Asked on Jul 2, 2013

Best flooring for basement?

Kristin ToppingKimLaurie @ Vin'yet Etc.
+48

Answered

We are moving into a home with a basement, it currently has a carpet, very dingy and ewwww. We will be removing it. The basement will be used as an entertainment/family area. Ideally I would love a radiant heat floor, but not sure how (or with what type) to retro fit a system like that? Cost will also be a bit of an issue. What are good options for a basement floor family room?
I would LOVE it if you would share some of your pictures of basement flooring with me!!! Lets get creative!
Please note these are Before pictures (Realtor photos).
Thanks so much, I am looking forward to getting creative! #hometalk #basement #flooring #help #whatwouldyoudo
Before (Realtor photos) This carpet doesn't look too bad, but it's actually a green carpet and is faded to beige.
Before (Realtor photos) This carpet doesn't look too bad, but it's actually a green carpet and is faded to beige.
Before (Realtor photos) The bedrooms in the basement have the same carpet.
Before (Realtor photos) The bedrooms in the basement have the same carpet.
Before (Realtor photos) This carpet doesn't look too bad, but it's actually a green carpet and is faded to beige.
Before (Realtor photos) This carpet doesn't look too bad, but it's actually a green carpet and is faded to beige.
50 answers
  • Pam Tobias
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Check out the new flooring that just snaps together. I'm not talking the wood planks but this is vinyl and looks just like hardwood. It's even water proof and easier to cut.

  • Kimberly Barney
    on Jul 2, 2013

    I was going to suggest the same thing as Pam. Lowe's sells the product. It is not inexpensive so you may wish to replace the carpet in sections. Looks like you gained alot of entertainment space with the basement.

  • Theresa Shaut
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Large carpet squares - can make a design (doesn't have to be ALL ONE COLOR), easier to replace one square is it gets damaged, commercial grade will last longer. Warmer than bare wood, vinyl or laminate.

  • Lynn Dobson
    on Jul 2, 2013

    I did mine in large square ceramic tile. I recently saw wood look "plank" porcelain tile that I fell in love with. Durable with a great look of wood. Can't wait to put it in the cottage.

  • Gloria W
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Tile or linoleum.

  • Chastity Wilson
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Heated Ceramic tile!!!

  • LandlightS
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Laurie......you can install a radiant heat floor under any flooring of your choice....carpet, ceramic, laminate and engineered floating or glue down floor. Much depends on your budget. Here is a link to Warmly Yours which makes an excellent electric radiant heat flooring system. http://www.warmlyyours.com/en-US/floor-heating/environ-easy-mats Good luck with your renovation....Gary

  • Carmen Connell
    on Jul 2, 2013

    cork, good price, dampness wont hurt, good insulation and sound...great option for basement

  • Roanna K
    on Jul 2, 2013

    What is the floor like beneath the carpet? Does the basement have a water problem? I had to replace carpet with carpet because my floor base was so uneven due to the people's cat peeing all over. I replaced as much floor that I could but there were still uneven places. I wanted to use carpet squares but couldn't find them anywhere in Sacramento, CA.

  • Sarenda Filbin
    on Jul 2, 2013

    I agree with Pam Tobias. We bought a house and used it all through our house because it was all cement floors. Works wonderful and is easy to do. My husband and I worked together to install. Its childproof too. I have a child with special needs that makes a lot of messes. Its perfect. There is such a great selection too. Very practical and very pretty too.

  • Bonnie Light
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Concrete stain or paint on entire floor; Use area rugs where needed.

  • Sarah M
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Ceramic tile, easy in the basement!

  • Terra Itup
    on Jul 2, 2013

    laminate

  • Elizabeth Tongue
    on Jul 2, 2013

    You want something comfortable to walk on, but this room needs some COLOR!!!

  • Victoria Valle
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Look at a product called FLOR

  • Bonnie G
    on Jul 2, 2013

    My neighbor used a cement paint kit that she brought from home depot and then she put a high gloss sealer on it. She has through rugs to divine the different areas and it is gorgeous. It looks really high end and she did it her self over a weekend. It really looks like marble. She said she wishes she would have used tape to make it look like grout and stone but I love it just the way it is. She said it cost her $200 for the two kits and the $50 for the high gloss sealer that is not bad at all.

  • Debbie Spoehel
    on Jul 2, 2013

    We put in radiant heat under wall to wall carpet in the sitting areas. Our basement was always cold so we wanted to stay with carpeting. the RH really helps.

  • Patricia Provost
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Bamboo or cork are sustainable materials. I have heard good things about both

  • Debbie
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Just remember to keep in mind humidity moisture in a basement. It will always run cooler so what adhesives would be responsible enough to handle your needs. I like the color of the walls and if you were to keep the same color, would a warm wood tone or cork flooring work? I didn't notice a fireplace but if so or you were to add an electric one I would consider slate to work around it. The possibilities are endless. Nice looking room you should enjoy it.

  • Melissa W
    on Jul 2, 2013

    I have a basement that I am going to paint with garage floor paint. Before you snub your nose at it.. garage floor paint has come a long way! If you paint the floor you don't ever have to worry about water damaging your coverings. And you have a choice to put large carpet rugs down. I am going to get indoor outdoor patio rugs.. they too have come a long way. This way if you get water or dampness in the basement you just take it out wash it off and hang dry. No worries about musty smells and very family friendly.

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  • Adriana P
    on Jul 2, 2013

    I don't remember where I seen it but I think it was on this website. Brown paper flooring. It looked really good.

  • Nina Lunsford
    on Jul 2, 2013

    looselay vinyl flooring...comes in any pattern--wood look, tile, whatever, and has padding attached to make it comfortable to walk on. no gluing involved, roll it out, trim and you're done. lays nicely over floors that aren't completely flat, easy to clean, completely kid proof

  • Wanda sinnema
    on Jul 2, 2013

    depending on the age of the house,,,,check out a closet or hidden corner.....we were having the same choice...only to find in our 1950 house w/ daylight basement we had ASBESTOS tiles,,,,,, required special handling by a certified remover....just and FYI

  • Pamela Emerson
    on Jul 2, 2013

    I would you the stuff that looks like wood and clicks in place, Then maybe a nice area rug. Congrats on house, nice space to work with.

  • Sherry
    on Jul 2, 2013

    You could use cork and it can be painted to what ever color you want.

  • Julie J C
    on Jul 3, 2013

    We took out the carpet and put in tile, then used large area rugs for comfy spots. Vinyl is also my second choice. I used wood-look roll vinyl in my bedrooms. We have pets, and it was the answer.

  • Angie W
    on Jul 3, 2013

    I really like the painted floors...The picture Melissa posted above is gorgeous....Also you can glue brown paper bags to the floor, you seal it,...It is gorgeous........ Here's a few pics...Good Luck !!

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  • Deb P
    on Jul 3, 2013

    The new cork flooring is awesome!

  • Carol S
    on Jul 3, 2013

    I would tile at least some of it. I loved mine.

  • Sally Marven
    on Jul 3, 2013

    I would add something that is easy to sweep or clean and makes the room feel warm and inviting.

  • KrysFL
    on Jul 3, 2013

    Given humidity, I would definitely suggest ripping everything up and just staining then sealing the concrete. Some of the styles are awesome... And its not hard to do DIY and money is an issue.

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  • Suzie
    on Jul 3, 2013

    Paint and stencil and colorful throw and area rugs!

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 3, 2013

    Tile set over an electric radiant mat system....warm, easy to clean and maintain, and free from trapping moisture that can lead to mold and allergens.

  • Shirley L
    on Jul 3, 2013

    My house was built in 1974 and we also have a large basement. We cleaned the concret first and let it dry for a couple of days. Then we bought the cheepest self sticking 1 foot sqs. We have had 2 floods in our basement (walk out) and we have pressure washed it, and any other cleaning products to clean the mud off and you wouldn't believe it but the tile looks like it was put down yesterday. We put down area rugs and it looks great.

  • Roseann Giacalone Voulo
    on Jul 3, 2013

    they have it's like an indoor commercial carpeting squares they are great if you spill or ruin one you can just take that one up and replace it very easy and they do clean beautiful all sorts of colors and styles they stick like tiles but come up very easily I have them for years in my basement and I love them better then having a plush carpeting or linoleum, or anything like that I hope you like this idea! roseann

  • Beth McCurdy
    on Jul 3, 2013

    We have slate. It's awesome.

  • Rita and Cane
    on Jul 4, 2013

    We had the exact same situation. We tore the carpet out and removed the glue. Not gonna lie: That job was a bit of a bear (http://www.thissortaoldlife.com/2013/05/28/i-love-strippers/). We thought we would stain and seal it, but our kids loved the splotchy discoloration ("It looks cool and artsy, Mom!") so we just sealed it. I don't have any good pics of it online yet, but you can see some snippets of it in this post: http://www.thissortaoldlife.com/2013/06/24/making-a-summer-project-plan/ So far, we love it. We'll likely put an area rug in front of our couch, but we like it bare. Our second choice was cork, which would also be an easy (but more costly) fix.

  • Leslie D
    on Jul 4, 2013

    Not knowing the condition of the flooring underneath, it's difficult to determine which way would be best. You may remove the carpet to find that your floor isn't level, and has high/low spots that may need filling and/or grinding (which is a mess). Be prepared to possibly face a glue-down carpet pad, which creates a ton of scraping/scrubbing to remove the glue and stuck-on pad. If everything is nice and level, you can then set tile over radiant mat, as KMS suggested, which will control moisture under the tile, or you could choose to put down laminate wood flooring, with a good quality underlayment. Avoid hardwood, as moisture in a basement and temp changes for expansion/contraction is a horrible choice for a basement slab install. The laminate is an engineered product and is basically a "floating" floor, and good for basement applications. Laminate has come a long way in design/engineering. I have a laminate in my office that is actually textured and appears to be hand-scraped wood (photo below). If the floor has too many high/low spots and you don't want the expense of fill/grinding, then I would stain the floor and use rugs to warm up the space.

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  • Liliana Wells
    on Jul 5, 2013

    As Leslie said, it's hard to make a suggestion until you uncover the condition of the floor. If it is in good condition, you may want to consider concrete acid stain. Check out this site to give you an idea f what can be done www.directcolors.com.

  • Denise
    on Jul 7, 2013

    We used concrete stain (same suggestion as KrysFL mentioned) and love it. Cost me a whopping $50. We also put down a large area rug ($300) for a little more soft comfort. But should the basement ever get wet, we can easily toss the rug and switch it out with a different one.

  • April E
    on Jul 8, 2013

    radiant heat under floating bamboo

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 8, 2013

    @April E Radiant systems are great but they loose a lot of effectiveness when installed under wood. Wood acts a bit like an insulator, and Bamboo is not nearly as durable as some folks believe. http://kmswoodworks.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/the-great-green-washing-of-bamboo-flooring/

  • April E
    on Jul 8, 2013

    yes, but, bamboo is much more durable in a semi moist conditions that can happen in a basement, than wood. its funny but the radiant system under my bamboo floor that was installed by my contractor husband has worked great for 7 years which is why I suggested it my husband regulary does this and we haven't had any complaints on the effectiveness yet.

  • KrysFL
    on Jul 8, 2013

    Are heated floors, etc. expensive? I'm in Florida so I really am not familiar with them. Just thought that she said cost was an issue.

  • Leslie D
    on Jul 8, 2013

    About $1.50/sf for the DIYer, perhaps a little less if you buy enough to do a basement. Much more if you have someone else install them. I wouldn't recommend it for primary heat for a basement in a cold area, but it makes a good supplemental heat system, especially in basements where floor moisture could be an issue and where temps are typically lower than in the rest of the house. It will help keep the area dry and mold/mildew free. It will work under tile or bamboo, but will radiate more heat with tile application, so KMS is correct. If you use this for moisture control, you're good, if you want to use it for primary heat, then bamboo would not be the best choice.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 9, 2013

    Small scale electric radiant systems are great for supplements. For large areas the best is to go with a boiler or solar feed hydronic system. Here is another example of a small scale project I did in a bath. http://www.hometalk.com/533239/small-bath-flooring-project

  • Laurie @ Vin'yet Etc.
    on Jul 10, 2013

    I would like to thank everyone for the amazing suggestions!!!!! Wow guys, so very helpful. We have 19 days until we move into our new home, I'm feeling a bit anxious, really looking forward to researching your phenomenal ideas though!!! (((((((hugs)))))

  • Laurie @ Vin'yet Etc.
    on Jul 10, 2013

    Keep the great ideas coming!!! :)

  • Kim
    on Apr 6, 2015

    we did cork from lumber liquidators - paid daughter and boyfriend to install - very easy and wonderful product, easy on legs, inexpensive and looks great!

  • Kristin Topping
    on Jul 7, 2015

    What a fabulous carpet flooring! I was really mesmerized when I was going through this wonderful article.Carpet floors are a good investment in your home and can add beauty to any space.I am also in this trade provide myraid flooring options for your need that suits every budget.

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