My husband had successfully finished the basement with drywall, ceiling tile and painted the concrete floor a pale blue a few years ago. But he still kept scratching his chin and gazing thoughtfully at the arctic acres of painted concrete, every time he went down to use the treadmill or exercycle.
For me, it was enough that the area was brightly lit and welcoming enough for the kids to rough-house when they got too boisterous upstairs. So long as the passage to the washer-dryer closet remained clear, I was a happy camper with the State-of-the-Basement.
Every now and then, he would insist that I accompany him on trips to Home Depot or Lowes to check out better flooring options for the basement. The kids would try miscellaneous antics while I stood in fear of M getting knocked over or some unfortunate customer to be torpedoed by S or M whizzing on the empty shopping cart. My husband would muse over the choices of vinyl tile and grab a sheet of every available brochure, while occasionally barking "We won't go to Subway/Burger King/Dairy Queen for your lunch treat if you continue to play around like this" by way of bringing the kids to heel.
I split my attention between trying to control the kids and composing appropriate responses to queries of "Will this tile look better than the other? " or "Should we go with vinyl or engineered hardwood- they say that either is fine for a basement, even with moisture issues as we have had in the past."
(To be continued...)