What's the Best Flooring for the Basement?

If you’re wondering what’s the best flooring for the basement, we can help.

And if you’re worried that your basement flooring choices are limited, we’re ready to surprise you with many weather-resistant and gorgeous flooring materials to choose from. Whether your space is partially-finished or finished, we’ll help you find the perfect flooring for your basement.

What makes basements different from the rest of the house?

Before making a selection, it’s important to understand what makes basements different from the rest of the house, and how that determines what’s truly the best flooring for the basement in your house.

Basements are interesting places. They are often below-grade. Below-grade means that the space is below ground level. As such, it tends to be susceptible to moisture – because the ground tends to hold moisture – and/or mild flooding, especially if the ground around your home slopes toward your basement.

To complicate matters, most basement subfloors are made of concrete. Concrete slabs are porous, making it easy for moisture and water vapor to migrate up through the slab. They also tend to be cold underfoot.

As a result, you want to select flooring materials that can stand up to high humidity and damp conditions, and ensure that you’ve carefully inspected your floor before you install new flooring.

Best practices for preparing your basement for new flooring

Regardless of which flooring you choose, you’ll want to ensure that your basement stays as dry as possible. You certainly want to ensure that the grounds around the foundation of your home slope away from the building walls at least four inches over 10 feet. Be sure, too, to keep your gutters in good condition and check that downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your house.

Some other approaches include:

  • Installing a vapor barrier – such as sheet plastic – between the concrete slab and the flooring you select.
  • Sealing the concrete slab with a coating of paint or epoxy meant specifically for damp walls and floors.
  • Raising a waterproof subfloor on top of the concrete slab. This creates an airy space between the concrete and your new flooring to help dissipate moisture.

Your Classique Floors + Tile project consultant will work with you to determine which approach is best for your new basement floor.

What are the best flooring options for the basement? Here are 7!

As we mentioned above, you’ll be surprised at the many gorgeous weather-resistant flooring options to choose from for your basement. In fact, here are seven options to consider. Let’s go through them.

1. Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is our very favorite choice for a basement! Not only will you find a wild range of colors, styles and shapes to choose from, but tile is impervious to moisture. It can be installed over the concrete and can also accommodate radiant heating for a warm floor underfoot.

>> See 5 Questions to Ask When Selecting Tile for Your Home

What are the best flooring options for the basement? Wood plank tile

2. Wood Floors

You can’t install solid hardwood below grade because of the excessive moisture. However, you can engineered hardwood.

Engineered wood flooring gives you the warmth and beauty of real wood with the stability and moisture resistance of laminate construction. Check to make sure the type you choose is rated for below-grade basements.

>> See 8 Questions to Help You Select Wood Flooring

3. COREtec Flooring in the Basement

COREtec flooring is another ideal waterproof solution for your floors. It is considered the original WPC or wood plastic/polymer composite flooring and perfect for areas of your home where water is a concern. For example, in bathrooms, entry areas or mud rooms (i.e., your first line of defense against wet Oregon weather) and even basements.

>> See COREtec Flooring, the Ideal Waterproof Solution for Your Floors

Are You Ready to Find the Best Flooring for the Basement of Your Oregon Home? Consider COREtec

4. Cork Flooring

Cork flooring can go just about anywhere in your home. It’s soft underfoot and provides good insulation against cold basement floors.

For spaces where humidity levels can be in the 85-100% range – such as a high-use bathroom or a basement – you may decide on a glue-down floor. For a basement installation, you’ll want to have the floor tested for moisture. If moisture is high, your installer can add a vapor barrier or underlayment.

Regardless, you’ll need to ensure that the subfloor is level, dry and clean before installing your cork flooring. Your Classique Project Consultant can help you decide which is the right option for your home.

>> See The Ultimate Guide to Cork Flooring at Classique Floors + Tile

What are the best flooring options for the basement? Consider luxury vinyl tile.

5. Vinyl Sheet Flooring and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) or Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)

Vinyl tile and sheet flooring can be installed directly over prepared concrete and will withstand even minor flooding with no ill effect. Sheet vinyl flooring creates a nearly seamless, water-impervious surface on your basement floor, always a good thing where moisture might be involved.

>> See The 5 Top Vinyl Flooring Questions

With LVT and LVP, you have excellent durability and a thick wear layer, both of which are valuable for a basement floor.

>> See LVT Flooring: Nine Things We Love About Luxury Vinyl Tile

6. Linoleum or Marmoleum

We love the versatility of linoleum and its ability to complement so many different design styles. Because it is soft underfoot, it makes standing for long periods of time a lot easier. Linoleum floors are ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and entryways where they can handle wear, tear and moisture. It can be installed over most subfloors, including concrete, although you will want to conduct moisture-testing before installing it.

>> See What Makes Linoleum Flooring Such a Great Solution for Portland OR Homes?

Marmoleum is a linoleum manufactured by Forbo Flooring Systems, a global player in high-quality commercial and residential floor coverings, which focuses on environmentally friendly, functional and design-oriented floors.

>> See Why Select Marmoleum Flooring for Your Portland, Oregon Home?

What are the best flooring options for the basement? Consider carpet

7. Carpet

What makes carpet such an excellent basement flooring option is how warm it is. Now, if your basement floods regularly, you may want to stay away from carpet. However, especially if you install a subfloor, it could be exactly what you’re looking for.

>> See Quality carpet, how do you choose?

Are You Ready to Find the Best Flooring for the Basement of Your Oregon Home?

You’ll find a multitude of beautiful options at Classique including ones that are ideal for your basement.  Our team of consultants, designers, and installers will make sure you end up with basement flooring that is both functional and fabulous.

When you visit our Portland, Oregon showroom, one of our Classique Floors + Tile project consultants will be happy to guide you through everything from initial estimate to product selection to final installation.

You’ll be delighted, we promise!

Thanks for reading,


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