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View Full Version : Basement flooring - LF Opinions



Euro838
05-02-2013, 10:44 PM
Choices are carpet, laminate, and hardwood.

Bathroom will be tile.

The rest of my house is carpet on 2nd floor, hardwood/tile on main floor.

Some notes for consideration:

- There are 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, wetbar and a large rec/family room.
- kids live in the house and will be playing in the basement.
- no infloor heating but there will be a subfloor i.e. plywood or foam/rubber, etc.
- not a walkout basement
- There will be TV/Theatre but nothing totally high end or anything.
- No, this will not a be a DIY type install.

I'm looking for reasons why I would choose one over another. I believe hardwood would be the most expensive but if the reasons are justified then cost isn't prohibitive.

Anyways, let me know your thoughts or any other questions I can answer so a better opinion can be provided. Thanks.

theken
05-02-2013, 11:21 PM
i had same options, went with a thick laminate over rubber floor, cost was not an issue but kids, dogs and longevity led me to the laminate

C_Dave45
05-03-2013, 07:09 AM
My thougts are, since it isn't a walk-out and you're going to have kids playing, theatre, etc then definitely carpet. Better for sound and warmth especially if kids are going to be playing on it, rolling around etc.

My basement is a walkout to the garage, sees tons of dirt, snow, gravel as well as large parties (poker) lots of beer bottles being spilled etc, so I went with Slate.

My sister has a basement like yours with the exact same usage and its warm and cozy down there. A great playroom and enjoyable tv viewing.

G
05-03-2013, 09:05 AM
Yeah carpet with the best underlay you can afford is the best bet.

Tik-Tok
05-03-2013, 09:10 AM
Originally posted by Euro838

- no infloor heating but there will be a subfloor i.e. plywood or foam/rubber, etc.


I'd do carpet as well, but wanted to point this out specifically, don't just do plywood or rubber. Do a proper subfloor with 2x4's laid flat, and styrofoam insulation in between them. It makes a WORLD of difference. If you're limited in height, then get the dricore stuff, but even it isn't as good as what I mentioned.

Perfect Dark
05-03-2013, 09:14 AM
I've done carpet in both of the basements I've had done with no regrets. Like previously mentioned get some nice thick carpet and upgrade the underlay for best results.

cet
05-03-2013, 09:32 AM
I've used delta floor as a sub floor then carpet will be going over most of the basement with cork in the bathroom

Euro838
05-03-2013, 09:53 AM
Thanks for everyone's opinion, please keep them coming. I am leaning more towards carpet because even though I have 9 ft ceilings, the basements that I have been in where there is a hard flooring surface, i.e. laminate, hardwood, tile, etc there is definitely more echo and noise.

benyl
05-03-2013, 09:56 AM
if you want the most warmth (warm feeling floor) go with cork. I know it isn't one of your options, but might be worth the upgrade.

Ntense_SpecV
05-03-2013, 10:09 AM
I would put carpet down. Keeps the noise down, and can be fairly warm with really good quality underpad. I wouldn't put laminate down. It will echo and you usually have to put self leveler down to get a flat enough surface to install. Cork is a good option but it's more expensive. I do have a heated floor under the bathroom tile in the basement...it's wonderful. My next house will have heated floors everywhere I can afford to put it.

On more thing you mentioned above that I wanted to comment on:

Even though you aren't putting in a high-end home theatre, make sure you install all the audio and video cabling in the walls as a future option. I didn't have this in my main floor as we bought a spec house, so before we finished the basement I installed 5.1 surround wiring with wall plates in the basement ceiling space and fed the mainfloor from below. In the basement itself we went much higher end with built-ins, but as a minimum I would prewire so you have future options.

Euro838
05-03-2013, 10:21 AM
I have not looked at cork, I will go and take a look this weekend.

Yes, I made sure I pre-wired for both home theatre and also for Cat5. Wireless I find isn't stable enough in my house for streaming HD. I also only wired for 5.1, didn't bother with 6.1 or 7.1.

ExtraSlow
05-03-2013, 10:41 AM
If you run any HDMI behind the drywall, make sure not to bust the ends off it, don't ask me how I know about this . . . .

benyl
05-03-2013, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Euro838
I have not looked at cork, I will go and take a look this weekend.

Yes, I made sure I pre-wired for both home theatre and also for Cat5. Wireless I find isn't stable enough in my house for streaming HD. I also only wired for 5.1, didn't bother with 6.1 or 7.1.

I hope you used cat6 and not cat5.

firebane
05-03-2013, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by benyl


I hope you used cat6 and not cat5.

Cat6 > Cat5e > Cat5

But in general Cat5e is fine for most usages.

2nd.. About the 2x4s on the floor becareful doing this. I am not sure how the basement suite I live in was down but the floor has so much flex and give underneath it creaks and groans all the time.

KappaSigma
05-03-2013, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by Ntense_SpecV
I would put carpet down. Keeps the noise down, and can be fairly warm with really good quality underpad. I wouldn't put laminate down. It will echo and you usually have to put self leveler down to get a flat enough surface to install. Cork is a good option but it's more expensive. I do have a heated floor under the bathroom tile in the basement...it's wonderful. My next house will have heated floors everywhere I can afford to put it.

On more thing you mentioned above that I wanted to comment on:

Even though you aren't putting in a high-end home theatre, make sure you install all the audio and video cabling in the walls as a future option. I didn't have this in my main floor as we bought a spec house, so before we finished the basement I installed 5.1 surround wiring with wall plates in the basement ceiling space and fed the mainfloor from below. In the basement itself we went much higher end with built-ins, but as a minimum I would prewire so you have future options.

Cork = horrible for water. If you have any sort of basement leak you are mucho screwed.

JRSC00LUDE
05-03-2013, 03:03 PM
Agreed that Cork is garbage. It is not an upgrade imo. It feels nice but does not hold up as long as most everything else.

colsankey
05-03-2013, 08:05 PM
Looking at doing my basement as well, just a basic single room layout so it's livable with a minimal investment until we can afford to really develop it.

It's just concrete now and it's COLD down there to walk on.

Thinking I want to drop down dricore of Delta Flooring first, then put in a good quality underlay, but the price of dricore over poly + polywood is about double on the 625 sqr feet im looking at doing.

sillysod
05-03-2013, 08:46 PM
In floor = hardwood, tile or laminate

if you don't have in floor you pretty much need to go with carpet unless you are middle eastern and wear slippers everywhere.

theken
05-05-2013, 01:46 AM
for some reason my basement was extremely warm, the floors are never cold also a reason I went with laminate is my wife runs day home, so kids down there all the time.

charlie2
05-06-2013, 01:18 AM
I just laid some sort of engineered hardwood in my basement. It looks like laminate and clicks together like laminate but it consists of a cork backing, a wood core and a real hardwood surface. I laid it right on the concrete with a foam type underlay.

My basement is a walkout though with 5 large windows and lots of light. Looks amazing. A little cool on the feet but not bad at all. I have a gas fireplace that runs on thermostat so keeps things warm. Carpet is definitely cozier, but nothing beats the appearance and cleanliness of the hardwood. I did put carpet in the bedroom and tile in the bathroom.

The stuff was made by Torly's. Easy to work with and doesn't have that laminate look when done. Cost was around $4/sq foot just for product. I laid it myself. a month has gone by and still liking it.

Euro838
05-28-2013, 12:40 PM
As an update, my basement was just finished last week and I went with laminate. We put a plastic membrane with foam beneath the laminate. Hopefully this will perform reasonably well in the winter. I'll take some pics when I get a chance. I also did the stairs in laminate too. For the main rec area, will need to have an area rug to make it a bit more cozy.

So I got the following completed in my basement:

- 1029 sqft of developed space (9' ceilings)
- 2 bedrooms with large closets, one walk-in and one about 14' wide.
- Bathroom with 41" corner shower, marble slab backing, tile flooring, granite sink cabinet
- Wet bar, granite countertop
- Wine cellar/room with french doors (change to original design)
- Large rec room with a 9' wide entertainment unit with granite top (also an addition)
- Laminate flooring through with stairs to the basement.
- Sound proof insulation for the walls and ceilings (although my stairs are open all the way through to the second floor! LOL!)

Total project time, approximately 8 weeks and cost of $40,000. No idea if this is good or bad, but just wanted it done.

ExtraSlow
05-28-2013, 01:01 PM
if it's done in eight weeks, to a standard that you are happy with, then that is a good price.