Finish a Basement: A DIY remodeling adventure!
Great home theater tips to help you design and setup your basement home theater!

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Visit our project planning page to learn how to prepare to finish your basement whether you're remodeling your basement by yourself, or hiring a contractor to finish your basement
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Check here for information on the tasks you'll need to complete to finish your basement. Complete with the lessons we learned as we remodeled our basement, and tips to help you avoid some of the mistakes we made.
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>Home >Our progress >Buying carpeting

Buying carpeting

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If you refer back to "Deciding on a paint color" earlier in this section, or at some of the pictures under "Interior design software" in the Basement design section, you'll see about of our basement will be carpeting, and the remaining (kitchen area) was to be tile (ceramic or vinyl) or laminate flooring. After much discussion over what kind of tile or sheet vinyl (linoleum) we wanted, we decided to go with a laminate flooring.

Carpet & laminate flooringTransition from carpeting to laminate flooring

Another decision we needed to make was exactly where to put the transition from carpet to flooring. We needed to make sure we'd have enough room in our kitchen area and the area around the walk-up bar. (To see what I mean, check out "Deciding what you want" in the Project planning section.)The size of the table had to be considered too because we needed to ensure we'd have enough area for seating completely around the table without having someone at the edge of the carpeted area.

Basement color scheme

Wall & trim paint colors from Valspar's American Traditions interior paint line.Looking back to our early basement design decisions we had picked out an earth tone color palette for our basement. Using Better Homes and Gardens Interior Designer software really helped in selecting & visualizing how different colors would look together.

The paint colors we selected for the walls & trim would allow us to use tans, browns, certain yellows, and even some darker tones like rust or burnt orange. Since some of the home theater equipment (speakers, PS3, A/V receiver, equipment rack) came in any color- as long as it's black, there would be some black in the basement as well.

Buying carpeting

Shaw & Mohawk are name brands you can trust. We began our quest to pick carpeting at Lowe's, and branched out to several carpet stores in our area, taking our painted drywall and baseboard sample with us wherever we went. We looked at name brands like Shaw, Mohawk, and others. We wanted to stay away from solid colors, and we both preferred a frieze style. We brought home several samples to see how they'd look in the painted room, and also brought home several laminate flooring samples to make sure all pieces would look good together.

In the end we found two similar carpet samples that we liked- one at Lowe's, and another at Independent Carpet One, a carpet store in Westland, MI.

Picking carpet padding

Carpet padding samplesWhen picking the padding for your basement carpet installation, it's important to let the salesperson know that it's for a basement. Padding made for below grade (basement) installation is moisture resistant and has a barrier to keep your carpet from getting (and smelling) damp. Also, I'm a firm believer in getting the highest grade padding available. If you buy expensive carpet and install a cheap pad, the carpet will still end up feeling cheap when you walk. It won't have that nice 'springy' feel that indicates quality.

Negotiating a better price for carpeting

The carpeting we liked at Lowe's was much cheaper than the one at Independent Carpet One, as you'd expect. However, we weren't that excited about having Lowe's install the carpeting as we've talked to a few friends who've had bad experiences with Lowe's carpet installers. Also, the laminate flooring we picked was only available at the carpet store.

Sedona Dust frieze carpeting from Shaw - close-up. [Click to enlarge]Carpeting & area rug. [Click to enlarge]

We explained our dilemma to our salesperson, and she was more than happy to negotiate. While she could not match Lowe's price, the carpet from Independent Carpet One was of better quality- with a higher thread count and longer warranty. We selected a Mohawk carpet in a style called "Deer Valley". The color was "Sedona Dust". She was able to come down about 15%-20% from the original quote to have the carpet & laminate flooring installed, so we scheduled the installation.

Carpet installation

Carpeted stairway. [Click to enlarge]Since the carpet installers were a different team than the laminate flooring installers, they came first. Despite installing the carpet & padding over a cement floor, they still used traditional tack strips for the installation. In less than a day they were in and out. We were very impressed with the speed and quality of the installation. Even the stairs were flawless!



Carpeted stairway & landing. [Click to enlarge]Carpeting, trim & wall colors. [Click to enlarge]

Progress Topics

Priming the walls

Deciding on a paint color

Buying home theater systems

Painting basement walls

Insulating basement ceiling

Installing drop ceiling grid

Drop ceiling tile selection

Drop ceiling tile installation

Finishing electrical

Home theater wiring

Buying carpeting

Buying laminate flooring

Installing laminate & hardwood flooring

See also...
Phase 1: Basement prep and framing

Phase 2: Electrical and drywall




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