Basement Floors

Basement floors can cause a challenge to many homeowners because of the numerous potential problems and issues that affect the flooring choice. Whether you go with cheap durable basement flooring or something elegant, determine if waterproofing basement floors is necessary. Mold and mildew resistant basement flooring options abound. Your choices include laminate flooring, painting your basement floors, linoleum or vinyl flooring over concrete (tiles or rolls), wood, and even tiles. The best basement flooring really depends on you. Our basement flooring recommendations are that you evaluate your basement and your needs, get lots of basement flooring ideas, and proceed.

Do you have a basement that looks like a cave? Changing the flooring in your basement can make your basement look more like a room than a dark, dingy cave. There are lots of basement flooring ideas, all you have dot do is sort through the basement flooring options and make a decision!

What Flooring Option Is Best For Your Basement?

Adding flooring can brighten any room and can create interest and a feeling of being welcome. There are so many flooring options that you can use in the basement to create a room that everyone will love spending time in that the only problem may be trying to decide between the options! Here are some basement flooring recommendations we’ve found through the years and various homes,

Your question, “what is a good flooring for a concrete basement” has many answers, all guided by the basement uses and your needs, your geographic location and basement style. You first need to ask yourself a few questions. What is the basement area going to be used for? Family room? Bedroom or office? A game room perhaps. If it is going to be used for a family room, for example, then you will want to have flooring that is durable and easy to clean. A bedroom or office space does not have to be as easy to clean as a playroom so can handle a different flooring. A game room needs to be durable. Where are you located? In an area with a high water table or tendency for flooding? Is your location dry, leaving you with a water-proof basement? And is the basement subterranean or walk-out? Each basement style will have its own criteria for how the space is going to be used. Determining the use will help you evaluate how much traffic and what kind of activity the room is going to get. Then you can make an informed decision on flooring that will be durable and last for years.

Cracked basement floors may need repairing before you do anything with your do anything further with your basement flooring. Waterproofing the concrete may be important too.

If you need cheap durable basement flooring, you have several different options. You could consider painting basement floors to save money. You could even try a faux finish that will make the concrete or cement look like more expensive stone flooring. Stenciling concrete basement floors can let them look like they have expensive oriental rugs or parquet tiles. Decorating concrete basement floors should not be scary — you never know, your floors could be the envy of the neighborhood! Paint is an easy fix to any decorating problem. And don’t forget that after you paint or stain your floor to take care of sealing the basement floor.

If you are looking for a floor that will turn your basement into a masterpiece, then you may want to consider installing laminate flooring in the basement. Using laminate flooring for basement floors instantly creates a feeling of warmth to a room. Laminate flooring in the basement works great if the basement is a dry space. As long as your concrete or cement basement floor is sealed and free of cracks, you should be able to install most laminate flooring brands.

Another option to think about is basement tile flooring. Tile flooring comes in many different colors and materials and you are sure to find the one that will make your basement look great! From peel and stick tile to ceramic tile, you will find the one that is right for you and your budget. You can go with an all-over color, or design a pattern and lay the tiles to create the design. If you already have tiles on the floor, but they are tired or worn out, you can cover them with carpet, laminate, or maybe even more tiles. Painting tile floors is another interesting option for you.

Prepare Your Basement For New Flooring

Before you choose the flooring for your basement, make sure that you have prepared your floors correctly. Waterproofing basement floors is very important because of their direct contact with the ground and the possibility of ground moisture seeping in. Concrete can act like a sponge and draw water up into the room if it is not sealed. This moisture can not only ruin flooring, but also causes mold or mildew problems. Be sure that your concrete or cement basement flooring and walls are waterproof to protect your basement flooring choice. Consider mold and mildew resistant basement flooring options if you have lots of ground moisture.

Once you decide what the basement is going to be used for and make sure that it is watertight, then you will be ready to choose the flooring. The flooring choice is entirely up to you and your budget. There are many different flooring options for basements now so you should be able to find exactly what you are looking for!

137 thoughts on “Basement Floors”

  1. Hi John,
    Epoxy would work better as regular paint will probably peel off. You really should address the moisture issue though so that you can finish your floor how you’d like. There are sub-floor methods too– links can be found under Moisture Proofing.

  2. we are currently redoing our 500sf basement and are trying to find the lowest cost flooring solution. Right now the floors are concrete and quite uneven. The ceilings are extremely low, so we’d prefer something that doesn’t raise the floor too much. It is a dry basement, although in the summer we have a dehumidifier on. Someone suggested putting smaller ceramic tiles directly on to the existing floor, or to add electric heating beneath tiles for warmth. This sounds quite costly. Would adhesive linoleum or cork tiles work?

  3. We are currently redoing our 500sf basement and are trying to find the most simple and cheapest flooring solution. Right now the floors are concrete and uneven (which we can live with). The ceilings are extremely low, so we’d prefer something that doesn’t really raise the floor too much. It feels like a dry basement, although in the summer it smells slightly musty so we keep a dehumidifier on. Someone suggested putting smaller (to move with the unevenness) ceramic tiles directly on to the existing floor, but we’re concerned about the coldness and possible cracking. They also suggested adding electric heating beneath tiles as a way of heating the space. This sounds quite costly. We are wondering about cork or linoleum tiles, but are concerned about them lifting because of temperature and moisture changes and uneven cement foundation. We are also concerned about fumes from epoxy. Any suggestions you might have would be appreciated.

  4. Anything you want to do will work so long as the basement is indeed dry. I would suggest leveling the floor though or else you could run into problems – especially with any kind of tile. The in-floor heating is an excellent idea by the way, and well worth the money.

  5. Hi,
    I have an upstairs bedroom that we are currently uptdating. The floor is covered with asbestos tiles. We do not have the money to get into high cost of proper removal and disposal of these tiles, and we don’t want to just carpet over it.
    I am wondering if you have any suggestions or thoughts about painting over the tiles. We’re wondering if that might work, and if so, what kind of primer and paint we should use. Any thoughts or help would be much appreciated.

  6. Hi Rachel,
    It depends on the condition of the tiles. If any are cracked, chipped, frayed or damaged in any other way they should be removed…….. period.
    Different ways of covering are covered on this site, I would suggest using the search function located at the upper right hand corner of the page.

  7. Hello Flooring Lady!
    My husband and I just purchased a home in a flood zone which has a finished walk out basement. (We liked the home enough to take the risk!) It has been flooded twice in the past 7 years…
    Our question is, currently the basement has carpet. In general, we are not fans of carpet and we’d like to replace it with something lovely and something we would not have to rip out and replace in a flood.
    Under the carpet is the original concrete foundation from the 1950’s. We both love the look of finished concrete. However, we are concerned about the potentially very cold floor under our feet. The ceilings in the room are also quite low…7.5 feet, so we are not sure if we have room to build up for radiant floor heating underneath new concrete.
    The room, which is nearly 1000 sqft, will be used for TV watching, office, treadmill (rec room kind of thing)
    Is it possible to do finished concrete in our basement? Would we be pouring new concrete? Is there an option to warm concrete floors? And if concrete is not possible, do you have any other suggestions?
    Thank You!

  8. I have a 700sf ft basement that already have tile in it. I was wondering if I could install peel and stick tiles over it? We have a dehumidifier running a all times and the hygrometer states that the moister level is normal in this area. If I am able to use these tiles is there something I should do to the floor to prepare it before placing the tiles dowm?

  9. Hi Renae,
    There are several ways to go. I’d suggest looking in the Full Archives and reading up on the subjects that would pertain to your situation. There are different things you can do with concrete and different options for in-floor heating. Good luck and be sure to come back with additional questions!

  10. I have a house built in the 80’s with a cement basement floor that has had moisture problems in the past but mostly from septic tank back up. There are cracks in the floor and some very slight heaving. I plan on putting down plastic dimple flooring and then a 3/4″ subfloor on top that. Do you think that the cracks in the floor still need to be fixed. And I was also thinking of laying laminate for flooring. Do you think heaving will cause us any problems when laying the laminate.

  11. Hi Jason,
    It would still probably be a good idea to fix the cracks if they’re rather wide and then seal with some sort of brush-on or roll-on type of cement sealer. If they’re tiny in width, then just using the sealer should do. So long as you get the subfloor level then you should have no problems with laying the laminate.

  12. I had rented my house out for a few years. When i got it back the renter the the cats use the basement floor as a litter box. It smells BAD! I have tried everything. Last thing i tried is a shellac based primer. It still smells and smells even worse when it rains. What can i do to get this smell out of my floor?

  13. Hi Sara,
    Do you really mean a shellac based sealer?? Just wondering. What was the product you used? It’s also possible that the cats sprayed on the walls too.
    I’m not sure that there is a product that can really penetrate through shellac if the smell is still seeping through, which is why I’d like to know what you used to shellac your floor.

  14. In response to the lady with the asbestos tile. Call and have a couple people who do residential removal, it may not be THAT expensive. It will also give you more options. I had 550 square feet of asbestos tile and mastic removed for 1100. Not bad i thought.

  15. Thanks for posting Josh! It sounds like you got a reasonable price for the asbestos tile removal – well worth the price for not having to deal with removing and figuring out all the legalities of disposal yourself!

  16. We are having a house built with a full basement. We were wanting to score and stain a design or pattern in the basement floor. Someone told me I shouldn’t do anything to encourage cracking in the basement. What do you think?

  17. I applied Stone Mason EZ Stone to my concrete floor in the basement. Within days the floor showed signs of staining. Is this a result of moisture coming through the concrete if so what can be done.

  18. Hi Brock,
    Who told you that? There is no reason why scoring (which is not done deeply) should encourage the basement floor to crack. Cracks are usually caused by settling or poor workmanship. Stained concrete flooring is a wonderful idea!

  19. Hi Dave,
    It’s hard for me to determine without seeing it myself, but it could be moisture. Is there any possibility that the floor had some stains and they came through? If in doubt, the best thing to do is to test it for moisture.


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