While laminates can be a good option for most rooms of your homes, its role in the basement hasn’t been talked about that much. Laminate consideration for the basement isn’t completely wrong. In fact, it is an ideal choice if you are looking for economical options for floors in your basement. It also saves you installation costs as it can be installed without professional help with its easy click and lock technology.
The only consideration with laminate flooring is the moisture problem. All you have to do is somehow minimize this problem in order to avoid damage in the future to your floors.
Potential problems could be with the groundwater. Since the basement usually has a subfloor made of concrete, it absorbs moisture from the surrounding earth which may enter after rainfall. In the older buildings, there is no moisture barrier and hence the water seeps right through. Humidity is another potential issue. Since basements are below ground level the heat and humidity is also higher. If it rains, the humidity may further increase after water seeps through the floors and this can make the laminates rot or warp. Basements are often prone to flooding, which can further aggravate the situation.
These days we have newer manufacturing techniques that have created improved laminate flooring options. There are special types that are suitable to moisture. They prevent water from seeing through floors and also make the cleaning up of spills easier. Even these are available in many designs and patterns. Some of them imitate the look of wood and do a pretty good job of it.
If you want to be extra safe, then you could install a moisture/vapor barrier before installing the laminate tiles. This can be done with the helped of a 6 mil plastic sheets. Just lay the plastic sheet with duct tape on the subfloor. Then you can begin laying your tiles on this. Laminates can be easily snapped together and make a good DIY project.
Even conventional laminate floors can be used in a basement but they will require a proper subfloor to prevent moisture. This may cost additional charges for you. Hence, we recommend using the moisture resistant laminate.
Be well prepared before the installation. If the subfloor is concrete then allow it to rest for at least 60 days after it is poured. Maintain the room temperature at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity less than 50% for at least two weeks before commencing the installation of laminate tiles. Using a dehumidifier for such a space is a good idea.
If the subfloor is concrete, remember to seal its surface with the help of a chemical sealing agent. Then lay out the plastic sheet. Then, right before the laminate tiles, you may need to lay out the foam required below. You can do this according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
So, as long as you take enough precaution to make sure your floor is comparatively safe from moisture, you are good to go!