8 Amazing Finished Basement Floor Ideas

carpet in basement that can handle basement moisture

Most basements are below grade, which makes choosing the right finished basement floor a bit more complicated—but still very doable. Fortunately, there are a lot of flooring options that can withstand the moisture from a basement slab.

Even in a finished basement, moisture seeps through the slab continuously. The moisture issue rules out hardwood flooring, which can be warped or stained by moisture and humidity. There are plenty of other floors that can withstand the porous moisture.

living room with luxury vinyl plank floors that look like wood

Luxury Vinyl Plank

Luxury vinyl plank is one of the most durable options for finished basement flooring—and also one of the most attractive. LVP floors are a water-resistant option that holds up even in the most heavily trafficked basement. These tough basement floors require an occasional sweep or vacuum and dry mop.

LVP floors come in a variety of styles that can match with any décor. Some LVP flooring resembles wood and tile without any of the worries or maintenance of these floors. Though they resemble wood floors, luxury vinyl plank floors are fairly easy-to-install and can be an affordable DIY project. (Ask a local flooring pro to see LVP floors that can easily be snapped together.)

Pros: Durable, water-resistant, low-maintenance, comes in a variety of styles, looks just like wood or tile, can be a DIY project

Cons: Risk of scratches

engineered wood floor installed in home

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood flooring is the only wood floor that can be installed in a basement because of the construction. The top layer of engineered wood is solid wood, while the bottom layers are constructed of plywood. The thickness of the top layer is different for every product; typically, the width of the layer can range from 3/8 inch – ½ inch. Depending on the thickness, some engineered wood floors can be sanded down and refinished.

The real wood and finish of these floors adds warmth to any basement. Engineered wood floors are available in narrow or wide planks and with a variety of finishes that can match any décor. As wood floors, engineered wood comes with a minor disadvantage: water damage. Any spills on engineered wood floors need to be cleaned up immediately to minimize the risk of water stains and warping.

Pros: Real wood floor, durable, easy-to-clean, comes in a variety of styles, can be a DIY project

Cons: Water spills need to be wiped up immediately

carpet with puppy on it ready for carpet cleaning

Carpet

Carpet is one of the most common choices for a finished basement because of their plushness and durability. These plush floors are soft underfoot, which can be incredibly comfortable in a cool basement. If the temperature of the floors is an issue, carpet can be installed over radiant floor heating (talk to a flooring pro to see styles that work over in-floor heating).

When it comes to décor, carpet comes in almost any color and in a variety of textures. High-pile carpets add a plushness to the finished basement, though require more vacuuming and carpet cleaning to remain looking like new. Medium- and low-pile carpets are less soft, but are easier to care for throughout the life of the carpeting.

Carpets have evolved over the years, and have become more durable and easy-to-care for. Some carpets are also hypoallergenic, which is beneficial for families with allergies. Carpets only require a regular vacuum and regularly scheduled carpet clean.

Pros: Comfortable underfoot, durable, easy-to-maintain, comes in a variety of colors and styles

Cons: Stains need to be cleaned up

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles are a great flooring option for finished basements, especially in homes by a pool or lake. These tiles are naturally water-resistant and easy-to-clean, which is ideal when water or dirt is tracked in from outside. Because of these properties, porcelain tiles are one of the most durable finished basement flooring options.

Unfortunately, porcelain tiles can feel very cold and hard underfoot, though underfloor radiant flooring can be the solution. Tiles are a natural conductor of heat, which can make them warm and comfortable.

For DIYers, porcelain tile is fairly easy-to-install, requiring only a few tools, grout, and detailed tile installation instructions. Porcelain tiles can be laid out in a variety of patterns.

Some porcelain tiles come in styles that resemble wood flooring without the worry of water damage. Other tiles are available in a variety of colors and styles that fit with existing décor or in a brand-new finished basement.

Pros: Durable, easy-to-clean, water-resistant, comes in a variety of colors and styles

Cons: Can be cold and hard underfoot, grout is difficult to clean

luxury vinyl tile in kitchen with wood cabinets

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury vinyl tile shares some important properties with tile flooring; LVT is beautiful, durable, easy-to-clean, and a fairly easy do-it-yourself project. All of these properties make it a good candidate for a finished basement, especially below a bar, by an exterior door, or in a craft room or basement bathroom.

LVT is available in many colors and styles, some of which resemble wood and stone floors. These water-resistant floors are one way to add the warm look of wood to a bathroom—without the worry of water damage. LVT also work well around exterior doors, even in recessed basements in front of a pool or lake. Compared to tile flooring, LVT are softer underfoot and require less maintenance than stone.

Pros: Durable, easy-to-clean, water-resistant, comes in a variety of colors and styles

Cons: Can be cold and hard underfoot

woman laying on carpeting in basement

Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles are a soft and durable finished basement floor, making them ideal for a playroom, family room, movie room, and office. These finished basement floors are easy-to-install. They can be laid down in any pattern, which makes them an easy do-it-yourself project. If the carpet tiles are stained or spilled on, they can be pulled up and replaced. Carpet tiles only require a regular vacuum, making them fairly easy to care for.

These basement tiles come in a variety of colors. Some carpet tiles are brightly colored and can be laid in a creative and fun pattern. Others are crafted in neutral colors and tones that are appropriate for adult spaces.

Pros: Durable, soft, easy-to-clean, can be pulled up when stained, comes in a variety of colors and styles

Cons: Not water-resistant, no underlayment

rubber tiles in home gym

Rubber Floors

Rubber flooring is a durable and easy-to-clean basement floor, which is why its typically laid under workout equipment in home gyms or playrooms. These floors come in tiles or rolls, meaning they can be moved from one area to another.

Great for shock absorption, rubber floors can hold up under the weight of heavy workout and play equipment. Rubber flooring are easily installed over concrete (like in a basement) or another type of flooring; the floor is fairly heavy, however, so some muscle is needed for transport and initial installation.

Pros: Durable, easy-to-clean, can be moved to any other room

Cons: Not soft, not available in a variety of colors

Sheet Vinyl

Sheet vinyl is a logical flooring choice in unfinished and finished basement because of their resistance to water. This basement flooring option is so tough that, in some cases, it has even held up when the basement floods. The key to the durability is the vinyl material and the fact that the floor is glued down. With no grout and minimal seams, this basement flooring option is one of the toughest floors available.

It’s also a very attractive and affordable flooring choice for finished basements. Sheet vinyl comes in a variety of colors and styles (visit a local flooring store to see styles). Some sheet vinyl flooring resembles wood and tile.

For maintenance, sheet vinyl only requires a regular sweep or vacuum and occasional dry mop. When there is an occasional spill, it’s easy to wipe up and clean.

Pros: Durable, easy-to-clean, water-resistant, comes in a variety of colors and styles

Cons: Can be cold underfoot

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