Hardwood floors are tough to beat. They are beautiful, warm & add value to your home & last for ages. Still, hardwood floors cannot withstand high humidity levels & certainly cannot handle occasional flooding. So, placing hardwood flooring in the basement is not a great idea. Nonetheless, all is not lost!
Engineered hardwood with a stone plastic composite (SPC) core is the perfect water-resistant flooring for a potentially damp & troublesome space like your basement. Engineered hardwood is real wood flooring, providing the same warmth & timelessness; however, it is structurally capable of handling relative humidity & temperature changes.
Below-Grade Flooring Requirements
A below-grade floor, which means “beneath ground level,” requires a higher moisture resistance level to combat the mold, mildew & water damage that can occur. Engineered hardwood designed for below-grade applications is highly water-resistant & can be installed using various methods.
Engineered hardwood flooring can be installed over concrete using an underlayment, which acts as a moisture barrier between the concrete & the flooring. Be sure to use the manufacturer-recommended underlayment. If required, engineered hardwood can also be glued or nailed to a plywood subfloor with the fitting underlayment sandwiched between.
Reasons Why Engineered Hardwood is Ideal for Basements
#1 Water Resistance
Engineered hardwood flooring with an SPC core comprises limestone & PVC, which is pressure bonded, giving the flooring an increased level of stability & much higher water resistance.
#2 Warm, Real Wood Texture
A genuine hardwood veneer is attached to the bonded coatings. The same hardwood species used to make solid hardwood flooring is used to create the veneer for engineered hardwood, allowing for preserving the wood’s natural characteristics.
#3 Compatible with Radiant Heating
Some engineered hardwood flooring is specifically designed to be used in conjunction with a radiant heating system. A subfloor must be installed to accommodate the heating system. Still, the addition of radiant heat reduces energy costs associated with heating the space & eliminates the need for forced-air heating.
#4 Easy Installation
One of the main benefits of engineered hardwood flooring is how easy it is to install. Engineered hardwood is ideal for below-grade applications and comes with a click-lock system that makes installation a breeze.
#5 Long Lifespan
Engineered hardwood, if installed & maintained correctly, can last decades. Its lifespan is dependent on the thickness of the plank. Thinner planks probably stay for over 30 years, while thicker planks can last 80 years or more. These projections typically apply only to higher quality engineered hardwood flooring & less so to cheaper versions.
#6 Increased Resale Value
It is no secret that solid hardwood is the king of the value-add when it comes to selling your home. As such, engineered hardwood, a more structurally robust version of solid, can increase the resale value of your home.
How to Shop for Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Basement flooring should be durable & highly resistant to moisture. There are many water-resistant engineered hardwood options that meet both requirements. Be sure to ask for engineered hardwood flooring that can be installed below-grade. If you would also like to install a radiant heating system, the flooring specifications will indicate whether it can be used in conjunction with radiant heat.
We can help you find the right engineered hardwood floor to fit your design tastes, & that is ideal for your basement. Supreme Hardwood Floors have experts that can help you navigate the complexities of product specs, installation uncertainties & tool requirements. Contact us to get started.