Bada Bing Bada Basement – How to Make This Space Special
That room downstairs doesn’t have to be drab. Explore some concrete basement floor ideas to make these surfaces spectacular.
- You’ll have many options when changing up your concrete basement floor
- Sealing or coloring the concrete gives it more appeal
- You can also repair the concrete or install an overlay
- Developing a customer solution ensures you’re happy with the flooring
The reality of an unfinished basement for most people isn’t pretty. It’s dark. It’s dank. It’s got those big, wet-looking patches on the worn-out concrete. Concrete experts view things very differently. Where homeowners see a crumbly surface, we see a canvas. And you will, too, as you continue to read this guide on concrete basement floor ideas.
When grey is OK
You may prefer a grey concrete floor, just not one that looks like it was poured by the Romans. Polishing the existing concrete can make basement floors as smooth and shiny as you want, from matte to gloss or super-reflective.
Polishing older concrete may require some repair work (which will show through the polish) and the use of densifiers. The result can protect the surface from water damage and abrasions while giving it a longer life with minimal maintenance. You don’t worry about the slip factor here, either, because it’s very safe. Traction is somewhat reduced, however, if a sealant is added, so let’s cover that next.
Sealing the concrete
Sealants can be acrylic, polyurethane, or epoxy (which can have a pigmented finish). These are spread over the concrete floor to fill any imperfections and create a protective, shiny layer. This can be a good choice if you do a lot of work in the basement and the space is subject to staining. Sealants are also low-cost and quick to install.
Sealed concrete is more slippery because it’s no longer porous, which concrete naturally is. And no porosity means no grip underfoot. This can be overcome by adding non-slip rugs and mats. Extra décor won’t remove the other downsides of sealed concrete, however, so read our pros and cons guide before deciding.
Sealing a surface is nonetheless a good health measure as it can play an important role in reducing radon levels. Radon is a radioactive gas that leaks upward into homes from most soils. This can become a life-threatening issue if not properly tended to, so homeowners must do everything they can to manage radon infiltration.
Adding some earthy or bright color
One of the most attractive concrete basement floor ideas is coloring the floor. This can be achieved through water-based dyes, acid-staining, or added epoxy or urethane layers. You’ll discover a wide range of shades ranging from earth tones using the acid method to the whole rainbow using dyes. There are also waterproof latex floor paints for a very quick and simple color coat.
Be sure to prepare for some tonal deviation from your original plans. Concrete can be very unpredictable with how it takes some forms of colorants. Ask your contractor to demonstrate it on a small section of the floor to see how this works in action.
Stamping your personal style
Want a concrete basement floor that looks like wood, brick, or cobblestone? Stamping the surface is your answer! It’s a cost-effective way to create durable results that realistically mimic other materials. It can be laid down seamlessly, in sections, or in any chaotic and colorful pattern you choose. Be sure to take slip precautions if the basement floor is prone to moisture for any reason, though. This can be done by adding texture or a non-slip additive to the stamp.
Carpets can be cool
This can be a quick way to make cold concrete floors cozy and colorful, but only when done right. Concrete’s porosity lets moisture rise through it, which can lead to condensation accumulating beneath the carpet. From there, it’s a very short hop to hazardous mold and mildew getting a grip on your floor and your health.
Adding a protective barrier between the carpet and the concrete tackles this problem. Open cell or foam padding or dimpled polyethylene are good choices because they won’t trap moisture the way rubber overlays can. Take note that the concrete surface must be thoroughly cleaned and leveled to address any protrusions or damage before barriers and carpeting are applied.
The carpet can then be fastened to the protective layer. Choosing synthetic fibers for your carpeting will provide a stronger material that’s easier to clean and is more breathable, which further reduces the chances of absorbing and retaining moisture.
Tiles can be terrific
There are countless tile designs available, so homeowners won’t lack options. Tiles can only be added to concrete floors that are cleaned and leveled, with any imperfections removed or repaired. Tiles can be cool (and sometimes downright chilly) underfoot, which can be overcome by installing an underlay between the concrete and the tile. This underlay might be a cement board or an uncoupling membrane.
The proper layer can serve two additional purposes by assisting with moisture management and providing a flexible, cushioning effect. Uncoupling layers negate substrate movement stresses by absorbing them and preventing that stress from being transferred to the tiles, stopping cracking before it starts.
Whichever of these concrete basement floor ideas you choose, you stand to reap more benefits than just snazzy visuals. A well-maintained and regularly cleaned surface can help protect your health and property and maybe even add to your home’s resale value. Just make sure you talk to concrete professionals who will make every process transparent and discuss every possible outcome, so you can start the project with realistic expectations.
Connect with Concreate for a better basement
Our experienced team can handle every kind of concrete project except pouring. We specialize in prepping, grinding, staining, and polishing. If we can’t do a job, we can at least tell you everything you need to know about how your decorating plans can affect and be affected by your concrete floor. Just contact our team with any questions or to start livening up your basement today!