Basement Finishing - Basement Flooring Options | Ask the Expert


Pete Westera is the owner of Basement Systems USA and one of the leading authorities on basement waterproofing, crawl space, and foundation repair in the Baltimore, MD area, also serving Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE.

In this episode of Ask the Expert, Pete speaks about suitable and safe basement flooring options. Basement floors are basically a slab of porous concrete, sitting on wet soil. There is always some water consistently seeping through the concrete and evaporating into the basement. In addition, basements are also prone to water accidents caused by things like plumbing leaks, sump pump failure, and leaky water heaters just to name a few.

When you lay carpet against the basement floor, the carpet will trap and soak that moisture up and, over time, support mold growth and other bacteria. A wet carpet is the most common cause of that distinctive, musty smell in finished basements.

When you use wood, wooden subfloors, or wooden laminates you are once again laying a porous and organic material on top of wet concrete. The wood will soak up the water will favor mold growth and dry rot.

Vinyl sheets or tiles sitting straight against the concrete are another popular choice, but again, they will trap the water underneath, not allowing it to evaporate at all. Some types of adhesives used to stick the tiles to the floor can also favor mold growth.

Ceramic tiles and decorative stones and decorated concrete are also common basement flooring choices. While they don't get damaged by water, they also offer no thermal protection which is another thing that, according to Pete, should be taken into consideration when choosing basement flooring is thermal protection.

Basement floors are very cold: 55 degrees in average. Many homeowners spend a great deal of money insulating the basement walls but forget to insulate the floor, so the entire basement will always feel very cold.

If you are looking for a safe, versatile and comfortable basement flooring option, Pete recommends the ThermalDry basement flooring. ThermalDry Basement Flooring Tiles are 100% waterproof, interlocking, floating tiles with a finished surface raised from the floor by a system of pegs. This creates an air pocket underneath that allows slab moisture to dry, while keeping it from evaporating into the basement. This air pocket also offers thermal protection. The walking surface is always 10 degrees warmer than the slab.

Visit our website to see all the different ThermalDry finishing options and to schedule a free design consultation.

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