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Best Flooring Options for Basements

Best Flooring Options for Basements

5 minute read

Pictured: Sintra Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring from Harper Floors

Basements are a versatile space and there are so many creative ways it can be used. Other than the very obvious use of it being an extra storage unit, adding a few finishes, some nice furniture, and of course, new flooring, can turn your basement into a number of things -- an extra living space for the family, a guest room, a sophisticated wine bar, a home gym, a game room.. the possibilities are endless. 

Creative Ways to Re-Purpose Your Basement

There are so many ways a basement can become a value-add to your home and even increase the investment value of your property, if done right. Be intentional about the space -- assess your family's needs and be sure to plan out the space before diving head first into shopping or remodel. Some of our favorite ways to use a basement:

  • Home theatre or media room
  • Creative space, art studio, home office
  • Library or den
  • Wine bar
  • Guest room

Factors to Consider When Choosing Basement Flooring

There are a few factors to consider when remodeling a basement as it's typically a "below-grade," or below ground in other words, which comes with its own set of considerations. 

Preparing for Moisture

Even in relatively dry climates, flooding in the basement is high on the list of considerations. Both sub-surface basements and walk-out basements can flood if you experience heavier than usual rains. Over the past several years, climate change has produced flood levels that would have been once-in-a-lifetime events just a few decades ago.

Even if your basement is not at high risk for flooding, it is typically the lowest point in your home and the site of your furnace, laundry room, or indoor air conditioning unit. Your basement could face excessive moisture from:

  • A blocked condensate drain line from your HVAC system
  • Failure of a sump pump
  • Water backing up from sinks, showers, or toilets
  • Plumbing leaks from the ground floor

Some things to consider when prepping your basement as a finished space is protecting it from moisture. Waterproof floors such as Luxury Vinyl Plank are a great way to give you and your family peace of mind when installing basement floors. Engineered hardwood floors are another great option as its construction is meant to resist the effects of moisture and humidity. The main thing to note with any flooring you choose is to always use a moisture protective barrier between the flooring and your sub-floor to keep that moisture from creeping up and affecting your flooring, and space.

Level of Traffic 

Depending on the intended use of your basement, you may or may not get considerable foot traffic. Choosing a flooring material that is made for high-traffic residential is key to keeping your basement is pristine condition. Especially if there's a door leading to the outside of your home, and you anticipate mud and dirt being tracked indoors! 

When shopping for flooring, keep an eye out for terms like "protective wear layer" and "wear layer thickness." For LVP for example, you'll want at least a 20mil wear layer to ensure your floors are coated well enough to withstand the wear and tear of heavy foot traffic. When shopping for Engineered Hardwood, the thicker the wear layer (or veneer of the hardwood top layer), the more times you're able to re-sand and re-finish the wood without having to replace them. 

Now, on to Flooring

If you decide that hardwood floors match the feel and aesthetic that you're going for in your basement, we highly recommend looking into Engineered Hardwood or Luxury Vinyl Plank floors. 

engineered hardwood flooring in a cozy den with a pool table

Engineered hardwood consists of a surface hardwood layer attached to a layer of plywood underneath. Available in a plethora of species and stains, engineered hardwood gives you the look and feel of authentic hardwood floors with the durability and resistance to give our family peace of mind for decades to come. A few of our favorites are European Oak styles that make up some of our best-selling products, such as our Saltair, Sawyer, Artesia styles.

Pictured: Saltair Engineered European Oak Hardwood from Harper Floors

As an alternative to hardwood floors that might require a bit more regular care and maintenance than your routine may allow, Luxury Vinyl Plank floors were made for busy families. With the number of design options on the market, LVP floors have are an industry and homeowner favorite, appealing to the DIY renovator and building professionals alike. A few of our favorite stunners are our Camden, Otis, and Kora styles. LVP floors are great for a continuous look and can be installed throughout your basement, home, kitchen, laundry room, and more. 

Contact Us at Harper Floors for More Basement Flooring Options! 

Visit our website and learn more about wood flooring options for basements or call us toll-free at 1-888-807-2704. Take the next step to creating the basement of your dreams today. 

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