Basement Flooring options

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by woog, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. woog

    woog New Member

    Nov 28, 2008
    I just recently finished my basement floor. I put PT sleepers down with a product called Dri Core as the sub floor. I had a french drain put in and we've had about 10 inches of rain here in NJ in the last month and not a drop of water.

    I want to put carpet down because this will be a family room but I have read a lot against this. Does anyone have suggestions on whether or not I should do this. I know vinyl would probably be best but I don't like it. WOuld alaminate product like Pergo work if not the carpet.

    The basement is definitely damp as I empty a dehumidifier every day.

    I figured with the air flow I could put any flooring I want. Is that correct or not??
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    This is strictly personal. MY recommendation would be against carpet in a potentially damp area. You are correct that air flow and dehumidification are key. What about a nice Pergo or sheet vinyl floor, and some nice area rugs to provice the warm and cozy atmosphere?
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  4. dgold

    dgold Product R&D

    Dec 6, 2006
    Product R&D - Swimming Pool Industry
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ever thought about using indoor/outdoor carpet? Some are nicer than others.
  5. drick

    drick In the Trades

    May 16, 2008
    I've looked into this a great deal as I have a large basement with a high ceiling that I would like to finish at some point. Like you its dry, but damp.

    If you can keep the humidity at 50% or less you can probably get away with carpet over the Dri Core, at least for a while. Install a ceiling fan if possible to keep the air moving. IMO you made a mistake in going with Dri Core. Eventually the moisture you have trapped beneath it will get at the plywood side which will be a great food supply for mold. It might take 5 years or 20 it all depends on how damp your basement floor really is.

    Ideally I think the cement floor needs to first be painted with an acrylic paint like the type used to waterproof cement swimming pools. It's expensive, but it would keep out the dampness. You could then build over it without the risk of trapping in the moisture. Even then I would stick with a plastic laminate flooring. But again since you have already gone ahead with the Dri Core I think carpeting it won't make the problem worse as long as you can keep the humidity level down and the air moving.

    Spend a few bucks for a couple of flood sensors and place them by water consuming appliances in the basement. Remember the water doesn't necessarily have to come from outside. One burst washer hose is all it takes.

    And buy a condensate pump for your dehumidifier so you can stop the daily chore of emptying it and get more run time out of the dehumidifier.

  6. patsfan78

    patsfan78 Web Development | HVAC

    Jun 3, 2009
    My personal recommendation is laminate flooring. I have used and like Swift lock. I have used both their oak wood finish as well as one of their tile patterns. There are a couple of different quality types, i would go for the better quality. They feel a lot more durable during installation.

    Price is good, quality is good, durability is good, installation is easy.

    Defiantly use an underlayment with vapor barrier if being used in the basement.
  7. walton02

    walton02 Guest


    Thank you everyone for sharing the useful information on basement flooring options.

    The Lacquered oak flooring is another popular form. It has a lacquered finish, achieved by using varnish and acrylic lacquer to polish the wood. The lacquered oak flooring is also really smooth, much more than the normal oak flooring. The varnish as well as the air sprays used on the flooring makes it this smooth.

    In some cases an extra smoothness is added to the Lacquered oak flooring by applying more than one layers of varnish. It also adds some more shine and beauty to the floor and makes it easier to clean. In fact you can use just a damp cloth to clean the flooring. The lacquered flooring or the brushed and oiled oak flooring is very popular because of its beautiful looks and its durability.
  8. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    I'm going through the same questions in my own house. I am trying to finish a basement in a 1915 Bungalow. I don't get a lot of moisture, but I'm sure some is present and I worry, there will be some when finished, after all it will be more air tight once the insulation and walls go up.

    I've looked into cork flooring as it is supposed to be mold/mildew resistent I believe. I am also considering tile. Yes, it would be cold, but I can use area rugs. I have thought about carpet, but I'm afraid it wouldn't have a long life and I don't want to have to constantly dry it out if it gets wet.

    My parents have an old house in the same area as me, they have tile in part of their somewhat finished basement and an indoor/outdoor (I believe) carpet in another part. During a heavy rain they have to run their dehumidifier, lift the carpet and blow air under to dry the floor. The area with the tile, has held up great with no problems in over 5yrs.

    Just something to think about....
  9. Master Brian

    Master Brian DIY Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    Another thought that just came to mind is carpet squares. They used those in an episode on This Old House, where they built a new timer frame house and I guess they are very resiliant to a lot of things and if one square gets damaged, you pull it up and send it back to the manufacturer to get recycled and they send you a new square.
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