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What Flooring Type Is Best for Basements?

What's the best flooring for basements? Modern options make all the difference. Install new flooring to make a basement usable and welcoming.

Best Flooring Type for Basements: Moisture-Resistant Floors

When it comes to flooring your basement, you’ve got options. Right off the bat, it’s important to know that there’s no single, perfect type of flooring that will be ideal for every homeowner and every basement. Rather, choosing a flooring type for your basement is an individualized decision, and you’ll want to consider all the types of basement flooring before coming to an answer.

Rounded up below are a range of flooring types for basements, each with its own set of pros and cons. From concrete flooring and laminate flooring to carpeting and floor tiles, here’s everything you need to know about finding the best flooring type for your basement.

What Flooring Types You Should Never Use in Your Basement

Before you start learning about the types of flooring that will benefit a basement, it’s important to note the types of flooring you should never use in a basement.

Hardwood, as lovely as it is, should never be used as flooring in a basement. The reason for this is because basements contain dampness, which ends up creating a near-perfect environment for mold and mildew. Because of this, hardwood will quickly rot when installed in a basement. Fiberboard is another flooring material that should never be used in basements for these same reasons.

Generally speaking, you want to avoid using any type of flooring that doesn’t do well with water. Basements are filled with moisture and have high humidity levels, which means that it’s essential to install water-resistant flooring or flooring that can withstand heavy amounts of moisture in your basement.

Is Concrete Flooring best for basements?

You’ll find that many basements have concrete flooring, and with good reason! Concrete is one of the most durable materials, and it isn’t greatly affected by humidity and moisture. To create a more sophisticated basement floor, concrete can actually be stained to make for a smooth finish. Additionally, because of the stain, concrete floors don’t get as cold as unfinished concrete, like the kind you’ll find outside on sidewalks and driveways. However, don’t be completely fooled — concrete can get chilly, especially during the colder months. One solution to this is laying out area rugs in your basement to cover the concrete flooring.

Does Carpeted Flooring work for basements?

If you like the idea of area rugs, but want to take things a step further, carpeting can be a great choice for your basement’s flooring. While you might not think of carpeting as being ideal in humidity-heavy areas, carpeting actually breathes, aiding in moisture emissions from the flooring. However, after 10 to 15 years, you’ll likely to need to replace the carpet in your basement because some moisture retention will happen over time.

Other major benefits of carpeting your basement floor include the fact that carpeting can be an insulator, helping to keep your basement cozy during even the chilliest months. Carpeting is also one of the most affordable flooring types, and it offers cushion-like support when being walked on.

Is Laminate Flooring good for basements?

If neither carpet or concrete is sounding good to you, laminate flooring is another option for your basement flooring. Laminate flooring comes in a variety of designs and forms, including engineered hardwood. Waterproof laminate is a popular option for basements, keeping the flooring protected even when conditions get wet and humid.

If you decide on laminate flooring, however, you’ll want to be sure to choose a type that is specifically made for basements. Many companies manufacture laminate flooring for basements that can withstand moisture better than typical laminate flooring.

Is Tile Flooring best for basements?

Floor tiles provide another option for basement flooring. When shopping for tile flooring for your basement, investing in floor tiles with a vapor barrier will help keep your flooring from growing mold and bacteria once installed in the basement. Floor tiles with vapor barriers are actually quite affordable, and they come in both carpeted styles or hard styles.

Another benefit of tile flooring in your basement is that they are easy to install and will fit easily into uniquely shaped areas of the basement because they can be cut and placed in like a jigsaw puzzle. The one downside to tile flooring is that many floor tiles with vapor barriers are made with the use of chemicals. If you’d like to be more eco-conscious, searching around for a manufacturer that doesn’t use chemical compounds in their production process can be a great solution.

Resources— Floor Critics, Home Advisor, Bob Vila, HGTV