A basement offers endless potential for your home. Will you create a cozy entertainment space? Perhaps you want a quiet, sophisticated home office. Guest bedrooms, home bars, and exercise rooms are excellent options, too. No matter what you choose to do with your basement, you must start with one crucial decision: what kind of flooring do you want? The right flooring will transform your basement from empty square footage to the luxurious design of your dreams. The soft feel of carpet, the water-resistance of epoxy, and the classic beauty of engineered hardwood flooring all have their perks. Learn more about your options and find the flooring that will complete your home with this guide to the best flooring options for your basement.
Carpet has been a popular choice for generations. Some rooms are better for carpet than others, but many homeowners value carpet throughout the house for its soft, cozy feeling. Carpet is a great flooring choice when you want to counter the cold temperature and atmosphere that many basements create. This is a fantastic option for cozy movie rooms, kids’ play areas, or other recreational spaces.
Carpet is an affordable option for your home. As we mentioned, it’s soft, warm, and comfortable—giving your basement all of those qualities as well. You can choose between different colors and thicknesses to perfect the look and feel it brings to your basement. If you have the money to spend, you can invest in higher-end carpets that are more durable, water resistant, or hypoallergenic.
Water damage can be a huge issue in the basement, and carpet doesn’t handle moisture well. If you install carpet, you must be vigilant against leaks, plumbing or foundational issues, and other problems that can lead to water damage. Additionally, carpet isn’t as durable as many other popular basement flooring options. Stains, tears, and other damage might mean you have to replace your basement’s carpet after only a few short years.
Epoxy Floor Coatings
Epoxy coatings are ways to treat hard floors like concrete. These are popular options for homeowners who want durable, functional basement flooring. Epoxy coatings create a thick, durable, and low-maintenance protective layer for your floors. This makes them the perfect option for home gyms and other room designs that see a lot of high activity.
One of the greatest advantages of epoxy coatings—and concrete floors in general—is that you don’t have to worry about water damage, mold, or mildew affecting your flooring. Epoxy coatings are also incredibly easy to clean and maintain. You can also choose different colors for your epoxy coating, which gives you room for creativity as you design your dream basement.
Epoxy floorings are hard and cold, which can make a basement feel uncomfortable or unwelcoming. You can counter this with area rugs, but you’ll still have to contend with the industrialist appearance it creates in the room. Additionally, the hard surface can be uncomfortable to stand or walk on. You’ll have to supplement it with comfortable rugs, sofas, and other furnishings to create an inviting space for yourself and your guests.
With a limitless variety of colors and patterns, ceramic tile is an attractive option for your basement flooring. It’s also surprisingly affordable, especially if you already have an even subfloor that’s in good condition. Tile is a great option when you want to get creative with your basement design. You can mimic the look of stone or hardwood or build upon your color scheme to complement any design you have in mind.
Like concrete, tile is waterproof and incredibly durable. If you install it properly and take good care of it, ceramic tile can last for decades. You can install ceramic tiles directly onto your subfloor without an underlayment. If you have a few DIY skills up your sleeve, you might even be able to lay your tile floors yourself. Finally, ceramic tile dries out and will never develop rot, making it ideal for areas that get a lot of moisture.
Also like concrete, tile is a hard and cold option. You'll definitely want to invest in a cozy area rug or two to make your basement more comfortable. Additionally, you need an even subfloor to install ceramic tile. If your subfloor has flaws or imperfections, you might have to spend a significant amount of time and money preparing it for installation.
Rubber Flooring or Tiles
Rubber flooring is popular in gyms, dance studios, and other areas that need to keep their occupants comfortable through bouts of high activity. The same concept makes rubber flooring a great option for homeowners who want workout spaces or comfortable play areas for the kids. Rubber floors come in large sheets to minimize seams or interlocking tiles to make installation easy.
Rubber is soft and incredibly cushy to walk on. It also acts as an extra layer of insulation, keeping your basement warm, quiet, and comfortable. It provides decent moisture resistance, making it a strong choice for damp basements. If you choose rubber tiles, the interlocking structure makes installation a breeze, saving you a lot of time and money.
The biggest downside of rubber flooring is its appearance. The range of color options can make for a fun and positive workout room or playroom, but it isn’t as appealing for other basement uses. If you want a cozy living space or a chic entertainment area, rubber probably isn’t the choice for you. Additionally, rubber tiles offer weaker moisture resistance, as water can seep into the cracks between tiles and cause issues.
When it comes to beauty, durability, and functionality, engineered hardwood is easily one of the best flooring options for your basement. Engineered hardwood is a natural wood product that looks and feels like beautiful solid hardwood. Meanwhile, its high-density fiberboard core creates better moisture resistance than solid hardwood. Engineered hardwood is a fantastic choice if you want durability, versatility, and beauty in your basement flooring.
Engineered hardwood comes in a variety of species, character grades, textures, and other options—such as the warm tones and unique markings of natural red oak hardwood flooring. No matter what function or design you want for your basement, you can find an engineered wood flooring option to match. Engineered hardwood also provides great moisture resistance and sound absorption, making it a clear and comfortable option for your basement.
A clean, even subfloor is a requirement for engineered hardwood flooring. An underlayment is also a good idea to create a more durable and comfortable floor. Additionally, engineered hardwood isn’t as inexpensive as options such as carpet. However, the initial investment is worth the decades of beauty and functionality you get from your engineered wood flooring.