There are so many factors to consider before thinking about putting carpet into a basement. The main issue is moisture. You have to ask yourself when this pad was poured did they put a vapor barrier underneath?
A good test is to tape down an 18inch by 18 inch piece of plastic in your basement and let it sit for 24 hours. If you find moisture or a darkened concrete under the plastic, then that means that there wasn’t a moisture barrier in place and you will have to build one before you lay your carpeting.
A cellulose based soundboard placed underneath the carpet padding will fix this problem. Also dehumidifying the basement can help with moisture. Allergens and biological agents are another thing to consider before putting carpet into a basement. Black mold, which can be deadly if not treated, is a huge detractor of basement carpets.
Today you can get a carpet treated with a microbe resistant coating but it takes constant cleaning to keep up the resistance. Dust mites and other living carpet dwellers might pose a problem. Sure you can use pesticides but if your basement is not well ventilated the odor of the bug spray will linger for a long time.
Laying your Carpet
The word you will hear a lot of in basement carpet laying is layers. For a basement with moisture problems, 4 layers are recommended
1. ½ inch sheet of polyethylene or 6mm plastic
2. ½ inch plywood
3. Foam padding
4. new carpeting
These layers are to protect against moisture which will lead to mold and damaged carpeting. You have to assume, especially if your floor is below grade that you will get moisture in your basement. When laying the polyethylene you will need to lay it dimples down and make sure to tape each and every seam. The plywood will need to be secured to the slab with concrete screws. Then the foam is laid out and then the new carpeting. Make sure you have enough material to cover the floor completely
A massive laid carpeting with 4 layers sounds like a lot of work. And it is! There are other options to carpeting a basement.
One is carpet tiles. A carpet tile is a piece of bonded carpet cut into a square. The main advantage is that they can be replaces with out tearing out the entire carpet. Just lift up the damaged square and replace. Installation is a breeze. Carpet tile will not be as soft and will probably need the same two layers of protection that a full carpet need but that will still mean less work involved.
If you do not want to go through the whole full on carpeting process then the use of decorative area rugs can be substituted. The Basement floor is all that need to be painted and you can use your area rugs to create traffic areas to keep feet off the cold floor. Plus with an area rug cleanup is just lift and sweep.
Area rugs can also be coated to protect against moisture. The basement does not need to be the store all hideaway of the home just because moisture keeps a carpet from being laid. Problems can always be worked around to provide a cozy extra living space for your home.