Besides the one trillion questions you need to answer prior to any basement floor, ceiling, or wall renovation, you need to focus on one thing: Is your basement livable? It might need plenty of changes but taking care of damp related problems and insulation concerns should be your priority. With that out of the way, let us concentrate on three facts:
- Apart from exceptions, all basements have low ceilings. No wonder why most of them feature recessed lighting. So, you need to take that into consideration when you are thinking ‘walls’ and ‘ceilings’. The right choices will give the right impressions at the end of the renovation.
- Yes, trims can work fine in the basement as long as you have done all repairs needed to ensure low moisture levels and choose the right products.
- The basement is already there. There is a staircase, there’s a ceiling, and there are walls. You just need to make the right decisions when you remodel.
Is wainscoting installation suitable for basement wall renovation?
There are many choices among wainscoting panels. The secret is to choose waterproof panels, which are made for below ground level applications – in other words, moisture environments. If you haven’t noticed, most bathrooms feature a beadboard wainscoting. And it can’t get more ‘wet’ than in these rooms.
With that said, avoid MDF flat panels. Choose more resistant materials. Wood is not the best option at first glance. But today many wood panels are stained to remain water resistant. Keep that in mind when you shop around. Alex Moulding offered some modern styles that you can consider for your next home remodeling.
The best choice will be PVC wall panel wainscoting. Such panels are ideal for high moisture areas. Most of them can be painted with oil base paint – if you want a colorful touch in the basement.
What about the rest of the trims?
The baseboard and chair rail will enhance the wainscoting decorations and protect your walls if they are also made of vinyl. They too can be painted with oil based paints. Such paints will give extra resistant to molding and panels. And that’s because they are resistant to mold.
Follow the same approach for crown molding as well. Don’t forget that basements are below grade rooms and most water pipes run above them.
Common problems with basements make resistant molding necessary
Basements tend to flood. That’s why taken good precautions are a must before any renovation. So, one problem almost all basements share is moisture. If the walls are porous, the problem will get worse because they will absorb moisture. With moisture comes mold and then other little fellows join the club – spiders, dust mites, bacteria etc. And such microorganisms along with mildew spores and high levels of moisture can make you sick, render the basement unsuitable for living, sleeping, or working in it, and might influence the structural stability of your house.
Why the right trims can make a difference
With the right modern wainscoting design and trims, you can actually protect your walls. By covering the walls with non-porous and high resistant panels, you keep them from absorbing moisture. If there is water on the floor, the baseboard will keep it from ruining the wall. Don’t forget that baseboards are not just decorative elements but also act as protective elements at the lower part where the floor meets the wall.
How to enhance the looks of the basements with moldings
Since basements are by nature low, crown moulding might not be needed. But it creates depth and will protect the point where walls and the ceiling meet. One smart idea to enjoy the good looks of such trims and give the impression that the basement is higher is to install a rather slim molding. To give a similar impression, keep the wainscoting rather low too. If you are not going to use a wall board at all and just planning to install a chair rail, bring it max 1/3 up the wall.
In most regions, building standards require the existence of an emergency window. You can enhance its looks with casing. This will enhance its insulation as well.
Among other choices, prefer a drop ceiling for your basement. Since there are all sorts of pipes but also electric wiring and ducts above the basement ceiling, such a profile will allow you to have a nice ceiling and still access to the equipment. Another advantage is that the panels can be replaced in the event of damage.
The secret to successful basement remodeling is to insulate it well and take preventive steps to avoid floods. But even if such accidents happen, the materials installed must be resistant. With the right wainscoting panel, you will insulate the walls. If you mix them with matching trims, you will have a beautiful basement on top of protection.