What to do with first floor/basement?

Andrea SommersMay 15, 2012
This basement is really above ground, so not quite a basement. This is an old pic with the previous owner's stuff. The room is now wmpty. It's 650 sf and has wood paneling. We stripped the carpet.
Should I paint the panels? If so, what color? What should we do on the floor? Carpet? Tile? HELP! This will be a playroom.
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michigammemom
You have a lot of fun possibilities for this large space. Definitely paint the paneled walls and consider flor carpet tiles. They are customizable, interchangeable, and come in a wide variety of solid colors as well as patterns. Damaged or stained tiles can easily be replaced. Make sure your space includes some kid friendly seating and plenty of attractive storage for toys, book and games.
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    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 6:25AM
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Andrea Sommers
thanks! That's a grewat playroom! What color should I paint the panels? my contractor said the wood might show through... Also, I love carpet tile, but it's SO expensive.
    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 6:33AM
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michigammemom
Consult with your local paint store, but I'm sure with the proper prep and priming, you could get good coverage. As an alternative to the carpet tile you might consider a cork floor with a fun area rug, although carpet may be the most economical for such a large space.
2 Likes    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 6:40AM
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Barnhart Gallery
What a tremendous space for a playroom -- lucky kid/s! I'd say yes to painting. What is under the carpet? How old are the occupants and what do they like? Do you already have furniture for this room?
    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Andrea Sommers
cement, no furniture yet.
    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 3:29PM
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houssaon
You could go with a stained concrete and then carpet an area with Flor tiles.
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Another option is to cover the concrete with a rubber surface, like this: http://www.houzz.com/discussions/60476/So-its-rubber--What-kind-of-company-would---The company web is: http://www.everguard.com/

There are many companies that refinish concrete floors, like this one: http://www.surehandsusa.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7&Itemid=35

The most cost effective might be vinyl sheet flooring: http://www.armstrong.com/flooring/products/vinyl-sheet It comes in a wide range of colors and looks.

I'd pant the walls a bright primary color. There are so many windows, the space can take it.
2 Likes    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 3:52PM
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Joni Koenig Interiors
Andrea,
What part of the country are you in? Is there snow? How old are your kids? Will they be coming and going from the slider? I suspect so and bringing with them dirt, snow, etc. What is your budget? Don't rush to put in carpet that may get ruined from traffic. Slow down and think it through. An inexpensive Wood laminate flooring with an area carpet on the seating end of the room might be the wisest choice. Yes paint the paneling but that ceiling needs help too. what's with that?
    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 8:12PM
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Barnhart Gallery
Exactly houssaon -- stained concrete (with area matts or rugs) is why I asked.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 8:34PM
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Andrea Sommers
but concrete? isn't concrete hard for kids?
    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 8:41PM
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lefty47
HI -- You have to get the kids up off the concrete - so put down some DRYCORE floor panels first and you could even add in floor heating - then you have your carpeting or sheet flooring or engineered wood floors.Either paint out all the wood paneling or remove it and do drywall ( my choice)then you will see if insulation has to be added.
    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 9:19PM
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houssaon
I guess you're right, although I did see photos on this site with concrete and carpeting. Depends on what they're doing in the space. But if you need to add heating, lefty47 has a good suggestion.
    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Shannon Ggem ASID
Great space! I love MMs cork floor suggestion for a playroom. I also love Houssan's of rubber.

This floor we just did is rubber:

white kitchen, rubber floor, mirror backsplash, brazilian soapstone, panel fridg · More Info




Cork is warmer than most underfoot, softer, very durable and has sound deadening properties. The floor in the Library of Congress is cork. As well as the Griffith Park Observatory. High traffic spaces do well with it!

That basement looks like a TON of fun. And all those windows! Have a blast, it's gonna be the best playroom ever. Put in some swings down there! And a putting green!
    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 11:03PM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Carpet is great for kids to play on, but i notice that you have direct access to the outside from the basement, so you should tile that area by the door. Cork is nice, and softer, but it doesn't do well with moving things around, and/or sometimes kids can be very rough with toys, pens, etc. it is soft, and can tear, take a look at vinyl flooring - you'll be very surprised to see how far they've come with technologies, and new patterns. There are some vinyls that are grouted like tile, but have the softness of vinyl. Good Luck!
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 12:18AM
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sacapuntaslapioz
I really like the cork idea, warm, durable and can take abuse from kids and pets. Also why not stain the wood panels in a soft color that allows the grain to show but makes the space lighter. a light blue or yellow would be lovely with all that greenery around you. I would paint the ceiling and bring out the tray by painting that area a slighty darker or lighter color than the rest of the ceiling, or you could go wilder and paint a sky with clouds, birds, and a few tree branches, and thus define a play area from an adult part. great space.
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 4:10AM
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Mark
Depending on the age of your children, why not make some of the walls interactive; a blackboard/whiteboard wall for instance. A friend also installed a slide from their child's bedroom down to the playroom. I guess the important thing is to make it fun but practical and safe.
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 4:25AM
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ellen_wall
I have a basement with stained concrete - it even has a diamond "runner" stamped in it to divide spaces - tv room from pool table. We love it and so do the kids. They can roller skate down they if they choose!! It is lovely and indestructable. No yelling about spilled drinks or craft items spilling. Wouldn't do anything different.
2 Likes    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 5:02AM
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toadswork
I have a walk-in basement also. Years ago I ripped the carpet out and painted the concrete floor. I regret I didn't have it stained - it was the original untouched concrete from the 60's! But....even painted it is great! When people come in from the pool, doesn't matter how wet they are....dogs with muddy feet...really easy to take care of. I also painted the old brown panelling - had no problem with bleed through. With all the natural light, I painted the walls and floor in grey - with a stone accent wall in a darker grey. Trim and ceiling are white. The ceiling is open beams - just painted white. An inexpensive project that looks great.
2 Likes    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 5:33AM
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paulaisit
You have been given the gift of an open, multi-use space to do with as you please!
Long term and also convenience......stained concrete and an area rug or two in seating area and near the stairs to minimize noise travel. Also a small wipe your feet rug near outside door!
Walls and ceilings painted in a very neutral color because.....
1) so many windows are like individual paintings...
2) you can use whatever is inside as focal point, not the walls in bright color...
3) if you don't restrict your use by painting a focal point wall, you are then able to redo the furniture placement for multi use functioning...
Remember, you have been given a gift, a large space basement with plenty of windows and access to the outdoors!
We, when children were young, had a walkout basement family room! The deepest darkest corner I layered in three "L"shaped levels that were double padded and carpeted in the plushest carpet I could find! The lowest level was a twinbed size.
Then on the middle level it was ringed on the long side with an eighteen inch deep sitting area and on the short side by an extra long double bed size that held the TV.
The top layer was twin bed size and extra space and another twin bed above the lower one.....each layer was sixteen inches above the next....lots of oversized pillows and trays with sides for drinks! The kids had slumber parties all the time! The rest of the room was devoted to a pool table and a pingpong convertable top. Then musical instruments hung on the wall and an electric organ/piano and drum set. There was a bookshelf filled with games. Under tallest platform was storage space.
I always knew where my children were and so did the rest of the neighbors know where their kids were...The TV was the only one in the house and was without cable and no video capability. So...everyone (the family) congregated and guests were fun!
1 Like    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 5:59AM
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Eileen Kenah- Baird and Warner Real Estate
I would go with the stained concrete. i am a Realtor and have seen it in a lot of homes. It looks very rich. You can always warm it up with area rugs.
2 Likes    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 7:18AM
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Rob Treml
You should consider laying a DRIcore subfloor. it gets your finished floor up off the concrete giving you an airgap which gives you both moisture protection and a thermal break, and the top surface is wood which is much softer than concrete for the kids.

We just went through the same dilemma until we found DRIcore... and carpet is being laid over it today. We chose carpet because its the softest combination for the kids to play, and the end goal is to make our basement a warm cozy place that we want to be in...

check it out at www.dricore.com
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 7:24AM
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Vicki Jackson
I have painted the paneling in our basement a buttery yellow and love it!! Cozy and bright at the same time. We installed berber in our play room.. low enough pile that the kids could play on the floor, very durable and easy to clean. I second that you should put a tile area infront of those sliders because I can imagine the kids running in after playing outside!
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 7:51AM
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mugsy1703
In our basement, we did dry-core sub-floor and then laminate cork flooring. LOVE it. It might be a bit too fragile for a playroom thought but works great in our rec room which we use as a party/theatre/craft room ... no hockey :-)
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 8:22AM
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Rob Treml
Funny you mention that... in my research I came across this case study

http://www.dricore.com/en/pdf/HOCKEYCaseStudy.pdf
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 8:28AM
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Mark
My father-in-law used the cork floor tiles in a high traffic area of their home and sealed it with a polyeurethane coating. Apart from reselling it every two/three years he has no problems with it for 20 years, so I guess that tells you how robust it can be.
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:08AM
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paulaisit
Again...please consider concrete stained floors...there are so many google sites to help you....and remember.....wall to wall carpets are not the easiest to keep clean in an area with outside doors in a play/family room. A stained concrete floor is forever with periodic waxing and mopping.
Personally I don't like dricore.....with nothing to capture and hold moisture, concrete is a forever floor!
1 Like    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:25AM
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mrstman
If you use a good primer the wood shouldn't show thru. Double check with the painter, they know the best. I know primer adds to the cost of painting but it really does hide a multitude of color. I sanded a cedar beam. It took 2 coats of primer and 3 coats of paint and it looked great! It really opened up the house. A paneling should not take that many coats! As far as the floor I am a big fan of wood floors with many throw rugs. Carpets are nice but they aren't that sanitary when you think about it.....Have you ever noticed that is takes 1 guy to carry in a large bolt of carpet but 2 or 3 when you pull that same piece of carpet.....What makes it that heavy? Dirt? Believe me I am not a germifode. I like to play in the garden and such but I do think it belongs outside.
Does you kids have allergies or asthma? Just some thoughts.
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:29AM
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Andrea Sommers
how much does dricore cost? then im paying fr that AND carpet, seems pricey.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:31AM
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kschnitzer
All great suggestions in this thread, especially the L shaped padded area from paulaisit. One more thought, we have an above grade basement that serves as our family room. We added a queen murphy bed for guests.
1 Like    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Rob Treml
I paid $1.75/sq ft in Canada... think its a bit cheaper in the US.

Home Depot and Lowe's both can get it.
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:33AM
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paulaisit
More from Paulaisit....ALWAYS use the best paint! If you use the best, you do away with multiple coats...I painted over a dark brick colored painted wall using only one coat of off-white colored paint and no primer! The better the paint the more opaque it is made. It is cost saving and time saving also for the long haul. I only use primer on difficult jobs or on newly patched areas.
Lowes has a linoleum in a roll that looks like stone squares for $1.05 a square foot...no gluing it down and it is padded on the back... the only gluing is if your room is wider than 12 feet, then you must glue tape the seam....very easy and very quick! Home Depot is about the same.
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:41AM
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Andrea Sommers
L shaped padded area from paulaisit.- image?
1 Like    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Andrea Sommers
saw the linoleum, so tyou think I should do tbnat on the floor? not following...
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 11:20AM
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kschnitzer
Good suggestion on linoleum as it won't be slippery, but my preference is only in small doses like in front of the the doorway. Then use a low pile or berber carpet for the rest of the space. Carpet is warmer and very durable, plus so much more affordable than tile.
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 12:43PM
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Andrea Sommers
really? ceramic tile is cheap!
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 12:56PM
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pinksands
Paneling can easily be covered, just make sure to visit your home improvement / paint store and tell them your looking to paint wood paneling. They will steer you to the proper primer (remember you can choose to tint the primer a few shaded lighter than the actual paint color, it helps to conceal the wood tones coming through white primer).

Will your kids be using the sliding door to the outside? If so consider a transitional material (like a few tiles in front of the door for muddy shoes, snow from boots (if that's your climate) then transition to a different material. You said it will be a playroom, how young are the kids, this may determine some materials you use. If you use wood flooring try the click and lock as opposed to glue/nail less mess and time.

Consider a slip covered sofa for kids, easy to wash.

Don't know your budget and yes Andrea I agree ceramic tile is cheap, whatever floor choice you go with please get multiple install quotes this is really where the price varies.
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 1:22PM
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island_studio
Nice big space. Carpet tiles would be cool - lay them down in a single color then define spaces within the room with different color carpet tiles. If you can't remove the paneling paint it white or even a dove gray for a beach cottage look. You have so many great windows - cozy it up with some graphic curtain treatments from IKEA, inexpensive and fun play room feel.
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Andrea Sommers
love carpet tile but it's a fortune
1 Like    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 2:24PM
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paulaisit
Andrea, so sorry that I do not have a photo....kids do but getting something from grown kids????? if you like I will draw it and forward it to you....
About the linoleum....go to Lowes and Home Depot....and look at the 12 ft wide rolls...Ask about how you install...the roll is bulky but it is very easy...I promise... I got the darker brown one foot square slate design that is stunning. I put it in my bath/dressing room.....first made a newspaper template...with tape holding the pieces together....rolled out the tile and taped down the newspaper template....I had cut holes in the newspaper so that taping over the holes stabilized the paper while making the template....I then cut the linoleum and rolled it back up....then two friends (who said I was so wrong and I would have to do some patching...teehee) carried it in and unrolled it....low and behold....IT WAS PERFECT! They were so busted! I had to make 21 (twenty-one) different cuts to make it fit! It worked and you can do the same! If you want to save money....you will find a way! The dressing area is 10 by 11 1/2 feet and the bath is 8 by 7 feet with a 2 1/2 foot hall between the two......I bought a 12 by 21 foot piece....NO SEAMS!
But for your size...look into the concrete staining and floor waxing when it is dry....it may be the cheapest. Andrea, Google stained concrete floor and see what you come up with....you don't have to get fancy just one color and mottled looking is great....With periodic waxing, this becomes a forever floor....and cost is everything these days!
Good luck, you can do it...what ever you choose and remember, it is your house/home!
And you are the one who has to live with it!
One more thing Andrea, paint the walls and the ceiling all the same color...tone things down and simplify! There are too many elements in this room and the size can be daunting.
    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 3:43PM
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Kim Callaghan Brandon
You get my vote for cork flooring. Warmer on the feet of children and much softer on the knees for kids playing. Cork absorbs water should someone have an accident. Alternatively berber carpet is durable and fairly cheap to buy.
For now while the kids are using as a play room, i suggest painting the panelling on the walls. Go for a fun energy colour (after all its a room for the children). You can use one or two walls as accent walls for colour and the other walls a neutral tone. Most colours will work in this space because of the available natural light. A fun way to get the kids involved is having them choose the accent colours. If the colours they choose are too bright or loud for a whole wall, use on trim or in a stripe pattern around the room. Later when they have grown the walls can be updated and the room can be a games room or media room for hanging out.
Open up the space by cleaning out the clutter and putting only what is needed back in the room. Remember kids love to have open space to run, tumble and play. Slip cover the sofa, build wall shelfs for storage. Make a 'special corner' for the drums and electonics that smaller children need to avoid. Separate this area with a shelfing unit that provides shelter and a division of purposes to the room
Window treatments could be tricky. I would avoid anything that will hang down and become a hazard for the children, however, shading the sun and providing some privacy in the evenings is important. Bi-fold wood shutters on the windows would also protect the windows from flying toys etc. The sliding door could be replaced with a 9 pane french garden door set. Mini blinds between the glass panes of the window that can be opened for light and closed at night. The door is more solid for little people and it will update the look and provide more energy efficency.
Best of luck.
    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 5:00AM
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Margaret Eaton
To paint paneling we always use Kilz first. Have never had a problem with bleeding through and we have done it in several houses, including a vacation cottage that was wood floors, walls AND ceilings.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:55AM
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Andrea Sommers
    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 6:20AM
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KILZ Brands
Hello Andrea,

How did your panel project turn out? Please let us know how it went, we always love to see before and after photos! If you still need assistance, please don't hesitate to ask!
    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Andrea Sommers
It came out GORGEOUS!
    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 1:31PM
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KILZ Brands
Awesome! Did you end up priming and painting the panels?
    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 1:41PM
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paulaisit
Come on Andrea...we're all waiting for pictures! Glad you are happy with whatever you did....
    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 6:52PM
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nking43
About cork --I finally got our condo board to consider cork flooring by repeating "hospitals, schools, restaurants" to every question about its durability.

I have had my cork kitchen floor for 25 years and it looks great. Easy to clean, hides spills and dirt! Needs cleaning once a month.

Unfortunately, in a summer home I had the bright idea of white birch laminate for the entire first floor. Looks great, but every cat hair or tiny piece of dirt shows. Needs cleaning every day.
    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 11:32AM
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janiehburton
Remove the carpet and put down a porcelain tile that looks like dark wood. Paint the paneled wells and trim white or a neutral cream or tan. Then work on furniture placement and buy a new sectional sofa or have your current sofa reupholstered, if needed. Choose colors and patterns that you love and enjoy your new room!
    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:51AM
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