Can I tile my damp basement?
Yes, you can tile a damp basement if it’s rising damp, but it’s very important to use breathable tiles, such as unsealed quarry tiles or natural stone tiles that have been treated with a water based sealer such as LTP Mattstone H2O.
If you’ve got rising damp in your basement, i.e. damp that is coming up through the floor, but you want to decorate, then tiling is definitely an option. However, it’s vitally important to use breathable tiles, such as quarry tiles or natural stone tiles.
Why is it important to use breathable tiles? If your damp rises from the ground, and you’ve used a tile that is not breathable, such as porcelain floor tiles, the sulphates in the mould can attack the adhesive and they will lift over time, ruining your tiled floor. This is because as the damp rises, as it reaches an impervious surface, it has nowhere else to go, and the adhesive is the last part it will reach. If moisture is allowed to evaporate with air contact and rise through the tile, the sulphates can sufficiently escape.
So, as we said, you have two tiling options:
For a warm and traditional look, you can use quarry tiles, which are made from clay. We usually recommend sealing them, however, in this case, don’t seal them, as you want them to remain breathable to allow the evaporated moisture and sulphates to pass through.
For a rustic, natural look, you can choose from a wide selection of natural stone tiles. We recommend sealing these with a water based sealer such as LTP Mattstone H2O as this will protect the tile but still allows it to breathe.
The fact you can use natural stone tiles to transform your damp basement is great news. Natural tiles are a very prominent interior design trend! They fit in perfectly with the idea of ‘bringing the outdoors in,’ where natural textures and materials are invited into the home to help create a relaxing, calming ambiance in an interior space, in which you can relax and unwind after a hectic or stressful day at work.