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Big-League Basements: Floors, Ceilings, and HVAC

You’ve probably been in a finished basement that looks and feels like a basement. And you’ve likely seen finished basements that look like cozy, top-level rooms while surrounding you in warmth. What makes the difference? One of the most effective ways to make your finished basement as livable and lovable as the rest of your home is to lavish extra attention on its floors and ceilings and carefully consider how you heat and cool the space.  

Finished Basement Flooring

You can choose nearly any type of flooring for your finished basement; however, each popular option has benefits and drawbacks.

Carpeting:

If you are planning to spend a lot of quality time in your finished basement, or if it’s to be a space for guests, carpeting is the best choice. Carpet, along with its accompanying padding, will help better insulate your basement from the cold. The only con is that it requires continued maintenance; you’ll have to vacuum and treat spills to keep your basement carpet in shape.

Ceramic tile:

Tile is easier to clean but will make for chilly feet, especially in the winter. If you are smitten with the look of ceramic tile, you may want to consider additional heating options.

Wood floors:

Wooden flooring will certainly up the style of your finished basement, but it will present challenges if it’s being installed over concrete. The moisture inherent in most basements may cause wood flooring to expand and contract, so special subflooring and vapor barriers will need to be used. Even with these precautions, wood floors in basements may still suffer moisture damage. If you are committed to wood flooring for your basement, engineered hardwood can be a more reliable option.

Finished Basement Ceilings

A wider variety of options is available for basement ceilings. Your basement’s particular quirks may narrow down your choices, but in general, a good contractor should be able to accommodate your preferences with a few tricks of the trade.

Drywall:

Your standard drywall application will make for a traditional-looking ceiling. Though your basement’s ductwork and piping will have to be boxed with wood framing, drywall is typically a trouble-free choice.

Prefinished or painted laminate planks:

Planks of plain white will create a clean, bright surface, while polished wood or planks with a textured or grained finish will add some personality and warmth to your ceiling.

Siding or bead board:

Tongue-and-groove siding is a very practical option for basement ceilings. It’s durable and usually easy to install.

Beams:

You can have wooden beams installed on your basement ceiling to give the room a rustic, homey look that echoes Craftsman architecture.

Tray ceiling:

To create a more formal look, you can have your contractor box the ductwork along the edges of the room and create a tray ceiling.

Finished Basement HVAC

To ensure year-round enjoyment of your finished basement, you’ll want to outfit it with the right HVAC system. There are typically two options.

Stretch your home’s HVAC:

When possible, you can extend your home’s current HVAC system into the basement. However, your existing unit may not be powerful enough to heat and cool the basement along with the rest of your home.

Install a separate system:

For guaranteed comfort no matter what the weather, installing a separate, smaller HVAC unit just for the basement is your best bet. If your basement is small, or you will only be actively using part of it, a gas fireplace or radiant heater might be all you need. Live large in your finished basement! If you have questions about basement remodeling in Northern Virginia and the D.C. area, call us here at Berriz Design.

If you are looking for a Metro D.C. & South Florida Remodeling Contractor then please call 703-552-7565 or complete our online request form.

We have worked with Bob Berriz of Berriz Design on 4 different projects over the past 20 years. We have only worked with Bob because he has extraordinary conceptual and design skills and very high standards, is incredibly responsive, creative and full of ideas and options to meet your needs, stays actively engaged throughout implementation, is exceedingly resourceful in solving problems, uses only the highest quality materials, charges a fair and reasonable price, and is totally committed to your full satisfaction with the results.

D & L Lion – McLean, VA

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