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Carpet: Not a Wise Choice for Basements

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Mike in New Jersey’s thinking about putting some carpeting in the basement. Mike, you know how we feel about that.

    MIKE: I know, but I had carpeting in the basement and I’m remodeling the basement so I want to put new carpeting back down. But the old carpeting had padding and I’m told to glue the new one down. So I don’t know what to do.

    TOM: Ugh. Don’t do it. Don’t do it, Mike. If you put carpeting in that basement, I mean I’m glad you survived to make this phone call; having had carpet down there all those years.

    LESLIE: Yeah, you’ve never had water down there?

    TOM: Yeah, it’s just not a good idea.

    MIKE: No, no.

    TOM: Even if you don’t have water, Mike, there’s so much moisture and humidity in that slab. That combined with the dirt and the dust that will get in that carpet is going to grow mold in a big way.

    LESLIE: And it causes a whole host of respiratory situations.

    TOM: Yeah, especially as you get older. I would definitely not put carpeting in the basement. Here are some more options …

    MIKE: OK.

    TOM: … to give you something to choose from.

    If you want something that’s really good looking and is going to be dimensionally stable, you can think about engineered hardwood floor. It will look like a regular hardwood floor that you might have higher up in the house but it’s engineered so it’s dimensionally stable. It’s made of alternating layers of hardwood. Now if you really want a carpet, put the engineered floor down and then put some throw rugs on top of it so you can still have that soft surface underfoot. But whatever you do, don’t glue a carpet to that concrete floor. You’re just asking for trouble.

    MIKE: OK, I already did partial laminate in the kitchen area of the basement on the cement.

    TOM: That was a good choice.

    MIKE: Actually, on the old linoleum. Yeah.

    TOM: Yeah, that was a good choice. Laminate floor is another good choice.

    MIKE: Yeah, actually my wife wanted to do the whole basement with that but I wanted to do the carpeting. So …

    TOM: Well your wife’s a smart woman. (Mike chuckles)

    LESLIE: And you know what? The laminate all in the basement is going to make the space seem so much bigger. It’s going to be easier to clean and you’re going to find you enjoy hanging out down there a lot more because you’re not going to feel like sneezy or allergy-ish without any explanation.

    MIKE: That’s true.

    TOM: And Mike, remember, if you go for the laminate there are so many colors and patterns. I mean it doesn’t have to look like a vinyl floor. It can look like hardwood. It can look like tile. It can look like stone. So you have a lot of choices.

    MIKE: Yeah, that’s true. I’ve seen that. OK. OK, very good.

    TOM: Alright, Mike. Have we talked you out of the carpet?

    MIKE: Yes, you have.

    TOM: Good. (chuckles)

    MIKE: Yes, you have.

    LESLIE: He’s like maybe.

    TOM: Our job is done. (Mike chuckles) Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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