Basement flooring has its own set of rules. Even if you live in a dry climate, your basement may not be dry due to its close proximity to the ground. The primary concern when shopping for basement flooring is moisture. If your floor does become wet, can your floors withstand moisture and how well will they dry out? You don’t want to invest in beautiful new floors only to have to have them end up damaged and replace them a year down the road.
You may have heard of the term, “below-grade flooring”. Grade is another word for level. So below-grade essentially means underground. Everything above-grade is typically safe from water vapour migrations and in most cases, flooding. Everything at or below-grade is at risk of water vapour damage and mild flooding. Where moisture is a concern, hard surface flooring tends to outperform soft surfaces, like wall to wall carpet. Additionally, inorganic materials like tile and vinyl, are better for below-grade installations. These materials may grow mold but they will not deteriorate, like organic materials.
Sheet vinyl is one of the best options for basement flooring. It creates a near seamless, water-impervious surface, which is always a good thing when there is the potential for exposure to moisture.
The upside to sheet vinyl is that not only does it keep water at bay, it is warmer to the touch than ceramic tile. It is also an affordable option, however, it typically requires professional installation.
Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
Tile offers the best of many worlds. Unlike concrete, tile is an attractive finished surface that does not require any additional treatments. It can also be installed directly on top of your concrete slab and for added comfort you can install radiant heating.
Tile is great for basements, because if does end up getting exposed to moisture, it will dry quickly and it won’t rot.
Luxury vinyl offers plenty of water-resistant and waterproof options available on the market and the thick wear layer offers greater durability and a warmer floor. Perfect for basements. It is available in beautiful, realistic-looking wood and stone-look options so you can accomplish nearly any design style that you choose.
If you would like more information on luxury vinyl, check out our Waterproof and Water-Resistant Flooring Guide.
Every home is different and some flooring options may not be the best fit for your basement. When shopping, keep in mind the amount of moisture in that area. Not sure what to choose? Ask your Nufloors expert! They are there help answer any of your flooring questions.