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What To Check Before Installing a Basement Floor

Apr 9, 2008
Just exactly what type of basement flooring options are there when you get ready to remodel your basement? Well, it depends on quite a few factors, however, those obstacles are not something that should determine your overall decision. They will play a key role nonetheless in what you will need to do in preparing to install a basement floor. There are some key factors that you will need to delve into before you start. First and foremost is to find out whether or not your basement has any leaks or is considered a "wet" basement. Check your basement for any leaks and see if there are residual signs of leakage coming into the room. If there are, do everything in your ability to remedy this situation before you go any further in installing a basement floor.

Another key factor is whether or not you live in a humid climate and if your basement is one that holds this type of element. Concrete is pourous, that is it breathes and you need to check it to see if it is one that will let this moisture seep thru into your basement floor. Probably the easiest way to check for this is get a piece of plastic. Doesn't have to be really big, but it would be better if you can get a piece at least 2 foot by 2 foot. Tape it down directly to the concrete basement floor so that there are no gaps where air can get thru to underneath the plastic. Then don't do anything else. Leave it alone. Don't touch it for at least three to four days. After that time has passed, remove the plastic from the concrete basement floor and see if there is any moisture. If there is you need to consider some type of subfloor.

Subfloors basically let the concrete breathe. This will be very suitable if you found any moisture in the test above. Subfloors basically let the flooring you are preparing to install sit above a barrier that is air-gapped on top of the concrete basement floor. This air gap allows the concrete to alleviate the moisture in it's most natural way. Not only that, it will greatly reduce the mold, mildew and musty smells that are so common around basement living areas.

With proper basement subfloors in place, your basement flooring options are virtually limitless. Like the look of wood, go for it. Hardwoods are still vulnerable but not impossible. Laminates make a much better choice. Rather have carpet, have at it. With a proper ventilated subfloor you can have the basement floor of your dreams.
About the Author
Chris is co-author of Basement Flooring Guide where they seek to provide and maintain information relating to basement flooring for anyone preparing to remodel their basement to reference.
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