Below Grade Flooring
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health

Below Grade Flooring

Below grade flooring refers to any residential or commercial space that has a floor covering that is below the exterior ground level, usually an underground floor or basement. These floors are usually installed on top of the concrete slab which has been left exposed to view and are used to provide a more pleasing appearance or finish. In some instances, the concrete floor itself provides the finish created by stains or color inserts in the concrete mix during construction.

Below grade flooring refers to any residential or commercial space that has a floor covering that is below the exterior ground level, usually an underground floor or basement. These floors are usually installed on top of the concrete slab which has been left exposed to view and are used to provide a more pleasing appearance or finish. In some instances, the concrete floor itself provides the finish created by stains or color inserts in the concrete mix during construction.

What is Below Grade Level?

Below Grade Level applies to any part of a building, including structural that is exists partially or completely below the outside ground level or surrounding terrain. Examples of below grade level structures include basements, storage rooms, or underground storm cellars.   Some structures may have several floors below grade level on the building site.

What rooms are below grade level?

Anything from unfinished basements to a expensive bedrooms can be below grade level rooms. Homeowners have frequently planned and renovated their below grade level rooms into modern cozy dens for a quiet retreat or recreational rooms for the entire family to enjoy.   Basements lend themselves to this type of living environment because they are already cool, quiet, and usually require minimal preparations before new flooring is added. Before deciding if you want to add below grade flooring in your basement space or remodel another space in your home a few things must be considered.

How is air quality below grade level?

Your first consideration should be occupant safety.  

  • Radon gas is a naturally occuring consideration in some parts of the country and is harmful if exposed to humans and animals over time.  A basement spaces' air quality should be tested for the presence of radon.
  • Concrete floors should be tested for air leaks and water seepage and should be sealed to prevent humidity. One question to confirm with an engineer or architect- Is the foundation for any future flooring solid and firm enough to support whatever heavy objects might end up down there?
  • Consider if insulation and heat ducts may need to be added so that heating and cooling of the space will be efficient and comfortable.

Is the humidity different below grade level?

  • Certain types of flooring will require special preparations before or during installation. Due to the presence of higher humidity in below grade level rooms,  as an example, hardwood flooring needs to be installed onto a surface that will remain as dry as possible.
  • If hardwood flooring is to be installed over concrete in a below grade level room, a 15 pound asphalt felt paper should be installed between the wood and concrete. This felt paper layer acts as a moisture barrier and will resist the buildup of humidity and moisture that would cause damage to the hardwood flooring. Flooring manufactures also sell their own recommended mositure barriers you can install.
  • Remember that solid hardwood flooring should not be used in below grade level rooms when considering wood flooring, Only engineered and floating hardwood flooring or vinyl-type floorings are appropriate for below grade flooring.

Several types of below grade flooring can be used provided there is no moisture creep hrough the concrete slab as mentioned above.  Wikiflooring provides some useful information on flooring possibilities:

Flooring Types

Hardwood Flooring

Cork Flooring

Bamboo Flooring

Laminate Flooring

Vinyl Flooring

Tile Flooring

Carpeting

Linoleum Flooring

Stained or colored concrete

If you want to just stain your existing concrete floor, below is some useful information from concrete work manufacturers, suppliers, and concractors:

  • Concrete's porous qualities and neutral tone lends itself as a perfect blank canvas for topically applied color. Decorative concrete contractors, using acid-based chemical stains, can achieve rich, earth-toned color schemes resembling natural stone, marble, wood, or even leather. This gives a custom look to concrete  floors, concrete driveways, patios, walkways, pool decks, concrete walls and more. Below grade basements are dramatically impacted by use of colorful stains and mixes.
  • Concrete acid stains are a mixture of water, hydrochloric acid, and acid-soluble metallic salts. They work by surface-penetrating and reacting chemically with the hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) in the concrete.  Acid in the stains lightly etch the concrete surface, and allow metallic salts to penetrate more easily into the finished concrete slab. After the stain reacts, it becomes a permanent, fade-resistant part of the concrete floor and chip off, or peel away.
  • Like wood stains, acid-based concrete stains are translucent and colors produced vary depending on color and condition of the substrate they are applied to.
  • Each concrete slab accepts stains in variety of intensity degrees, creating nice natural color variations that bring distinction and character  to the flooring project.
  • What acid stains don't provide is a wider color selection. They are found in a limited array of subtle earth tones, such as tans, browns, terra cottas, and soft blue-greens. However, newer concrete stain products on the market like the water-based penetrating stains and the water- and solvent-based concrete dyes are inchreasing the artist's palette with colors ranging from soft pastels to vivid reds, oranges, yellows, and purples.  Keep this in mind when deciding the color scheme for your remodeled below grade flooring and space.

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
experts
in Floors & Flooring on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Floors & Flooring?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (0)
ARTICLE DETAILS
RELATED ARTICLES
RELATED CATEGORIES
ARTICLE KEYWORDS