Bring That Log Cabin Feel into Your Basement

by Jane VanOsdol on July 20, 2011

Are you ready to finish your basement into an appealing family room, but aren’t quite sure what type of décor would be best? Well, if your family loves the cozy, rustic feel of a log cabin, why not bring that look into your basement?

As you gaze around at the cement block unfinished walls and flooring, you may have a hard time conjuring up the image of a log cabin, but you’ll be surprised at the look you’ll be able to achieve with the right materials and some hard work.

Your first priority is to make sure that your basement is a dry space. Inspect the room for any moisture problems, calling in a basement waterproofing expert if you have any doubt. Cracks in the walls, evidence of moisture and the presence of mold can all be symptoms of having a problem that needs to be fixed.

An expert will be able to address any problems and handle the necessary remediation, such as mold remediation, before you begin remodeling the space—especially important because of the wall treatment you will using on your walls.

Once you are certain you have a dry space to work with, you need to make sure that the walls are plumb. If the walls are bowed or are out of plumb, you’ll need to build a stud wall in front of the masonry wall. You can attach a stud wall to the overhead joists and the concrete slab.

After your wall is in place, you can now cover the walls with pine tongue-and-groove siding. Tongue-and-groove siding is a versatile material. It can be used indoors or outdoors, rough side or smooth side, and it can be installed horizontally, vertically or diagonally, all of which allow you to experiment with several different looks for your room. Whatever design you decide upon, one thing is for certain. This siding will instantly warm up the space with the log-cabin look that you love. If your ceilings are high enough, you can carry the log cabin theme onto them by installing wooden beams across the ceiling.

Of course, no log cabin is complete without a fireplace. A stone-and- wood fireplace makes a perfect focal point for the room. You can make it as big or as compact as your space allows. Perhaps you want to convert an entire wall into a fireplace, or maybe you can only designate a corner space for a fireplace. Either way, a fireplace will help warm up the room and set a cozy ambiance for those cold fall and winter evenings.

Don’t forget to choose your flooring too. Carpet is always a safe choice for basements, but a better cabin-like look would be an engineered wood floor. Engineered wood is safe for basements, and you can choose from many different types of wood for the exact look you want.

Just because you don’t live in a log cabin doesn’t mean you can’t bring that look and feel into your home. Once your log cabin home improvement is complete, your basement will be the most popular room in your house!

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