In Angi’s 2022 Home Projects Survey, 30 percent of respondents planned to update their flooring. That’s likely because installing new floors is a relatively simple project that has the power to transform the look of an entire home.
If your home was built on a concrete slab foundation and you’re looking to replace the flooring on the ground floor, you might be wondering which types of flooring are best for your property. Before you shop for floor tiles, it helps to learn more about the types of floor covering ideal for concrete slab surfaces.
First Things First: Install Underlayment
A typical flooring system consists of the following layers (listed from bottommost to top):
- Floor covering
If you’re planning on installing flooring on the ground floor, the subfloor would be the surface of the concrete slab underneath your home.
Concrete is an excellent material for foundations due to its strength and resilience. However, it is porous and allows water to pass through it even years after it has cured. When searching for the best flooring for a slab foundation, you’ll need to factor in concrete’s permeability.
Moisture from concrete will evaporate quite harmlessly if it has enough space and ventilation to do so. However, if you lay flooring directly on concrete, the moisture has nowhere to go. Over time, this may result in mold and mildew growth.
Further, moisture can damage flooring made from organic materials, like hardwood and cork. It can also cause any type of flooring to bubble, warp or even completely detach from the concrete surface.
Regardless of the type of flooring you choose, it’s best to install underlayment first before laying the actual floor covering. Underlayment is a layer of material that helps protect your flooring by preventing moisture from seeping through the concrete slab and damaging your flooring. It also creates a smooth surface, making the installation of floor coverings easier.
The Best Flooring for Slab Foundation
Once you’ve addressed moisture problems with the subfloor, you can install flooring.
Some important factors to consider include:
- Moisture resistance
- Durability and longevity
- Maintenance requirements
The following are some popular flooring options for homes built on concrete slab foundations:
This type of floor covering is constructed from a thin sheet of natural wood veneer with a backing or core of layers of plywood or bonded wood fibers. Engineered wood floor coverings look like hardwood floors but are much more affordable. What’s more, unlike real hardwood, engineered wood is unlikely to warp due to moisture.
Luxury Vinyl Tiles and Planks
Luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) and luxury vinyl planks (LVP) are made of vinyl, just like standard vinyl flooring. However, they’re thicker, more durable, scratch resistant and waterproof.
LVT is usually made to mimic the appearance and texture of natural stone or ceramic tile, while LVP simulates the look and feel of hardwood. You’ll find LVT and LVP in a wide range of colors, textures and thicknesses.
While the per-unit costs of LVT and LVP are higher than standard vinyl, you can reduce installation expenses if you do it yourself. Many homeowners do so, as laying LVT and LVP is an easy project for most DIYers.
Tiles aren’t just for pools and bathrooms. They also make ideal floor coverings for concrete subfloors.
There are many types of tiles, such as cement, glass, metal and quarry. However, arguably the best flooring for slab foundations is ceramic or porcelain.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are highly durable, waterproof, stain-resistant and low-maintenance. There are countless design options available as well, so you can easily find flooring that will go well with your home’s interior design.
Schedule Your Free Slab Foundation Inspection
Before remodeling your home and installing new flooring, it’s essential to get your foundation evaluated first. Otherwise, you might miss problems with the foundation that could affect your installation, such as uneven surfaces, excessive moisture and cracks.
HD Foundations is a trusted provider of slab foundation repair solutions throughout the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. We are dedicated to delivering quality results that last a lifetime, and that’s why all of our foundation repair jobs are backed by a free lifetime warranty.
Contact us today to book a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your foundation so you can start on your flooring project as soon as possible.