Coated options for basement flooring are convenient because they can be painted directly onto your existing cellar floor. Epoxy is available in many colors and gives your concrete basement flooring a glossy, professional appearance. Epoxy is easy to install and completely waterproof, making it one of the more popular basement floor solutions. However, these types of flooring options for basements require a significant amount of preparation because epoxy must be applied to a dry, smooth, and level surface.
The other drawback of epoxy and other painted flooring options for basements, is that it does not replace or cover the concrete. Coatings are painted directly onto concrete basement flooring, so the end result is still a cold and hard surface. Despite their water resistance, coatings may not be the best flooring for damp basements because the cold, dank conditions will remain. Moisture can also prevent the coating from adhering to the cellar floor, causing it to chip off and flake away. Keep in mind that these options for basement flooring are just as exposed as concrete, keeping them susceptible to damage caused by the abrasions and impacts of heavy furniture.
Ceramic tiles are another one of the popular options for basement flooring. This is due to the high design element involved in tiles and the clean aesthetic that they produce. Much like painted coatings, ceramic options for basement flooring require a prepped base-floor free of cracks, holes, or dents. Tiles can be installed yourself or by a professional, and the result is an attractive, symmetrical surface.
One reason that many people choose tile basement floor solutions is the opportunity to be creative and personalize your space. For a simple aesthetic, you could use single color scheme or make a classic checkerboard. If you want to get a bit more creative, your imagination is the only limit on your pattern options for basement flooring.
However, just like coated flooring options for basements, ceramic tiles have quite a few drawbacks. While ceramic is non-permeable and can work well as flooring for damp basements, an additional sealer must be applied in order to waterproof the grout lines in between each tile. Waterproof sealers require a bit of maintenance, needing a new application every 6-12 months to prevent rot and mold.
Ceramic options for basement flooring are also extremely sensitive, and must be treated with care to prevent damage. A ceramic cellar floor is just as cold, hard, and unforgiving as concrete, which makes it a bad match for heavy furniture and equipment. Any furniture that emits vibration, sound, or other forms of movement can grind against the ceramic and damage it. And to make matters worse, this movement can damage the equipment itself—potentially becoming a long-term cost concern. Ceramic options for basement flooring must be maintained properly, otherwise repairs or replacements can prove both time consuming and expensive.
Rubber or Vinyl Covering
The final options for basement flooring are heavy-duty floor coverings made from rubber or vinyl. Unlike the other types of basement floor solutions, a floor covering can offer varying levels of base-floor protection from impacts, abrasions, and sometimes even certain chemicals. There many different kinds to choose from, in a wide range of colors, textures, materials, and hardness ratings. You can even make a basement floor covering with interlocking tiles if you like the customization of tile flooring but don’t want to deal with the maintenance. If you are worried about having a cold, unsafe, or sensitive cellar floor, a thick floor covering may be the perfect choice for your home.
There are two major types of basement floor covering: rolled mats and interlocking tiles. Both of these options for basement flooring are affordable, easy to install yourself, and available in a range of different rubber and PVC selections. Rolled mats are the faster of the two—in many cases, you can simply roll out the flooring and it will be held down by the weight of the material. Similarly, interlocking mats are great flooring options for basements because the tiles can be assembled directly on top of your base-floor with little prep necessary. Both of these basement floor solutions can be installed temporarily or permanently with double-sided carpet tape. This makes it easy to remove part or all of the flooring if you ever need to repair or replace it. If you want even more secure installation, you can talk to a specialist about using a more powerful adhesive.
Most floor coverings are made from moisture-resistant PVC or rubber materials, making them excellent flooring for damp basements. Water and other liquids get trapped on the non-permeable surface, preventing damage to you base-floor as well as development of rot, mildew, and mold. Many of these options for basement flooring feature drainage holes and traction-enhancing surface textures to maintain safety, even in dank conditions. Rubber flooring also provides insulation to transform your basement into a warm and hospitable room. The material resists extreme temperatures and provides a neutral walking surface that is comfortable for bare feet.
In addition to protecting your concrete basement flooring from the damaging effects of moisture, floor coverings can also protect from physical abuse such as impacts and abrasions. Rubber options for basement flooring can be as thin as 1/32-inch or as thick as 2-inches, depending on the level of protection that you desire. The thicker the basement floor covering, the more abuse it can take and the more forgiving the surface is going to be. For example, if you plan to turn your basement into a home gym or fitness center, you will want a thicker floor so it can absorb the impacts of vigorous workouts and reduce the movement of heavy exercise equipment. Rubber options for basement flooring can also provide anti-fatigue qualities, allowing you to turn your basement into a comfortable space for work or leisure.
The best flooring options for basements are dependent on you, your home, and your goals for the space. While there are many painted coatings, ceramic tiles, and floor coverings to choose from, the best choice can vary from one application to another. Some may be expensive, easily damaged, or simply too cold and hard to create a comfortable space for your family. For an affordable flooring that is durable, protective, and easily maintained, rubber and vinyl basement floor coverings are almost always the best bet.