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What Flooring Is Best for a Basement: Options & Tips

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What Flooring Is Best for a Basement: Options & Tips

When structures are built, basements are designed with poured concrete flooring. It’s durable, flat, and solid. This is great in many situations since basements aren’t always used for living areas. 

However, if you decide to invest in basement remodeling, you will probably want to upgrade the floor to make it more comfortable, attractive, and easier to keep clean

If that’s the case, you’ll be happy to learn you have a lot of flooring options to choose from. Just remember, the conditions in the basement aren’t the same as what you experience upstairs. The differences will impact the type of flooring suitable for the basement and how it’s installed. 

Keep reading to learn about some of the top options for your basement flooring. 

Related: Read This Before You Become Your Own Contractor

Sheet Vinyl Flooring

couple looking at Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring, commonly called resilient flooring, is considered a quality option for basements, ranking with ceramic tile and concrete for durability. You can purchase vinyl flooring in tile or sheet form, and there’s a subtle difference between the two. 

You have an almost seamless and water-impervious surface on the basement floor with sheet vinyl flooring. This is great since the basement is more prone to water intrusion. If you choose tile vinyl flooring, several seams will allow moisture infiltration if water is left standing too long. 

Installing vinyl baseboards helps protect the walls against minor cases of water intrusion that may occur from furnaces or water heaters. You can install vinyl baseboards that protect up to six inches on the wall. If you choose PVC or wood baseboards, the water will move through them. 

This type of flooring is also extremely affordable and warmer to the touch than concrete or ceramic tile. 

Paint 

The most affordable option for your basement flooring is paint. It’s also the one that is the easiest for a homeowner to handle on their own

If one of your priorities is affordability, and you are only using the basement as a workout room or workshop, you should consider painting. 

The most important factor is to select a paint made for concrete flooring. Be sure to follow the instructions on the can regarding prepping the surface, applying the paint, and the total drying time required. 

Rubber Flooring

 

You have likely seen rubber flooring in garages, gyms, martial arts studios, pools, and dance studios. However, it may work in your basement, too. 

Do you plan to use the basement as a play area rather than a formal living space? If so, rubber flooring is a great option. 

You can find roll rubber, which is used at commercial gyms and has minimal seams or rubber tiles. These cost about the same amount and are another easy project for a homeowner to install on their own. 

Are you interested in renovating your home or basement? If so, contact us to discuss your project and needs. 

Related: Why Might I Need a Site Plan for My House?

 

Epoxy

Epoxy is available in a two-party coating that is applied like paint. While the application is paint-like, epoxy creates a much thicker layer that is usually more durable, smoother, and easier to keep clean. 

With most epoxy treatments, you can add fine sand or plastic flakes over the surface after the application to create a custom look. 

The flakes add color and texture, while the sand adds texture. Since epoxy is like paint, it is a smart option for home gyms and workrooms. Just make sure you read the instructions and warnings on the label before getting started. Some epoxy products create toxic fumes during the application and drying process. 

Laminate Flooring

man installing laminate flooring

Modern laminate flooring is more attractive than the older versions you may be familiar with. Thanks to improved image layer graphics combined with thicker surfaces, the color, look, and vibe have improved significantly. 

While this is true, the material is still susceptible to moisture issues under the appealing top layer. If the base layer of laminate flooring sits in water for a prolonged time, it can cause the flooring to swell, which will ruin it. The only way to fix this is by replacing it. 

However, you can use laminate flooring to install the right subfloor first. The foam underlayment on the laminate and the right subfloor will keep water vapor from coming up through the concrete slab. 

You can also choose waterproof laminate, which doesn’t contain wood, which means it won’t swell or distend. 

Engineered Wood Flooring

If you want a high-end feel in your finished basement, which offers the feel and look of traditional wood flooring, you should consider engineered wood flooring

This composition is like plywood, with a layer of genuine wood bonded to composite board or wood piles. The planks have interlocking edges, and products suitable for the basement come with a durable finish. 

Most have a thickness of ½” or less, and you can even find some that can be installed directly on concrete flooring. It is still best to install it over a subfloor. 

 

Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Basement

When you finish your basement, choosing the right flooring is an important consideration. Use the information here to know some of the top options available today. 

Each of the options on this list will provide a viable solution for your newly renovated basement and provide you with a nice-looking finish. Also, most of the options listed here are DIY friendly, which means you can handle the installation on your own. Knowing the top options will make finishing your basement much easier, and you will love the finished product. 

Do you need to get a full view of your home for an upcoming project, like a basement renovation? If so, contact us for a custom quote

Related: 4 Steps to Plan Your New Deck

 

 

Question Answer
What is the best type of flooring for a basement prone to flooding? For basements prone to flooding, sheet vinyl flooring is highly recommended due to its water-impervious nature and almost seamless surface, which minimizes moisture infiltration.
Can I use real wood flooring in my basement? It is generally not recommended to use real wood flooring in a basement due to moisture issues that can cause warping and damage. Engineered wood flooring, however, is a good alternative as it provides the look of real wood but is more resistant to moisture.
Are there eco-friendly flooring options suitable for basements? Yes, some eco-friendly options include cork and bamboo flooring. These materials are sustainable and can be suitable for basements when properly sealed and installed with a moisture barrier.
How do I prepare my basement floor before installing new flooring? Preparing your basement floor typically involves cleaning it thoroughly, fixing any cracks or irregularities, and ensuring it is level. Applying a moisture barrier or sealant might also be necessary, especially for materials susceptible to moisture damage.
What are the maintenance requirements for epoxy basement flooring? Epoxy flooring requires regular cleaning with mild, non-abrasive cleaning agents. Avoid harsh chemicals and sharp objects as they can damage the surface. It's also a good idea to reapply a sealant every few years to maintain its durability and appearance.

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  • Ryan Crownholm