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What Are the Best Materials for Basement Carpeting?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2014
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Installing basement carpeting is a bigger project than one might expect when one considers the dampness of a basement. Mold can grow quickly in carpet padding and carpet itself, causing health problems as well as discomfort and strong odors. Specially designed mildew and mold resistant basement carpeting is available, but it can get pricey. Whatever the homeowner chooses to install in his or her basement, he or she must be sure that the basement carpeting can resist mold and mildew, and can be easily removed for cleaning or replacement should mold and mildew become a problem.

Some basement carpeting is mold and mildew resistant by nature. Nylon, for example, is naturally resistant to molding, as is polypropylene and polyester. Depending on how wet the basement gets, a builder may want to consider combining naturally mold and mildew resistant materials with some sort of mold and mildew resistant treatment. Most basements experience moisture on some level all the time, but increased levels of rain or groundwater can cause a flood in a basement without warning, so it is important to consider materials that can resist mold and odor, and if possible, be removed quickly and easily.

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For such removal, carpet tiles work very well as basement carpeting. These are pieces of carpeting cut into small squares that can be manipulated to fit any size or shape of room. Carpet tiles are perhaps the best choice for basement carpeting for several reasons. First, the tiles are small and manageable should a flood occur. They can be removed quickly and easily, and if flooding occurs only in one part of the room, the entire basement carpeting does not have to be torn up. Just the small area can be removed.

Second, installation is quite easy. The concrete beneath the tiles needs to be prepared properly, and any cracks or holes need to be filled before installing, but that is the most complicated step of the process. When purchasing carpet tiles, the builder can buy extra tiles in case tiles need to be replaced. This contributes to the ease of use of carpet tiles, and in a basement area where replacement is likely, carpet tiles can make life for the builder and homeowner significantly easier. Carpet tiles are modular, meaning they are easily moved and manipulated, which means the homeowner can choose more than one style or material of carpet tile to carpet the basement. This adds versatility and style to the space.

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Discuss this Article

bythewell
Post 3

@Fa5t3r - That could be a bargain, as long as you've got a bone dry basement. Basement flooring really does has to be damp resistant and I don't think luxury carpets are going to be that great at resisting damp, or wear and tear either.

It depends on what you want the basement for, of course, but if I was going to do it up for my kids, I'd be more inclined to go with something like astro-turf. It's durable, it's easy to clean and it's going to resist damp much better than a standard carpet. It's probably much cheaper as well.

Fa5t3r
Post 2

If you just want to provide a bit more comfort for your children in their play space then I would look for carpets that are on sale. My father decided to do up the whole basement for us when I was a kid, but he didn't want to spend too much. He went looking for basement flooring ideas at a lot of different stores, including wholesale stores and chatted away with different salespeople. Eventually he found this really nice, soft carpet that they were trying to get rid of, because it was all in off cuts. When he was willing to buy the lot they gave him a really good price. He was always really proud of the fact that his kids had a carpet that was as thick as the ones in the finest hotels.

This doesn't work so well if you've got a particular color scheme, but most people don't mind about that so much with their basements.

croydon
Post 1

You might consider painting the floor underneath the carpet, particularly if you're going to get basement carpet tiles. If they shift, it looks much nicer. And it will also help to protect the carpet and extend the life of it, because it will seal away any moisture.

We actually painted the floor and then just used rugs, because that was a bit easier and more convenient than carpeting the whole place, but it depends on what you want to do with it.

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