Why Basement Carpets Can Be a Great Choice!
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Installing basement carpet, or any other type of sub-grade installation for that matter, you need to make sure that you basement is dry. These rooms are typically problem areas for a lot of homes as they are by their nature a moisture magnet due to being underground. There are some precautions that you need to take in waterproofing the room. Unless it’s completely dry, year round, a carpet is going to cause you problems regardless of the type of carpet and you’ll end up replacing it more often than not and more than you’d want to. However, if your basement is dry and you’ve done all the precautionary measures to protect your investment, then you should be able to install some good carpeting.
Is carpeting the best choice?
Yes, it still has problems with moisture but if you are proactive in a clean up situation, you can get it cleaned up to where it’s still usable without any problems. Plus, just ask any kid what they would rather lay on, a warm carpet or cold tile? Bet you already know the answer to that one.
Well, there’s definitely a few things that you’d need to check out first. First it’ll depend a lot on what exactly you are planning to do in your lower-level, like whether you are having it as a family room, workout room or laundry room. That’ll determine whether or not you should use carpeting or some other form of flooring. If it’s going to be a laundry room you’re not going to want to put carpet in it, maybe something more along the lines of some ceramic tile. The second is whether or not you have a dry basement. If you don’t have any water problems and never had any to start with and you can without a doubt say it’s dry, then you should have no problem using carpeting. I would suggest installing a good subfloor first just in case you do ever come about some water issues from leakage or seeping if you have the headroom and to also protect the carpet from getting wet and producing mold or mildew.
What is the best then?
There’s nothing particularly required for installing or selecting a carpet for your basement, but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind to get the best basement carpeting for your needs. You’d really go about it any way that you would choose carpeting for any other room as to whether you’d want a loop or twist style carpet. If it’s going to be a high-traffic area or a place where you’re pets are going to roam free, you might consider an inexpensive version or brand that you won’t mind replacing after it’s had a few years of use like you would any other of this type. But if you’ve addressed all those other issues and want one that’s going to last for a while you’re going to have to spend some more money.
How To Choose?
The only real item of importance on my list when selecting a carpet for the basement is that it don’t have a jute backing. This is a pretty normal backing for most less expensive carpets these days as it stands up well above ground level. But due to it’s strong resemblance to an old potato bag, you can bet that it’s not going to stand up to any type of moisture pressures that could be put into it below grade as you can tell from it’s picture just to the right. It’s quite porous and the water will seep through to the carpet fibers. I do like the carpets that come with the new Dow polyurethane backing. This will offer your carpets a strong tuft bind, moisture resistance, delamination and anti-edge raveling. Carpet tape is about useless in a basement. Not only will they retain their characteristics but they also have a natural adhesion to nylon fibers. This makes them able to to stand strong in those high-traffic areas for years to come.
Additional Precautionary Measures
So let’s just say that you are able to qualify your lower-level as being “dry”, there are a few other things that you should consider to help you along the process of keeping it that way. The first thing to do is try and create a very dry environment to keep the mold and mildew down. These little buggers simply thrive in a moist environment like a basement and will ultimately end up making your freshly installed carpet smell to high-heaven no matter what carpet cleaner you’re using.
By installing a quality rated dehumidifier you can get one step closer to solving that issue. Just make sure it’s one that’s rated for basements as the air is typically much cooler down there and harder to remove the moisture from. The second step is if you have the headroom, put in a ceiling fan. This will keep the air moving and not allow it to get stagnant, not to mention keep the room a lot more comfortable in the process. The third thing is if you are going to use a carpet padding, make sure it has an anti-microbial built into it. This will help in that it won’t be a conducive surface that will support mold and mildew growth. If you’re going to put carpet downstairs, you might as well take the precautions to protect it fully.
Although it’s not an impossible task to carpet a basement especially if your dead set on the look and feel of it all, it’s probably the right choice for you. Even if you have the driest basement on the block, you still have some alternatives to basement carpet that you should keep in mind as they could save you some money in the long haul. One of the newer trends is actually staining and finishing your concrete basement slab. Although beautiful with some of the more decorative surface patterns being etched in, I’m still not a very big fan of implementing this in a basement as you’ll end up with same cold surface for your feet as you had before. Sure you could throw some rugs down to cover the more trafficked areas but I guess it depends on what you have planned for the room, hey, to each there own.
What About Carpet Tiles
Instead of a fully laid carpet, you could use basement carpet tiles over a properly installed underlayment. These aren’t just your regular carpet squares here. They are thick pieces of rubber backed carpeting that come in a multitude of decorative designs and patterns. You can really design your whole flooring with these and in the end still look like you have a one-piece carpet installed. There are many other alternatives to carpeting that you can choose from and instead of going into all of them here, I’ve just listed a few. If you want more feel free to click around the site for other options for your floor.