Does your basement need an update, or are you finally ready to tackle that unfinished space? The first thing you need to do is decide how you want to use your basement. This will determine your design plan and flooring choices.
A living area needs to feel warm and cozy, a bedroom needs to have a quiet, relaxing feel. A game room needs exciting colors and an easy-to-clean floor. A theater room needs sound muffling fabrics and comfortable seating. Access to an outdoor space with a pool or hot tub requires waterproof floors. Your choice depends on how the basement will be used, and, of course, your budget.
Carpet is softer and feels warmer. If you have toddlers, who spend a lot of their time playing on the floor this may be your better choice. It will cushion falls, and, for older children, help muffle noise. Expect regular cleanings though, especially when snacks and drinks are present.
2. Luxury Vinyl
In hard floor surfaces, you have several choices. Luxury vinyl is popular, looks great and comes in many different styles. It also has the added benefit of being practically waterproof.
Another great option for basement floors is laminate. If you have large dogs and/or teenagers, this is the most cost efficient and durable surface you could hope for. It is incredibly scratch resistant, and looks so realistic, people will think you have installed wood. Most laminates tolerate spills that are cleaned up within a reasonable timeframe.
You can install tile in a basement, but this is your most expensive alternative. Most basement floors require extensive work to make them level for tile installation. That, combined with the fact that tile always feels cool, makes it less desirable in a basement.
5. Engineered Wood
A great option for basement floors is engineered wood. Wood is beautiful, it looks warm and feels good underfoot. If you plan to use your basement for hosting adult gatherings, this is a good choice. Unlike solid wood flooring, engineered wood has the stability needed to be installed over a concrete slab. Just make sure you ask the ladies to leave their stiletto heels at home, as they can damage wood floors.
By Elisabeth Stubbs, contributing writer and one of the owners of Enhance Floors & More.