Types of Flooring for Your Basement Renovation

By | 2021-11-01T16:36:52+00:00 November 22nd, 2020|General, Custom Home|0 Comments

Basement renovations come with several concerns on finishes for flooring. Issues like dampness and moisture are notorious for stimulating mold and mildew growth.

Luckily, there are several flooring options you can use for your basement that specifically addresses these concerns. Below are some of the best types of flooring for your basement renovation that you can install.

Basement Floor Tiles with a Vapor Barrier

This type of basement flooring is unique and dynamic. It is expertly designed with built-in vapor barriers that effectively addresses most, if not all of the issues commonly affecting basements. Tiles with vapor barrier come in many different varieties – from carpet tiles to those that resemble different natural stones.

Floor tiles with vapor barriers usually have molded plastic bases that tilts the tiles a little over the concrete slab, creating a breathable space in between. With this type of basement flooring, you can be assured that mold and bacteria will have a hard time growing in your basement.

They’re also modular and interlocking, making them easy to install and disassemble. Also, because they are raised, they work well for slightly uneven floors. You can cut and trim the tile to fit into areas of your basement where a complete tile won’t fit. A jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade should do the trick. It’s an excellent, pocket-friendly option for the health conscious homeowner.

Floating Floors

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This basement flooring option represents any floor that is neither nailed nor glued to the subfloor. They’re usually placed on the surface allowing you to install a moisture barrier between the basement slab and the floating floor.

Floating floors come in many varieties, but not all of them are suitable for flooring your basement. Some interesting options include:

  • Carpet Tiles
  • Cork flooring
  • Engineered hardwood flooring
  • Laminate
  • Sheet vinyl
  • Luxury vinyl tiles and planks

When installing floating floors in your basement, go for those that are waterproof or highly water-resistant. As for the cork, vinyl, and engineered hardwood flooring, endeavor to seal them correctly after installation.

Cork flooring is made up of soft materials and can retain moisture. After installing one, ensure that you toughen up your floor and protect it by sealing. For engineered hardwoods, laminate, and luxury vinyl flooring, a good polyurethane seal will provide maximum protection.

Carpet tiles are ideal if you want to turn a section of your basement into a playroom or bedroom. They have a softer surface and are made up of low-pile and water resistant materials such as nylon or polyester.

Ceramic Floor Tiles

ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles are highly durable and water resistant. They provide superior protection to your basement floor, and they come in many different varieties and colors. They are impenetrable against water and do not give in to mold or mildew.

Your grout, however, can be vulnerable to mold but you can prevent this by regularly treating your grout with a water barrier sealant at least once a year.

Epoxy Sealed Concrete

You can always count on an epoxy sealant over your concrete floor. They’re low maintenance, inexpensive, and easy to install. They also come in many different colors and patterns, they’re highly resistant to germs and bacteria and only require regular sweeping and periodic wet mopping to keep it clean.

Epoxy sealed concrete is water resistant and not affected by water damage. The floor stays hard and cold after installation, and you can easily install another type of flooring over the epoxy. Installing epoxy, however, can be hard work, plus it produces a strong ammonia smell, but it fades away once the epoxy has dried.

Basements are often damp, so it is important to have flooring that can withstand moisture. Not only should the material be waterproof, but must also dry quickly. Floor tiles or vinyl may be best.

Tile would work well. Tile can handle water and will still be able to dry quickly enough for comfort. The vinyl floor could also work well depending on the subfloor’s ability to support weight if there are any squeaking issues due to humidity or moisture damage. If the basement has any outside exposure then it may not always be a good idea as dirt and eventually, mould can build up on that type of surface on a regular basis and cause more harm than good depending on what type of foundation was used for the basement. If there is no outside exposure then either tile or vinyl ought to work.

Stick-down linoleum or vinyl flooring is the cheapest of all options. For a clean look, it may be necessary to sand and refinish old floors before laying new flooring material.

Carpet tiles are the most inexpensive of all options.

The cheapest way would be to lay carpet tiles (if you like that aesthetic). If not, then liquid sealant (e.g., liquid stone) over concrete with added polyurethane might work well, but will still cost money in both materials and labour. If neither liquid stones nor carpets are preferred then either tile or vinyl ought to work fine depending on what type of foundation was used for the basement. Finally, if one doesn’t mind having an exposed concrete floor then that too can be done and is often the cheapest option, provided it is properly sealed with something like liquid stone.

Carpet and carpet tiles are most common.

Most people would prefer carpet and/or carpet tile because they keep noise levels down and help with insulation since both of those materials absorb heat, which keeps the warmth in better than other types of flooring material. However, exposed concrete (with added polyurethane) might also work if it has been properly looked after (i.e., resealed whenever necessary). Finally, tile or vinyl floor will work too depending on what type of foundation was used for the basement.


Usually, a concrete floor is used, but underlayment and felt paper may be necessary depending on the type of flooring.

A basement will often need a concrete slab for proper support (unless the house has a crawl space) and then something like plywood or even particle board should be put down first to help improve insulation levels. Underlayment might also be needed if you want to reduce noise. Finally, felt paper would work to cover up gaps between the finished surface and the subfloor in order to prevent drafts from coming through where two substrates meet such as around door frames and windows.


The most popular way to cover a concrete basement floor is with carpet, tiles or lino.

Carpet and carpet tiles are common for basements because they help with insulation and noise, but exposed concrete (with added polyurethane) might also work if it has been properly looked after (i.e., resealed whenever necessary). Finally, tile or vinyl floor will work too depending on what type of foundation was used for the basement.

About the Author:

Kyle is the owner of Walker General Contractors (WGC) and has been operating his company for 10 years. He pursued his passion for this career at BCIT in 2006 by studying Contracting and Business Management and has never looked back since. He quickly gained the respect of his peers due to the high standards he set for himself in regard to quality and craftsmanship. With his trademark meticulous attention to detail, he knew this was a career he would thoroughly enjoy.
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