Hey guys, I enjoy listening to your show and I'm looking for some help with basement flooring:
We have extended gutters, gravel and sealant around the exterior of our home's foundations, and a French drain which empties into two different sump pumps. So water in our basement is not a problem. However, there is a lot of dust like you mentioned on your program, so I agree that carpet in our basement wouldn't be a good idea.
The basement floor is not level. There are small cracks and such, so tile would probably break over time, and is too expensive. I'm trying to do most everything myself and on a budget. There is a lumber yard just down the street and they can cut fresh planks that I'm thinking about laying down over some underlayment, and then sanding, sealing and staining the plank on top. Any thoughts or other ideas? If I do go with wood, do I need to put down anything underneath between the concrete and the underlayment? Thanks!
Good work on taking all the measures necessary to keep your basement dry. That said, putting down wood planks in a basement is never a good idea, even if the space is dry. Concrete inevitably holds moisture and humidity, so they often rot and decay.
If you're looking for a wood look, the best type of wood flooring for your basement is engineered hardwood. It looks like regular hardwood except it's laminated. Engineered hardwood is put together with that are glued together at opposing angles. The top layer is attractive hardwood, but its under layers are for structure - they won't warp or twist when they get damp.
You could also consider a laminate floor, which can look like wood or tile or even stone, but are dimensionally stable. Both engineered hardwood and laminate require underlayment, and both float - that is, they don't connect to floor. They feature locking tongue and groove technology, and simply snap together and apart.