Basement flooring options with photos

Discussion in 'Help Selecting the Best Floor Covering' started by fma, May 9, 2017.

  1. fma

    fma Member

    Hi, we are new home owners looking to replace the carpet in our basement. We would like something other than carpet which is easy to keep clean and health and eco friendly. Adura Max was recommended to us by a local flooring company but I am not sure I like a faux wood/tile look. Engineered wood (glued) looks and feels great but I don't want more chemicals in our home. I tried doing a search on this forum since I'm sure this question has been asked before but could not figure out how. I have googled endlessly, I need to see pics of actual installed basement flooring options that are not marketing photos by the manufacturers.
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Scroll down and you will see a box titled, "Similar Topics to Basement flooring options with photos." You can also use the Google Custom Search feature at the top right of any page - it searches all of TFP, not just the forums. You can also wait for replies here. But you better tell us what you are hoping for - the look or style or something to go on. What is the area used for, how much traffic, does it get wet or humid, is it a controlled environment?

  3. fma

    fma Member

    Hi Jim, thank you for your prompt response. I did a quick read through the links below. There is a lot more to basement flooring that I had realized. What are the tests I need to do prior to even picking my flooring? Inspections did not show any moisture issues but from the links it sounded like more testing needs to be done.
  4. To answer your questions, we would need to know some things:

    1). What do you want to put in?
    -Flooring such as Ceramic (Porcelain), Broadloom carpet,
    or stone, wouldn't require much in the way of testing
    because they aren't as effected by things like slab
    moisture. Conversely, if you are considering resilient
    products more testing may be needed to insure a
    successful installation.
    2). How old is the home?
    -This could give us some clues as to how the slab is
    constructed and whether or not there is an intact vapor
    retarder installed under the slab.
    3). Is there flooring installed currently? If so, what type of
    flooring is installed? How long has it been down? Are
    there any issues with it?

    It sounds like you are also concerned about the manufacturing components used in the products you select since you mentioned "...don't want more chemicals in our home". What specific concerns do you have? While there have been some very real issues with certain engineered wood products being imported and sold by Lumber Liquidators, the vast majority of engineered hardwoods are well regulated and safe. Organizations such as the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association), FloorScore Certification (3rd party testing for emissions and manufacturing standards), FSC Chain of Custody (Forestry Service Council) help to insure that engineered wood floors are safe and responsibly produced. Certifications and memberships in these organizations by a manufacturer should provide some level of assurance that engineered hardwoods are usable in your home. While I don't currently have engineered hardwood in my own home, I would have no problem installing it there. In fact I've installed it in my parents home and my children spent many hours and days crawling and living on that floor with no issue. My point is please don't let one instance of a bad supplier give the impression that engineered wood is not a safe floor or that the engineered wood flooring manufacturers are rife with issues. It simply isn't the case. Most domesticate manufacturers of engineered wood are extremely sensitive to the concerns of end users and even prior to the bad publicity created by the Lumber Liquidators issues had begun improvements on their products such as moving to water based finishes vs. oil based.

    To give some perspective on wood off-gassing I remember many years ago attending a training class and the speaker was a production manager for our wood manufacturing plant and the topic was environmental attributes of engineered wood floors. Formaldehydes, which are the major concern with engineered products and were the issues surrounding the Lumber Liquidators problems are present in wood naturally. Most people have no idea of this fact. If you burn a fireplace in your home one time you are releasing more formaldehydes into the environment than an average installed floor would release into the environment over its entire lifetime. For me that really put the issue into perspective because it's something we can all relate to.

    Hope this helps and look forward to your reply. I'm going to have somewhat sporadic access to the site over the next two days as we're having an annual dealer event but I'll try and respond as soon as I am able.
  5. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Here is one picture of a basement kitchen that I put granitex on.

    Attached Files:

  6. fma

    fma Member

    I don't know yet, that was the whole point of this post.

    The house was built in the 1978.

    The basement has carpet installed, it seems like it was a good quality carpet with thick padding. The previous owners had a cat and a dog. The carpet smells like urine and I want it out.

    Regarding the off gassing, I was more concerned about the glues when laying down engineered wood. I already know about the FSC and have very little faith in any of these certifications these days. I am also tired of flooring sales people dismissing all my concerns about chemicals each time by bringing up Lumber Liquidators. I am not a naive person and don't need to be lectured.
  7. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    What's the footage? What's the budget? What's the Decor/ utilization of the space? Your moisture visually is not floorings level of acceptable moisture. Carpet is highly permeable allowing moisture to pass through and be controlled by HVAC equipment, put a severely limited permeable product down and flooring adhesives, flooring, and biological growth are impacted.

    A topping of some sort would be my suggestion to start with, they are not inexpensive, without seeing if your slab is acceptable for a coating hard to say, plus finding a thoroughly versed company is not easy to find, and if they are, do they want to do small meticulous projects that fit your expectations. Not easy finding the right fit.
  8. fma

    fma Member

    Square footage is 800. Not worried about budget, I want it to look nice so engineered wood or luxury vinyl will prob be what I'd want. Are there any non toxic glues?

    Regarding the moisturize, what should I ask about when talking to the flooring companies?
  9. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    So, Water and gravity and flooring. If there's a chance of visible water submersing the floor, hardwood is replacement. Glued down vinyl is most of the time just dried.

    There are few companies that do moisture testing for flooring, one without conflict of interest. Also, it's a snapshot, meaning at time of testing, if the barrier underneath has holes, future moisture or rainwater may infiltrate.

    Adhesive quality, and allowable moisture varies. One company says up to 13% moisture, yet a failure test comes up to 14%, then void warranty, and even then, what is the warranty, replacement of a bucket of adhesive.

    To me, adhesives are relatively non toxic, you can print an MSDS on any adhesive online to view the health precautions. Some installers here "cry" about adhesives not being good due to health, environment regulations so they may live healthier lives.

    Funny how everything is mimicking hardwood, even health institutions are using it for serenity emotions.

    The retailers are in it for sales, it's up to you to scrutinize who you give your dollar to.

    No slab is the same, so there may be issues with it, last two days of removal the slabs were soft, meaning they were probably overwatered. My responsibility ends at removal, I informed one retailer of soft slab and unflat. Their answer was 3/4" notch trowel, backbutter tile. It will be somewhat flat for appearance, but bonding to soft/absorptive slab is another issue which should be addressed, something not visible at end result.

    So vinyl plank is more accepting to moisture vapor versus hardwood. Hardwood the company most likely will want moisture inhibitor on top of slab which slows the travel of moisture to acceptable levels for the flooring to tolerate without visual problems, cupping/curling etc. Vinyl plank also has joints which allow some moisture to pass through, whereas a sheet vinyl restricts movement, but is not impermeable. Years ago new construction would put sheet vinyl down, then glue hardwood to sheet vinyl to block/restrict moisture travel from the water in slab from mixing and rainwater absorbed.

    So still it's all about the risk you're willing to take, maybe you'll want to remodel in 5,10 years, but failure until you're ready to changeout flooring should be calculated into your decision.

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