How To Choose The Best Cement For Basement Floor?

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to renovate your basement or a contractor searching for the best cement for your client, choosing the best cement for basement flooring is always crucial.

Basement floors can be tricky to remodel because they’re prone to moisture, staining, and cracking. That’s why choosing the proper cement for your basement floors is crucial to ensure they’re durable and long-lasting.

When it comes to choosing the best cement for basement floor, there are several options to choose from, and it can be challenging to determine which one is the best fit for your needs. Factors such as durability, ease of installation, cost, and resistance to moisture and stains all come into play when choosing suitable cement for your basement floors.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the different types of cement available for basement floors, compare and contrast their pros and cons, and provide tips to help you choose the right cement for your home.

So let’s dive in!

Comparison Between the Cement Options For Basement Floors

If you’re considering renovating your basement floors, you may wonder what type of cement is best for the job. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of cement available.

Cement TypeMaterialWater ResistanceMoisture ResistanceDurabilityCost per Cubic Meter (USD)
Portland CementLimestone, clay, gypsumHighModerateHigh$90 – $100
Polymer-modified CementPortland cement, polymers, additivesHighHighVery high$130 – $150
Epoxy CementResin and hardenerVery highVery highVery high$200 – $300
Self-leveling CementPortland cement, polymers, additivesModerateHighModerate$100 – $120
Cementitious WaterproofingCement, sand, waterproofer additiveModerateHighModerate$80 – $100

Portland Cement

Portland cement is a standard option for basement floors due to its strength and durability. It’s suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic and can withstand wear and tear.

However, it may be prone to cracking if not installed correctly. Portland cement also requires curing time, which may delay your project’s completion.

Best For

Homeowners who prioritize durability and have a budget for quality cement.

Pros

  • Widely available and commonly used.
  • Durable and strong.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Can crack under extreme temperature changes.
  • Requires a curing time of several days.
  • Open to moisture damage if not properly sealed.

Polymer-Modified Cement

Polymer-modified cement is a type of cement with a polymer added to the mix, improving its flexibility and moisture resistance. It’s ideal for basement floors that are prone to cracking and can be used over concrete.

While more expensive than traditional cement, the added durability and moisture resistance make it a great investment.

Best For

Homeowners who want high-quality cement that can withstand moisture and potential cracking.

Pros

  • Highly resistant to water and moisture.
  • Can be applied in a thin layer.
  • Dries quickly.

Cons

  • More expensive than traditional Portland cement.
  • Requires specialized tools and skills for installation.
  • Can discolor over time.

Epoxy Cement

Epoxy is another popular type of cement that is known for its durability and resistance to staining. It’s easy to clean and maintain, making it a great choice for basement floors.

However, it is more expensive than other types of cement and requires professional installation, which can add to the cost of your project.

Best For

Homeowners who prioritize durability and want easy-to-maintain and clean cement.

Pros

  • Extremely durable and long-lasting.
  • Highly resistant to water and moisture.
  • Can be tinted or colored to match the decor.

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other types of cement.
  • Difficult to install without professional help.
  • Can be slippery when wet.

Self-Leveling Cement

Self-leveling cement is ideal for uneven floors and can be used to create a smooth and level surface. It’s easy to apply and can be used over concrete.

Nevertheless, it may not be as durable as other types of cement and can be prone to cracking, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic.

Best For

Homeowners who want a level surface for their basement floors without having to remove the existing concrete.

Pros

  • Easy to apply and self-leveling.
  • Can be used to level uneven surfaces.
  • Can be stained or painted to match your decoration.

Cons

  • Not as durable as other types of cement.
  • Can be susceptible to cracking if not installed properly.
  • More expensive than traditional Portland cement.

Cementitious Waterproofing

Cementitious waterproofing is a type of cement designed to be applied to basement walls and floors to prevent moisture from seeping in. It’s a great option for homeowners who want to protect their basements from water damage and potential mold growth.

Regardless, it may not be suitable for basement floors that are prone to heavy foot traffic, as it can be less durable than other types of cement. It also requires professional installation, which can add to the cost of your project.

Best For

Homeowners who want to prevent moisture from seeping into their basement floors and walls.

Pros

  • Highly resistant to water and moisture.
  • Can be used for both horizontal and vertical surfaces.
  • Can be applied in a thin layer.

Cons

  • Not as strong or durable as other types of cement.
  • Can be difficult to apply without proper training.
  • Needs a longer curing period than the other cement.

In summary, the best type of cement for basement flooring over concrete will depend on your specific needs and priorities.

Consider factors such as durability, moisture resistance, ease of installation, and cost to determine which option is right for you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Cement for Basement Floors

It is always wise to research on your own before you move out with a decision. So, consider the following factors before purchasing your cement.

Durability

One of the primary factors to consider when choosing cement for basement floors is its durability. A durable cement will withstand heavy foot traffic, furniture, and potential flooding.

Some types of cement, such as epoxy and polymer-based cement, are highly durable and resistant to cracking and wear.

Moisture Resistance

Basements are often prone to moisture problems, so choosing a highly resistant cement is essential.

Look for cement with a low water-to-cement ratio, which will help prevent water from seeping through the cement and into your basement.

Stain Resistance

Another vital factor to consider is stain resistance. Basements are often used for storage and may be prone to spills, so it’s important to choose a cement that is resistant to staining.

Some types of cement, such as epoxy-based cement, are highly resistant to stains.

Ease of Installation

The ease of installation is another crucial consideration. If you plan to install the cement yourself, choose a cement that is easy to work with and does not require any special equipment or tools.

Some types of cement, such as self-leveling cement, are easy to install and can be applied with a trowel.

Cost

Finally, the cost is an essential factor to consider. Some types of cement, such as epoxy-based cement, may be more expensive than traditional cement but may also last longer and require less maintenance over time.

It’s essential to consider the cost against the benefits to determine the best cement for your basement floors.

Additional Tips For Homeowners

  • If your basement floors are in poor condition, you may need to choose a cement that can be used as a repair mortar or a self-leveling cement to level the floors before installing the final cement layer.
  • If you plan to use your basement as a living space or a home gym, you may want to choose a cement that is comfortable to walk on and provides good traction. On the other hand, if your basement is only used for storage, you may be able to choose a less expensive cement.
  • While the functionality of the cement is important, you may also want to consider its appearance. Some types of cement can be stained or painted to create a decorative finish, which may be ideal if you plan to use your basement for entertainment.
  • Make sure to check if there are any local building codes or regulations regarding basement floor installations. Some areas may require a specific type of cement or thickness to be used.
  • Choosing the best cement for your basement floors is an important decision, so take the time to carefully consider your options and choose the right one that fits your budget, needs, and preferences.
  • If you are uncomfortable installing the cement yourself, consider hiring a professional to do the job. A professional can help you choose the right type of cement and ensure that it is installed correctly.
  • Before making a final decision, read reviews from other homeowners who have installed the same type of cement. This will give you an idea of how the cement performs over time and whether it fits your needs well.

Best Basement Flooring Over Concrete

If you plan to finish your basement, choosing the right flooring material is crucial. Concrete floors are common in basements but can be cold and hard to touch. Fortunately, many flooring options can make your basement a friendly and relaxing living space.

Here are some of the best basement flooring options over concrete:

  1. Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP): LVP is a popular flooring option for basements because it is durable, waterproof, and easy to install. It can also mimic the appearance of wood or stone, giving your basement a high-end look.
  1. Engineered Hardwood: Engineered hardwood is made from layers of wood veneer and is less susceptible to expansion and contraction due to humidity changes. It can be installed as a floating floor, making it a good option for basements with concrete floors.
  1. Carpet: Carpet is a popular basement choice as it provides warmth and comfort under your feet. However, it is crucial to choose a carpet with a moisture barrier or to install a vapor barrier over the concrete to prevent mold growth.
  1. Ceramic or Porcelain Tile: Tile is a waterproof, durable flooring option that can resist heavy foot traffic. It is also easy to clean and comes in various styles and colors.
  1. Laminate: Laminate is a cost-effective flooring option that can simulate the appearance of hardwood, stone, or tile. It is easy to install and can be installed directly over concrete as long as the floor is level and moisture-free.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, choosing the best cement for your basement floor is an important decision that requires careful consideration of several factors.

It’s crucial to consider the basement conditions, the intended use of the space, and the durability and strength of the cement.

By following the guidelines and tips discussed in this blog post, you can make an educated decision and select the right cement for your basement floor.

Remember to prioritize quality and durability over cost, and always hire a professional if you need clarification on the installation process.

With the right cement and proper installation, your basement floor can be transformed into a sturdy, long-lasting surface that will serve you well for years to come.

FAQ

What kind of concrete do you use for a basement floor?

For a basement floor, it’s recommended to use high-strength concrete mix as it provides exceptional durability.

This type of concrete is specifically designed for heavy-duty applications such as foundations, footers, and heavy equipment bases.

It’s ideal for basement floors that must withstand high foot traffic, moisture, and potential impacts. By using the high-strength concrete mix, you can ensure that your basement floor is strong, long-lasting, and able to withstand the demands of daily use.

What is the best concrete mix for basement slab?

When pouring a basement slab, the best concrete mix to use is Grade C25 concrete.

This type of concrete is commonly used for foundation purposes, such as footings and slab foundations for domestic floors like those found in houses and bungalows.

C25 concrete offers a great balance between strength and workability, making it easy to pour and finish while still providing a durable and long-lasting surface.

Using this type of concrete mix for your basement slab will ensure that your floor is strong enough to support the weight of your home while also being resistant to cracking and other forms of damage.

What is the best concrete mix for floors?

A commonly used and effective concrete mix for floors is a ratio of 1 part cement to 2 parts sand to 4 parts coarse aggregate.

This mix provides a good balance of strength, workability, and durability, making it suitable for a wide range of floor applications.

It can be used for indoor and outdoor floors, such as garage floors, basement floors, and patio floors.

This mix allows for easy placement and finishing while providing a durable surface that can withstand heavy foot traffic and other wear and tear.

What is the recommended thickness for a concrete basement floor?

The recommended thickness for a concrete basement floor is 3.5 inches.

This code-compliant thickness provides adequate strength and durability for a basement floor.

However, it’s important to note that many waterproofing companies do not rebuild concrete basement floors to this thickness. In fact, American Dry Basement Systems has found that many repoured concrete floors in basements are only between 1 to 2 inches thick.

While a thinner concrete floor may be less expensive and quicker to install, it may provide a different level of strength and durability than a thicker floor.