors. For many homes, however, the concrete will need a few adjustments. Any cracks, pits, and holes in the cement will need to be repaired before you can lay new flooring in your DIY basement. Flooring in a basement must be both smooth and level to ensure a proper application. If your existing floor is already beat up or damaged, achieving this can cost a bit of time and money. Always make sure your cellar flooring is smooth, level, and dry before covering it with a new floor.
Lay down the new flooring.
Most basement flooring options are designed for quick and easy DIY installations without the use of adhesives. If you’re using epoxy or other coated flooring in a basement, application is as easy as painting your freshly prepped floors and waiting for it to dry.
But what about the other basement flooring options? Despite the many varieties of flooring available, most can be installed in the same manner. The first thing to take into account about your DIY basement floor is whether the flooring is tiled or rolled.
Rolled mats are any form of rubber or vinyl sheeting used as flooring in a basement. These basement floors are usually purchased as long mats that can stretch from one wall to the other. These long mats are tiled across the flooring in a basement for a solid, seamless appearance. Though you can install sheet flooring without adhesives, this may cause the material to lift or buckle in some spots. Lifting can be avoided with use of double-sided carpet tape, which ensures secure flooring in a basement. Double-sided tape is affordable and easy to use without need for professional installation.
Tiled cellar flooring is a little more time consuming than rolled mats, but it is equally easy to install. Rubber or vinyl tiles can connect together either with connector pins or with puzzle-like edges that snap into place. Because of this, the flooring acts as one solid piece, making interlocking tiles a better choice for an adhesive-free application. Held together at the edges, tiled flooring in a basement is resilient, durable, and won’t break apart from itself. Just like sheet flooring, double-sided carpet tape is a great way to increase security and leaves no damage or residue on your sensitive base-floors.
Cut off excess.
This last step isn’t always necessary, but it is important for achieving a clean and professional-looking application. Regardless of the size or shape of your space, you will likely have more material than needed. This is especially true for sheet rubber flooring in a basement, as the large rectangular pieces will collide with corners and doorways that don’t house all of the pieces perfectly. Perfection, however, is relatively easy to achieve. Simply cut around imperfect fits with a sharp blade and push the flooring down into its place. Rubber and vinyl tiles can be adjusted just as easily, and some options even have attachable borders you can purchase if you need a ramp at the edge by the doorway. Double-sided carpet tape can always secure down the edges if you need it.
Whether you’re creating a man cave for your billiards table or a home gym stocked with weight training equipment, no DIY basement is too imaginative for you to bring into reality. With so many affordable and convenient basement flooring options to choose from, you will always be able to the find the right one to meet your specific needs. Don’t waste money on fancy floors and professional installation—applying the perfect basement flooring yourself will make the space feel even more like part of your home.