Question

Can you recommend flooring for a basement that tends to get moldy?

Asked by Mary Walters, Sharon, CT

We are ripping up the carpet in our basement family room due to mold damage and we want to replace it with a green flooring material that will withstand the dampness of a basement. The surface that it would sit on is poured concrete. Any suggestions?

Answer

Ricky Cappe

Answered by Ricky Cappe

Santa Monica, CA

Green Built Consultants

July 3, 2007

Before putting down a new floor, you should try to determine what caused the floor to become moldy in the first place. Is water entering the building?

Once you determine that there will be no further water issues, consider putting down a floating subfloor that goes directly onto the concrete.

  • These systems are designed for concrete basement floors that may encounter moisture issues. They have built-in air vents that allow air to flow, reducing the possibility of mold growth. 
  • A do-it-yourself system can be seen on DRIcore's website, where the video instruction and ordering calculators guide you through the process.

To help ward off any remaining dampness in the basement, you may also want to consider using a dehumidifier.

Once the subfloor is in, there are many options when it comes to green flooring.

  • For example, several carpet manufacturers have made the shift and are now producing nontoxic products from recycled materials, most commonly in the form of carpet tiles.
  • There are also many natural, biodegradable carpets available.
  • Other flooring choices that would work well in this environment are engineered hardwood products, bamboo, and natural linoleum.

See GreenHomeGuide’s Buyer's Guide to Green Flooring Materials for tips on selecting the right flooring type. The most important thing is to ask questions about any product you are considering.

  • Does it contain VOCs?
  • Is formaldehyde used in the manufacturing process?
  • What happens when the product is no longer useful?
  • Does the manufacturer recycle it?

You can always ask for the Material Safety Data Sheet, which gives you a breakdown of what goes into the product’s manufacture.

 

For more information:

Check our basement flooring Q&A to see what other homeowners and contractors are saying about cork, carpet, and linoleum flooring for a moisture prone basement, etc."

Tagged In: basement flooring, basement moisture, basement remodeling

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