DIY flooring installation in basement

Answered by Brett ~ January 23, 2012 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

I want to install some flooring in our basement (we're finishing the lower level and adding a TV room). What's the best type of flooring for a DIY'er with not much flooring experience?

Harvey ~ Burlington, VT

Brett Kulina

Harvey, when considering which type of new flooring to install in your basement, you have several options that are DIY-friendly. Just keep in mind that the condition of your home's basement slab needs to be carefully considered before you choose your new flooring. For example, if your basement has moisture issues then I would avoid natural wood floors or carpets, as these types of flooring don't perform well in wet locations. Likewise if your basement slab is not level or is cracked then avoid thin vinyl sheet floor coverings, as the underlying cracks and bumps may telegraph through the vinyl, giving the floor a sloppy finish.

If your basement slab is dry and in decent shape, then you may decide to install a floating laminate floor. This engineered flooring product, often called snap-and-click flooring, can be simple to install, does not require gluing or nailing the floor boards to a sub-floor, and is very durable. Laminate flooring is available in dozens of finishes and styles, from real wood veneers to mosaic tile patterns, and can be reasonably priced. When selecting a brand of laminate flooring just be sure to purchase a product that is approved for basement locations, and double check that the conditions in your specific home meet the installation criteria that is provided by the flooring manufacturer.

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