LESLIE: We’ve got Richard calling in from Atlanta, Georgia, listening to us on WGST. What can we do for you today?
RICHARD: Hey, guys. Thanks for taking my call.
We’ve got carpet in the basement. We just bought this house about six months ago and they’ve got some kind of mold issue and I’m not going to mess with it. I’m just going to rip it out. I don’t want to re-carpet it and I don’t want concrete floors. I’ve heard laminated wood, engineered wood, plastic wood. Could you give me a nickel education on this?
TOM: Well, absolutely. First of all, you’re really smart to tear out carpet from a basement, for all the reasons you stated. I mean carpet is like – it’s a filter and you put it down in the basement, it traps dust, dust mites and allergens. It holds moisture in and it can be a very unhealthy situation. So removing that, going down to concrete and thinking about a hard-surface flooring is a wise move.
You do have options. The two best options would be laminate flooring and engineered-hardwood flooring. A good source for both products is Lumber Liquidators. They have good products, good prices, great experts there. We’ve had them on the show a number of times.
And whether or not you go with laminate or hardwood, the installation’s going to be really important. You’re going to follow their directions on that and make sure you have the appropriate vapor barriers down.
Now, engineered hardwood is just like regular hardwood except that it’s made kind of like plywood, with different layers that overlap. And this gives it dimensional stability, which is the reason you could put it in a damp area like a basement.
LESLIE: Right. But then the top layer is actually the hardwood veneer of the hardwood that you’re looking at, so it’s truly a beautiful floor.
RICHARD: OK, cool.
TOM: Now laminate is also an option and the laminate flooring today is absolutely gorgeous. And I’m telling you, in many cases, you cannot tell that it isn’t hardwood floor because it looks so good. If you decide not to go with a hardwood look, you could get a laminate.
Like I have Lumber Liquidators laminate in my kitchen. It looks like stone and it’s beautiful, it’s tough. We’ve raised three kids on it. You just can’t kill this stuff. So, I would take a look at LumberLiquidators.com. Take a look at either laminate or engineered hardwood. Not solid hardwood because that will move if it gets damp or wet but only engineered. Does that make sense, Rich?
RICHARD: That makes great sense. Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.