Choosing A Floor Covering For Your Basement

Putting the finishing touches on your newly constructed or renovated basement is important. Choose the right kind of flooring that will make your new basement spectacular. There are many types of floor covering options that you can choose from and each one has its pros and cons.

Some options include:

  • Tile
  • Wood
  • Wood Laminate
  • Vinyl
  • Carpet
  • Mats or Rugs
  • Stained Concrete


Ceramic floor tile can be an excellent choice for flooring. With a variety of colors and styles to choose from, tile can really put the finishing touches on your basement. The price range of ceramic tile is also very dynamic and you can choose a really inexpensive tile that will still make your basement look good. Your local home improvement stores have tile for as low as seventy-five cents a square foot. Add grout and mortar and you can install it yourself for about a dollar a square foot.

There are two bad things with choosing tile. For one, it can get very hot or very cold as the ground below your foundation gets hot or cold. Also, if the foundation to the basements shifts, it will crack the tile.

Wood or Wood Laminate

Real wood flooring or wood laminate could also be a great alternative for your flooring. Again, you can get a good quality product for around a dollar per square foot. Laminate flooring is the easier of the two to install. A laminate floor is a floating floor, meaning that it won’t be permanently attached to the foundation. It requires minimal tools to install and the floor planks snap and lock in place.

There are precautions you must use when installing wood or wood laminate flooring. You will need to lay down a protective moisture barrier on the foundation first. This will keep moisture from the ground and foundation from getting to the flooring and thus prevent uplifting and swelling of the wood planks. You may also want to choose a floor padding, either separate or attached to the planks, so that it can give your floor a soft feel on your feet and reduce noise at the same time.

Vinyl Flooring

Laminate vinyl flooring can also be a good option for your floor, especially for an uneven basement floor. It is easy to install and inexpensive. You can either choose individual laminate tiles or laminate sheeting. Individual laminate tiles come with a self-stick backing where all you have to do is peel and stick. Laminate sheeting will require you to lay down glue first and then roll out the sheeting on top of it. Plastic sheeting is perhaps the easiest to install of all the flooring options.

As with ceramic tile flooring, laminate flooring will heat up or cool down as the foundation heats or cools. It can also get scratched or cut and you may need some extra tiles on hand to replace them.


Capet is a floor covering you may want to consider if you want to create a warm and cozy environment. Because a basement floor can get cold, carpet can be a great choice because of its warmth. During certain times of the year, your local home improvement stores will offer free or low cost installation if you purchase carpeting from them, and this could be the best time to install carpet in your basement.

If your basement is subject to flooding, then carpeting will not be a good choice of flooring.

Mats or Rugs

Mats or rugs could also be a choice of flooring. You can throw them down and not have to worry about them until it’s time to clean them.

Stained Concrete

One alternative that is quickly becoming very popular is staining your concrete basement floor. Doing this involves using chemicals to treat the existing concrete foundation, which stains it to the color of your choosing. This process takes several days. If you allow the stain to sit longer, then it will get darker. For a lighter finish, you will have to wipe off the chemicals faster. You can then lay a clear protecting coating down on your newly stained floor, much like a wax for a tile or laminate floor. Some people will also cut lines into their stained carpet to create the look and feel of ceramic tile.

If your basement ever floods you will not need to worry about your stained concrete. However, it can get hot or cold like the outside environment.

So when you want to choose the best floor covering, you will need to take all of your flooring options into consideration. Each one of them has its pros and cons, but they will all make your basement look fabulous. Ask your local home improvement store representatives for additional ideas for installing your basement flooring. They will also help you price out each option so you can find one to fit your budget.

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