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We need to floor the bathroom in the basement. Folks who built this house left the basement just concrete and GLUED vinyl over the top without sealing the floor. We removed the vinyl, remediated the mold, sealed the floor. Now we want to put some sort of flooring down. I use the basement as a piano studio and have 48 children and parents who come in every week. Most of them use the restroom. The cement is a pain to keep clean.

So, in this situation, what would you put on the floor? The folks did not do a good job of leveling the floor when they built the house. We want the simplest and yet best thing we can get.
 

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There are products on the market that you can use to level the floor. Tom Silva recently did a segment on the "Ask This Old House" show.

What I would be concerned about, after you got the floor leveled, would be the acoustic properties of the floor you wanted to install. After all, you're teaching piano in a basement...
 

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I'm not worried about acoustics in the bathroom. Just wondering what type of flooring in a basement over cement and fairly high traffic. We were thinking of tile, but Lowes folks told us it would need to be glazed tile. We were concerned about kids falling on the slick tile when feet were wet from coming in from the rain or from the water fountain we have in the bathroom for them.
 

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There is a non glue vinyl type sheet that can be bought by the foot.. you just cut it to fit, slide it under your bottom trim and voila. its a little squishy, not cold, wet mop-able. it wouldn't fix the leveling but it sure is simple. a friend of mine installed it in their whole house in less than a day with nothing more than a utility knife. thats how I would go.
 

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For real simplicity, there is concrete paint. It's very durable and doesn't look bad.

Be sure to use a quality respirator if you do use paint.

Maybe a trip to Lowes or other similar store just to check out your options would help.
 

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One way to quickly level the floor is to 'float' some backerboard on the floor.

Yes, it ads about 1/4" ... but since you already have concrete, you can merely adhere these badboys to the floor rather than screw them in.

Buy the tape usually sold next to such boards and mastic the seams.

THen you can tile, vinlyl, whatever ...
 

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We have tile floor in the bathroom - it is glazed but a dull glaze and not at all slick. We put it down almost 5 years ago and have had no problems despite having boys who see no need to not step straight out of the shower onto the floor (carefully avoiding any type of towel or bath mat).

It came from Lowe's and was about the cheapest one they carried - kind of like this one
 

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claytonpiano said:
I'm not worried about acoustics in the bathroom. Just wondering what type of flooring in a basement over cement and fairly high traffic. We were thinking of tile, but Lowes folks told us it would need to be glazed tile. We were concerned about kids falling on the slick tile when feet were wet from coming in from the rain or from the water fountain we have in the bathroom for them.
Glazed doesn't have to equal slick. There are ceramics and porcelains out there that have a really good non skid texture to them that would be appropriate for this application. Go to the tile store, borrow some samples to take home and test them out. Put some water on them and see how much grab they have when either your bare feet or shoes walk across them. IMHO, for longevity, tile is the best way to go.
 

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You can get glazed tile with a textured surface. We had that in the entry way on our first house. Use darker grout if you go that route - hide dirt way better.

Another thought would be a cheap chunk of foam back carpet, something you can pull up and toss out after a year if it start smelling bad. We had that in most of the basement in our last house (was a walkout though) with the idea that would be easy and cheap to replace. After the cement was sealed, we used double sided tape to hold in down. Was still fine after 4 years (we sold the place) had it in the bathroom, two bedrooms and the family room.

Personally, I'd go with tile, but I love installing tile (grouting isn't very fun though). The biggest problem with tile is you should pull up the toilet and tile underneath it. Then you have to be very careful to have the tile even where the toilet will sit so it does not wobble at all.

Cathy
 

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claytonpiano said:
I'm not worried about acoustics in the bathroom. Just wondering what type of flooring in a basement over cement and fairly high traffic. We were thinking of tile, but Lowes folks told us it would need to be glazed tile. We were concerned about kids falling on the slick tile when feet were wet from coming in from the rain or from the water fountain we have in the bathroom for them.
We have concrete floors in high traffic areas and also in one bathroom. What we have found to be very economical and looks good is a very good floor coating(Paint). Go to a paint store, not a box store, they have many different type coatings for this purpose. Some are very attractive as well. They will cost about 3 times what the box stores charge for "Paint", but well worth it. You are not going to use much for just a bathroom. We are very happy with using this, we got ours from Sherman Williams.

Bob
 

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For a basement I would either use ceramic tile (non-shiny surface) or use the rubber or vinyl tile squares. Some of those are thick and of good quality.
 

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Have you considered "staining" the concrete? I live in MS and many new houses that are being built here have scored and stained concrete floors. Most times they look like marble tiles. Once the stain is set you put polyurthane on them and they are beautiful, easy to keep up and they are not any more slippery than floor tiles. I believe the stain comes in like maybe 10 or so colors.

The floors I have seen stained look VERY nice.
 

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I'd go with ceramic tile, and you either level the floor as MeanDean recommended or (if it's not that bad out of level) use tile mastic to even things out as you set the tiles in place. Best wishes in whatever you choose to do.
 
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