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What are the best basement flooring options over concrete?

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


August 13, 2018 - Karl Yeh

Wondering what type of flooring you should be putting in your basement and/or concrete floor? In this episode, we discuss what's the best basement flooring over concrete and how to choose it based on your lifestyle. We also look at different types of insulation over the concrete before the floor is installed. 

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Karl Yeh:

Hi, everyone. I'm Karl Yeh. Welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, a channel where you get the latest strategy, tactics, and tips from home buying experts. And remember, if this is your first time on this channel and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, hit the subscription button below. Hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything.

Today I'm joined by Deborah Armstrong, [00:00:30] Senior Interior Designer with Brookfield Residential. The question we're going to answer today is:

What are the best basement flooring options over concrete?

So Deborah, what kind of flooring would you use over concrete to begin with?

Deborah Armstrong:

Well, you can use almost anything. Again, it probably would depend on your lifestyle and what you plan to do in that basement.

Carpet is great. It's warm. It's comfy. Then you can use tile in certain areas.

However, tile is going to be fairly cold unless you have in- [00:01:00] floor basement heating. Then there's cork options for exercise rooms. Again, excellent choice along with rubber for an exercise room or maybe a child's playroom.

Then you would have all your ... You could do hardwood, luxury vinyl plank and engineered.

Karl Yeh:           It's pretty much options. Whatever-

Deborah Armstrong:        

All the options.

Again, it's going to depend on what you're going to do down there. Are you going to be on TV, laying on the floor, maybe you want that nice carpet.

If you're going to be doing activities [00:01:30] in the gym, then you're going to want cork or rubber.

Karl Yeh:          

What kind of hard surface flooring should you use or can you use, or is it still based entirely on your lifestyle?

Deborah Armstrong:        

Yeah, exactly. Just like what I had mentioned. Your tiles, your luxury vinyl planks, hardwoods, all those.

Karl Yeh:          

How do you choose that best flooring for your basement?

Deborah Armstrong:        

Again, with your lifestyle. You're going to look at how you're going to use that space and then go from there.

Karl Yeh:          

Okay. Anything in terms of finishing ideas, [00:02:00] in terms of installation for the basement?

Deborah Armstrong:        


With a lot of these products, especially hard surfaces, unlike carpet, you're going to want to make sure that that concrete is 100% level.

When we install in a new home, we make sure that that's part of the process, that the floor is leveled out before the hardwood goes down or the luxury vinyl plank or the tile.

You don't want to have that snapping sound, because the floors are floating, [00:02:30] you see. So if you walk over it and there's a dip in the concrete ...

Karl Yeh:           You'd hear that.

Deborah Armstrong:        

... you'd hear that snapping sound. So you want to make sure that that floor is 100% straight. Unlike carpet. It's going to mold to that floor. It's not as big of a problem.

Karl Yeh:          

In terms of let's say installation, so you go with a hard surface.

Is there anything you need to put on top of the concrete for insulation?

Deborah Armstrong:        

Yeah. Sometimes people will put waterproof barriers down there, which is a good idea. [00:03:00] Sometimes maybe a six-millimeter cork, which is a really good ... Cork is a really good natural insulator.

It just gives a little bit of warmth maybe without putting in floor heating, because that can get very expensive, and sometimes it's not in everybody's budget.

Karl Yeh:          

Yeah. If you were to decide with in-floor heating, you'd put it underneath, and then ...

Deborah Armstrong:         The concrete. Yes.

Karl Yeh:           Oh. On top of the concrete?

Deborah Armstrong:         Yeah. Underneath the concrete.

Karl Yeh:           Underneath the concrete.

Deborah Armstrong:        Yes.

Karl Yeh:           Okay.

Deborah Armstrong:        

In the case of a hardwood floor.

In tile, sometimes they put [00:03:30] a special mat down on top of the concrete that has those little wires going through for the heating, and then they put your special little layer, skim layer over, and then your tile.

Karl Yeh:          

When we were talking about vinyl plank flooring or even engineered hardwood, does that apply to over concrete as well?

Deborah Armstrong:         Yes. You can put those over concrete as well.

Karl Yeh:          

Oh. Same thing, but then you'd think about the insulation and all that kind of stuff.

Deborah Armstrong:        Yep. You can put cork under those [00:04:00] if you want, waterproof barriers, things like that.

Karl Yeh:           Perfect. Anything else to add?

Deborah Armstrong:        No.

Karl Yeh:           Awesome. Well, thank you very much for joining us, and we'll catch you next time.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional interior design questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

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