We’re stating the obvious: home projects do not always go as planned. A little bit of research can go a long way toward a smooth project, especially when it comes to installing new floors in your basement. Whether you’re looking forward to new luxury vinyl floors, carpet tiles, or engineered hardwood, use these tips to get your flooring project from start to finish efficiently and easily.
Be very careful about MOISTURE.
Most basements are made of concrete or cinder block, both of which are very porous. Moisture seeps through the wall and floor—and into the air. That’s why you should stay away from solid wood floors, which can be damaged by the moisture. There are several other (beautiful) basement floor options to choose from, but make sure you keep the humidity in the room down—both for the floor and your furniture.
Excess moisture can cause mold to grow on furniture, make your basement smell musty, and damage your floors if you don’t keep the humidity down. Use a humidistat to measure the moisture in your basement. If you find the air is too moist, use a dehumidifier to maintain a level between 30-50%.
Make sure you’ve resolved basement flooding—or choose floors that can take the water.
Swimming pools should be outside—NOT in your basement. When you decide to finish your basement, make sure you have resolved any issues that could cause your basement to turn into a swimming pool OR choose a floor in that can take an occasional flood when it happens. Vinyl flooring is your answer; we’ve seen this floor look great even after being under two feet of water. As a bonus, new luxury vinyl floors come in a variety of colors that look great (and even mimic the look of wood perfectly).
Buy more than you need.
“Measure twice, cut once” is the old home project saying. For flooring installs, use another saying, “measure twice, buy more.” Always purchase more flooring and supplies that you need for those just in case situations (just in case you find a bad board, underestimated, things don’t go as well as planned, etc.). If you are buying a large amount, you may also be able to get a discount for buying in bulk. When installing plank floors, make sure you mix and match planks from each box to make sure you get an even look.
Acclimate your floors before you install.
Installing new basement floors is not as easy as buying a box of new flooring, bringing it home, and laying new flooring. New basement floors need to be acclimated to the room for a smooth install. It’s easy to do: after you buy the flooring, put the boxes in the room for at least 48 hours before you start install. This simple step prevents the flooring from being damaged during install. Radiant floor heating should also be turned down to about 60 degrees while the flooring acclimates.
Use the experts and their advice.
If you want a smooth project, don’t get at it alone; even if you’re doing a do-it-yourself project, talk to local flooring experts about the supplies and information you need for your install. A simple conversation or contact can help you with your basement flooring project; they’ve helped other homeowners and get information straight from the flooring manufacturer. As an added perk, staff at your local flooring store can also help you get more supplies if you don’t buy enough; everything you need to get your flooring installed smoothly so you can enjoy the finished project.