Let’s talk basement flooring

Well hello there! Wow, be sure to check out the more than 150 dining rooms linked up on the last post! Beautiful. :)

Today I’m sharing the final frontier in the basement finishing process -- we’re hoping next month to get the flooring installed. After that there’s still plenty to do – it’s just going to be lots of smaller projects, most of which I can do. Tile, painting, trim work, etc.

We’ve been thinking long and hard about the flooring we want in the basement, and thankfully we’ve had the past two months to figure it all out.

Initially, I was on the peel and stick train and was ready to go – I loved what I put down in the laundry room:

peel and stick tile floor

And there are wood floor looking pieces that are installed similarly. They look SO REAL. And the price isn’t bad at all.

I was kind of hooked on a hard surface for the basement for two reasons – I do my most of my work outs down there (in front of the TV) and I thought a hard surface would work best. And second, I just thought a hard floor was the only option for basements.

Well, I picked up a few pieces of the faux wood and tried it out – and I loved it. But there were a couple issues – it did not stick to the concrete (like it did on the subfloor in the laundry room), and I was concerned that it was just going to be too hard. There would be practically no buffer between the concrete and us.

Keeping the floors concrete were never really an option for us because our concrete isn’t in great shape (aesthetically) and with the Bub still being small, I was not crazy about keeping it so hard, even with rugs down throughout.

So even though I know we could have glued down the vinyl wood planks, I decided to nix that idea. I read TONS of reviews online where folks were complaining about severe off gases from the glue used for the installation of the floors. (Some said it only lasted a week, some said it never went away and they had to completely remove the floors!)

We thought about laminate or engineered floors for about two hot seconds and quickly realized those were a no-go. The price was the biggie – it was just too expensive. And after the water issues we had upstairs with laminate, we weren’t ready to take that chance in the basement.

Sooo…we started toying with carpet. Up till about six weeks ago, I would NEVER have considered carpet for a basement. I guess it’s because back in my day (you know, the 80’s), all I remember is carpet being a no-no for lower levels. I remember the “wet” smell from many basements because of water issues in those with carpet.

But we’ve had very few issues with water in our basement. It’s built so there should never been any issues, and honestly the biggest problem we’ve had was from inside – our humidifier on the main level malfunctioning and leaking through the duct work to the basement.

The only other problem spot we’ve ever had has been under the back door. Lucky for us the guys who have been doing all the work for us used to specialize in fixing/preventing leaks in homes. So they are double checking those trouble spots for us now that the basement is finished.

And we figure, if we do have problems, carpet will be the easiest and cheapest to replace if we have to. After the water issues we had upstairs last year – I’m all good with easy and cheap. ;)

Soooo…now it’s time to decide on the one. My first stop was Home Depot and Lowes to check out samples. It was a bit overwhelming, so I took samples I liked and went to a local carpet store to get more info.

That’s where I found one I loved:

But it turns out I loved it because it was $4 a square foot. ;) Too much for what we want to spend – we are covering about 700 square feet with it.

But I knew I loved the look of it – I dig the small design that repeats throughout.

I was going to check out the hardware stores again, but then the handymen gave us the name of a carpet guy they’ve worked with a bunch of times.

And his prices are CRAZY good. Whoaza.

He brought this frieze sample that I loved because it’s supa soft:

brown frieze carpetfrieze carpet 

But because of the whole working out thing, and because this will be on the stairs (for now – I may finish them off myself some day), I wanted something that would wear really well. We have a frieze on the stairs now and you can definitely see wear (it flattens out).

I’m sure a nice, more expensive frieze would not do that, but I really just had my heart set on a low pile option.

So I was thrilled when he pulled out this one!:

  cut and loop carpet

It’s called a cut and loop carpet and I love it.

The price is amahzing (name that show!) – the quote for carpet, padding and installation is right at $2,000. I thought that was pretty spiffy.

The options we’re looking at are the six or so in the middle here:

mohawk cut and loop carpet

Well, probably not that lighter one. I value my sanity. ;) (At first I actually wanted to go with a dark carpet!)

Our carpet upstairs has held up well and I love the color – so I’m going to see what color matches it best and probably just go with that. This is a Mohawk brand carpet and it has a stain guarantee and all that good stuff. We won’t be wearing shoes down there for the most part (except to work out!) so I’m not so worried about stains.

The biggest reasons for carpet in the basement are the comfy factor for the kiddo, the warmth factor (because it can still get a tad chilly down there) and the biggest one – because the hubby wants carpet. :) It’s rare he has a strong opinion when it comes to the house (he trusts me), so when he does, I go with it.

My late father-in-law was a carpet and tile guy, and he taught us that one of the most important decisions is the padding – and we’re going with a nice eight pound padding that will make the floor extra cushy.

So there. you. go. -- the process that we went through to get to our basement flooring decision. We’re hoping to get it installed in May – I’m hoping for earlier in the month, because every time we come up from the basement we track drywall dust all over the house. It’s driving me a little bonkers. :)

What type of flooring do you have in your basement? Am I the only one who would never have though of carpet for a lower level? What color would you go for? I’m leaning toward one with a gray undertone instead of brown, that’s what we have upstairs and I’ve been happy with it. And it will go well with the paint colors…more on those soon. :)