Originally Posted by kiss44
Thanks for your advice, but here's one more question...
Does anyone have any additional ideas as to what type of flooring I can/should use down in the basement? Something that won't be destroyed in the event that I should get some water down there.
Well, polypropylene carpet is most highly water resistant fiber used to make carpet from, and that means it's naturally highly resistant to water based stains (like KoolAid) and such. Also, because you cannot dye polypropylene conventionally, the ONLY way to make coloured polypropylene fiber to use for making carpets is by something called "solution dying". That's where they melt the polypropylene and add coloured particles to the molten plastic before drawing it into a fiber. As a result, the colour of the carpet comes from tiny particles encased inside the plastic fiber, very much like raisins inside raisin bread. Because of this, if you have a flood in your basement, you can rent a carpet machine and shampoo your carpet with a 10 percent bleach solution (I wouldn't go higher than that because of concerns about damage to the rental machine) to effectively kill any germs or bacteria or fungi or other living thing in that carpet. I routinely use bleach straight out of the jug on my living room carpets. You can also apply straight bleach to a polypropylene carpet to disinfect an area. Or, you can spray pure bleach onto the carpet and then recover it with a wet/dry vaccuum cleaner. Bleach will not harm polypropylene carpet because it's solution dyed.
Polypropylene goes by the name "Olefin" in the carpet business, so look for carpets that advertise themselves as 100% Olefin.
If you want to go one step up from polypropylene, there's lots of companies that are now making solution dyed NYLON carpet. Nylon is the strongest fiber used to make carpet, and so nylon makes for the longest wearing carpet. What they do with solution dyed nylon is add pigments to the molten nylon before drawing it into a fiber, and then dye it with a clear, colourless dye. That clear colourless dye attaches to the polar sites on the nylon fiber which is where conventional dyes would otherwise attach to, making the carpet "un-dye-able" and therefore much more resistant to water based stains. But, if push comes to shove, and you do get a stain in it, you can use bleach straight out of the jug on that carpet to get otherwise impossible stains out of the carpet. The bleach will probably break up the clear dye, tho, so that one spot on the carpet would then probably not be AS stain resistant any more. But, you could always bleach a stain out of that spot a second and third and forth time.
Another option is synthetic rubber flooring, which is probably the most durable flooring I know of. It comes in 1 foot squares 2 foot square tiles that you lay just like VC tile flooring. The adhesive you install the tile with is waterproof, as is the synthetic rubber itself. And, of course, if you do get a flood, having a rubber floor under that water allows you good traction even when the floor is covered with water (especially when you're wearing rubber soled boots).
Rubber flooring is extremely durable. You can put a cigarette out on it without harming the floor. There will be a brown mark left on the rubber which wipes right off with mineral spirits. Some rubber flooring is made for skating rinks and golf course facilities. It's the only flooring I know of that's made to stand up to people walking on it with sharp skates and spiked shoes. Probably the biggest name in rubber flooring is Johnsonite, who you can find at www.johnsonite.com