If you love to entertain family and friends or you just need a place for your teenage kids to hang out, what better place than offering up your basement? Often times homeowners forget about this valuable piece of real estate right in their own homes.

But what if your basement isn’t finished? Or if it is finished, but you want it to better fit your needs, where do you start? When you begin planning a remodeling project in your basement, often times the best place to start is with your flooring.  Here is some pros and cons of each of the common basement flooring options.

basement flooring options :: Laminate Flooring Basement Contemporary Basement Apartment

image via Floors to Your Home

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Make sure you find the best type of flooring for your basement and your lifestyle. There are many different types of flooring to choose from these days including hardwood, laminate, vinyl and even carpet. You will want to weigh all of the pros and cons before choosing flooring for your basement.

Discount Hardwood Flooring

Many people love the look of discount hardwood flooring all throughout the house. While hardwood looks beautiful in the family room or dining room, it may not be the best choice for a basement. Depending on where you live, your basement may be prone to flooding or water seepage. Even if you install a durable hardwood, it will probably warp and stain if you ever experience a flood in your basement. Hardwood floors can also be expensive. A damaged floor will be extremely costly to replace or repair. If you are trying to create a warm intimate atmosphere, there are some other options available that may be more practical in your basement entertainment room.

Laminate Flooring

the Humane Society Suggests Laminate Floors image via Floors to Your HomeInstalling laminate flooring in your basement may be a great alternative to real hardwood. This engineered flooring is more forgiving if you experience a water “event” or if you have rambunctious kids. Laminate flooring retains the look of hardwood but it is much easier to install - especially in the basement.

Another great aspect of laminate flooring is the price. Even if you have to replace a section of the floor, it will not cost as much, nor be as difficult, as replacing a hardwood floor. Many contractors will recommend cheap laminate flooring for a basement because of its durability.

Vinyl Flooring

A third option for your basement is a vinyl floor. Although some people may imagine that terrible 1970′s vinyl, you may actually be surprised by the variety of floors available today. You can find beautiful vinyl flooring that resembles wood planks, but is easier to clean than wood. You can also find vinyl flooring that resembles ceramic tile and comes in a variety of styles and textures. Depending on how you plan to use your basement, this could be the best option. Vinyl is easy to clean and maintain. You can spill almost anything on this type of floor and not worry about the consequences.

Carpet

Carpet can also be used in a basement to give the space a warm and cozy feel. If you are planning to turn the basement into a playroom for small children, carpet may be a good choice. The kids can play on the floor without feeling the cold and dampness that is sometimes present in a basement. You will want to choose a durable fiber like a Berber carpet that can be easily cleaned. Of course carpet could be a problem if you experience water damage in the basement. Some residents who put carpet in the basement are forced to take it out after a flood and usually replace the flooring with something more long lasting. Carpet is comfortable to walk on and play on, but can become moldy and smelly once it has gotten wet.

Tile

One of the more durable flooring options which works well in almost any location is tile.  A couple of notes on usage here.  In basements that contain high moisture content it may be wise to avoid a natural stone, choosing instead to go with something like a ceramic.  Tile is of course somewhat transferant.  In other words — it may transfer cold from a cold basement surface, like concrete.  Because of this, and along with concrete’s tendency to crack, it may also be appropriate to consider installing an insulating layer or an isolation membrane before installing the tile work directly to a concrete slab.

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Overall, your style will play a major role in choosing flooring for your basement remodeling project. There are pros and cons to each type of flooring and you will need to think about the materials and the cost for each type. Hardwood and laminate floors look sleek and modern while vinyl or carpet gives off a more practical feel. You want to install a floor that will impress your family and friends, but that will not break your bank account.