The Best Flooring Options for Your Home’s Basement
Mar 14, 2022
There’s a reason that basements are usually the setting of your children’s nightmares and horror movie scenes. They tend to be dark, damp areas that you rarely go into and are mainly used for storage. But with some simple changes, like new flooring, you can transform your basement into an entertainment space or a homey family room that you’ll want to spend time in. Here are some basement flooring considerations and ideas to get you started.
What’s the current state of your basement floor?
If your basement floor currently resembles a sidewalk—and not a freshly-paved one—you may have some work to do before you can install flooring on top of it. Before installing any type of flooring, you want to make sure the concrete is level and free of cracks.
Comfort and Warmth
Because most basements floors are concrete, you’ll want to consider how your flooring choice can make your basement more comfortable and cozy. Think about what type of flooring will be most comfortable to walk on—even in the coldest winter months.
While tile is a bigger investment than other types of flooring, it is meant to last. It’s durable, resilient, and waterproof. If your basement is damp or tends to get flooded during storms, tile is a smart choice. Tile may make your basement look more high-end, but it will still be cold and hard underfoot—basically requiring you to wear fuzzy slippers during the cold months. Remember, you can always add an area rug for a soft, warm surface underfoot in the family room or basement hallway.
Let’s get this one out of the way –be honest with yourself, because you know your basement better than anyone else. If it’s damp, it’s best to steer clear of carpet. But if you really want the comfort of a carpet in your basement, underlay moisture-resistant pads and consider carpet tiles instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpet tiles are easy to install and replace if they get wet, stained, or worn down. Choose a carpet tile with a dense low pile for the most durability.
Cork is a great eco-friendly option for your basement floor. Its bacteria and water resistance makes it work well in basements—and it’s soft underfoot—so no slippers are required.
Wood and Laminate Flooring
Unless you have a fairy-tale basement that has zero moisture, we recommend avoiding hardwood and laminate flooring for basements. They may look great and match the flooring in the rest of your home, but wood and laminate are prone to mold and water damage, which can cause them to warp.
Vinyl flooring is your best friend when it comes to basements. It’s waterproof, mold-resistant, durable, and comes in a variety of designs that mimic the natural look of hardwood and stone. While it is most comparable to tile in benefits and appearance, it is much less expensive and easier to install.
Now the decision to make here is between vinyl plank and vinyl tile. Both types can be installed right on top of concrete, as long as it is level. Vinyl plank, however, has the option of being a “floating floor,” meaning it does not sit right on top of the subfloor. This involves installing underlayment, which makes the floor much cushier to walk on.
The best way to get your basement from looking like a dungeon to feeling like a real living space is to brighten up the floors. From a cold, damp basement, you can create a bright, warm space with the right flooring choice. Whether you’re redoing or finishing your basement, your local Flooring America experts are here. They’re happy to help with all your projects, and Flooring America is the ideal place to start one, so visit yours today!
Visualize Your Flooring Dreams
Want a preview of how new floors will look in your home? Try our room visualizer, My Floor Style. Upload a photo of your room, select your style preferences, and get a virtual look at each different flooring style. With My Floor Style, there are no surprises. Only beautiful new floors.