By all the choices when it comes to hardwood, vinyl, and tile options for our basement. With winter coming and beer still brewing regularly, we started thinking seriously about putting flooring down. The plywood subfloor gets wet quite a bit with the brewing action, and it’s hard to keep it clean. Fortunately our basement is mostly above ground (our house was built into a slope) so we don’t have moisture problems…well, at least the naturally occurring kind. Instead we have the it-looks-like-a-toddler-bathed-in-here puddles.
With that in mind, we narrowed our choices down to ceramic or vinyl tiles. The floor gets a lot of wear (if you remember, we also have a workshop down there), which in addition to the waterproof requirement, pretty much eliminates traditional hardwood. Laminate or engineered wood floors could be an option, but we were still worried about denting them (dropping tools, moving equipment, etc).
Ceramic tile was definitely an option, and we found some gorgeous natural stone out there, like Build Direct’s travertine tile.
Then, I was cruising the flooring aisles at Home Depot when I came across a new product called vinyl plank. Now this ain’t your momma’s vinyl, so before you dismiss it-hear me out.
Looks real, eh? It even has texture, so walking on it will feel similar to real wood. But this stuff is totally waterproof. Not only that, it installs in a jiffy-you only need a utility knife and a tape measure. The grip strips on 1 long and 1 short side overlap, which bonds the floor planks to each other-not to the subfloor. Light scoring and snapping is all it takes to cut planks to size. This type of installation is called a floating floor. Price-wise it’s reasonable ($1.79/sq ft here), more expensive than laminate or traditional vinyl but less expensive than most hardwood or even engineered wood products. Plus, when you factor in the cost of floor prep for laminate or hardwood, I think the vinyl tile really flexes its muscles as both an economical and aesthetically appealing choice.
So far, we’re digging the “Teak,” but stay tuned for an update when we make our choice and install a basement floor!