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How to Choose Flooring for a Basement Remodel

By Carrie Dixon, Blog Editor

Basement FloorReady to finally use that basement for more than just storage and a habitat or spiders? Whether you’re transforming it into a game room, a man cave, a family room or something else, you have a ton of options. However, you do need to pay attention to the flooring that you use. What are your options and how do you choose the right flooring for a basement remodel? Really, it just comes down to knowing what’s available.

What kind of flooring can I use in the basement?

You can use pretty much any type of flooring you want, from carpet to vinyl to wood to composite and many others. With that being said, there are a few considerations you’re going to need to make before choosing the flooring for your remodel. Basements are usually located at least partially underground.

This can mean that they see a higher moisture level than the rest of the house (and many are outfitted with a sump pump because of the possibility of water entering the basement). If yours sees high levels of moisture, you’re going to want to avoid flooring types that might be susceptible. For instance, carpet might not be the best idea. Wood might eventually warp.

Base your choice on your remodel type

You’ll also want to consider the intended use of your basement once the remodel is done. Are you turning it into a mother-in-law suite? If so, you probably want to make it warm and comforting with carpet. Are you turning it into a man cave? If that’s the case, hardwood (or laminate) or even natural stone or tile might work.

Are you turning it into a family room? Carpet might be good, but if you have little kids, vinyl might be better since its more durable and simpler to clean. Will you be using it primarily as a work area or for storage? If that’s the case, you might want to ditch flooring altogether and go with a coat or two of epoxy. These can be colored, and even applied to create patterns, but the cost is far less than you’ll spend on carpeting or even on vinyl.

Flooring-specific considerations

Next up, you have flooring-specific considerations to make. Chances are good that your basement floor is made of concrete, and that poses certain challenges when it comes to installing flooring on top of it.

For instance, if you go with wood, you’ll need to make sure that it can be glued in place. You’ll also need to carefully consider the surface of the concrete and whether it’s finished enough for gluing down wood flooring. Engineered and laminate flooring will need the same considerations.

If you’re going with vinyl, the same thing applies. The floor needs to be as smooth as possible, free of chips, blemishes and other elements. Once vinyl is installed, any imperfections will stand out very clearly (and may damage the flooring).

Carpeting is often a great choice for concrete because it can help to hold in heat, and basements are often quite cold. However, if you have moisture issues, mold and degradation can happen, so consider your options carefully. You may be able to get by with just a dehumidifier, but serious moisture issues might make carpet a no-go.

These are just a few of the considerations you’ll need to make when installing flooring in your basement remodel. Above all, make sure that the flooring you choose is a good match to the intended use, and take care of any moisture issues (or choose flooring that won’t be damaged by moisture or humidity).

Related Article: How to Determine the Direction of Wood Flooring Between Rooms

Find Flooring Companies Near You

Still not sure which flooring to choose for your basement remodel? Get help from a Five Star Rated flooring company in your area: