Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Basement flooring options

Josh and I have started to toy around with the idea of finishing our basement.  We don't necessarily need the extra space at the moment, but we'd like to have it done before we sell our house...and if we're going to have to dish out the dinero, I'd like us to enjoy it ourselves instead of just fixing it up for the next owner.

Now that I'm feeling the brisk chill of a Saskatchewan winter (but it's a dryyyyyy cold!) I don't know if I have it in me to come home from work, have dinner and go back outside to drag my butt to the gym.  That said, I've been thinking the basement would be a great spot to set up a little home gym.  Nothing too fancy - just a treadmill, some weights and a TV to watch.  "And a Bowflex," Josh adds.

The rest of the space would include a bathroom, guest bedroom, office and a small unfinished utility room.

The other day Josh asked what I'd want to use for the flooring. 

A simple question, he thought, that would be followed by a simple answer.

He forgot who he was asking.  I had been thinking about flooring recently as my friend Mary wrote a great post weighing the pros and cons of various flooring options.

Josh thought my answer would be either: A. broadloom, B. hardwood or C. laminite.

What he didn't expect to hear from me was, "leather, herringbone-pattern tile."

How warm and luxurious is this?  Or, as my Kiwi friends might say, "flash as."

Leather would be easy on the feet, simple to spot clean and would absorb noise well.

I'm not sure I necessarily need the hides of several cows to grace my floors, so if there was a faux-leather option that would be fantastic.  Or even a repurposed, environmentally friendly leather option, such as Ting's flooring below which is made of antique leather belts.

According to an article on Apartment Therapy, the belts are hand-selected to guarantee a high grade leather is used.  The belts are then cleaned by hand, and shaved to ensure they are all the same width.  They are then laid out on reconstituted leather backing and attached with glue.  No two tiles are alike.  The whole process from start to finish is completed in-house in the UK - where Ting is based.

At $75 per square foot, they are out of reach for me, but a girl can dream.


Bonnie Whelan said...

Hi Julie,
Great article!
I too am thinking of flooring options for part of my basement. The room I want to change is my gym. At the moment, it has ugly carpet we inherited from the previos owners. I cannot decide which flooring is best for heavy items like a kickbag. Also, when I workout, I am barefoot. -- My choice sport is kickboxing. Oh! One more thing. One of my cats 'likes' to pee in that room, so nothing expensive but something 'hardy'.
What kind of flooring do you recommend?

Bonnie, who hates spelling mistakes said...


Jules said...

Hey Bonnie,

I'd be tempted to say cork flooring as it's easy to clean and a little softer if you're going to be working out barefoot. You'd want to seal it in order to protect the finish. There is a bit of info on protecting cork floors here:

An even more practical choice for a home gym would be rubber flooring. If you're always going to use this space as a gym, it would make sense.
There's a good article about it (along with two other options) here:

Hope this helps - good luck!

Mary's Dwellings said...

Thanks for the mention Julie! I love the belt floor!! So creative. Reminds me of this penny floor I once saw in New York too:

Gotta love unique flooring options!

Jules said...

That penny floor is amazing Mary! Crazy that it's much cheaper to tile with actual money than to buy penny rounds!