Choosing the Best Flooring for Basement – 4 Options You Need to Consider

best flooring for basement

Last Updated on December 3, 2022 by Steffi Nell

If you want to give your basement an attractive look then choose the best flooring for basement. There are many flooring options available and if you choose the best flooring options then it will an advantage for you only.

The product’s ability to resist water should be prioritized above all other considerations, just as it should be for any material that you choose to utilize in the finishing of your basement. Not only is the air in your basement exceedingly humid, but it also has a high propensity for being affected by water in the form of leaks and floods. You do not wish to find yourself in a situation in which you have to dispose of all of your flooring since doing so would require a significant investment of both your time and your money.

Consider what will occur to your flooring in the event that your sump pump overflows, a pipe burst, or your washing machine overflows. These are all fairly regular events in basements and can cause significant damage to your flooring.

Best flooring for basement: Vinyl Planks and Sheets

Why it is our choice of the best flooring for your basement? It gives a more high-end look and is also called an engineered vinyl plank. In terms of installation, it is the same as laminate floors, and if you have the right sub-floor then you can do the installation process alone. If you have a ride sub-floor then this option is not a good choice because it won’t work well. It is a type of floating floor which simply means that you don’t need to take any tension about gluing or nailing them down. They have tongues and grooves which help in snapping them together very easily from board to board.

If you want a hard surface in your budget then this option is best. This is more costly than carpet but in the range of hard surface tiles, this is an affordable option. It comes in a huge variety of patterns and more often comes in one big piece so you need to carefully measure your basement floor to fit it effectively. You should not try to fit this tile to your floor alone because this comes in big pieces so if your measurement goes wrong then the whole flooring will also go wrong so always try to choose professional people for this work.

  • As compared to other hard surfaces this is more warm and soft.
  • It is inexpensive than other hard surface options.
  • Waterproof
  • Great durability.
  • Give luxurious look and feel
  • It needs installation from experts.
  • Best suited only on smooth floors.
  • It requires a vapor barrier sometimes

The maker of your flooring will provide you with all of the information you want on the installation of their goods over concrete, but the following are a few basic suggestions for a smooth installation:

Vinyl Installation Tips

Vinyl doesn't require that the slab be perfectly level, but it does require that it be smooth and reasonably flat. Applying a floor-leveling solution that is developed for concrete can be used to fill up significant fractures and dips. Before rolling out the vinyl, make sure that the whole floor has been completely swept and vacuumed. Any debris that is present on the floor will be seen through the vinyl, which will almost certainly result in a damage.
To conceal the expansion gap at the wall, trim away a little portion of the vertical door frame molding (casing) using an undercut saw or a jamb saw at the point where it hits the floor. This will allow you to tuck the flooring below the trim and cover it up. It is not a good idea to put vinyl basement flooring behind cabinets since this will impede the capacity of the floating floor to move.
When placing sheet vinyl in at least one piece, the technique to creating a hidden seam is overlapping the pieces at the seam, matching up the pattern, and then making a double-cut through both layers, similar to what wallpaper hangers do. This will ensure that the seam is completely smooth.
Vinyl flooring for basements is the same as other types of floating floors in that it requires some wiggle space along the perimeter of the installation area. The normal advice is to leave a space of between 1/8" and 1/4" at all walls and other vertical impediments. Following the installation of the flooring, the spaces are then covered with quarter-round or shoe molding.

Best flooring for basement playroom: Carpet

Of all flooring options this option is one of the cheapest options you can choose. This is the best option if you want to cover a large area such as a playroom for the kids or a man cave. If your apartment has a cold basement then carpeting is a very suitable option. If you choose carpet then it will make your room basement look luxurious and cozy. For flooring your basement stairs the safest option is carpet because it provides more traction than hard surfaces.

  • It is one of the most affordable options.
  • It will give you more warmth and comfort.
  • It will work efficiently in uneven sub-floors.
  • It is not suitable in areas that have high moisture.
  • As compared to other options it wears out quicker.
  • It can be harmed due to soiling.

Carpet Installation Tips

Measure your room's length and width. Add 2–4 inches to each number. Multiply these amounts for room square footage. If your room isn't rectangular, divide it into sections and repeat this method. Keep each chamber as close to a rectangle as possible. After calculating your square footage, add 10–20% to ensure you have enough carpet and underlay to cover the area and allow for measurement and cutting errors. To match patterns between areas, buy 5% more materials for patterned carpets. After measuring and choosing your carpet, acquire your equipment. You'll need more if your subfloor is concrete or wood.
Before installing your carpet, prepare the floor. Before replacing flooring, remove the old floor. To make sure the new carpet matches the walls, remove the baseboards. After exposing the flooring, scrape or sand away existing adhesive residue. Check your subfloor for sunken places, squeaks, and musty patches before continuing. Replacing a broken flooring and restoring loose floorboards may take time, but the result will be worth it. Check for dampness and damage before putting carpet on concrete. Level fissures with waterproof filling. To work comfortably on the carpet, take doors off their hinges if it spans two rooms. To avoid clutter under your new carpet, sweep and vacuum.
Install tack strips along every wall except entryways and doors, regardless of flooring type. Leave a half-inch gap between the strip and the wall and no gap between strips. To grasp the carpet, the tacks must face the wall. Carpet tack strip installation differs by floor. Nail the strip down on wood. Installing tack strips on concrete is different. Construction glue and masonry nails secure the strip to your floor.
A cushioned underlay softens the floor and prevents carpet rippling. Lay the underlay perpendicular to your carpet's direction. Use synthetic fiber underlay for carpet over concrete. Cold concrete floors can cause carpet dampness. Synthetic underlays reduce carpet dampness. Underlay should touch but not overhang tack strips. After cutting and placing the underlay, staple it to the floor. Install carpet underlay on concrete with a few beads of carpet glue instead of a staple gun. Duct tape underlay seams.
Before installing the carpet, cut each strip to size, adding 6" to allow for trimming. Cutting too short wastes the strip. Pull the carpet strip from one wall to the other. Snap a chalk line on the carpet where it meets the wall and trim the extra with a utility knife when you reach the other side. When laying the second carpet, ensure sure the pile direction matches the first. Lay the second strip, overlapping it by a few inches, then cut through both carpet layers. Both parts will fit properly regardless of cut faults. Line up your seaming tape under the carpet, adhesive side up, to seal the seams between two pieces. A hot iron activates tape and secures strips. Iron the tape, not the carpet. Roll or pin the carpet pieces together to finish the seam.
After laying, stretch the carpet with your knee kicker. Place the kicker's toothed end three inches from the wall in the center of any wall. Kick your knee into the tool to push the carpet into the wall. Wear kneepads to avoid injury. Carpet will snag on the tack strip because its tacks tilt toward the wall. Move the knee kicker one foot down the wall after the initial kick. Repeat until the carpet covers the room. To stretch carpets in bigger spaces, use a motorized stretcher. Place the power stretcher's non-toothed end against one wall and the toothed end six inches from the other. Push the activation lever to tighten the carpet over the tack strips. Use a stair tool to tuck carpet under baseboards if you leave them. Cut extra carpet using a utility knife. Before replacing the door, cut the carpet around entrances to position it beneath the closed door and apply a door edge strip. Before reinstalling floor vents, cut holes.

Engineered hardwood

Engineered hardwood is comprises several layers of wood that are compacted tightly together. It is designed with the layers perpendicular to one another so that it can minimize the expansion and contraction that the wood undergoes. You can easily install it on a floor that is concrete in nature with glue, or you can also float them. It is effective only on subfloor which are smooth because if your floor is uneven then the planks will start to pull away. If you choose this option then it will give your basement an attractive look.

  • It gives an extremely high-end look.
  • It will also boost up your home value.
  • Waterproof but not completely
  • Suitable only on smooth sub-floors.


If you are looking for a waterproof option then this is one of the best choices. It has great durability and also offers ease in cleaning. Modern tiles come in traditional squares which give classic look to your basement. Tile planks are also available but they will retain all the benefits of tiles and will give the look of wood planks.

  • Have extreme durability.
  • Gives value to your home.
  • Waterproof
  • Expensive than other options.
  • Cold and hard.
  • Suitable only on significant sub-floor

Things to avoid in choosing basement flooring

There are some other options also available for flooring the basement of your apartment but then aren’t the best choice you can make. This will be clear with the details about below available options for flooring:

  • Cork Flooring – though it has a soft feel and eco-friendly qualities it will not suit many areas of your home. When it comes to sealing the edges of a cork floor then it is a very difficult job. Even if the overall floor is resistant to moisture then also it will create a problem and will easily crop up around the rim of your sub-floor.
  • Bamboo Flooring – though it is the cheapest option you will also get the quality like that only. It can easily get scratches, dents and is not at all suitable for floors if you have regular use. It is also not resistant to moisture.
  • Solid Hardwood Flooring – though it will give your basement a beautiful look it is not resistant to moisture and with the temperature change, it will buckle a hardwood basement floor.

Advantages of picking the best flooring for basement

  • Excellent look to your floor – when you choose the best flooring option for your basement then it will give your floor an attractive look.
  • Durability – you don’t have to spend again and again the one you do flooring for your basement. if you choose cheap flooring options then you need to spend your money again and again on repairing it.
  • Great investment – if you opt for the best flooring then it is only a one-time investment for you. You don’t need to worry about repairing your floor again and again.
  • Premium quality – best flooring options will always offer your premium quality. Whenever when someone will visit your house they will be mesmerized by your basement and this will in turn boost up the value of your house.

Final Words

Basement is a part of your house, so choosing the best flooring for it is worth your investment. Remember, always chose the flooring option keeping your budget and the design of your house in mind.

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Steffi is a DIY aficionado. Home improvement specialist and Interior designer wannabe. Her passion for native and recyclable materials inspire her to start this blog. Follow her on Twitter

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