Basement Floor Epoxy and Sealer

A basement floor sealer is ideal for preventing water damage. Here's how to choose a sealer that will work for your space.

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By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik
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Whether you plan on finishing your basement space or keeping it in its original state, it is important to apply a waterproof sealant to the concrete floor in order to lock out moisture. An epoxy-coated basement floor is one of the best ways to maintain and preserve your space.

Top Flooring Options

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Hardwoods

Solid hardwoods are an elegant flooring option that adds depth and unique character to any space. With a wide variety of hardwood types—some of the most popular are red and white oak, maple, cherry, white ash and hickory — hardwood floors can be tailored to your individual taste. Solid wood flooring adds not only to the beauty of a home but to its value as well. Image courtesy of US Floors

Bamboo

Bamboo is a grass, and a fast-growing one at that. It can grow from a tiny sprout to being ready to harvest in just three to five years, which makes it a very eco-friendly flooring option. And fast turnaround isn't the only great thing about this tall shoot. Bamboo is also fire-resistant, comes in easy-to-install planks and is 27 percent harder than Northern red oak and 13 percent harder than hard maple. Image courtesy of US Floors

Engineered

Similar in appearance to solid hardwood, engineered hardwood is composed of a core of hardwood, plywood or high-density fiberboard and a top layer of hardwood veneer that's available in almost any species. Three to seven layers of the materials are then glued and compressed under high pressure and heat to create flooring that's not only sturdy but completely resistant to humidity as well. Because of this, they're perfectly suited to parts of the home where humidity and heat could be detrimental to solid hardwood floors, such as the kitchen and the basement. Image courtesy of Smith and Fong Flooring

Linoleum

Composed of materials like linseed oil, cork, limestone, wood flour and tree resins, linoleum is extremely durable, low-maintenance and comes in many patterns and colors. Available in sheets or more intricate cuts, linoleum can complement almost any home style.

Marmoleum

All-natural marmoleum is a renewable resource — composed of recycled materials that are beneficial to the environment. Unlike linoleum, marmoleum is resistant to dust and dirt, making it allergen-free, and doesn't have a strong odor. Available in sheets or tiles, marmoleum is low-maintenance and makes a reliable choice for high-traffic areas.

Stone

Natural stone tile is timeless and exudes organic beauty. No two tiles are the same, and they come in a wide array of choices, including granite, slate, marble, travertine, limestone and onyx. Stone tile is easy to clean, extremely durable and fire-resistant. Long-lasting and always in style, it can bring a rich and luxurious feel to any home.

Ceramic

The most common floor tile found in residential homes, ceramic tile is easy to maintain and extremely durable if properly cared for. Ceramic tiles come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, finishes and colors, which make this type of flooring easily compatible with almost any design style. Another benefit of ceramic floor tiles is that it's finished with a durable glaze. Glazes come in high-gloss, semigloss and matte formats and make the floor water-resistant and easy to clean.

Laminate

Because it can duplicate the look of hardwood, natural stone and many other types of flooring, laminate is a great option for those on a budget who still desire an upscale look. Laminate is durable, low-maintenance and can be fitted over almost any subfloor, making it a practical but visually appealing flooring choice. Image courtesy of Alloc Tile

Cork

All-natural cork flooring comes from the cork oak, a native of the Mediterranean region, and naturally splits from the tree every nine to 15 years. Because there’s no harm to the trees, cork flooring is very environmentally-friendly. It's also hypoallergenic and resistant to mold and mildew. Because of air that's trapped inside the cells of the cork, cork flooring is also soft and forgiving, so it's perfect for families with young children or those who just prefer to reduce the amount of vibration and noise in the home. And because cork is a natural product, the variations in tones and shades make it a unique flooring option. Image courtesy of Globus Cork Flooring

Carpet

With more options to choose from than many other floor coverings offer, carpet is still the principal choice for flooring in the home. The six basic styles of carpet are textured, saxony, frieze, cable, looped, and cut and loop. Thanks to advances in style and texture, these fibers can now blend in well with any home decor.

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Epoxy dries thick and hard, both waterproofing and providing a durable finish. Epoxies are also an excellent solution for a high-traffic basement, such as one that is used as a recreation area or workshop. There are three types of epoxy: water-based, solvent-based and 100 percent solid. They come in a range of colors, including green, ivory, brown and red.

If you plan on placing carpet, hardwood or another flooring material on top of a concrete basement floor, consider applying a few coats of epoxy to the concrete before laying the floor. This will work as a moisture barrier and prevent future water damage.

Be sure to apply the epoxy to a cool basement floor, which will help it to adhere to the surface. Use a long-handled roller to apply the epoxy in a thin coat. A second coat may be necessary, but be sure to allow 24 hours before applying it. Wait until the epoxy has fully dried before installing a new floor.

See also: Floor Buying Guide

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