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What is The Best Floor for my Basement? Part 1

by in Hardwood Materials
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  This is very common question among our clients – What is the best floor for the basement? People are confused by the their relatives advisers, non-professional advisers(Thanks to "Hom Depo") and so on. In this article I want to go through the pros and cons of different flooring materials. Only this time I will give you some factors which will add some value to my words. So let's try to find out what is the best material the basement floor.

 Today, let’s include three nominees for our goal: laminate, carpet and vinyl floor. 

   Laminate floor.
 What is laminate floor itself? Laminate is made of laminated HDF board which has imprint on it. HDF or High Density Fiberboard is a compound of the wood dust and particles which are pressed and glued together. All of the boards are laminated from top and bottom. It protects laminate from a subfloor moisture and foot traffic. It sounds very promising and logical, but laminate still has  two issues:
 1) Every board has interlocking click-in system on the edges so material can float over the subfloor. These edges are processed(not always) with the chemicals which stop some water from penetrating into the laminated board. Those chemicals are way not too perfect. This makes laminate material vulnerable against moisture. With time boards might buckle, it takes a while, you won’t see much changes after just one year, but with moderate moisture, you will most likely see it on second year of exploitation.
 2) During laminate installation process, installers have to do several cuts on the edges. These cuts uncover HDF board from the chemicals and laminated part. Unless you seal or finish every edge with some chemicals(basically no one does it), this area stays unprotected and eventually will buckle too.

 In order to install carpet in the basement, you have to have some underlayment or subfloor. In 99% of the cases, carpet is installed over the special pad. With time this pad and carpet absorb the moisture from the air aaaaaannndd keep it inside. What happens after it? Smell happens. Unless you have very powerful dehumidifier in your house, this issue will be your problem number one. In other hand if you have such a good dehumidifier, why would we even discuss it, right?)

    Vinyl floor.
 Last one is vinyl floor. Vinyl floor is made out of the vinyl(thanks god I have Bachelor) with the imprint on it too. Vinyl material has huge advantage – it is fully protected against any moisture. Any cuts don't harm the material or reveal any exposed area. Another thing is underlayment – without it floor will be too hard for your feet. In general underlayment for the vinyl floor is made out of foam, which has perfect resistance against moisture or water.

 As we can see, there is a huge advantage of the vinyl floor over other two competitors. It is very important to know what material you’re dealing with. Based on the material knowledge, you can analyze different options and see yourself what material fits your needs better. In our case I believe that I was able to show you that vinyl is the best material the basement floor.