Choosing the floor material for your basement involves a number of considerations that don’t apply to other areas of your home. For instance, the subflooring you have to deal with is likely concrete, which is difficult to nail or use staples with. It also may be cold or have issues with moisture. Some other points to consider are whether utilities under the subfloor need to be accessed or drains that need to be clear from interference. In addition, many basements have electrical equipment or water heaters and laundry facilities that can easily ruin some choices, such as hardwood that would work for other areas of your home. Finally, although not as common, some floors have radiant-heating systems that may impact your selection of coverings.
An image of basement flooring.
You may be surprised by how realistic laminate flooring can look in your basement.

When considering what type of flooring to use for your basement, ask yourself:

  • Is your basement damp, or do you live in a dry climate? This is a crucial consideration when choosing your material. Some parts of the basement may not be affected, and you can mix materials from a bedroom to a laundry room. 

  • Will you be laying the new floor over concrete, or are you considering installing a subfloor?

  • How do I want to use this area? Your choices will likely be different if you make it into a home theater versus a playroom for the kids. Adults tend to be more careful, and kids may be snacking regularly in the play area (think spills and crumbs). 

  • Do you mind cleaning up messes, or does it get tiresome for you? Your answer will steer you to different products and perhaps a different layout.

  • How long do you expect the floor to last before replacing it? Your answer may help you decide on a particular class of material (laminates vs. tile). If you want a long-lasting floor, are you prepared to put in the maintenance for sealing (grout and tile) on an intermittent basis? Or do you want something that is worry-free?  

  • Is the space bright and open, or does the basement tend to be dark most of the time? Specific colors and materials can change the personality of a room and give it an open, lighter feeling. 

When covering basement floors, you may have to exclude certain options if moisture is detected  

This may be disappointing if you were hoping for hardwood, but if we can’t help you resolve a moisture problem, the disappointment of damage would be far greater than making a different selection. At Element Flooring and Design Center in Fort Collins, we can help determine if your floors exhibit any signs of moisture (small amounts may sometimes be difficult for a homeowner to detect, but we have techniques to identify problems). Then, if possible, we’ll work with you to eliminate those issues.

Working with our professional staff will provide you the peace of mind and comfort of knowing that you can turn this new living area into a safe and beautiful gathering place, no matter how you use it. Contact Element today to transform your basement into what you’ve always wanted!