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5 alternative flooring options for your basement

Homeowners across the country often wonder what type of flooring is best for use in a basement environment. For years, the only answer would have been carpet or vinyl, but with recent advancements in hardwood flooring technologies, consumers have many more flooring choices for their basement spaces.

1. Bamboo

Many consumers find that bamboo is an excellent option for their basements. Bamboo is a great choice because many basements have sub-floors and an overall atmosphere that is high in moisture.

The high-humidity air would wreak havoc on flooring made of solid wood, and over time, the humidity in the air would cause the solid wood to expand and contract as the water in the air changed. After years of this, a solid hardwood floor would start to buckle, bow and show gaps. Bamboo, being a grass, is naturally water-resistant.

The natural water-resiliency of bamboo will allow a solid bamboo floor to keep more of its structural integrity than that of a solid wood floor in a basement. Solid bamboo is also an excellent choice for below-grade flooring because, unlike most solid word flooring, solid bamboo can be glued-down to a concrete sub-floor.

Though gluing the bamboo down is an option, a moisture test will need to be completed before gluing the floor to the basement sub-floor. If the test reveals that there is an excessive amount of moisture, there are other options available.

2. Floating floor

A floor that can be floated is a great choice for a person who has a lot of moisture creeping up from their basement sub-floor. A floor installed with the floating installation method does not need to be adhered to the sub-floor.

Floating floors also allow for a moisture barrier to be installed over the concrete slab of the basement to allow for a stronger protection against any moisture that may be present.

Consumers don’t need to worry about a lack of options if they need to use a floor that can be floated, as all laminates and most engineered products can be floated. Both laminates and engineered floors are great choices for the do-it-yourselfer who is trying to spruce up their basement space.

3. Laminate floor

All the laminate products out in the market today have some type of click-together system making them a dream for homeowners who wants a durable and easy to install flooring option for the basement.

The best choice for a laminate being used in a basement is one that is melamine infused. Melamine is a moisture resistant additive that is mixed into the high-density fiberboard, giving the laminate installed in a basement extra protection against moisture.

4. Engineered flooring

If the consumer is looking for a real wood product, they can choose an engineered floor. Engineered flooring is made with a veneer of the desired wood over layers of other wood. Engineered wood floors are perfect for a basement install because their construction allows for them to stay structurally sound as the basement climate changes around them.

Engineered floors come in a wide range of colors and styles. A design conscious consumer will not have any issue finding the perfect floor for their basement project.

5. Cork

The final option available to consumers looking to redo a basement space is cork flooring. Cork, like bamboo, is an earth-friendly flooring choice that also can be installed in below-grade spaces. Cork floors are usually made with a veneer of cork on top of high-density fiberboard with a locking system for easy installation.

Cork is also nice for a basement space that is being used for a craft or toy room. Cork is soft by nature, which means that it is good for people who plan on standing on the floor a lot or if they plan on letting their children play on it.

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