Basement Flooring - Weaknesses of Subfloors
Best Materials for Basement Flooring
Basement flooring - these out of the way rooms are still very much part of the home and hence why a large number of people like to give their basement a proper finish. The problem that confronts most people though is the tendency for the room to be overrun with excessive moisture and dampness. This can make floor installation a problem and often moisture tests a have to be conducted to determine what materials are feasible and whether any extra work may need to be done.
Basement flooring favorites are ceramic tiles and slate - some do feel however this will make the room cold but a few well placed rugs will soon sort this out. These materials can easily be fitted over concrete which is the perfect subfloor - robust and durable.
Concrete basement subfloors do however have there weakness.
When the floor sets and dries it contracts and shrinks - ever so slightly - but enough to cause tension within the slab! Experts have worked out that for every 10 feet of concrete laid it will contract by 1/16 inches. Tension builds up within the basement floor causing the slabs to burst and then crack. These cracks can become apparent not to long after fitting or within the first month.
The ceramic tiles that have been set on top on the subfloor are just as dense as concrete and also like concrete can be affected by underlying tension. The cracks will therefore travel through and affect the tile.
* To prevent your tiled basement floor from being overrun with cracks, there are a number of things you can do:
Ensure steel rods run through the concrete subfloor - these will hold it together reducing the chance of thicker more apparent fractures popping up. Professional builders or contractors will fit ½ inch steel bars through the middle of the slabs to reinforce them.
* Quality contractors will also be able to lay down a "crack-isolation membrane" under the ceramic tiles. This will allow the tile and the concrete sub-floor of the basement to move independently of each other.
* Have a store of extra tiles and grout, which you will need for minor repair jobs. But do not be in big a rush - give it some time to see if any other cracks appear. Why do the job twice!
There is also the option of just painting the concrete sub-floor, or possibly even staining it.