During our home inspections on Long Island, New York City, Brooklyn, and Queens, we are often asked about basement flooring options. Because basements are inherently high moisture areas, and because they are subject to random flooding events, the type of flooring used in a basement is important.
Even if the basement is relatively dry and not prone to water intrusion, sometimes water comes into play due to a leaky water heater or pressure relief valve on the boiler or some other type of plumbing leak. By the way, we recommend having a dehumidifier in every basement.
So, whatever material you choose, it should be resistant to mold and needs to be able to stand up to water intrusion and leakage events. It’s a no-brainer to stay away from carpets in basements.
Ceramic tile is a great choice. These days ceramic tile can look like wood planks and are extremely attractive. Ceramic tile holds up extremely well in basements. There are also rubber and vinyl flooring materials that work well in basements. Engineered hardwood is also an option for very dry basements. Typical standard wood planks are not recommended because they will likely not stand up to water intrusion events or high moisture. If the area is going to be used for a gym or workshop, paint or epoxy applied directly to the basement floor is also something to consider.
There are also various types of materials to choose from as a subfloor. A subfloor can reduce moisture levels and may stay a little warmer in the winter.
These days, there are a lot of options for basement floors. We recommend discussing the options with a professional flooring contractor to get pricing and more information on various types of basement flooring systems.
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