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Finishing Your Basement? Guide to Choosing the Right Flooring Material

A Basement
An unfinished basement is a great space that can be used for storage. However, investing a bit of time, money, and effort to finish this space can turn the basement into the room of your dreams. From choosing how the space will be used to picking paint colors and furniture, the process of finishing the basement can be a bit overwhelming.

Thankfully, with the right decisions, finishing a basement adds square footage and value to your home. Of course, the type of flooring you choose for this new finished space will also matter if you want an appealing, durable, and functional surface. This guide will help you determine the function of this new finished space and which materials will create the right floors for your basement.

Function/Purpose

One factor that can help you decide what flooring material is right for your basement is how you will use the space.

Many people will finish the basement just to create conditioned storage space that can be used for another purpose in the future. If you are only finishing the space to add square footage for storage and possible resale value, choose an inexpensive flooring option, such as carpet or laminate.

If you are finishing a basement to create a guest room or apartment for your older child or parents, you will want a more durable yet comfortable option. Consider a higher-quality carpet or a hard surface, such as ceramic tile, hardwood, or laminate. Use area rugs to soften up the harder surfaces on certain areas of the floor, such as around the bed if necessary.

Finishing the basement to create a game room is also a popular option. Your game room will most likely have a lot of traffic moving across the floors, so you will need floors that withstand traffic while hiding dirt and stains well.

Finally, if the basement will have multiple purposes, you may need to select multiple flooring options. A bedroom or living space may benefit from carpet or hardwood, but the bathroom included in your basement will require a material that is more resistant to moisture, such as ceramic tile or laminate.

Flooring Options 

Once you decide how you will use your finished space, you can begin researching the pros and cons of different flooring materials.

Considering numerous levels of carpeting are available, you can find an attractive, affordable, and durable option for your finished basement. A low carpet with dense fibers, such as Berber, is ideal for a basement space because it is capable of withstanding high traffic. The uniquely woven fibers will also repel dirt and debris, reducing the appearance of having dirty carpet even after many years.

The color of your carpet also matters. Avoid white, creams, and all lighter colors since they will show dirt and stains easily. Choose darker color tones or carpeting created using a combination of colored fibers. 

Many people prefer the look and feel of hardwood floors even for their basement. However, remember that the basement is the lowest level of the home, meaning it is most susceptible to flooding and moisture damage. Carpet may be dried out, but even a small amount of moisture can lead to enormous warping and rotting of your hardwoods.

If you prefer the look of wood without the worry of moisture damage, opt for ceramic tile for your finished basement.

Today, more and more manufacturers design ceramic or porcelain tile to look like real wood. These tiles are available in different wood tones including a traditional oak, hand-scraped walnut, or a white-washed grey.  

Faux-wood tile creates a solid surface that is more durable than traditional hardwoods. If you are adding a bathroom or even a small kitchenette area, you can use faux-wood tile throughout the basement.

Choosing your floors is a large part of finishing your basement. For help choosing the right flooring material for your project, contact Floors Unlimited today.