How to Choose the Best Flooring for Your Basement

How to Choose the Best Flooring for Your Basement

Deciding on the right flooring for your basement can be a big project, but it’s an important one. The basement sees a lot of foot traffic and activity, so you’ll want to buy flooring that is durable, easy to clean, and looks great. Here are some tips on how to choose the best flooring for your basement.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Basement Flooring

How to Choose the Best Flooring for Your BasementEvaluate Your Needs

Before choosing a basement flooring, think about how you plan to use the space. Ask yourself:

  • Will it be a playroom for kids? Look for soft, warm floors good for playing.
  • Is it a hangout spot for teens? Opt for stylish, low-maintenance floors.
  • Will you use it as a gym? Choose floors that can handle equipment.
  • Do you want a workshop? Look for durable, water-resistant floors.
  • Is it just storage? A basic concrete floor will suffice.

Knowing the basement’s purpose will guide you in selecting the right material.

Consider Your Budget

Prices for floors can range a lot, from 99¢ per square foot for carpet squares to $10¢ per square foot for real stone. Before you go shopping, make a budget that you can stick to. Vinyl and laminate are two less expensive choices that can still look good and last a long time. If you can, save up for more expensive options like wood.

Before you decide, get quotes from a few different flooring businesses. The cost of labor will also affect the total cost of the job.

Choose Materials Suited for Basements

Damp, chilly basements need flooring designed to stand up to moisture. Vinyl, concrete, and tile resist water better than wood or carpet.

Look for floor scores of 3.5 or higher on the ASTM’s (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials) “Standard Practice for Assessment of Water, Moisture or Mold in Floors.” This indicates floors suitable for basements.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles score high for water resistance. Other good options are luxury vinyl tile, epoxy coatings, stained concrete, and seamless vinyl sheet flooring. Put carpet tiles only over concrete, not directly on a basement slab.

Pick Kid and Pet-Friendly Floors

For basements used as kids’ playrooms or pet areas, choose warm, soft floors without toxic adhesives or coatings. Washable, durable surfaces are a must for these high-traffic spaces.

Cushioned vinyl is comfortable underfoot and comes in fun prints. Look for vinyl flooring with felt or foam backing. Also consider carpeting tiles, bamboo, cork, and hardwood. Avoid slippery floors like tile, concrete, or vinyl plank. Check labels to confirm floors are non-toxic.

Consider Durability and Ease of Maintenance

Basement floors endure a lot of wear. Make sure to pick durable materials that hold up well and are easy to clean. Hard surfaces like tile, vinyl plank, stained concrete, and epoxy coatings are extremely durable. They withstand heavy use and can be mopped clean.

Softer surfaces like carpet and vinyl sheets scratch and scuff more easily but are replaced tile-by-tile or section-by-section. Bamboo and hardwoods dent but can be refinished. Avoid high-maintenance floors like unstained concrete. It stains easily and requires frequent sealing.

Choose Flooring with Sound Absorption

Lively basements need floors that reduce echo and ambient noise. Sound-absorbent floors also minimize noise transfer to other levels of your home. Carpeting, cork, and rubber floors absorb sound best. Vinyl, bamboo, hardwood, and tile are poor sound absorbers.

Underlayments also help. Use high-quality underlay beneath vinyl, laminate, and hardwood. It’s required under the carpet. If the basement will be a home theater or media room, install acoustic cork underlayment and use durable carpets or rubber floors.

5 Popular Flooring Options for Basements

How to Choose the Best Flooring for Your Basement1. Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles are a popular basement flooring choice. They provide a soft, warm, and quiet floor surface. Individual tiles can be replaced as needed. Easy to install, carpet tiles come in a wide range of colors and textures to match any decor. However, they are prone to staining, not waterproof, and require frequent deep cleaning. Installation costs range from $1 – $4 per square foot.

2. Luxury Vinyl Plank

Luxury vinyl plank mimics the look of real wood or tile floors but is completely waterproof. This durable flooring is easy to install and maintain. Scratches and dents are minimized with a textured surface. Vinyl planks come in many stylish colors and patterns. The material is not very soft underfoot and can show indentations over time. Installation runs $3 – $8 per square foot.

3. Epoxy Floor Coating

A thick epoxy coating creates a durable, seamless floor surface ideal for basements. This moisture-proof coating comes in various colors and holds up extremely well to heavy use. Epoxy floors are scratch, stain, and slip-resistant. The hard surface can be chilly and should be re-coated every few years. Installation costs range from $3 – $7 per square foot.

4. Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo has the nice look of oak and is great for basements. Bamboo is a long-lasting material that doesn’t get damaged by water and comes in logs or tiles. Bamboo can get scratched and damaged over time, so it needs to be carefully cared for. Set up will cost between $4 and $9 per square foot.

5. Rubber Floor Tiles

Rubber floor tiles are a great basement option for home gyms and playrooms. The thick, cushioned material absorbs shock and reduces noise. Durable and waterproof, rubber tiles can be installed over concrete slabs. Easy to clean but prone to scuffing over time. Rubber floor tiles cost around $2 – $5 per square foot installed.


Choosing basement floors means balancing your budget, wants, and way of life. The important thing is to find basement floors that are long-lasting, easy to clean, and stylish. This is possible when you know how to choose the best flooring for your basement that will match your needs. Most people choose carpet tiles, luxury vinyl plank, epoxy finishes, bamboo, or rubber tiles, and all of these are great choices.

Think about how you will use the room and how to keep it in good shape and block out noise. Make sure you hire skilled flooring fitters from a reputable interior fit out company to make sure the job is done right and the flooring is suitable for basements. You can make your basement your best place to be if you do your homework.

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