Flooring Ideas for the Basement

Category: Daily Diary
A lot has been transpiring around here at the ol' HouseinProgress.  Some house-related events, some not and we'll be sharing some crazy news soon.  I set up this new blog to keep from boring the housebloggers with my tales of everything non-house, and I have to say, I'm loving the ease of Posterous.  Thanks Posterous-people for creating an interface that lets me blather on to the world in .02 seconds, no HTML skillz needed!    This could actually be a very bad thing in my case, as the slowness of Moveable Type forced me to rethink a blog post that shouldn't have made it on to the web more than a few times.  So, um, here's to unedited rambling!  I guess.  I'll apologize to everyone in advance.
 
Anyway.  How are y'all doing?
 
We've put a hold on refinishing the basement until we've made some more decisions about materials and design and such.  And until our talented friend, TK, has time in his busy schedule to help us execute our ideas.  TK has rescued us from a life of painfully slow work on the house that we'd entered into since the she-toddler was born.  For that, we are extremely, EXTREMELY grateful.  Plus, he is a designer at heart and is always willing to indulge us in our crazy ideas without rolling his eyes or sighing heavily.  At least, not in front of us.
 
The basement is a puzzle for sure.  We had never, ever, ever seen it empty.  Because it was the MOST packed space in the house when we bought the place, we really had no idea of what the space looked like as a blank slate.  So, when we finally emptied it out a few months ago, we were amazed at the size of it.  It's ginormous.  It is easily three times the size of my first Chicago apartment.
 
At first, we became dizzy with the possibilities.  A refinished basement!  Maybe a playroom? Workshop? Office?? INDOOR SWIMMING POOL??!!
 
Then we became practical and sized up what we were working with.  A below-grade basement near a neighborhood that can get somewhat soggy. (Although we have had great luck in that respect.)  Although dry 99% of the time, this basement will never be waterproof without a ton of money being thrown at it.  So, although the swimming pool had potential by default, our shag carpet and bean bag chair dreams were dashed.
 
I researched flooring solutions frantically.  I was leaning towards flexible membranes, but was less than enthusiastic about the high cost and need for professional installation. One day, as I was chatting with TK and Bryan about this (another friend who helps out TK on occassion), Bryan casually asked, "Why don't you consider deck tiles for the basement?"
 
Brilliant.  Tiles that are raised up off of the floor allowing for tiny channels to divert any moisture should some get in, and allows air to circulate underneath (thus warming the floor surface).  Individual tiles can be replaced if damaged, and they can be easily cleaned.  I ordered a sample set from here and this is what they look like.  Ironwood, flexible so that they can work with our slightly uneven floor.  Strong, warm under foot.  Can be installed by a regular Jane who only needs to have the skills to put a puzzle together.  Currently, we're planning on painting the floor in garage epoxy and using these only in the spaces where we will have furniture and seating areas. 

photo_bastetiles.jpg

 
I'm a fan.
Cross-posted at: LifeinProgress
 

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Comments

I saw those used for a bathroom floor at an open house for some condos here in Oakland. They seem like a great idea for moist environments, and would be easy to install.

Actually, Lowes/Home Depot sell a similar product, but it's OSB on top of that plastic support grid to keep the wood off the (possibly damp) basement floor. You can then put carpet (squares, roll, whatever) on top of that. The nice thing is that these are like $6 for *4* square feet. Remember that if you're going to finish a basement, the goal should really be to have it look like the rest of the house to some extent. Unless, of course, the goal is for people to go down there and say "oh, hey, basement!".

Just my $0.00002

-Brian

The addition of radiant heat panels in the basements of any room is a very good idea but it depends on your cost plans. But I really appreciate the ideas of yours. Nice plans and i am happy that you started to love posterous.
Keep posting.

We had the same flooring dilemma in our basement. It's usually dry, but it can get damp/wet during the spring thaw (and after the occasional washing machine accidents that seem to happen in my house.) My husband and I did TONS of research and we decided on Delta FL with a laminate floor on top of that.

Delta FL comes in a big roll that you just cut to size and tape together-it's really easy to install. The only drawback was that it made a clicking noise against the concrete when we walked on it (much like the sound of soccer cleats on cement.) We ended up with a 4 layer floor-a layer of landscape fabric right on the concrete floor (to soften the clicking), a layer of Delta FL, a layer of laminate underpad and the laminate flooing on top of that. We also left the "no show" parts of the basement (laundry, furnace room, etc)as concrete just to be safe.

We did it all ourselves and it wasn't difficult. That was about 6-7 months ago and I still love the results. It transformed our basement from a creepy cave into a gorgeous room!

Great find!

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