Carpet or hardwood for your basement?

Carpet or hardwood for your basement?

Finishing a basement can add so much value to your family’s overall needs. With a finished basement you can add an extra area of entertainment, a separate living area for family members, or just have a place for your kids to go and unwind.

Selecting flooring can be overwhelming considering all of the choices. Consider your basement-does it flood easily? Will there be a lot of foot traffic? How cold is it down there generally? Answering these questions will help you choose a material easily.

Carpet is a popular option. Wall to wall carpeting will keep the basement the warmest, acting as an insulator from the cold concrete. If you go the carpet route, opt to go with a short nap with specks of dark colors to disguise dirt, and to keep from getting snagged by pet nails. Even though Berber looks and feels appealing, save that for a bedroom. If you experience water damage, expelling the water is a lot easier with a shorter nap carpet than the lush Berber carpeting.

Laminate and engineered flooring do give a very elegant look to a basement, and are a popular option in and of themselves as well. They are easy to keep clean, and can be warmed up with rugs placed strategically throughout the basement.

However, laminate and engineered flooring only work if your basement is completely level. Otherwise, you will feel flex in the floor, cheapening the overall feel. Also, if your basement does ever flood, laminate and engineered flooring will completely fail, even if only a small portion of the floor is damaged. 

Ceramic and vinyl tile are the most durable of all the choices. Water damage? No problem, just clean it up. Spilled drinks? Mop that too. No (or not much) leveling is required to install, and if a tile is damaged, it’s easy to pull out and replace. Also, ceramic and vinyl tile are more forgiving on wavy floors (meaning no need for a sub floor). If you have low ceilings, that can be a huge plus. Of course, the tile will need to be warmed up with rugs seeing as the tile will offer little to no insulation. 

When it comes to vinyl sheet and hardwood for your basement, steer clear; these are two of your worst choices. If water gets underneath vinyl sheet, you’ll have to replace the entire sheet. Same goes for hardwood; Northern Virginia is too humid of an area causing hardwood to buckle. 

If you’re faced with these choices, give us a call to help you design and decide on the best options for your basement. You want this area of your home to be used effortlessly; let us help you find the best flooring to achieve that.
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