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. I have a basement gets water in one area when it rains heavily. We have carpet and have to pull it up everytime. What is another option for us. We use the room as a game/family room. Is there a paint that we can use on the concrete that will stand the test of time/rain? Also I was interested in the type of paint to use and technique that would make the floor look like stone flooring. Thanks

  2. Hi Krista,
    I would recommend some sort of epoxy paint or epoxy stone or resin stone flooring. There are also different materials that can be added to the paint to make it look like stone – some very decorative.
    What I would really recommend is figuring out where the water is coming from and address that problem. Once you’ve accomplished that, you should be able to use anything you’d like for flooring.
    You can read up on these types of flooring options elsewhere on the site. Go to the top right-hand corner of this page, click on “Full Archives” and find articles that look like they may pertain to your situation and read. ;~)

  3. Hi,
    We are going to finish our basement> it is new construction and we waited about a yr and a half to make sure it will be dry. So far, so good. What are your thoughts about glue down engineered flooring vs a floating laminate? Ann

  4. Hi Ann,
    Either is fine so long as your basement has no moisture issues. You should test the concrete to make sure – basically, take a piece of clear plastic wrap or bag and tape it down to the floor. Check it the next day to see if there’s any moisture or fogging of the plastic. If so, you should apply a moisture barrier – the kind you apply with a paint roller should be fine as I would assume that your concrete is in perfect condition. Actually, this should be your first step anyway – don’t want a nasty surprise later! Glue down is more ‘permanent’ and more difficult to remove. If you decide to change your flooring or if your basement should flood in the future, the floating laminate is going to be much easier to remove. It’s a personal call, and your choice. For all intents and purposes, either will work.

  5. We’re getting conflicting stories RE: ceramic or porcelain tiles for our 13×30 basement flooring project. One place said absolutely NO ceramic tile if we might get water. There is a history of water coming in but we think that’s taken care of now. I’ve read all your posts and don’t see anything advising one way or the other. Thank you.

  6. I have a nightmare basement – it had to have waterproofing done right after moving in. originally ceramic tile, now, ceramic tile with 1-2 feet perimeter of concrete over new french drain. for stained concrete, I think expense rising since existing tile needs grinding down. What are my options???? flood always possible, carpet out due to that. Is laminate flood proof???

  7. Hi Sarah,
    Laminate is not flood proof, sorry. Personally, I think I’d wait a while before deciding on a flooring choice – just to see if you get any flooding at all now that the French drains have been installed and the waterproofing as well.
    You wouldn’t have to necessarily grind down the tiles, they could probably be removed – you’d still have to re-level the concrete underneath or grind it so it’s even.
    With a basement that is prone to flooding, you really don’t have much in the way of choices as just about everything can be ruined by water.
    One other idea: why not have a multi-material floor? Leave the tiles and stain or paint the concrete that’s over the French drains?

  8. Hi Hal,
    Yes, ceramic or porcelain tiles should not be used if your basement is prone to flooding. Hopefully you are correct, and the problem is taken care of. Why not wait a while and see? So long as the moisture problem has been remedied, then you can lay tile down. Remember to seal the concrete first though! So long as you don’t get any more water coming in, your tiles shouldn’t get damaged.

  9. i have a question…currently i am living in the downstairs of my grandmothers house….which had a cement base,upstairs under the carpet was beautiful wood floors which we refinished,for the floors downstasirs once i take up carpet and the concrete is exposed do you have any affordable ideas i could do myself other than carpet in the bedroom,we just did the kitchen in a laminate,but i wanted something different?

  10. I have a basement floor question. The previous owners painted the basement floor green with a masonry paint that did not hold up well. I wired brushed the entire basement floor and found out that they painted over vinyl tiling. I wanted to put an epoxy floor coating down on the floor because I thought it was concrete. Is his still an option? The basement if fairly dry as well

  11. Hi..we have an old house with a cement basement floor. Our basement never floods but it can get damp. Most of the floor has old laminate tile that was laid with a black mastic of some kind–we’re not interested in taking it up. But, there are some places where there isn’t tile (under where interior walls used to be). We’d like to have some concrete laid over it and then stained/stamped. Is that possible without taking up the tile?
    Our 2nd option is to simply put down some peel and stick tile to fill in the gaps and then paint the whole floor. Do we sand the laminate tiles and then paint over that?
    Thanks..great site!

  12. Hi Natalie, I’m curious; why do you want to pour concrete over the floor? There are a lot of variables here, one of which would depend on how thick you would want to pour the concrete. Also, if you would pour the concrete over the existing tile, you would have to have some type of barrier put over the tile such as black plastic. Otherwise, if the old tile would start to break loose, it would float up into the concrete.

    Painting over the tile is not a good option either. I would consider removing the remaining tile, grinding the concrete so it’s smooth and then staining/stamping the concrete.

  13. I have concrete basemant floor. was stained 4 years again and decided to repaint it. well little did I know the stain and latex paint don’t work well together. so, I have to remove the paint (I used Behr concrete and masonary cleaner) Now I want to try again. What do I use?

  14. I have concrete basement floor. was stained 4 years again and decided to repaint it. well little did I know the stain and latex paint don’t work well together. so, I have to remove the paint (I used Behr concrete and masonary cleaner) Now I want to try again. What do I use?

  15. Miki,
    Another option may be to re-stain the concrete floor as paints are highly susceptible to flaking and peeling and if the area is high traffic it might not be the best option for you. Concrete Stains can be used to recolor previously stained concrete and it’s suggested at around 5 years to recolor. The use of the cleaner will be highly beneficial before staining as the surface should be free from all oil, dirt, and grease before re-staining.

  16. Do I need to place a vapor barrier of some sort on a unsealed/unpainted concrete basement floor before I apply thinset and tile? If so what kind?

  17. Unsealed Concrete will absorb water-so yes a vapor barrier is required. I would consult a professional in your area who is familiar with the moisture content as they could recommend the correct type of vapor barrier to use.

  18. hi…
    my basement floor is cement. I was thinking of putting vinyl tiles over the cement. the vinyl tiles have adhesive on the back but i was wondering if theres anything i can do to make it stick even better?? ( i heard that if i painted the floor it would stick better? but im not sure if thats true or even work..)


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