How to Choose Basement Flooring

How to Choose Basement Flooring

The right flooring can make your basement feel warm and inviting—and on a practical level, help keep it dry. Basements are prone to moisture, so even if you’ve never had any actual water seep in, it’s important to employ materials that resist mildew.
When thinking about the best option for your space, consider installation method. Some options make for easy DIY projects, while others require professional installation. Cost will likely factor into your decision-making process as well, along with warranty coverage. Also remember to check what is right for your local area as salespeople might have different opinions on flooring based on what clientele they sell to.


Vinyl plank flooring or luxury vinyl tile are both great choices because of their affordable price points and durability. They’re designed to hold up against basements’ damp conditions without swelling or disintegrating over time.

Sheet vinyl comes in 12-foot-wide rolls that you cut to size and install by gluing them down or by using the loose-lay method. The latter means you don’t have to glue the floor down — the weight of the fiberglass-reinforced material does the work — which can be an easier approach when covering a large space.

LVT is similar in design but has multiple layers: a protective top coat, a photo-realistic image that can be made to look like wood or stone, and a composite core of vinyl and calcium carbonate that is durable but still soft underfoot.

Mold- and mildew-resistant tile will create a beautiful surface that stands up against moisture—and most buyers love this stuff! It may even increase value over time!

Foam tiles are an affordable way to cover small areas in family rooms or media spaces, and they’re soft underfoot for kids (they also provide good shock absorption). They don’t need grout lines like traditional tiles do — just lay them down. If you were interested in heavy usage areas, these tiles might be the ones for you!

There are so many tile options to choose from that it’s hard to know where to start. Natural looks are still a top pick, especially stone-look porcelain tile and wood-look ceramic tile made of more durable materials than actual wood.

Cork flooring resists mold and mildew and helps control odors, which is great if your basement is prone to funkiness. In addition to warmth and sound absorption, this material will also help maintain natural moisture levels.


In addition to providing warmth underfoot, carpet acts as an insulator for controlling temperature in a room. Regular vacuuming combined with area rugs will make this long-lasting option easy to keep clean.

Empire Today carpets are treated with Microban, an antimicrobial agent that inhibits mold and mildew growth. For entertainment spaces, nylon fiber is the best choice – polyester stands up better against wear-and-tear from children or pets. It would be best for you to seek out synthetic fibers that resist moisture.

Regardless of what carpet style feels right for your space, install it over a plywood subfloor with an adequate vapor barrier and waterproof pad (or use a product like Dri-core), even if your basement has never flooded or seen much seepage. A heavy rainstorm could still send moisture up through small cracks in the cement slab.

Epoxy coats are the perfect way to make your basement floor shine while also keeping it durable. It can withstand pretty much anything! Scratches, dirt, dust, you name it. You’ll be able to keep it clean with just a quick sweep. But that’s not all! Epoxy is also slip-resistant and long-wearing against paint and heavy foot traffic.

If you are looking for a more protective coat to put on your concrete floors, there are other options too. The coating will work to protect against moisture damage which leads to mold and mildew growth.

Of course, in order to get all these results some prepping needs to happen first. You’re going to need etching and degreasing tools along with tri-sodium phosphate or another degreaser. Hire a professional contractor if you’d like them to use a moisture test kit as well. They’ll know how long they should ventilate wet epoxy fumes for before they dry.

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