Basement Flooring Solutions for a Dirt Floor

dirt floor
  • Intermediate

Basement flooring is an important and functional aspect of your home. When considering alternatives to dirt flooring, the solution that will work best will be based on the space you are working with, its design, and its purpose. Different spaces have different requirements, but you will always want to take moisture and the technique used to install basement flooring under consideration for the best long-term solution.

Flooring Can Provide a Vapor Barrier

A vapor barrier resolves moisture issues without the cost and hassle of a complete renovation. Moisture can deteriorate the foundation of your home and lead to mold, mildew, insects, and other hazards that affect the health of not only the building but also your family.

If you cannot do a full renovation, the installation of basement flooring will serve as a vapor barrier. This is best done in conjunction with evaluating and adding sufficient drainage to prevent the buildup of moisture.

Add Drainage to Prevent Water Buildup

french drain

Drainage is the first step to preventing the buildup of moisture in your basement. Have a drain installed to run water away from your foundation. Doing so also prevents basement flooding.

Consider Concrete

Concrete flooring is the best option to create usable space for finishing the basement. Because foundations shift over time, it's necessary to add several inches of sand beneath the floor to prevent cracking, which can destroy the flooring you've worked so hard to create. A layer of polyurethane sheeting should also be added between the sand and the cement to cut down moisture that comes from the ground below.

Ensure that all of the plumbing and drain lines are installed prior to pouring the concrete. Once the floor is completed, it will provide an effective flooring solution with adequate drainage to prevent moisture accumulation and withstand the test of time.

Rammed Earth Flooring

stairs leading down to the basement

This flooring consists of several different materials mixed together and compacted to create a usable surface. Rammed earth flooring's main ingredient is as the name suggests: dirt. This dirt is mixed with lime, sand, bamboo, straw, or clay. The combination is designed to work, when paired with stabilizers and oxidizers, to keep the floor in good shape for many years to come.

Rammed earth floors are moisture and insect resistant, easy to clean, and have excellent thermal properties. These floors are a great option.

Keep It to Code

Whichever option you choose, be sure that it is installed in a way that complies with your local building codes. Building codes vary by locality, and it can be costly to modify or remove the flooring that violates the codes of your jurisdiction.