Tiled Basement Floor...Bad or Good idea

pete_p_nySeptember 28, 2007

Redoing basement. We just tore out the old nasty carpet. My wife is dead set against carpet again. She is thinking porcelain tile. Our basement is a walk out, so it is our main entry point into the house because the garage is in the rear of our home. The carpet was just so dirty and worn out. My wife is thinking major durability of tile, the dog can run all over it, and it will not get the damp smell in the summer.

I am thinking a very cold floor in the winter time. Any exeriences here? And I check into the electric heating mats under the tile, but that was out due to cost..the parts alone are $5000.

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No direct experience here; I painted my basement floor. But you could put area rugs on the tile in the winter to keep the cold at bay. Then roll up the rugs and store during the summer.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 12:02PM
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Carpet, vinyl, wood etc should not be used for basement floors. Actually, finishing basements due to their below grade environment is always a bad idea...however, we all do it for extra space. And if you do, tile is the best of floor coverings. It is held down with thinset (cement) so water and moisture have no impact on it, even if it gets flooded.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 7:14AM
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would tile stop mositure from permiating up thru the floor. I am not talking about puddling but rather the type of moisture that works its way through the concrete naturally, the kind the dehumidifier takes care of.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 2:38PM
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Glazed tile might slow down moisture migrating up through the floor, but Nothing will Stop it.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 7:27PM
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the problem with ceramic tile would be that moisture can collect on it due to the differences in the tempature between the air and the tile when it is hot and humid. so you would need to run a dehumidfier, but you shouldn't get
mositure coming up through the concrete it the tile is glazed.
yes, the tile will be cold during the winter. put a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet on it and wear shoes in the basement or use area rugs.
when i was growing up we had vinyl tiles on the basement floor (and a very dry basement-- so they didn't loosen up)
but we had a piece of indoor/outdoor on top-- about every 5 years we got a new piece of carpet-- way back they a 9x12 foot piece ran about $25-$50-- so it wasn't a major expence to replace

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 2:22PM
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Tile on a basement floor will inevitably crack unless you use a decoupling mechanism, such as DITRA.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 10:45AM
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What causes tile on concrete to crack?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 12:40PM
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in my last house i installed tile on a portion of the floor and carpet on the rest. when I did this - the DITRA product was not available (or at least I had never heard of it). I used a self leveling product and tiled over that - never had a crack and the dogs loved it in the summer (cool bellies!). In the winter - I put down a carpet and the dogs loved it (warm bellies). Tile is a great product for a basement. When I do my next basement project in the new house I will use Ditra first and tile over that.

For the rest of my old basement - the carpet was OK but we did have an occasional smell which may have been due to some moisture that would come up around the lolly columns when we had a lot of rain. I think carpet can work OK in the basement but I would put down a raised subfloor first. Take a look at a product called Dricore which provides a rasied subfloor with 1/4 inch air gap. Then carpet over the Dricore.

You might also look at some of the new higher end vinyl products. You can get vinyl that looks like hardwood or stone and might work better than the carpet. Again - install over a subfloor with air gap.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 7:55AM
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What causes tile on concrete to crack?

The concrete cracking as it shrinks, especially on new homes; and at pressure points as the house settles in. I'm a builder and before I used DITRA, this is what inevitably happened at one point or another. Usually after the first year, when my warranty is up.

I've read one commentator who concluded that earthquakes over the years are a likely culprit.

Even though I am in an area not known for major earthquakes, smaller ones are not uncommon. (Also, here.) It doesn't take much shifting in a basement floor to cause a crack.

If you can't find DITRA or another uncoupling product at a reasonable price, be sure to keep enough spare tiles to replace cracked tiles.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 11:27AM
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