By Gene and Katie Hamilton
The challenge of remodeling a basement often revolves around the cement floor and whether or not dampness is an issue. In the past, to lay interlocking laminate flooring in a basement, a subfloor of plywood was needed to provide a barrier between the cement and new flooring material. Today, there's a new interlocking underlayment that can be used called Delta® FL. The underlayment is a thin, 7/8-inch-high dimpled plastic sheeting that protects the flooring laminate from problems caused by damp concrete, allowing the dimpled underside to handle minor leaks other floor treatments cannot.
The underlayment costs .51 cents a square foot. To lay the underlayment and laminate floor in a 10-by-12-foot room, a contractor will charge $815 for the labor and material. You can buy the material for $560 and do it yourself and save 31 percent.
To find out if a cement floor is damp, conduct this simple test: Tape a piece of aluminum foil to the floor and wait a few weeks to see if an accumulation of moisture appears on the inside of the foil when it is removed. If it's dry, there's a good chance the cement doesn't hold moisture; if there are beads of moisture, consider painting the cement instead of finishing the floor.
Click here to watch an installation video of Delta® FL.
Don't want to do the job? Click Home Advisor, a free online referral service that connects homeowners with prescreened local flooring contractors.
The average price to lay a basement floor noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.