There are many different kinds of hardwood floors that are suitable for installation in a basement. These floors require proper installation in order to withstand high humidity.
Concrete basement slabs are porous, and prone to moisture and water vapour migrating up through the slab. This can result in the growth of mould and mildew underneath your basement flooring.
Structured, multilayered hardwood floors, such as engineered or solid sawn (made with moisture resistant plywood core, high density fibre core, or with a specific structure of the core wood pieces) perform much better below grade, than solid hardwood floors. Absorbed moisture causes the wood fibre to swell and eventually become permanently damaged, resulting in hardwood floors warping and buckling.
Due to advanced technology, solid sawn hardwood floors are most dimensionally stable. Available in ¾” thickness, they feel the same as solid wood (it doesn’t sound hollow when you walk on it), and they perform well when installed over a heated sub-floor (radiant heating).
Laminated floors are dimensionally stable as well, especially those made with a high density fibre core, treated for water resistance. They are excellent in areas where moisture is usually higher, such as walk-out basements and walk-out rooms adjacent to a swimming pool.
Not only does cork flooring, built over high density fibre core, withstand conditions of high humidity, but adds to warmth, comfort, and sound absorption. Cork is naturally a great thermal insulator, is sound proof and easy on the joints, thus making it an ideal choice for basement gyms, home theatres and music rooms.
A vapour barrier is required under your basement flooring, regardless of your floor type. The most commonly used barrier is a foam plastic underlay. Additionally, 6 millimetre poly plastic sheets can be used. You could also seal the concrete with a paint or epoxy coating that is made specifically for damp concrete floors, prior to laying the underlay and floor. Other moisture barriers are solid sawn hardwood floors and some engineered floors that can be glued to the concrete subfloor with adhesive. Vintage Hardwood Flooring offers the most stable technology.
Wood-Mood is conveniently located in Vaughan for all your flooring needs.