WWYD? Advice on basement flooring, please!

buildinvaMay 6, 2013

We have over 1500 sq ft of basement that we are finishing on a tight budget. We are NOT handy at all, so we can't DIY. We planned to have the concrete floors stained, but it turns out that the floors have been painted. I love the comfort of carpet, but with pets in the house that is out. I'm concerned about the possibility of mold with vinyl and don't want to take that risk.

That leaves laminate, stone/tile, and paint as our options. Each has its own drawbacks--

Stone/Tile: more expensive, hard on feet/back/kids who like to tumble & play
Laminate: not as durable, the good stuff is pricey
Paint: also not as durable, and also very hard on feet & kids

I want the space to be bright, happy, warm, comfortable, low maintenance, and fun. We'll have a tv area, space for games, a seating area with fireplace, and a reading space. Also 2 bedrooms.

I'm stuck! I have been thinking about this for 6 weeks and still can't make a decision! What would you do?

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With the floor already painted, tile is out unless you sand the paint off. And I wouldn't choose either paint or laminate. Laminate is noisy. Even good laminate with a good underlayment. And it's not cheap.

I'd do a floating LVT floor like the Allure from Home Depot. There are a LOT of brands out there, not just the Allure, but you want one that either snaps together or has the overlapping glue strips like the Allure. If the floor is painted, that's a vapor barrier right there to help with the water transmission issue. Not that hydrostatic pressure can't lift the paint off, but unless you have a lot of moisture with a lot of pressure, it will be just fine.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Thanks LWO! Do you recommend the vinyl tile or the resilient vinyl plank?

Here is a link that might be useful: Allure Vinyl

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:48PM
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If I love the cork after its installed in the kitchen, our basement is getting floating cork flooring! I noticed it was in the most recent Family Handyman basement finishing feature as one of their choices, so I must be headed in the right direction. They also mentioned possibly putting a dimple mat underneath, I haven't gotten that far yet to see if that's something I want/need, I just got my kitchen walks back this week! I'm only allowed one disaster at a time :-)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 11:06PM
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Thought I'd weigh in on this because my parents just had the same dilemma and went with ModuTile - it's an American made product that snaps together. And apparently if you ever have any moisture problems, you just pop them up, dry out, then snap back down. I included a pic from my parent's basement. Hope that helps give you some more options!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:14PM
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ModuTile is a good option. I'm still in decision hell myself. I put down eco rubber backed carpet tiles. Good quality but a year later i had a small flood. So they all went out on the lawn to dry, it rained, ...lol. Back down and another small flood. (just the back 1/5th of the floor) but still enough to be a pain. My moisture issues are almost solved in that area but i still have some research to do. An exterior corner that is a few feet below grade needs to be excavated and dealt with properly from the outside. New hot water system and washer hoses solved the earlier issues.
Still, a snap system floor meant for basements is the way to go. Getting a good bond to the existing slab might be a loosing battle. When i pulled up the original owners int/ext wall to wall,
The grid lines and glue are visible from the original vinyl tile that obviously failed.
I've considered the rubber snap together for the back half where we have storage and workroom. I don't want anything that would absorb moisture.

Here is a link that might be useful: rubber tiles

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 11:02AM
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What about Congoleum's Airstep vinyl sheeting? I am considering using that throughout my dry lower level (split foyer home).

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 7:22AM
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I have carpet in the tv area and wood laminate in the "play area". Very happy with both.

Another choice is an attractive vinyl sheet flooring.

No way would I want tile -- too cold and hard.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 6:43PM
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