Basements tend to have high moisture levels due to their proximity to the ground. So, you need to be wise when choosing flooring for it.
Installing new flooring is a great way to turn your basement into a livable space. But which material should you select? Porcelain tiles and vinyl are popular choices but are they right for your home?
The Reno Superstore offers a range of flooring options that are ideal for basements and available at great prices.
Let’s have a look at the best options.
Most Necessary Qualities for Below-Grade Installations
Sometimes you may find a flooring material that indicates it is for ‘below-grade installations.’ But what does that mean? Below-grade does not mean cheap or substandard. It simply refers to basement or ground level installations.
Above-grade flooring (which is installed above basement level) allows for easier water vapour migration, which is often an issue with below-grade installations. Risks include groundwater intrusion, flooding, and water vapour damage.
Here are some important qualities your flooring must possess.
1. Hard Material
Hard materials like porcelain tiles and concrete have a better chance of survival in moisture-prone areas like basements. However, if your basement is dry enough, soft materials like engineered wood and vinyl can work too.
2. Raised Subfloor
Below-grade installation requires a raised subfloor. This can be in the form of a subfloor system or traditional sleeper system built out of plywood. If you are planning to install laminate flooring then getting a raised subfloor can help enormously.
3. Inorganic Materials
Organic materials are a strict no-no for below-grade installations. Materials such as wool carpeting will grow mould and rot quickly when subjected to water and prolonged moisture. Hardwood flooring also tends to suffer water damage. Inorganic materials such as porcelain tile, vinyl and concrete are the best choices for basements since they are all inorganic.
4. Dehumidifying Solutions
Water in basements is a reality for most homeowners. Opting for dehumidifying solutions can definitely help, especially if you are planning on turning the basement into a liveable space.
5. Fewer Layers
Fewer layers are the best solution for moisture-prone basements. Single-layer floors are always easier to dry than multilayer ones.
Now that you know what qualities to look for in basement flooring, here are some of the top options.
Best Basement Flooring in Toronto and Mississauga
If you are looking for basement flooring in Toronto and Mississauga, it is always a good idea to check the material’s functionality, comfort, and style.
Here are some of the best options for your basement flooring.
1. Porcelain Tiles Flooring
Have you been looking for a top-quality tile store in Mississauga? The Reno Superstore can help. Porcelain tiles offer a nice finished surface, require very little maintenance, and are waterproof and extremely durable. Not to mention that they are available in many colours and patterns to inspire your next renovation.
Here is a quick look at the pros and cons of porcelain tiles.
- Waterproof and dries out quickly in case of flooding
- Inorganic material that will not rot or mould
- Tough and durable
- Can be installed on floors and walls
- Add value to your home and are cost-effective in the long run
- Poor sound absorption
- Requires professional installation for best results
- Cannot be easily moved or replaced
2. Sheet Vinyl Flooring
Looking for inexpensive basement flooring ideas in Mississauga and Toronto? At The Reno Superstore, we guarantee the best prices, but vinyl flooring is definitely the most budget-friendly option. One of the best features that makes vinyl so great for basements is that it is 100% waterproof.
Sheet vinyl flooring is the least expensive option for your basement, but that does not translate into poor quality. If you have a high-moisture basement and are looking for the most affordable solution, sheet vinyl is your best bet.
Here is a quick look at the pros and cons of sheet vinyl flooring.
- 100% waterproof
- Comfortable to the touch
- Offers insulation, unlike tile or concrete
- Needs a very clean surface for proper adhesion
- Very difficult to remove once installed
- Cannot be repaired
There are also myths about vinyl flooring which you should be aware of before installing.
3. Engineered Hardwood Flooring
This should not be confused with hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood flooring reacts very differently when exposed to prolonged moisture. It also has a top layer of real wood, which makes it a stunning choice aesthetically.
What really works for engineered hardwood flooring in basements is that it is dimensionally stable. This is thanks to its plywood base which retains its shape when subjected to limited amounts of moisture.
If your basement is reasonably dry, you may opt for engineered hardwood for a natural wood-like finish for your home. Here is a look at the material’s pros and cons.
- Holds up well in low to medium moisture levels
- Stunning appearance
- Improves ROI
- Good sound absorption
- Installation requires a subfloor
- One of the more expensive basement flooring options
- Staple or nail-down method of installation makes it hard to remove once installed. This is problematic when the floor is facing damage from water logging or flooding.
4. Luxury Vinyl Plank or Tile
Looking for resilient flooring like vinyl but don’t want to compromise on its appearance? Then luxury vinyl flooring is definitely a top choice. Luxury vinyl planks or tiles are more recent inventions and are just as resilient as their original vinyl counterpart.
Unlike sheet vinyl which is very thin, luxurious vinyl tiles or planks tend to be thicker, allowing for more realistic embossing. In fact, they are so realistic that it is hard to differentiate between real wood and stone tiles.
- Thick wear layer guarantees greater durability than conventional sheet vinyl flooring
- Better insulation thanks to the thickness
- Wood and stone are accurately mimicked
- Installed via the floating method and is easy to both install on and remove from the subfloor
- May not yield high resale value
- Costs more than regular vinyl flooring
5. Concrete Flooring
Concrete is being accepted much more widely in modern architecture circles and homes of all kinds. A durable and affordable material, concrete flooring is a great choice for basements. It is water-resistant, not waterproof, but can be easily repaired in case of damage.
A good tip to follow when installing concrete flooring in your basement is to be sure to apply a waterproofing sealant to keep moisture at bay.
- Durable and moisture-resistant
- Low maintenance and affordable
- Does not require a subfloor
- Extremely cold flooring option
- Poor sound quality. It is not recommended if you are planning to install a home theatre in your basement.
- Labour-intensive installation
Which Option Is Best for My Home?
Consider your needs and how you want to utilize your basement. Do you want it to be an extra bedroom? Or are you planning to turn it into an entertainment area? Always understand your budget and personal needs when investing in flooring. Basement installations are tricky and need to be evaluated by a professional before you begin any work. Get in touch with the experts at The Reno Superstore in Mississauga and Toronto to discuss your project today.