Trends in Basement Flooring – Westchester NY
Given all the flooding that we’ve seen in Westchester NY over the last year (Hurricane Irene, tons of rain, October snow storm), there has definitely been a trend towards hard surface options that are waterproof and can withstand water in the basement. These options cost more than carpet, but they will definitely last longer and avoid unnecessary expense and inconvenience from flooding and/or moisture/mold damage. Anyone who has been through the mess (and the awful smell) knows what I’m talking about. If it’s happened to you once, you never want it to happen again.
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Basement flooring trends
1. Luxury vinyl that looks like hardwood. This is a wonderful water resilient option if you want the look of hardwood and you want the durability of tile. First, luxury vinyl looks and feels real…check out these pictures. Not only does it look real, but you can feel the ridges for the graining. Furthermore, unlike sheet vinyl or peel & stick or vinyl composite tile, luxury vinyl will actually withstand a flood because the adhesive is waterproof. And, unlike laminate flooring which can have a fake tinny sound, luxury vinyl is secured to floor and doesn’t sound fake. It’s truly an amazing product. My customers are often amazed by it.
2. Rubber gym flooring. This is a wonderful option if you are concerned about water in your basement. This is like the rubber flooring you see in gyms and they generally come in 2 x 2 interlocking tiles. If your basement gets wet, you can detach the tiles, clean them, air them out and then return them. If you use your basement for a gym, this is stylistically a great option as well. If you want the look/feel of warm carpet, you can also put carpet (in the form of area rugs) on top of it.
I have done some rooms where we just create a custom bound area rug and then others where my customers want the look of wall to carpet…so we made the carpet go up to the wall and bound the ends so it looks like wall to wall carpet. For those that have chronic flooding and consistently have flooding, when you are afraid you will get flooding, you just roll the carpet up. Or, if you are a bit too late, often, you can send the area rug to the cleaners. This way, you avoid the horrible smell and expense of replacing your carpet after a flood.
3. Commercial glue down carpet for those that need to save money. For those on a budget, carpeting may be the best option for your budget as it is less expensive than hard surfaces. If you need to do carpeting and you tend to have lots of moisture in the basement, you may consider avoiding carpet pad (that’s where most of the moisture is absorbed and where most of the smell comes from). Commercial carpet (or indoor/outdoor carpet) can be glued down without the carpet pad.
4. Carpet pad with moisture barrier. For customers that really want the warmth that carpet provides, you still have options. While carpeting will rarely survive flooding, if you just have a bit of a chronic moisture issue, you can consider a carpet pad with a moisture barrier such as Shaw’s Triple Touch carpet pad. This is a wonderful pad and Shaw even doubles the warranty on their carpets if you use this pad.
5. Laminate flooring or engineered hardwood for basements that have been securely waterproofed. If you’ve gone through the major expense of waterproofing your basement, the world is your oyster and you can do whatever type of flooring you like. When all the options are open, most customers prefer to install hardwood flooring (budget permitting) or if they can’t afford that, laminate flooring is the next best thing. If your basement is below grade (i.e. below ground level) as most basements in Westchester NY are, then solid hardwood is not an option, but engineered hardwood will work as well as laminate flooring. Please note that neither engineered hardwood nor laminate flooring is recommended for basements with moisture issues.
If you live in Westchester County NY, I offer color consultations to advise customers on paint colors and stain choices. My designer discount at the paint stores usually more than offsets the cost for the hour consultation. Read more here. Due to popular demand, I’m now offering phone consultations as well.
Complementary products that will prolong the life of your hardwood floors