Best Flooring for Basements

waterproof basement flooring virginia

Basements have a wide variety of uses, depending on individual tastes and hobbies. Whether it’s a personal gym, a kids’ playroom or storage space, basements offer a range of options. One of the most defining aspects of this space is the floor. And just like the different uses of the room, basement floors vary widely.

Are you choosing new flooring for your basement? No matter their intended purpose, basements need durable and secure floors. Because flooding is common in some areas, many people consider waterproof options first. For others, the comfort of the ground is most important. It’s sometimes difficult to find the best option amidst all the different possibilities.

But what’s most important to contemplate before selecting basement flooring, and what are the best types for you? Here are some important things to keep in mind when beginning your search.

Things to Consider When Choosing Basement Flooring

If you’re just starting your flooring search, it’s important to take personal circumstances into account. Because basement floor options vary so broadly, it’s best to select the flooring that aligns with these considerations:

Budget

Starting with your budget in mind is a good practice for any major home installation. Floor installment prices are calculated by square feet and the cost can add up quickly. Your final fee depends on the size of the basement and the cost of the flooring selection. Make sure you create a budget and avoid straying too far from your plan.

It’s best to weigh the limits of your budget with the quality of the floor type. Even with a limited budget, high-quality materials are a better choice for long-term finances. You might use the money you save now for later repairs.

Be sure to find a price plan that accommodates your financials and your intentions for the basement. Costs differ widely between types of flooring, so you’re sure to find an option suiting your goals and your budget.

Durability

Another consideration is the flooring’s resilience. Some types of floors endure years before showing signs of wear, while others are built for less interaction. By anticipating the use of the basement, you can select the flooring with the durability level you need.

Think about your intended purpose for the basement. How often will you use it? And for what reason? If you want to use it as a home gym, you might choose a sturdier surface than a child’s play space, while a ceramic floor probably wouldn’t be best for kids and their toys.

Here are some other questions to ask yourself about durability:

  • What activity will you do most often in the basement?
  • How much time will you spend there?
  • Will that amount of time ever change?
  • Do you have pets or kids that might use the room often?

Keep these thoughts in mind as you compare the longevity of different floor options.

Water Resistance

Water levels are one of the most important things to acknowledge when planning a basement. All basements are below ground level, also known as the grade. The proximity to the ground allows water moisture and vapors to enter basements easily. And regular rainfall or flooding puts your basement at risk for water intrusion. Whether it’s water vapor or rain overflow, water’s presence in your basement often leads to deterioration and damage.

Some areas are desert-dry and experience little rain, while others flood every season. Keep your location and moisture levels in mind when selecting flooring. Some materials, like carpet, are poor options if you get lots of rain. Others aren’t best suited for wetness but dry easily. Some are entirely waterproof. Think about what’s greatest for your price plan and local water levels.

Function

Do you have a specific style in mind for the basement? Maybe you want to follow a particular color scheme or match the furniture downstairs. Flooring is always a big factor in a room’s look. It can complement or distract from the rest of your decor. So, remember to consider the other elements in the room while choosing basement flooring options.

In addition, contemplate the flooring’s adaptability and comfort. If you’re still undecided on the room’s purpose, you might want a style that adapts well with a change. And comfort level varies with the use of the room. If it’s mostly meant for your kids, you might choose a softer or more colorful material. But if the room is just for storage, a hard surface is probably fine.

Warmth

Basement floors are cold. The room’s below-grade location makes for a chilly atmosphere, even in dry areas. Sometimes, insulation doesn’t properly heat downstairs areas. Cold air from vents on higher floors drifts into the basement easily, making it even colder. But in other cases, basements heat nicely.

Maybe you have a strong heating system, and the chill isn’t one of your worries, or perhaps keeping the cold out is one of your top priorities. While carpet keeps more warmth in your room, materials like ceramic are cool to the touch. Keep your warmth preferences in mind as you navigate flooring options.

The Best Flooring for Water-Prone Basements

best flooring for water prone basements

If you get a lot of water in your basement, it’s in your best interest to look at the best flooring for basements that flood. This saves you from costly fixes later on. Luckily, there are many waterproof options for your basement:

Vinyl Flooring 

Vinyl basement flooring is one of the strongest options for basements that flood. It’s also one of the best floorings for basements over concrete surfaces. Dynamic, inexpensive and water-impervious, vinyl sheets are popular for many buyers. Some of vinyl’s benefits include:

  • Inexpensive: This option is one of the most cost-effective styles on the market.
  • Water Resistant: Sheet vinyl creates an impervious surface that keeps water at bay. Luxury vinyl tile, while more expensive, is nearly 100% waterproof.
  • Resilient: If you need a durable floor, vinyl is a great option. It resists wear and withstands heavy foot traffic.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring is a sophisticated and cost-effective flooring style. It’s designed to withhold moisture better than typical wood, so get the hardwood appearance without the water worries. An engineered plywood core combines with a sleek wood layer, creating a durable and attractive floor. Here are some more advantages:

  • Water-resistant: Designers intended this option to withstand water and other moisture.
  • Attractive: The sophisticated look of the wood enhances any room. Your basement will have a new and refined aesthetic.
  • Durable: Engineered wood outlasts regular wear and tear and retains its gleam long after installation.

The Best Flooring for Dry Basements

Some spaces aren’t prone to water, so water resistance isn’t as much of a concern. While you should always consider moisture, you have more options without waterproofing at the forefront.

Carpet Flooring

While not the best at reducing water, carpet flooring has many benefits for basements. It’s family-friendly, and installations are easy. Here are more perks of carpeting:

  • Great for kids: Do you want your kids to use your basement? Carpet is an excellent choice. The soft material comforts kids and absorbs sound so you can relax. And the many color options allow you to individualize the space for any personality.
  • Heat-retaining: If you want to heat your downstairs, carpet is a great flooring option. It retains heat, making your basement comfortable and cozy.
  • Easily installed: Carpet is easier to install than other flooring options. It’s also simpler to remove, so if you have a change of heart, a redo won’t take too much effort.

Laminate Flooring

A classic and cost-effective choice, laminate flooring is a popular modern option. This style is best for basements with very little amounts of moisture. This style recreates the look of wooden floors by using four durable layers. Laminate wood is versatile, offering a multitude of colors and styles to suit your preferences. Here are more advantages of laminate flooring:

  • Cost-effective: Laminate floors offer the authenticity and aesthetic of genuine hardwood at a lower cost. If you want the hardwood look but have monetary concerns, this could be the choice for you.
  • Easy maintenance: You’ll spend much less time cleaning your basement if you choose laminated wood. Spills and stains are cleaned easily with a quick mop or wipe.
  • Resilient: Laminate’s durability allows for long-lasting flooring. If you experience high amounts of traffic in your basement, this style withstands heavy footsteps. Colors don’t fade, even after years of use.

The Best Flooring for Unfinished Basements

Finding the right option for unfinished spaces can seem tricky. But some of the flooring options above work well with unfinished basements, too.

Unfinished floors might have uneven or unsolid surfaces, making floor installations harder. While some people choose paint or rubber pads for quick fixes, others want to install entirely new floors for the unfinished spaces.

The best flooring for a basement cement floor is often vinyl because it is durable, versatile and largely waterproof.

Tips for Choosing Basement Flooring

basement ceiling

With those options in mind, here are some other tips for choosing the best flooring:

  • Use additional tools to reduce water: No matter what flooring type you choose, water vapor will always be present in below-grade surfaces. Luckily, there are other tools you can use to keep your basement safe. Humidifiers and sump pumps are great, low-cost options that help keep your basement dry.
  • Keep the ceiling in mind: The basement ceiling is another focal point of the space. Consider the height and style of your ceiling as you choose the flooring. Some flooring styles are more elevated than others, which might not accompany a sloped ceiling well.
  • Remember your home value: Redoing your basement floors adds value to your property. If an increased worth is important to you, consider which flooring option makes the best long-term investment. Check out the most durable styles if this is a high priority for you.
  • Personalize the space: Once the flooring is installed, feel free to decorate your basement as you choose. Add wall colors and furniture pieces that accompany your new floor. Lighting is another great way to add style to the space, whether string lights, recessed lighting or windows with natural illumination.

Things to Avoid in Basement Flooring

Just as there are many elements you want for your basement floor, there are also many things you should avoid. Here are some tips on what to steer clear of during your search:

  • Traditional hardwood: While laminate and engineered wood flooring are great alternatives, avoid regular hardwood for basement floors. The wood doesn’t accommodate moisture well, building up mold over time. If you encounter flooding, a traditional hardwood surface will rot and decay. Avoid cork and bamboo surfaces for similar reasons. Most often, you should choose wood alternatives for your basement floor.
  • Treating the basement like other rooms: The basement differs from other floors and rooms of your house. Because it’s below grade, you need to remember elements like water and coldness. Avoid thinking about a new basement floor the same way you might think of a new kitchen floor.
  • Skipping research on permits: Portions of your remodel might require construction permits. Be sure to perform all the necessary research beforehand, and don’t skip important construction standards or licenses for your house.
  • Forgetting versatility: While you might have a strong idea of your basement’s purpose, plans change quickly. Try to avoid a flooring style that would prevent you from adapting the basement for a new idea. Remember versatility during your search for flooring.

Try to think of your basement floor with the same care as any of the other rooms in your house — just with a few extra considerations. Consider your preferences and circumstances first, and you’re sure to find the best flooring option.

Metro Flooring Contractors — More Floor for Your Money

more basement floor for your money

Thinking of installing a new basement floor? At Metro Flooring Contractors, we understand the importance of finding the best basement flooring.

Our flooring professionals have decades of experience with customers. We offer flooring services for residential, commercial, institutional and familial locations. And our customer service is top-notch, with in-home visits an essential part of our technique. Our specialists visit the space you want to remodel and offer personalized advice and estimations, taking any stress out of the process.

Whether you want carpet or engineered hardwood, Metro Flooring Contractors’ library of flooring options will suit your needs. With installations as quick as one day, we strive to be the best flooring service for you.

Schedule an appointment with us today for a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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