2022 Best Flooring For Basements

Typical Cost To Install New Flooring Average: $1,415 - $2,462
See costs in your area

When you’re renovating your basement, you want to research the best flooring to make your space feel comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

While you can’t go wrong with luxury vinyl, basement flooring is remarkably customizable, and the best floor material will vary depending on your needs and budget.

To get started on your basement flooring installation, contact your local pros for FREE ESTIMATES!

How Much Does Basement Flooring Cost?

On average, homeowners spend $7 – 12 per sq.ft. on basement flooring, including materials and installation.

On the low end, basement flooring materials cost as little as $0.75 per sq.ft., such as laminate flooring. On the high-end, you can spend as much as $16 per sq.ft. on engineered wood flooring.

The total cost of your basement floors will depend on the type of material you select, as well as the local cost of labor.

Typical Cost To Install Vinyl Flooring Average: $1,315 - $2,162
See costs in your area

Basement Floor Pricing Comparison Table

The prices below are estimates for the most popular basement flooring materials.

Flooring Flooring Material Cost (USD Per Square Foot) Installation Cost (USD Per Square Foot)
Luxury vinyl 2 – 5 3 – 10
Ceramic 0.5 – 3.5 4 – 9
Engineered wood 4 – 16 6 – 15
Finished Concrete 0.25 – 5 2 – 30
Cork 2 – 12 2 – 5
Carpet 1 – 8 0.75 – 2.5
Laminate 0.75 – 7 2 – 8
Rubber 1 – 15 2 – 5
Epoxy 0.3 – 1 3 – 6

You can estimate the cost of your basement floors by using our Flooring Calculator.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring For Your Basement

Luxury vinyl flooring is the best option for basements. It’s a waterproof product and is more durable than organic alternatives like wood.

Luxury vinyl flooring comes as either tiles or planks and can match the look of hardwood or stone products.

The material can also be placed directly on the subfloor, making it incredibly easy to install.

Luxury Vinyl vs. Traditional Vinyl

Unlike the traditional vinyl tiles, which are glued to the surface, luxury vinyl flooring has emerged as a more upscale yet resilient option. One of its main benefits is that it doesn’t need adhesive to install. Instead, the planks interlock in a floating floor fashion.

Luxury vinyl is best for a high-end look at a very affordable price.

You can get luxury vinyl basement flooring for an average of $4 per square foot, without installation costs. This is much more affordable than hardwood, engineered wood, or ceramic and porcelain tiles.

Luxury vinyl is more value for the money than epoxy or concrete staining.

Types of Luxury Vinyl Floors

Wood-look luxury vinyl flooring comes in planks that mimic hardwood plank sizes and can be deeply embossed for a more natural appearance.

Stone-look luxury vinyl flooring mimics marble, slate, and other natural stone products. This type of tile can be square or rectangular and is available in various sizes.

Luxury Vinyl Durability

Luxury vinyl flooring is completely waterproof, making it a great choice for the basement. It won’t get damaged when rainwater makes its way into the room.

It’s also scratch-resistant, which can be incredibly useful if you use your basement as a workshop or entertainment center. The floor will remain scuff-free for years.

Because luxury vinyl is a floating floor option, it’s not stuck to the basement subfloor. It can be removed quickly and easily if you need to repair sections or want to replace the floor.

Luxury Vinyl Installation

Before installing your luxury vinyl flooring, it’s vital to ensure that the subfloor is in good condition. A vinyl floor is quite robust and can remain undamaged for years. However, if the subfloor has mold from water exposure, it will compromise the overall quality of your floor.

Disadvantage of Luxury Vinyl

Despite the various advantages of luxury vinyl flooring for your basement, there is one significant disadvantage. It’s not the most eco-friendly flooring option. Some brands in the market have had sustainability issues in the past.

Pros:
-Waterproof material
-Best cost-to-durability ratio
-Can mimic popular flooring designs
-Comes in various styles and colors
-Doesn’t get as cold as ceramic or concrete

Cons:

-Not very eco-friendly

Did you know? Many luxury vinyl flooring options are fitted with a foam underpad. They are softer to walk on and more forgiving than concrete in case of a fall. This slightly increases the cost but can vastly improve your quality of life.

Average Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $1,769 - $3,192 (for 180 sq. ft.)
Low End
$1,215
Average
$2,162
High End
$3,745

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code


Ceramic Tile Flooring For The Basement

Many factors make ceramic tile a good basement flooring option.

For starters, it’s a finished surface, so it doesn’t require additional decorative treatments. Ceramic tiles come in all shapes and sizes, can be cut precisely, and fit any basement décor design. It also absorbs very little water, dries quickly, and doesn’t stain easily, making it ideal for the basement.

Ceramic Tile Cost

Nothing is perfect, not even this fantastic flooring material. The cost of these tiles can be a significant drawback. The average price of ceramic flooring for your basement is about $19 per square foot, which is a lot more than the $4 it costs to get luxury vinyl.

Many homeowners elect to use this material only in the bathroom to save some money.

Ceramic Tile Installation

Although you can install ceramic flooring directly on your basement concrete, it would be better first to place a membrane that will separate the two materials.

The concrete can then move and crack without affecting the tile above. This protective layer will shield the ceramic from damage, but a sizeable crack will still make its way to the surface.

Another feature that you should sandwich between the surfaces is radiant heating.

Concrete and ceramic are cold materials, and a cool floor can make the basement an unfriendly place to visit. Warming the tiles can make all the difference, turning the space into a cozy area that the family can enjoy.

Disadvantage of Ceramic Tile

Ceramic gets slippery when wet, which can be hazardous since some basements tend to be damp. It also requires a significant time commitment to install.

A professional should fit ceramic tiles to your basement floor to ensure the installation is done correctly.

Pros:
-Aesthetically-pleasing finish
-Water-resistant
-Stain-resistant
-Mold-resistant

Cons:
-Expensive material
-Time-consuming to install
-Difficult to replace
-Slippery when wet

Engineered Wood Flooring For The Basement

Wood is an organic material, so it doesn’t handle water exposure very well. It’s therefore not an ideal flooring solution for the basement. However, engineered wood is a different story.

It’s made from a thin layer of hardwood combined with a high-performance strand board or plywood. This type of basement flooring is relatively stable and can withstand limited amounts of moisture.

Engineered Wood vs. Natural Wood

Engineered wood flooring designed for the basement will come with a more durable finish than other wooden flooring options.

Engineered wood is also less likely to warp or crack when exposed to temperature changes. It has the same designs as hardwood flooring, including parquet and wide-plank.

You can have a beautifully-finished basement that’s more inviting than a concrete floor.

Wood is also a warm material, meaning you won’t have to heat the floor. Throw in a few rugs, and you can comfortably pad around the basement barefoot.

Engineered Wood Cost

Unfortunately, the cost of installing engineered wood flooring for is prohibitive for some homeowners.

The cost of installation for hardwood basement flooring can run into the thousands for large spaces.

This is primarily because the installation cost includes factors like weatherization and drainage. That’s not counting the price of materials, which is about $10 per square foot.

Engineered Wood Installation

An engineered wood floor is typically 1/2 inch thick. Although some contractors lay this product directly over the basement concrete, installing it over a subfloor would be preferable. It will be spared from cracks that might be present in the concrete.

Pros:
-Can withstand limited amounts of moisture
-Looks like hardwood floors
-Durable material
-Not as cold as concrete or ceramic

Cons:
-Expensive to install
-Difficult to remove

Did you know? Because it’s mostly made from wood, an engineered wood floor can be sanded down and varnished several times. This increases its durability and longevity as you can refurbish it when it gets scuffed.

It also drastically increases its value over time, as a refinish is typically less costly than installing new wood floors and compares favorably to re-installing other floor types.

Average Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $1,769 - $3,192 (for 180 sq. ft.)
Low End
$1,215
Average
$2,162
High End
$3,745

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code


Concrete Flooring For The Basement

Concrete was previously looked down upon as an unattractive, utilitarian surface. However, concrete flooring for the basement has begun to gain popularity due to applications like painting and staining. It’s worth considering this material for your basement floor, mainly because it’s incredibly resilient.

Types of Concrete Finishes

Concrete comes in various styling options. For instance, painting the surface is a quick and inexpensive way to make it more attractive.

Additionally, staining the floor will result in a more pleasing surface that’s also water-resistant.

For those who are looking for a more cost-effective alternative to traditional basement flooring, textured concrete is another excellent choice to look at. Although it requires a bit more work to install, it can be designed to look like other materials, including slate and terrazzo.

Concrete vs. Floor Installation

One of the biggest advantages of a concrete basement floor is that you don’t have to add other materials. Concrete flooring for your basement is the best choice if your aim is to simply make the subfloor more attractive.

It’s also a relatively inexpensive option to explore. However, it isn’t as comfortable as other surfaces like hardwood or a carpet.

A concrete basement floor is best for a large family home if you are looking for a material that can withstand wear and tear. It can be painted and finished with warm tones to give it a cozier feel.

Pros:
-Doesn’t require additional materials
-Doesn’t require a subfloor
-Durable material

Cons:
-Has to be extensively cleaned to be stained or painted

Pro Tip: If you plan on having concrete flooring in your basement, ensure that it has a waterproof coating. Concrete is porous, and a suitable sealant will keep the moisture at bay.

Cork Flooring For The Basement

Natural cork flooring is made from cork trees. It’s warm and soft to walk on, which makes it an ideal choice to go over your basement concrete. However, it can be prone to water damage, so it’s important to install a subfloor system if you plan on using it in your basement.

Cork is Eco-Friendly

Because it can be manufactured sustainably, cork flooring is often regarded as an eco-friendly choice for your basement. It has a unique design for those looking to install something more unusual than hardwood floors.

If you have children, you’ll be happy to know that cork has antimicrobial properties. It therefore somewhat resistant to mold and safer for your kids to play on.

Pros:
-Provides insulation from the cold
-Comfortable to walk on
-Eco-friendly

Cons:
-Prone to water damage
-Can be challenging to install

Carpet Flooring For The Basement

Most people think of wall-to-wall carpeting as a poor choice for areas of the basement which may be exposed to water. These concerns as perfectly valid because soggy carpets can develop mold or mildew. However, basement floors generally tend to stay dry except in extreme situations like flooding. You can therefore gamble on getting a carpet, especially if you have a water-resistant subfloor.

In the unfortunate event that the basement carpet gets drenched, you will probably have to replace it.

Carpet Tiles vs. Wall to Wall Carpeting

A great compromise would be to use carpet tiles instead of one continuous wall-to-wall covering for your basement floor. Tiles are often a more affordable and durable option. In the event of flooding, the carpet tiles that have been damaged can easily be removed and dried before mold sets in. It’s easier to do this than replacing a wall-to-wall carpet.

This material might not be waterproof, but it’s the best flooring to give your basement a warm and cozy feel.

Advantages of Carpet

Carpet tiles are a more affordable alternative to ceramic or wood floors. Some companies offer machine-washable carpet tiles that are easier to maintain and don’t require adhesive to install.

Carpet Installation

Carpets might provide an unparalleled comfort level but installing them has to be on a case-by-case basis. If your basement gets wet when it rains, this flooring option isn’t for you. It’s also not a great fit if this space doubles as a workshop.

Pros:
-Warm and cozy
-Provides cushioning
-Easy to install and remove

Cons:
-Not waterproof
-Can develop mold
-Stains easily

Pro Tip: The best carpet for your basement floor is one that has a face weight, or the weight of the pile (material without backing) in a square yard, of at least 40 ounces. It should also be made of PET polyester with synthetic fiber padding.

Laminate Flooring For The Basement

Technological advances have made laminate flooring more appealing than ever. It’s a synthetic material that superficially looks like hardwood but is more affordable. With a fiberboard base, it works well as basement flooring.

Laminate vs. Wood

Laminate’s benefits typically come in its ease of installation and replacement. Unlike proper wood flooring, which can endure for decades, laminate typically lasts only 10 years and can crack or scuff easier. However, it can be cheaper to replace sections of laminate, or the entire basement floor, than to clean, sand, and refinish wood flooring.

Over time, wood flooring can gather moisture and get uneven, especially in basements prone to water infiltration. Laminate is the best flooring option for your basement if you want to mimic the look at a discount.

If you’re worried about the potential damage caused by moisture, only use water-resistant laminate flooring in your basement or forgo it as an option altogether. Without water penetration, laminate should last a long time and will be easy to clean.

Disadvantage of Laminate

However, laminate doesn’t handle water well. There’s no way to fix it once it becomes water-logged. When the edges start to warp from moisture damage, you will need to replace it.

Installing a subfloor in your basement can help alleviate laminate’s water issues. The subfloor will act as a protective barrier that will absorb any moisture rising from the concrete slab.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many stores in the U.S. that stock this material. Additionally, the laminate available comes in minimal design options. Another problem with laminate is that it isn’t particularly eco-friendly.

Pros:
-Easy to install yourself
-Warmer than concrete and ceramic
-Affordable

Cons:
-Prone to water damage
-Not very eco-friendly
-Difficult to source

Rubber Flooring For The Basement

Rubber flooring is most commonly used in gyms and play areas. However, it’s also a suitable option for the basement floor. This material can withstand moisture and is soft enough for kids to comfortably play on. It’s also warmer than the concrete floor.

Types of Rubber Flooring

Rubber flooring comes as either rubber which has fewer seams, or interlocking tiles. They are both relatively easy to install and can be fitted to your basement without the help of a professional.

Unfortunately, rubber flooring isn’t built to last. It has a lifespan of about two years after which you’ll probably need to replace it.

Pros:
-Excellent insulation from the cold
-Soft material
-Water-resistant

Cons:
-Not very durable

Average Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $1,769 - $3,192 (for 180 sq. ft.)
Low End
$1,215
Average
$2,162
High End
$3,745

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code


What’s The Most Affordable Option For Basement Flooring?

Concrete is one of the least expensive flooring options. This is primarily because it’s the material already covering the basement floor and will only require a little extra work to spruce it up. Its durability also means that it won’t require constant repairs.

If you want to get a workable basement floor for a workshop, utility area, tool shed, or long-term storage, staining or refinishing concrete is the most cost-efficient way to go. It’s a great solution if you don’t need a basement that’s constantly in use, since concrete is not particularly great for living or play areas.

What’s The Most Waterproof Flooring For The Basement?

In case waterproofing your basement is your top priority, an epoxy floor might be the best choice for you. With epoxy, you can expect a hard, durable surface that will last a long time.

It’s a waterproof surface that can withstand being submerged in water. You can paint epoxy in a range of colors to brighten it up and make it more suitable for home use.

Advantage of Epoxy

One of the best benefits of using epoxy for your basement floor is that it’s a straightforward, DIY-friendly installation with a low price tag. For a two-part epoxy floor, which is more durable, you’ll need to mix the resin and hardener.

Epoxy coatings can come in various colors and textures to mimic other floor types and set in 24 hours.

Another upside of epoxy is that it’s nearly effortless to clean. However, while damage to the floor is typically easy to repair, a professional installer should be called in to ensure an even result.

Disadvantage of Epoxy

The major downside of epoxy is that it is slippery when wet, making it less suitable for children. To alleviate this, you can use a grained epoxy, which is more textured but increases the price tag.

Pro Tip: When selecting basement flooring, it’s essential to consider the temperature of the space. The home’s foundation is made of concrete, making for a cold floor. Choosing a material like ceramic or epoxy will do little to minimize the effect of the foundation.

When Is A Subfloor Necessary For The Basement?

A good subfloor can help keep the basement floor from sustaining water damage. Non-waterproof flooring options like cork, carpet, and laminate will last longer if they are sitting on a subfloor.

Can Radiant Floor Heating Be Used for Basement Flooring?

Absolutely. Radiant heat can make a concrete or ceramic basement floor much more comfortable. However, you should check with the floor manufacturer before installing this feature.

What’s The Best Flooring For An Uneven Basement?

Your best bet with an uneven basement floor is to paint or stain it. Other flooring options like floating floors will require the concrete to be level before they can be fitted correctly. Failure to do this will shorten the lifespan of your basement floor.

Is There Mold-Proof Basement Flooring?

While there’s no basement flooring material that’s impervious to mold, there are mold-resistant options available. Materials like cork, tiles, epoxy, and vinyl are best at preventing many mold issues.

What Is The Best Flooring For My Basement?

There are many options of basement floors to consider depending on your budget and style needs. Overall, luxury vinyl flooring offers the best combination of value for your money, along with comfort and great design.

Average Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $1,769 - $3,192 (for 180 sq. ft.)
Low End
$1,215
Average
$2,162
High End
$3,745

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code



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One comment on “2022 Best Flooring For Basements

  1. Interior Renovations Edmonton

    The best type of flooring for basements is vinyl. Vinyl flooring can come in the form of vinyl plank and vinyl tile, giving it the ability to look nearly identical to hardwood and stone products with the added benefit of being waterproof.

    Reply