Wheat Separated From Chaff: Basement Flooring Myths

5 July 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you're looking to increase the amount of useable space around your home by turning the basement into an extra room, you'll need to decide on the type of floor that will best suit your needs.

There are a number of myths and misconceptions about basement flooring systems. The myths should not cloud your judgement as you try to decide what you'll do with the basement floor. Here is a brief discussion on three of these myths.

Radon Won't Get Into The House If The Basement Floor Is Well Sealed

Radon is a toxic gas released into the air when uranium undergoes decomposition in the soil. Radon gas often penetrates through cracks in the basement and travels into your interior living spaces. For this reason, many homeowners falsely believe that they'll have blocked out this toxic gas permanently if they seal all cracks that may be present on the basement floor.

Sealing cracks in concrete basement floors will reduce the likelihood of radon infiltration. However, this will do little to keep out the radon gas if the foundation of the house has cracks or similar openings. It might be a good idea to ask your renovation contractor to ascertain that your foundation is intact before he or she begins work on the basement floor.

Wooden Floors Cannot Be Installed In The Basement

This is among the most prevalent myths about basement flooring. Many homeowners believe this myth because they're aware that wood is vulnerable to moisture damage and because they know that moisture-related problems are common in basement areas.

Solid wood flooring might not be the best choice for a basement area because of the "moisture damage" effect. This is because solid wood flooring systems are made of single planks of wood derived from a mature tree.

You can still enjoy the benefits of wooden flooring in your basement with an engineered hardwood floor. Engineered timber flooring systems are different in the sense that they're made of multiple layers of wood that are subjected to pressure and heat-treatment so that they remain fused to each other in each piece of engineered timber. Engineered wood flooring systems therefore have a higher resistance to moisture infiltration and they're suitable for use in below-ground areas of the house (e.g. your basement).

Vinyl Floor Tiles Are An Asbestos Trap

Asbestos is no longer used in the manufacture of modern vinyl tiles. It was a prominent feature in old vinyl tiles before it was declared hazardous and many homeowners might have been skeptical about installing an "asbestos trap" in their basement areas.

Luxury vinyl tile flooring is a popular choice for residential areas. You can install luxury vinyl tiles in the basement without worrying about asbestos.