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Old 09-10-2014, 08:34 AM
 
672 posts, read 646,133 times
Reputation: 1979

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We bought a home with a walk out basement. The previous owners had sort of finished 1/2 the basement, meaning that they had drywalled and put carpet directly over the concrete, then left the other half where the utilities are unfinished.

Due to the condensation and unaddressed issues with the gutters not carrying water away from the foundation, the carpet was mildewed and nasty, and we've ripped it out. The concrete below is in very good shape, is level, with only one crack that needs to be patched and leveled. We have since addressed the gutters, and condensation won't be an issue when the home is lived in full time and kept at a constant temperature.

I had thought that having the concrete stained (not polished concrete, just stained) would be an economical way to "finish" the floor down there, but the estimate was $6.00+ a SQ. FT to grind, patch, stain and top coat. Heck, at that price, I can install something floating easily enough on my own.

We installed our own hardwood floor at the last house, which is not appropriate for below grade, I know. I am not (at all) interested in vinyl and tile or stone would be nice, but out of the budget.

So that leaves me with cork, laminate, or engineered. I had stopped at Lumber Liquidators and looked at some of their offerings, but then did some research here and elsewhere and won't be buying from them. Cork is probably just not going to be durable enough, and I just am inclined against laminate.

There is a place that sells Armstrong and Shaw seconds, cabin grade and zipper cut (reallycheapfloors.com) that we could get engineered floating flooring for less than $2.00 a sq, including shipping. One of the choices is what they call a startup adjustment, meaning that the color or finish is not consistant with the rest of the run. It's a Shaw Jubilee 5" wide plank. I really think that I might just go with that, it is cheap enough. A local company sells this, so I can go take a look to see what first quality looks like. Being that it will be installed in what essentially is a "rec room", I am looking for something durable and good looking, but it doesn't need to be perfect. We could even install this over electric in floor heating, which might be a consideration in a cold basement.

Has anyone installed a floating floor over concrete? Any thoughts about Shaw flooring? Advice?
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:52 AM
 
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I'd go with an engineered floating hardwood that has a moisture resistant core. Make sure you leave the materials in the basement for at least 24 hours before installing so they can acclimate to the humidity. Get as cheap as you can because the floor won't last. Also remember to constantly running a dehumidifier on auto. It will extend the life of the floor.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:25 PM
 
Location: NY
7,769 posts, read 14,747,769 times
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We haven't installed it in our basement yet, but we decided to go with TrafficMaster Allure Ultra Vinyl Flooring, mainly because it's waterproof, reasonably priced and takes a beating really well all the while looking good. We installed TrafficMaster vinyl in our temporary pantry (we didn't want to spend a lot of money on flooring knowing we'd be ripping it out when we did our intended addition) and we've been really impressed. Even our builder who's doing our basement and addition really liked it and plans on using it for some of his other jobs.

We initially considered stained/polished concrete, but we were shocked at how high the estimate was (started at 7+ a sq ft.)

And as Hopes mentioned, we have two dehumidifiers to prevent unwanted moisture:
Santa Fe Classic (for the kids play room, utility room and storage room)
Santa Fe Compact 2 (for my laundry room, 2nd storage room and crawl space)
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Upstate
6,133 posts, read 6,919,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheImportersWife View Post
We haven't installed it in our basement yet, but we decided to go with TrafficMaster Allure Ultra Vinyl Flooring, mainly because it's waterproof, reasonably priced and takes a beating really well all the while looking good. We installed TrafficMaster vinyl in our temporary pantry (we didn't want to spend a lot of money on flooring knowing we'd be ripping it out when we did our intended addition) and we've been really impressed. Even our builder who's doing our basement and addition really liked it and plans on using it for some of his other jobs.

We initially considered stained/polished concrete, but we were shocked at how high the estimate was (started at 7+ a sq ft.)

And as Hopes mentioned, we have two dehumidifiers to prevent unwanted moisture:
Santa Fe Classic (for the kids play room, utility room and storage room)
Santa Fe Compact 2 (for my laundry room, 2nd storage room and crawl space)
I am looking at the same flooring as you are for my W/O basement. I had also considered polished concrete, but hadn't actually looked for an estimate. Looks like I'll be skipping that.

The Allure is about $3 s/f and an easy DIY project.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,281 posts, read 4,963,010 times
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What about wood-look tile? My cousin has that in her basement and it's what we'll probably install in our basement if we ever finish it:

MARAZZI Montagna Saddle 6 in. x 24 in Glazed Porcelain Floor and Wall Tile (14.53 sq. ft. / case)-ULG5 at The Home Depot

It's pretty inexpensive and I personally like the look (not necessarily of that exact tile, but you get the idea).
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:15 PM
 
Location: NY
7,769 posts, read 14,747,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
What about wood-look tile? My cousin has that in her basement and it's what we'll probably install in our basement if we ever finish it:

MARAZZI Montagna Saddle 6 in. x 24 in Glazed Porcelain Floor and Wall Tile (14.53 sq. ft. / case)-ULG5 at The Home Depot

It's pretty inexpensive and I personally like the look (not necessarily of that exact tile, but you get the idea).

The material may be inexpensive, but either the labor to have someone else install it is $$$ because it's not so easy to install if you don't have much experience laying tile.

We looked at the tile, but for a number of reasons, it wasn't ideal for our basement (potential water/moisture issues, uneven floor, low ceilings and higher cost to install.)
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:42 PM
 
672 posts, read 646,133 times
Reputation: 1979
Yes, tile or stone would really be the ultimate answer, but it is not an easy install for a DIYer, and tile installation alone starts at $3.00 a sq, and up. I've done small areas of stone and tile myself, and it is a painstaking experience to do right, without looking like an amatuer did it.

I guess I have an irrational bias against laminate, and really, the idea of vinyl as well. I might have to stop in a flooring store and see what is new, because I have sort of discounted the idea pretty much out of hand, without much investigation.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:00 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 94,991,988 times
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Epoxy pebble is the ultimate basement flooring.

https://www.google.com/search?q=epox...ed=0CAcQ_AUoAg

My BIL has this. It's amazing. I have no idea what it costs.
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Old 09-12-2014, 05:50 AM
 
672 posts, read 646,133 times
Reputation: 1979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Epoxy pebble is the ultimate basement flooring.

https://www.google.com/search?q=epox...ed=0CAcQ_AUoAg

My BIL has this. It's amazing. I have no idea what it costs.
We had an estimate on regular expoxy flooring, it came to over $6. sq ft, mainly due to the grinding prep work. this might work, since the floor wouldn't need to be ground.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:52 PM
 
42,183 posts, read 16,797,832 times
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Duh hubby installed peel and stick vinyl tiles that looked like terrazzo (think it may have been the stuff called Terraza) in basement of previous home. He painted the floor first with a sealant that was recommended by sales clerk at Lowes that supposedly made it stick better.

I think it might have been the kind of vinyl that you could grout in between, but we didn't. I thought that the tile with the grout line already in looked cheap. Just butted these tiles up next to each other (I think there might have been a slight bevel to the edges) and used a rolling pin to roll it flat.

It cost less than a buck a square foot. We thought it would probably peel up and we'd have to replace it when we sold the house.

Three years later, when we put it on the market, it looked great. That stuff was sturdy.

We ran a dehumidifier when needed, I'm sure that helped.

I would do that tile again in a heartbeat. It was gorgeous and affordable.

Husband may have different opinion as it was a fair amount of work.
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