What are the Best Basement Floors?

Luxury basement flooring. Interior design of a lower level room in a newly built house for use as a game room or party room.

Before you begin any basement remodel, it is important to understand what are the best flooring options available.  Floors build the foundation of any room. You want to invest your money into material that will be durable, long-lasting, and still fit your style. It doesn’t matter what you want your basement to be used for.  From home cinemas to playrooms to an extra room for rent, selecting the right flooring is the first and most crucial step in achieving the basement you imagine.

We created this guide to help you choose the right basement floor for your home.  By the end of this article, you will know what are the best flooring options available and which materials you should consider for your basement.

Why Selecting Proper Basement Floors is so Important?

You want to be happy with your selection and know that your money is going into a material that won’t need replacing every few years. There are a lot of factors to consider, but the primary concern for any basement is moisture.  Below ground-level rooms are typically darker, hold more humidity, and have less air movement. This is especially true if you live in a wet area, where rain and snow can eventually seep into the foundation. Moisture weakens floors and promotes fungi accumulation, creating unsafe conditions. The right floors will allow your basement to better handle moisture and flood emergencies. After all, flooding is the most common natural disaster in America.  Choosing adequate flooring will help you save money on repair costs, optimize time spent cleaning, and provide a safer home environment.

How Will You Use Your Basement Space?

No matter what you envision your basement space to be used for, keeping in mind and answering these questions will help you narrow down which flooring material to choose:

  • What kind of space do I want? A Gym? A lounge? An extra bedroom?
  • What type of subfloor do I have? (Most are concrete)
  • Is my subfloor leveled and ready for new flooring?
  • Is warmth and softness under my feet important?
  • Have I experienced flooding in the past?
  • How warm is my basement currently?
  • How moisture-prone is my basement? 
  • What is my budget?

Floor Types

For basements, materials like concrete or vinyl work better than natural products.  Be careful when choosing solid wood or flooring with multiple layers. Water can eventually seep into these materials and lead to molding or buckling issues. Below we have listed the most popular and trustworthy floors for your basement.

  • Concrete
Simplistic, raw, modern waterproof concrete flooring
Classic, Raw Concrete Flooring

Concrete gives a modern, simplistic look to any room.  Leave concrete raw, paint it, or acid stain it to create a unique radiance that can’t be duplicated by any other method. Concrete is hard and cold but can but area rugs can provide ample supplemental heat and softness underneath your feet.

Pros

  • 100% waterproof
  • Requires little extra material
  • No subfloor required
  • Unique, modern look
  • Durable and long-lasting

Cons

  • Coldest of all flooring types
  • Hardest of all basement floors
  • Extensive and laboring installation
  • Style may not fit every home
  • Luxury Vinyl
Luxury Vinyl Floor Texture
Luxury Vinyl Mimicking Wood Appearance and Texture

A popular flooring option for most homes, Luxury vinyl looks and (almost) feels like real hardwood flooring.  It can imitate stone or marble tiles too. The cork underbody provides cushion, insulation, and soundproofing. Luxury vinyl is less expensive than hardwood, but still provides an upscale feel. 

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Essentially waterproof
  • Affordable, easy installation
  • Insulates basement
  • Countless colors, styles, and patterns

Cons

  • Subfloor needs to be even
  • Floor can bounce if not level
  • Moisture can seep under tiles
  • Mold may form in cork layer
  • Low resale value
  • Sheet Vinyl
Old Vintage Sheet Vinyl Flooring
Vintage-Style Sheet Vinyl Flooring

One of the most budget-friendly options on the market.  Typically comes in 12-foot rolls and can be purchased at most hardware stores. It provides a seamless, impervious surface for easy cleaning. sheet vinyl comes in tile and plank form, but these styles may increase moisture susceptibility. 

Pros

  • Waterproof 
  • Inexpensive
  • Warmer than concrete or tile
  • Variety of designs

Cons

  • Can look dated or a potential ‘quick fix’
  • Needs extensive surface preparation for proper adhesion
  • Low resale value
  • Rubber Flooring
Blue and black rubber home gym floor with a dumbell and a bench.
Black and Blue Rubber Flooring for a Home Gym

Becoming a popular trend, rubber floors are perfect for home gyms, indoor saunas, and kids’ playrooms.  They provide extreme cushion and subfloor protection. Rubber floors come in both tiles and rolls, are very easy to replace (or take with during a move), and are a simple DIY installation. 

Pros

  • Waterproof material
  • Great insulation for cold areas
  • Soft surface
  • Portable and easily removed
  • Slip-resistant
  • Great DIY capability

Cons

  • Very niche, only good for activity rooms
  • Not many appearance options
  • Water can seep in below tiles
  • Hard to clean
  • Potential mold build-up
  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Flooring
Elegant, luxurious and seamless slate tile ceramic tiles.
Covering Mosaic Ceramic Tile Flooring.

Tile has been one of the most popular types of flooring for centuries and it proves to be an excellent choice for basements. The elegant and luxurious look of tile flooring will dramatically update most basement spaces, potentially giving you high resale value.

Pros

  • Luxurious appearance
  • High return on investment
  • 100% waterproof, great for flooding prone homes
  • Will never develop rot
  • Durable and long-lasting

Cons

  • Can be an expensive installation
  • Price varies widely depending on grade
  • Cold and hard surface
  • May require subfloor leveling
  • Carpet Tiles
High-grade carpet tiles.
Blue Pattern Carpet Tiles

You could choose to go with wall to wall carpet if you live in a very dry area, but carpet tiles provide several key benefits over traditional carpet. The key advantage is dirty, wet, or stained sections can be easily replaced at a low cost. Additionally, high-grade carpet tiles dry quickly and are mold-resistant.

Pros

  • Among the least expensive flooring options
  • Softest and warmest surface
  • Easily replaceable sections
  • Compatible with most home styles
  • Absorbs less moisture than traditional carpet

Cons

  • Not waterproof 
  • Not ideal for flood-prone or very high moisture homes
  • Adhesive wears down overtime
  • Can’t be used on steps

CONNECTING YOU WITH LOCAL FLOORING PROFESSIONAL YOU CAN TRUST!

PoweredByPros is a leading digital home services marketplace. We match homeowners with screened flooring professionals they can trust to successfully complete any type of basement floor repair or remodel project.

For over a decade, homeowners have trusted us with providing them professional and quality flooring services for their property. In order for us to connect you with the best pro, our highly skilled customer service team will contact you to gather all your basement flooring project information and pay special attention to your design and amenity requests. Save time and money, get started today!