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How Moisture Affects Basement Flooring

May 27, 2008
Space is something that just about everyone needs more of in their homes. So it's no wonder that people are converting basements and attics plus building extensions. It really works out a lot cheaper and easier than moving to a larger home. However making your basement more liveable can have its problems if you don't know what they are. Basically the biggest problem is excess moisture. If you don't understand this then you can end up with a lot of hassles due to mold and damp which is something you really want to avoid at all costs. When it comes to flooring your basement you need to understand how moisture can affect whatever flooring you have installed.

Many people will tell you that concrete is the best option for basements because it's hard and doesn't absorb any moisture. However a lot of people dread the thought of having concrete floors. This is mainly because concrete flooring that most people are used to seeing in warehouses and factories are quite frankly ugly as sin. The good news is that you don't have to have this sort of ugly flooring in your basement. Concrete can be really beautiful when polished up and if you have it acid etched it will look as amazing as any marble or granite.

Lots of people love the look of hardwood and it's also the type of flooring that will never date because it's a classic. The problem sometimes experienced in basements is that the hardwood warps because of too much moisture in the air. You can help protect the wood by having high density polyethylene sheeting installed underneath but it's still not the best flooring choice. Instead you could look for engineered floors which are made from layers of hardwood and have a core made from fibreboard. Due to the layers of wood, warping isn't experienced anywhere near as much as solid hardwood.

If you prefer carpeting you need to know that this is not considered a very good choice for basements because if you do develop some sort of leak then this water will go into the carpets and ruin them. It's for this reason that people don't install carpets where there is a lot of water such as in the kitchen or bathroom.

If you are just looking for a floor that is cheap and practical then rubber is as good as you can get. It's not fair to describe it as just practical and cheap though; you can buy it in different colors and it can look really great too. The reason they make ideal basement floors is because they don't absorb water if you ever do have problems with leaks. It's also got insulation qualities in terms of both sound and heat. They are also great for home gyms where you might accidentally drop one of your weights. Rubber is a very tough and durable material.

There are other options too such as marble, ceramic tile and slate. Just make sure that whatever flooring type you choose, you must ensure that it can withstand moisture. However you should always deal with any damp problems in your basement before you install any flooring at all.
About the Author
April Kerr often writes for website MLS Dream Home which is all about basement design ideas and has details of basement paint color options and basement floor types.
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