The location and design of your basement creates a challenge – how do you build a comfortable, durable living space with all of that moisture around? Homeowners planning Virginia basement remodeling projects need to choose building materials with care, ensuring the products are high quality and designed to withstand the unique, below-grade climate. Flooring can be especially important, and you need to invest in reliable brands specially manufactured for use in the basement.
Carpet in the Basement?
Many homeowners still opt for traditional carpet in living areas and bedrooms. Since Virginia basement remodelling projects often include living space and a bedroom or home office, carpeting seems a natural choice. But unless you install the proper underlayment, you may soon face problems with mold and mildew.
Concrete is porous, meaning moisture penetrates your basement foundation naturally. Some homeowners apply concrete sealant to the foundation to block moisture, but condensation is unavoidable given the temperature and location of your lowest floor. Without applying a waterproof barrier between your foundation and carpet, the fabric will quickly become a saturated breeding ground for mold.
Ask your basement renovation contractor to install a layer of plastic vapor barrier on the concrete subfloor. You may also want to plan for a plywood subfloor underneath the carpet, providing additional insulation between cool concrete and your warm basement.
Another option for carpet installations is closed cell underlayment. Providing a dependable moisture barrier and soft cushion, this synthetic product also creates a warmer basement floor. Floating wood floors and laminate can also be installed over closed cell underlayment, and this quality product costs just a few hundred dollars more than standard underlayment (for an average sized basement project).
Wood Flooring in Your Virginia Basement Remodeling Project?
Many people assume that wood flooring is a bad choice for the basement. Although hardwood flooring works better on rooms above grade, floating wood floors (otherwise known as engineered wood floors) and laminate products can be installed in the basement for a warm, classic atmosphere.
Proper underlayment must be used to protect the wood from moisture – either poly and foam underpadding combinations or closed cell underlayment products are best. Floating flooring comes in click lock or glue down designs. Your basement contractor will most likely recommend click lock products, since glue down wood floors tend to be messier and more difficult to repair. Click lock floating wood floors go in fast, reducing labor costs.
Laminate flooring floats over your subfloor as well, and may stand up better to moisture and cooler temperatures typically found in basements. If long term durability is a concern, invest in a high quality engineered wood floor and closed cell underlayment, since the thickness and wear layer of this flooring lasts longer than standard laminate products.
Install the most durable flooring available and your Virginia basement remodeling project will deliver maximum returns in terms of comfort and value. Whether you use the basement for additional living space, bedrooms, home entertainment or a home office, high quality flooring creates an area where you can truly relax.