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What’s the Best Flooring For Basements?

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Mary in Wisconsin, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we help you with today?

    MARY: I’m redoing my basement and I’m wondering about flooring. It has had a rubber-backed carpet, which has been taken up so we’re down to the concrete. And I’m just wondering, what would be a good thing to put back down on the floor there?

    TOM: So, rubber-backed carpet was kind of popular at one point in time. But generally speaking, we don’t recommend carpet for basements because they’re so damp. You can build up a lot of debris down there that can cause allergic reactions. You get dust mites and all that sort of thing that will nest in the carpet.

    So I would look to a smooth-surface material. So your basement flooring options might be laminate floor, which is beautiful. It could look like hardwood floor or tile. It’s made of different composite materials. It’s a very, very tough surface. And it floats. It doesn’t – it’s not glued down; it floats on top of the floor. Or you could choose a special type of hardwood floor called “engineered hardwood.”

    Now, solid hardwood would not be recommended for a basement because it’s too moist. But engineered is made up of different layers of hardwood. It kind of looks – the guts of it kind of look like plywood but the surface, it looks like a regular hardwood floor. You can’t really tell the difference once it’s down. And I think that would be a good option, as well.

    MARY: I really like the carpet down there.

    LESLIE: Use area rugs. You’re just going to be sad. It’s just going to cause a lot of problems. It’s going to make you feel yucky. It’s going to feel damp down there.

    TOM: And it’s a very dated look today, too. I mean things have changed in terms of décor. And I think the solid surface of a laminate floor or an engineered-hardwood floor would be much more common today.

    MARY: Is there something feasible in a price range, though?

    TOM: Yeah. Laminate floor is really affordable. You can get that for as little as maybe four bucks a square foot.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know what? Go online. I’ve seen laminate flooring just south of $2 a square foot. So there’s really some great options that are very affordable out there.

    MARY: OK, thank you.

    TOM: Mary, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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