Author Topic: Thoughts/suggestions on hard surface for basement floor?  (Read 270 times)

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Offline squall_line

  • Posts: 1867
Thoughts/suggestions on hard surface for basement floor?
« on: January 25, 2023, 11:44 AM »
I'm constantly pleased with the amount of non-Festool knowledge I'm able to get from this forum, so I'm leaning on you all once again with some questions about flooring options.

We have a 1961 ranch with a nearly fully-excavated basement (there's one ~200 sf section under the sunken living room that is only a crawl space).  Total square footage of the space in the basement is around 1300 sf (approx 26'x43' plus a bump out).

The basement is fully open, save for some closets along two sections of wall.  Columns run down the centerline, around 9 feet on-center. It has light wood paneling and a very mid-century vibe, which we like.

We're replacing the broken/leaking/rusted cast iron drain line that runs under the foundation (on a diagonal, naturally), which means ripping out all of the glued-down berber (approx 1000sf) and the vinyl sheet that is used in the laundry/mechanical area (the other 300 sf).

The only change we're making is that the path from the bottom of the stairs to the laundry area will be hard surface instead of carpet, for wear and tear reasons, and we're having a pad installed under the carpet because we want to use the space for a play area and watching movies (the only TV in the house is in the basement), and likely not a berber this time.  The front "half" of the space is where the TV, couches, and media shelves are/will be (along with my desk), and 2/3 of the back half will be the play area.

For the hard surface, want something nicer than the vinyl sheet that is down now, but we don't want the trendy wood-look Luxury Vinyl Plank that everyone seems to want to push.  My parents' basement has Armstrong Excelon VCT in a stone look, and a lot of the VCT work from Armstrong reminds me of mid-century classrooms/school houses, which I really dig.

On suggestion that was made was to convert the "play" area to a full hard surface but get a large, serged, integrated-pad area rug (made from the carpet) to put down for a soft surface that can be rolled out of the way.

I'm concerned about the maintenance for VCT (although I couldn't say whether my parents have ever actually stripped and waxed their floor... it's not in a commercial environment, after all), but still prefer the look over "faux wood".

Any thoughts?

I'd post pictures, but the entire area is a disaster as we're trying to get it emptied out to have the work done.

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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 2100
Re: Thoughts/suggestions on hard surface for basement floor?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2023, 12:02 PM »
They make stone-look lux vinyl flooring.  I like the split slate look.

Of course, real slate is very nice.  Home Depot sells gauged slate tiles (12” x 12”) for $3.00 per square foot.  Naturally, a slip resistant floor, even when wet.  Keeps clean looking between mopping. 

I like polished concrete, but that is slippery, especially when it gets wet.  Slate is not a particularly hard stone, so I would not drag any steel furniture across the surface. 

Cork is easy on the feet, offers some insulation and sound deadening, and looks nice.  I don’t know how durable it is.

End grain wood flooring is as tough as they come and can be sanded down many times.  Some species are beautiful.  They were used for many years as factory floors because the  end grain can tolerate huge loads.

Take a look (some beautiful examples):

Kassel is the major player and they show lots of installations: