The Basics of Tile Basement Flooring
Tile for basement flooring is an exceptional choice. Big. Small. Rectangular. Square. Way too many colors, shapes and designs to even think of them all. One things for sure, tile floors in basements is never out of style. What we plan on covering this time around here at Basement Flooring Guide is the differences, the designs, the rules and you for ceramic tile on basement floors.
Differences in Tile Basement Flooring
First off, you have a huge choice in different types of tiles available for you to choose from for your tile basement flooring needs. There are virtually no limits to the possibilities afforded to you with using tile in a basement. From size and shape to color and finish, you can virtually make the room of your dreams. Not only that, you can almost guarantee yourself that using tile in a non-uniform pattern you will end up with a unique basement flooring design that will differentiate itself from any other room in your house. Quite possibly, this design could be different than any other house on your block, town, city or state.
Tile Basement Flooring Design
Have an inner artist or designer in you? Here’s your chance to explore your creative side. Tile is such a fluid medium in that you can shape and design not only in size but also in color and contrast, it allows you to put your own personal stamp on your basement. Go ahead and get creative. Explore different ideas. Explore different fashions. Mix and match colors, textures and finishes if you so desire for your own innovative basement world.
Rules of Tile Basement Flooring Design
So just what are the rules of design for basement tile floors? I love this one, it’s an oldie but a goodie. Rule number 1, there are no rules. Rule number 2, when in doubt, see rule number 1. That’s it. Truly there are no rules. It comes back to basic personal choice and the home owners creativity (or lack thereof). If you like a straight uniform design, then so be it.
There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’d like to use multiple color combinations to get that tropical feel and bring you back to a warm sunny day, go for it. Non-conformist? Use multiple shapes, colors and sizes to achieve that glorious mural right there on your basement floor.
Where do you fit in
Bottom-line is, everywhere when it comes to tile basement flooring. Every designer knows that design is personal. Let your inner artist come out. If you like it, isn’t that all that matters anyways as you are the one that lives there. By all means, express yourself and your personal tastes. It’s your home in your style for your way of life. One of the greatest things about tile is being able to design your own designs and then visibly seeing your creation come to life!
Tiles For Your Basement Floor
There’s a lot of talk out there about whether or not you should use and how you should install basement tiles. There’s definitely some benefits to it’s use as flooring below grade as well as some things that you should be aware of if you go this route. So let’s spend a little time talking about the advantages and disadvantages of using them in your basement.
The Advantages of Basement Tiles
- Tile is versatile and comes in many different styles, shapes and colors. This makes it very easy to build a custom floor in your basement that you’ll be proud of for years to come. The ability to use either a single pattern and size or really let the designer in you come out by using multiple shapes and sizes, designs and colors is one of the greatest appeals to me for this floor covering.
- If something ever happens to a single tile, you can replace it. It’s not the most easy thing to do but you can. Here’s what you can expect if you are installing them directly onto a concrete basement floor, there is a possibility that you might have one or two or so crack if the foundation shifts or cracks, but this is something that would happen to an on-grade slab as well.
- Most ceramic tiles are both waterproof and stain-resistant if they have been glazed. As anyone knows that owns a home with a basement, water is enemy number one. If you can have a flooring that’s impenetrable to water, you’ve just saved yourself a lot of headaches.
- Cleaning tile is a breeze, no specialized tools needed. Just a mop and a broom. Plus, you don’t have to worry about spills or accidents like you would say a carpet or something of that nature. Simply wipe them up and sweep them out. I know I appreciate that kind of application.
What’s Bad Basement Tile Flooring
- The main disadvantage of ceramic tiling a basement floor is two-fold, it’s hard and it’s cold. It’s already colder in your basement naturally than the rest of your house and when you put tile down on it, it doesn’t do anything to actually warm-up your floor. Sure you could use rugs or install some kind of in-floor heating, but that’s an added cost.
- If you use any tinted grout color, it could fade. This happens from time to time. You could also end up with different tinted grout unless it’s mixed all together at the same time. This isn’t the end of the world or anything but it does cause some frustration after a period of time and things change. There are fixes for it like sealers that can be used to preserve the colors and stains that can totally change the color if you prefer, but these types of floors you really only want to do once.
- You’ll need to invest in one of those wet floor signs because tile can be slippery when wet. Even though that’s what makes them so advantageous for the basement since they are virtually waterproof, some tiles, especially those in a glossy or high gloss finish can get down right dangerous when they are wet. I’ve seen more people fall and have fallen more times myself on wet tile than I think I have on any other surface.
- Tile can be a bit more expensive than other flooring. Now I say can be here before somebody decides to let me have it in the comments as some brands and styles can actually be a bit cheaper. But if you’re looking to add a really decorative floor covering via tile, some of those decorative pieces can get quite pricey per square foot.
Other Things to Consider
- They can be heavy to transport downstairs. Just think about it, these things are not that light when they come in their boxes. How many are you going to need to cover that downstairs room? How many trips is it going to take you up and down those basement stairs? Just as an example, say you get a 12″x12″ that will weigh a little over 3 pounds a piece or even a 6″x6″ floor tile that weighs just under 3 pounds a piece. If they come in a box of 10 for the bigger ones and 20 for the smaller ones, that’s about 35 to 45 pounds approximately down those stairs each time. Is that something that you’ll be able to handle and then work with if your doing this job yourself?
- Tile is hard by nature. Depending on what kind of room you’re putting in and even though you may love tile, it might not be the right basement flooring for the room. Even though I probably shouldn’t, I’ll tell on myself a little here. I like to lay down on the floor while watching television. I’d certainly like something a bit softer than tile to lay down. So if you’re putting in a TV room you may not want to tile it. I know what you’re probably saying, then get on the couch. But that’s my comfort zone and the way I relax. I’ll let the kids have the couch.
In trying to sum it all up here is that basement floor tiles are highly durable and would come to good use in pretty much any basement. I wouldn’t suggest installing tile over another product like vinyl flooring. Even though you’ll see from others around the web that this is possible, it’s just really not advised. To many things can go wrong with this type of installation.
You’re better off getting the old flooring out and installing it either directly over a sealed concrete floor or a sufficiently built subfloor. If you want to do it, it’s something that can definitely be done in a weekend. But fair warning here, tiling can get messy and due to some of the things involved with the tile installation, I’d rather leave it to somebody who’s done it a time or two. You will need some specialized tools to get the job done right, luckily most all of them can be rented so you won’t need to buy them just to use them only once.