Most basements in the Northeast have a concrete finished basement floor that is flat, durable, and can stay like that for many families finishing the basement on a shoestring budget. Depending on the project you are trying to accomplish, finishing a basement does not have to be an expensive project. But, if you have an old house and are ready to finish the basement of your home, there are 6 important items you need to do before thinking about the ceiling, flooring, and walls.
- Waterproofing the basement of the home
- Fixing water leaks or replacing old pipes that can cause trouble when you have a finished basement
- Getting rid of mold or mildew that have accumulated on the walls and ceiling
- Decluttering the basement of the home and getting rid of unwanted items you don’t need
- Checking the electric layout and fixing and adding fixtures that match the new basement
- Check to make sure the sump pump is in working order
After making sure everything is done properly and there is a drainage system in place, you are ready to start choosing the way you want the basement to look.
Walls: Choose warm colors that will brighten the room. Keep it uniform. If you have a section or a room for children to play, decorate that section or room with pictures but keep the walls the same color as the rest of the basement. There is less light coming through the windows in the basement, so the bright walls can help add some brightness to it.
The flooring of the basement floor is very important for many reasons. It needs to have waterproof qualities, ease of use, and it needs to look good for many years. Many homes have a concrete floor already in place. If the floor is in good condition, there is only cleaning to be done before you lay the sub-flooring. If the concrete floor has cracks, holes, or is coming undone where the wall meets the floor, you need to fix those issues before continuing.
Choosing the best flooring for your basement depends on the usability of the room. Here are some options for you:
Tile-If you are finishing the basement and want to lay tile on the floor, you can apply the tile right over the concrete flooring you have if it’s in good condition. The choices for tile flooring are numerous. It really depends on your preferences.
Carpet-Many homeowners like to have carpet on the basement floor. It is warmer than other flooring and makes sense to install carpet if you have small children and a playroom for them. Air circulation plays an important role and needs to be monitored when the basement has carpet on it though. Mustiness and odors tend to stay longer and over the years, that mustiness seems to cling to the basement and of course the carpet as well. If you waterproof the basement well before finishing it, the dampness and any leaks you had are hopefully a thing of the past. And, if you are still set on having some sort of carpet installed, having area rugs that can be aired out in the summer are a great alternative for carpet.
Vinyl-Another option for basement flooring that is affordable and easy to care for is vinyl. A homeowner can buy vinyl in a sheet, individual squares, or vinyl plank flooring to lay easily on the basement floor. The look of vinyl plank flooring with attached underlayment can save a lot of work for the homeowner while providing the look and feel of real hardwood flooring. And while we recommend a sub-flooring for the basement floor because vinyl flooring can be very cold in the winter months, the attached underlayment of some of these options save you the extra work of putting a subfloor. There are many designs and good quality vinyl options that the homeowner can choose from that are easy to care for and will look great for many years.
Painting the floor in a workroom or a home gym can be a cheap viable option for you, especially if you are finishing the basement on a shoestring budget. The good news is that you can always finish these rooms with tile, carpet, or other types of flooring the year after with little trouble. If you want to keep the painted basement floor as is, applying a new coat should be relatively easy and cheap while maintaining a brand-new look.
The wrong kind of flooring can make a room seem dreary, or even ugly. Thankfully, the variety and quality of flooring choices in the market are vast. You need to pick the right kind of flooring for you and your family and enjoy a finished basement for many years.