It’s week 6 of the One Room Challenge and while I am on time again this week, I am feeling the pressure and looking forward to a dip in my pool when this is all over! With just two more weeks to go, this week I finally tackled the flooring and now it is finally starting to feel like a room. But before we dive into what I chose and what options I considered, check out week one, week two, week four, and week five to catch up on the plans and progress. Now let’s talk about the different basement flooring options to lay over concrete.
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Basement Flooring Options Over Concrete
Last week my IKEA wine bar made it’s internet debut, but I had to pull it out so I could lay the flooring this week.
Best Basement Flooring Ideas
If I am being honest, I have never finished a basement before so I had to do my research on the best choice of flooring. There are so many flooring choices, flooring materials, and different colors these days, I had my work cut out for me. All of these could be a great choice, depending on your situation and budget.
While I am currently working on the wine cellar, most of the basement space will ultimately be finished and serve as our home gym. So I wanted something durable that would hold up in high-traffic areas. I also needed something that could be laid over the concrete slab so right away I eliminated hardwood floors. While I love the look of hardwood flooring, it isn’t water resistant, it is one of the most expensive options, and it would need to be glued to the top of concrete.
Option two was ceramic tile or porcelain tile. Tile is a good choice for areas prone to moisture issues like a bathroom or a laundry room. But I was concerned about how uneven my concrete basement floor is and any settling might crack tiles over time. Colorado is prone to shifty soils after all. So tile flooring was probably not the best option.
Laminate flooring is definitely a popular choice of mine and I have used it in many areas from the family room, to the bunk room, to the upstairs hallway, and home office. Most of the new flooring is now waterproof as well eliminating the concerns over moisture problems, making it a good option for most applications. However, in my experience, the existing sub floor needs to be very level to achieve a professional installation with laminate floors. I put this in my second choice pile.
Other options included carpet tiles and wall to wall carpeting, but I really hate carpet. While it is likely the cheapest type of flooring, it has no water resistance and is very difficult to keep in good condition.
I also came across epoxy flooring and concrete paint. Both of these could produce some very unique designs and patterns. Floor paint and a stencil or painters tape could easily be the least expensive option, but I was concerned it would take a long time. However, when and if I ever get to the garage and turn it into a high style storage space, I am going to revisit an epoxy coating.
In the end, I decided to use luxury vinyl plank flooring. Also known as LVP, it is a floating floor that can be laid on concrete surfaces. I felt this was the perfect choice for my basement because it is a waterproof floor that is low maintenance and has easy installation. I chose DuraLux in Paisley Cape which is a lighter wood tone with a natural feel very similar to unstained Oak with hints of gray.
Installing Luxury Vinyl Planks or LVP
First, I had to prep the floors. As I mentioned previously, the existing concrete flooring was not very level. Our house is old and the basement floor has cracked over time.
As you can see, it was far from level and that needed to be corrected before I could lay any flooring.
I started off by vacuuming the floor with the shop vac, making sure it was free of debris.
Then I primed the concrete surface with a self leveling floor primer. I bought a cheap broom from the dollar store and used it to coat the primer on the floor and work it into the surface. I did three coats of primer.
After the concrete was primed, I mixed some self leveling concrete and poured it over the floor. I’m not going to lie, this was an experiment. I had never done this before so it was a bit of a guessing game. You can check out the behind the scenes in my Insta stories to see what I mean. I learned the consistency should be like pancake batter and relatively runny. I did spread it a little with a trowel and ended up doing two coats.
After two coats of self leveler, it was pretty darn level.
I then proceeded to lay out the moisture barrier. Even though the flooring is waterproof, this is still required.
I know this looks a bit odd, but I do not want any transition pieces so I will add on to the flooring when we get to the rest of the basement. So until then the vapor barrier is just going to hang outside the room here. Kind of like what happened in the bunk room.
Next, I laid out a few planks of the luxury vinyl flooring to determine if I needed to rip my first piece. It is always better to rip your first piece than to end up with a sliver that is impossible to install when you get to the end. Trust me, I have learned from my mistakes installing laminate.
This whole room only took a few hours to install. I used the jigsaw to cut out around the corners, my miter saw for the length cuts and a utility knife for the rip cuts. You can also use a flooring cutter or a table saw. I thought I was saving time with the utility knife, but it was actually harder than I thought. I will definitely use the table saw when I get to the rest of the basement flooring.
In less than a week I added a major component of any room. The floors. This is an easy DIY project anyone can tackle and update a room in just a weekend. I am so excited to add this easy to care for option to the entire basement. I think it will be perfect for the planned gym space.
What do you think? Does it look like real wood?
Week 6 summary
- leveled the concrete floor
- installed the LVP flooring
- painted the walls (jury is still out on the color)
Next week I will finally be tackling the custom wine rack that will go on the left hand wall. If you want to see all the behind the scenes and video content, make sure you follow me on Instagram!
Join me again next week to see how the rest of the wine room is coming along! Fingers crossed I can knock out a lot this week, because I am still behind. This wine room may or may not have a door in week 8. To be continued….
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Don’t forget to stop by the One Room Challenge to check out all the other participants! There are so many talented designers with incredible ideas. It’s basically like binge watching HGTV. You’re welcome 😉