Plenty of people have a love-hate relationship with their basements. They love the extra space—great for storage, great for letting the kids stretch out, and great for entertaining. But oh, they hate rain, the constant dampness, and the potential for flooding.
Even the driest of basements can give way to water occasionally, which is why the type of flooring you choose is very important for below-grade (below ground level) installations.
To help keep basement flooring dry, our St. Louis Tile experts recommend installing a vapor barrier before flooring installation. Sheet plastic works well, as does painting the slab with an epoxy coating that helps keep moisture out. Additionally, make sure downspouts are extended away from basement walls and gutters are kept free of leaves and debris.
Inorganic Flooring Materials are Best
Inorganic refers to materials that resist deterioration and mold—such as porcelain, travertine, marble, and luxury vinyl tile.
Organic options, like carpet, laminate, and wood flooring (engineered and real wood) can mold in damp basements. Even if you dry them out, the porosity of the concrete and the fact that it’s below ground-level allows mold to grow. It’s a problem you can both see and smell. So, it’s far better to select flooring that can get wet, then dry itself out without encouraging mold or deterioration.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles
Affordable and stylish, porcelain, travertine, and marble tiles are great for basements – however, we do not recommend ceramic tile for the floor; it is too prone to cracking and breaking. Ceramic tiles can be used to add style and color to accent walls and areas with less wear-and-tear.
Porcelain and other hard tiles, on the other hand, can be applied directly to floors that are free of cracks. They absorb only about 1-to-2% of standing water, but they’ll dry out and they won’t encourage mold. Plus, there are so many affordable and beautiful options out there that it keeps porcelain tile a top choice for basements.
Avoid Wood & Laminate in Basements
Be sure to skip the real and engineered hardwood options in your basement and go for the wood-look tile. You’ll get the best of both worlds—minus the mold. Whether you choose standard 12x12 squares or long plank-style tiles, you’ll love the look for years to come.
If you’re a patient DIY’er, this is one job you can pull off yourself with just a little help from St. Louis Tile—no matter the size of your basement. We’ll help you choose the tile, the supplies, and grout, and walk you through the process. You can even add a heated underlayment to keep all of you warm and cozy.
Luxury Vinyl Tile
Although it’s not the first thing that comes to mind, luxury vinyl tiles have come a long way and are a great option for basements, especially if they’re installed with a waterproof adhesive. These tiles will tolerate standing water for a short period of time, and if some tiles become damaged, they can be cut away and replaced with spare ones.
From an economical and comfort standpoint, this is a doubly good option. Vinyl tiles are softer to walk on than their harder tile cousins and come in at a very reasonable price. And let’s not forget about style—there are many beautiful flooring options available, including some that mimic hardwoods and pricey designer patterns.
Low maintenance and durable, luxury vinyl tile may be just the thing to make your basement more loved and more livable this year. Ask us to see the latest vinyl tiles when you stop by our showroom.
Visit St. Louis Tile for Basement Designs
While it’s great to begin your research at home, let our designers get you over the finish line with a free consultation! St. Louis Tile in Ellisville is here to help 7 days a week with evening hours during the week for added convenience. We also have trustworthy installation and contractor resources if you don’t want to DIY and wholesale discounts for professionals.
We dream of designs and our vast showroom will get you dreaming too. This holiday season, take your basement from blah-humbug to ho-ho-home and garden beautiful – just in time for that last-minute company. Come see us today! 636-220-3550