When it comes to carpet, basements can be tricky. These areas tend to be damp and moist which can make laying down carpet something of a challenge.
Most homeowners lay down their carpet in a basement that has been professionally finished. While this can be a costly endeavor, it’s typically the only way to really ensure that the room is properly waterproofed and kept safe from excessive moisture in the surrounding areas beyond.
That’s important because carpets aren’t really meant to survive in basements due to the high levels of wetness that can be apparent. If that moisture gets under the carpet, it will lead to mold and that can cause serious health problems in the home.
But if you aren’t planning to finish the basement then you need to take specific measures with respect to the type of carpeting you choose to put there. The key is to fight back against mold and bacteria and you have a range of choices at your disposal to help make that happen.
Laying Down Carpet in a Basement
With so much potential for moisture down there, you need to do everything you can to ensure that your basement is free of moisture and excess wetness. Mold thrives in wet conditions and any steps you can take to maintain a dry, cool area in the basement will go a long way to ensuring that whatever carpet you choose will remain clean and sustainable for years to come.
No matter what else you may do to maintain suitable air flow in the basement to prevent mildew, go with an anti-microbial carpet pad to place underneath your new carpet. That way your padding will ward off any harmful growths that can emerge over time.
Choosing the Best Carpet
In terms of selecting the right carpet for your basement, you can go with any type that you would install in one of the rooms in the rest of your home. Whether you prefer twist, loop, or plush style, the considerations are largely the same.
How much foot traffic do you expect the carpet to receive? Will there be pets or children spending a considerable amount of time on the carpet? These are just a couple of the important questions you want to ask as you select the carpet you plan to install. They’re the same questions you might ask yourself when buying carpet in any other room.
The answers to these and other questions will help you to decide to purchase a low-cost, inexpensive option or go with something that costs a little more and is built to last for a long time.
This might be one of the most important things to consider in your decision-making process. The materials you choose will help you maintain the look and feel of your carpet for much longer.
For instance, look for certain fibers that are easy to clean and resistant to stains and chemicals. Synthetics are also a good option as they can take on moisture more successfully than fibers that are more natural and easier to damage with even a small amount of wetness.
Weigh your options where the backing of your carpet is concerned. You’ll almost always want to go with rubber or some similar alternative as carpets that have a jute backing are going to be detrimental to your goals. That’s because jute is more susceptible to water damage and can break down much easier and quicker over time.
Padding is an essential component to most carpet installations but it’s even more critical for basements. Pads can provide a layer of warmth and insulation on a cold concrete floor, something that will come in very handy in the chilly winter months. The basement can get drafty and cold and your pad will help to reduce that from happening.
Another thing to consider is that you may just not be able to carpet the basement for whatever reason. Maybe it’s just too damp down there or you can’t get proper airflow going through the room to ensure that the carpet remains mold and mildew free.
You do have other options, like area rugs or staining and finishing the concrete floor. Both of these can add a more familiar and comfortable look to any unfinished basement. These are smart choices for those homes that just can’t afford to finish the basement and install carpet that won’t get ruined in just a few short years.