Most people who have had standard carpet on their basement floor instinctively know that it’s a bad idea. They’ll swear it’s impossible to enjoy carpet in a basement without it becoming damp and moldy. As such, a number of myths have grown that suggest you need to stick with either laminate or engineered wood on a basement floor. Maybe that was true in the past, but it’s no longer the case. If you are planning a basement renovation in Calgary or the surrounding areas, here are three myths about installing carpet you need to know about. How many have you fallen for?
Myth #1. Liquid-Based Concrete Sealers Will Prevent The Concrete From Becoming Damp
The most common way to install standard basement carpeting is to lay a foam pad, or underlay, directly on top of the concrete subfloor. Moisture will rise slowly through unsealed concrete and cause damp and rot if left unchecked. Many liquid-based solutions to treat concrete subfloors are thought to be permanent as they react with the free calcium and lime to form crystalline structures within the pores of the concrete. While these are effective at blocking moisture, they work both ways. That means that any moisture coming from your walls or from around the perimeter drain will pool on the surface of the floor instead of evaporating or draining away.
Myth #2. Carpet Can Be Installed On Wooden Subfloor
It’s actually a bad idea to put any wood in your basement. Most hardware stores sell wooden subfloor tiles made from chipboard glued on top of a dimpled plastic sheet. These squares are laid down on the concrete subfloor and designed to provide a base on which the foam pad and carpet can be laid. In fact, should your subfloor attract moisture, these dimples will readily transmit the moisture to the chipboard on top. Once the board is sodden, it’s only a matter of time before the moisture transfers to the carpet causing rot and mold.
Myth #3. Carpet Requires A Roll Underlay
For homeowners wishing to install carpet in their basement, many carpeting firms will steer them towards water-resistant roll underlays. This is guaranteed to keep carpet dry for over a decade but, while it’s great for laminate flooring, it does have several drawbacks for carpeting. It has no drainage space for water to be channeled away should a leak occur from an appliance or through the basement walls. In fact, a roll underlay may be unnecessary if you choose carpet tiles designed for basement use. These have waterproof plastic bases and give the necessary drainage space for excess moisture. They also have a thermal break that keeps the carpet surface warmer than the cold subfloor. Using carpet tiles on top of a liquid-sealed concrete subfloor saves a lot of time and money compared with roll insulation.
With the proper research it’s easy to make your basement remodeling project a success with the right carpeting. You can enjoy a carpeted basement floor providing it’s done right the first time. Look for moisture-resistant basement carpet tiles to help keep your floor damp and mold free for years ahead.
Nancy Baker is a freelance blogger and an ace creative write with many years of experience writing for top blogs. Nancy has written on a myriad of topics and has written several posts for us.