More in Remodeling
- Before remodeling a basement, think about the future use of that room. Sometimes the best way is actually keeping a very flexible space that way you can change it into whatever you need it to be.
- When you put a drop ceiling in it automatically feels cheaper. You really want your space to look like the rest of your house. A drop ceiling will also take away precious ceiling height and make the space feel much smaller.
- It’s a good idea to maximize space in the basement by adding built-ins shelving and storage areas. Check adjacent rooms for places you might be able to steal space from. But don’t go overboard with too many built-ins or too much woodwork because it could get very expensive and you’re likely not to get a full return on your investment when it’s time to sell. A good rule of thumb is to keep it simple and inexpensive, but make it attractive.
- As long as you are not masking some sort of problem like mold or mildew, an air purification system is a good way to make your basement smell as good as it looks.
- A good way to make a basement feel really inviting, if you have the opportunity, is to create an open stairwell. It visually connects the upper part of the house with the lower and allows more natural light to come into the basement.
- The stair railing and post installation was a fairly simple project, and required little more than wood glue and a finish nailer. If you’re installing a railing in a remodel such as this, plan ahead. If you have large furniture or other items to move into your new space, be sure hold off on installing stair railings, and other structures that might be in the way, until the large furniture items have been brought in.
- If your basement is cold and uninviting, the carpet may not be the element where you want to cut back on expenses. Install a good quality carpet that will go the extra mile in making the room more comfortable and inviting.
- Finishing existing space like a basement will almost always be a lower cost project than doing an addition. You might spend around $150 per square foot to build an addition as compared $40 to $75 for refinishing a space where the walls and structure are already in place.
- Don’t overlook the importance of your remodel matching the rest of your house. It’s critical when you’re upgrading your house that it feels like it belongs to the rest of the house — so there’s a good “flow” and people feel comfortable in the new space.
- Green Building Tip: It’s always a good idea to look at parts of your project that can be recycled. Don’t forget there are lots of reuse stores that accept things for recycling and sell things that are unwanted or are overstocked. You can help the environment and get a great deal at the same time.
Step 1: Watch an Overview Video
Step 2: Learn the Basics of Traditional Hardwood
- Boards made of solid wood such as North American oak, maple, hickory, and ash, plus exotic hardwoods from around the world like bamboo and teak
- Widths are generally 2 1/4 to 4 inches
- Thicknesses vary from 5/16 to 3/4 inch
- Perimeter expansion gaps are generally equal to board thickness
- Plywood subfloor must be nailed or screwed to joists to prevent squeaks and movement
- Depending on style, traditional hardwoods can be nailed to plywood or glued on concrete
- With the proper moisture barrier, bamboo flooring can be glued to concrete
Step 3: Learn the Basics of Handscraped Hardwood
- Rustic finish with character
- Created by hand with wood scraping tools
- Great for areas of heavy traffic
- Surface isn’t perfectly smooth so accommodates wear from pets and children
Step 4: Learn the Basics of Engineered Hardwood
- Also called ‘laminated wood flooring’ but is NOT a laminate
- Can be used in almost any room
- Most are pre-finished
- Made of several wood plies stacked in opposite directions and glued together
- Ranges in thickness from 1/4 to 1/2 inch
- Top layer is usually finer wood
- Can be stapled, nailed, or floated over kitchen vinyl and plywood or glued over concrete
Tip: For best warranty, DO NOT MIX-MATCH PRODUCTS; use adhesives and moisture barriers from same product line
- Comes in varying widths for unique look
- When gluing over concrete, trowel-on a urethane moisture barrier first.
- Engineered flooring’s stability or moisture tolerance makes it ideal for basements and kitchens
Step 5: Learn the Basics of Plank Hardwood
- Engineered flooring 6 or 7 long and as wide as 7 inches
- Made of 2 to 3 rows of thin hardwood strips spliced together to form solid surface
- Can be glued, stapled, or floated
- Can be installed over wide variety of subfloors including concrete and basement floors
Step 6: Learn the Basics of Floating Engineered Hardwood
- Floating floors generally click together and float above the subfloor instead of being nailed or glued into place.
- Only products with locking edges will click together
- Tongue and Groove styles can be edge-glued and floated
- Floating wood floors make an excellent choice over radiant heat, concrete, linoleum, and hard-to-remove or repair surfaces
- Never secured directly to the substrate
Step 7: Acclimate the Flooring
All hardwood flooring must be acclimated to the installation space for at least 1 to 2 days.
All hardwood expands and contracts with temperature and moisture; always allow expansion space.
- Choose a pre-finished hardwood and you’ll never have to seal the floor.
- Always use moisture barriers over cement, ceramic tiles, kitchen vinyl and other non-porous surfaces.