Carpet tiles in basement with adhesive backing...yes or no? Finishing 1300 sq ft and ceramic/porcelain tile is expensive

Laurie C
by Laurie C
Have never had water in our bsmt (knock on wood) in 11 years. Can we get away with carpet tiles? Do we need a moisture barrier backing since we'll putting directly on concrete?
  10 answers
  • Jaime L Jaime L on Feb 20, 2012
    Th very best idea for a basement is to start with a subfloor. Concrete will leech moisture even if you have never had a wet basemet. I would recommend a system that uses click together plywood squares that are backed with a heavy plastic dimpled sheet. This system "floats" over the cocrete and allows moisture or even small amounts of water to run beneath it without effecting the flooring above. Almost any finished floor can be laid on this system. You can find the product at From there you can find a store locator. This system is great for DIYers.
  • Really not a good idea'd be better with finished concrete, ceramic tile, engineered wood or laminate. We have some pretty good decorative concrete folks posting here. You can seal the floor first and put the carpet tiles down if you are trying to stay low budget...but it's not the best thing to do in a basement. Were you trying to do this yourself or what was your budget?
  • Laurie C Laurie C on Feb 20, 2012
    Finishing the basement but not DIY style. Have about 12-1300 sq ft to finish and hope to keep it around $30k but tile installation is so expensive. Thought about the finished concrete look but have heard it runs about the same as tile. Personally, I'm not a fan of laminate or engineered wood. Have I gotten bad info. on tile or looked in the wrong places? I see so many carpeted basements. Are they all just asking for trouble?
  • Laurie C Laurie C on Feb 20, 2012
    Also looking for someone to re-do our driveway if you have any suggestions. A nearby pine root has destroyed the middle. About 300 sq.ft.
  • 3po3 3po3 on Feb 20, 2012
    I agree that carpeting a basement is really asking for trouble. I would get a few estimates for both tile and concrete finishing. Tile varies widely in price, so you might be able to find a deal. Also keep in mind that larger tiles should be cheaper to install. Do a search at the top of the page for concrete contractors. You might find a reliable company that can do both your basement concrete finishing and your driveway for a "bulk discount." Finally, look into luxury vinyl tile. I have heard good things about it. It's inexpensive and mimics the look of higher-end tile, wood, etc.
  • Hi Laurie, Have you considered stained concrete flooring? Done right, it can look amazing and be extremely resilient. Interested? Have a look at some of our recent projects to see if this is something you would like in that space. Call and we can discuss various options, no charge as a Hometalk member!
  • A carpeted basement is almost always looking for trouble even though lost of us do it. I have carpet in one of my basements and the kids love it. If the slab is sealed and you have a separate hvac unit for the basement that you use year-round, then you will probably be okay. Even with that, you'll want a dehumidifer as a back up for moisture. Amazing does some phenomenal work and stained concrete is a nice can still use area rugs to "warm" the look and your you can clean those or trash them if they get ruined. On tile, it depends where you are looking and what you are wanting. Floor & Decor has some pretty cheap pricing but you have to be careful of the goods you select. Install prices are all over the board right now...but you have to be careful with what or who you deal with. I bid a large tile job a few months ago and we were at $4/ft plus materials....the potential client went with someone at $2/ft and is now having problems with the floors. You can sub this work out yourself and save some money but please be careful on who you are dealing with. In the present market, you have alot of perhaps well meaning folks who really have no idea on what they are doing. While you want a good deal....look for vendors who are very visible online, with vehicle signage and a commercial office somewhere. That will just cut the odds on your having problems. Some of the best local concrete guys are no out of business. Again, follow the same advice as above. It's going to be expensive. You will be cheaper to cut out the damaged area and spot replace as opposed to ripping it all out and getting a new driveway. Which way were you leaning?
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Feb 21, 2012
    Tile can vary widely in price...I've installed basic "bulk tile" from the big box store that runs 69 cents a sq to 99 cents. with a big job like that you could do the whole floor for 5 to 6 k. On the other end of the tile spectrum I have installed fancy marble and granite that ran more than $20 a sq foot...the labor cost to install either is pretty much the same
  • Ricardo B Ricardo B on Feb 21, 2012
    Going slightly "against the grain" here about the carpet tile. At one of our major office facilities in Atlanta, our regional facility used carpet squares on tons of office space in a multi-floor environment. The outfit that put the squares down didn't use adhesive. If something went wrong, the maintenance group could simply pull up a torn/frayed/soiled/stained or damaged carpet square and replace as needed. I have no earthly idea what kept them in place they were laid on top of finished concrete. I walked on those pleasant carpeted surrounding for almost three years and didn't see any problems except for the coffee and lunch we dropped on it...
  • LandlightS LandlightS on Feb 21, 2012
    IMHO....seal the concrete floor and go to this site tofind commercial floor tiles at a very reasonable price:|1026632|commercial%20carpet%20tiles||S|p|8368987097&gclid=CIWOiOOksK4CFcGc7QodNAyzQQ Or find a good quality commercial berber carpet and have it glued down. Same has been in our basement for over 15 years (no heavy wear) and has lived through one serious wet (not damp) problem.