Is Rubber Flooring Good For Basements?
Basements are arguably the most unique and versatile parts of a home. They can be made into home gyms, gaming lairs, mini-bars, or even wine cellars. These many possible uses, as well as the fact that basements are below ground makes it very important to choose the right building materials. If you choose inappropriate wall and flooring materials, you are bound to end up with a wet, grimy basement that is overrun with mold and fungus.
Fortunately, there are numerous materials that make perfect basement flooring. Among these materials is rubber. Let’s take a deeper look at rubber flooring and its suitability as basement flooring.
What Type of Floor Is Best for Basements?
Choosing the right basement floor starts with assessing how you’re going to use you basement. If your basement is an entertainment spot, the ideal flooring material would be something attractive and comfortable, such as vinyl or colored rubber mats. If on the other hand, your basement is a storage area, a hardy flooring such as polished concrete would be perfect.
Once you know what you need in a basement floor, you choose a flooring material that possesses the qualities you desire.
Qualities of a Good Basement Floor
In order to accurately judge how good rubber is as basement flooring, we first need to take a look at the general qualities that a proper basement floor should have.
A good basement floor should be:
1. Moisture and mold resistant
Water problems are the most common basement concern among homeowners. In fact, over 60% of basements in existing homes have a moisture problem.
Whether it is all out flooding, or just minor leaks, water can wreck havoc on your property. Your health is also at risk when a basement is excessively humid – mold and other toxins develop and enter your system when you breathe.
Waterproof basement flooring are also important for preventing fires, which we discuss below.
2. Fire resistant
The main cause of garage and basement fires is electrical malfunction. This is another reason why waterproof floors are important, they prevent ground water from seeping in and getting into contact with electrical appliances.
While choosing a fire-resistant flooring material will not completely prevent fires, it can help to significantly reduce the rate of property damage in the case of a fire.
Basements are typically where heavy appliances are stored and installed. from gas tanks, to washing machines, basements see it all.
Thus it is important for a basement floor to be able to withstand heavy loads and impacts.
4. Easy to clean
Whether you’re using your basement as a home bar, gym, or just as a storage area, cleaning will be necessary.
Basement flooring should make it easy to clean things such as dead rodents and their waste, spills, and stains.
5. Easy to install, maintain, and repair
Given how common and expensive water damage is in the US, it is wise to choose flooring that is easy to install, and and easy to remove in case of damage.
6. Made of inorganic materials
A basement floor made of organic materials such as wood is more prone to damage than a floor made of inorganic materials.
This is because insects and other organisms can feed on or live in organic floors, leading to damage. Not to mention organic materials easily deteriorate when exposed to moisture.
7. Visually appealing
Even though a basement is out of sight most of the time, you don’t want to feel like you’ve entered the undercarriage of a container ship every time you go in there.
Rugged spaces deserve to look nice too, right?
Can You Use Rubber Flooring in a Basement?
Rubber is a great option for basement flooring due to it being affordable, comfortable, water resistant, and long-lasting. It is a material that is high-performing but still economical.
Pros and Cons of Rubber Flooring in a Basement
It is versatile
It is hard to make rubber flooring look out of place in a basement, no matter the theme. For a home gym, it provides a soft underfoot layer and a surface to absorb impact from heavy equipment. For a media room, rubber flooring serves as a warm, comfortable place to rest your feet.
Rubber flooring does not absorb liquid, meaning you won’t have to worry about mold, mildew or any kind of fungus forming in your basement.
Quick and easy installation
Rubber flooring comes in different forms that are very easy to install. Rubber tiles with interlocking edges just need to be placed on the underfloor and interlocked. Rubber rolls and mats, while a bit heavy, only require a cutting tool to cut them to the size of the basement.
Rubber flooring is made strong to last long. The impact-absorbing property of rubber means it does not dent or crack easily. The high quality adhesive used to make rubber flooring also helps to ensure the material does not tear easily.
Rubber flooring is available in so many sizes and colors, making it easy for you to create the prefect basement floor. If pre-made rubber flooring does not meet your needs, you can opt for wetpour rubber flooring, which allows you to create irregular shapes and designs.
Rubber flooring is fairly more environmentally-friendly than other flooring materials. This is because natural rubber comes from a renewable source – trees. Some rubber used to make flooring is synthetic. However, when it is mixed with reclaimed rubber from old tires, it is still quite sustainable.
Microbe and insect-resistant
Rubber is resistant to bacteria and other microbes that tend to destroy flooring. Soft wood for example, would be a poor basement flooring material due to its susceptibility to termite infestation.
It is not seamless
The seams between rubber mats can trap dirt and grime.
Rubber flooring is bulky and therefore can pose a challenge if you’re installing it by yourself.
Can be slippery
If the rubber flooring is not textured, it can be slippery when wet.
How Do You Install Rubber Flooring in a Basement?
Rubber flooring is available in three main forms. Installation for each of them is different.
- Installing rubber tiles
Rubber tiles have interlocking teeth on their edges. All you need to do is prepare the subfloor, making sure it is clean and smooth, and then lay the tiles while locking them together.
- Installing rubber mats
Rubber mats are square or rectangular pieces of rubber flooring. To install rubber mats you should lay them next to each other, making sure they are nice and tight so that the seams are not visible. Use a utility blade to cut the mats into suitable sizes.
- Installing rubber rolls
Rubber rolls are basically a larger version of the mats. They are heavier and longer, making them ideal for large spaces like commercial gyms. A heavy duty utility knife will be useful during the installation of rubber rolls.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does rubber flooring mold?
Rubber flooring itself is mold-resistant. However when it is installed in such a way that water is trapped beneath it or in the seams, mold can form on the underfloor.
How long does rubber flooring last?
Rubber flooring can last 10, 20, or more years. The life of rubber flooring really depends on where it is installed. The rubber floor of a high-traffic office building for example, will last shorter than the rubber flooring of a home gym.
Can you put rubber flooring over concrete?
Rubber flooring can be placed over concrete. The concrete needs to be prepared prior to laying rubber flooring to ensure it is smooth, dry, and level.