What is the Best Flooring for Basements?

When deciding to finish or remodel your basement it is important to choose materials that can withstand the moist environment of a basement. Choosing a flooring to install in your new lower level can be difficult with so many options being available. In this post we will be covering what is the best flooring for basements, especially for Michigan humidity, as well as the other options available!

Similar to any material being used in your finished basement, the most important factor of the product should be water resistance. Not only is your basement very humid, it is also extremely prone to water events such as flooding and leaking. When such an event occurs, you do not want to have to throw away all of your flooring, that would be a big time and monetary expense. Think about what will happen to your flooring if your sump pump overflows, a pipe bursts, or your washing machine overflows, these are all very common occurrences in basements.

What basement flooring options and materials are the best?

The best type of flooring for basements is vinyl. Vinyl flooring can come in the form of vinyl plank and vinyl tile, giving it the ability to look nearly identical to hardwood and stone products with the added benefit of being waterproof. Vinyl flooring is made of PVC making it durable and waterproof. An additional benefit of vinyl basement flooring is the durability, since it is made of inorganic materials unlike wood, this makes it great for high traffic areas! Vinyl plank can be installed directly on your sub floor making installation much quicker and easier.

basement pub style bar with hardwood flooring

One of the common misconceptions of vinyl flooring is that it has a look and feel similar to linoleum. Over the past few years the design and construction of vinyl flooring has improved drastically. Many new color and patterns and options have become available which makes finding the perfect style for you easy. Vinyl plank is also a floating floor meaning it is not attached to the sub-floor, so it can be more easily removed and replaced if needed.

We use vinyl plank and vinyl tile flooring in our basement renovations throughout Michigan due to its waterproof properties. Giving our homeowners the peace of mind that their floor is safe from water damage is a great benefit to any homeowner!

Top Benefits of Vinyl Flooring:

  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Large variety of colors and styles
  • Plank and Tile sizes


Examples of vinyl plank and vinyl tile basement flooring:

hickory colored vinyl plank basement flooring espresso colored vinyl plank basement flooring
This basement had a large pub style bar which matched well with this hickory colored vinyl plank flooring. The waterproof vinyl flooring looks and feels very similar to hardwood. This Espresso colored vinyl plank gives the basement flooring a high end look while remaining waterproof and mold resistant.
grey colored vinyl tile basement flooring canyon sun colored vinyl tile basement flooring
This bathroom featured grouted vinyl tile. This grouted vinyl tile has the look and feel of ceramic tile, with the strength and durability of vinyl. With the large array of color and style variations, vinyl tile can fit into any home design. This basement had a more classical design which included this Canyon Sun color vinyl tile.

Pros and Cons of Basement Flooring Materials

Carpet for Your Basement

Carpet is another option for finished basements that many homeowners choose. Although it does not offer the waterproof and mold proof attributes of vinyl, it does offer a warmer, more cozy feel. Many times, carpeting is chosen for the main living room space, the staircase, and bedrooms to keep them feeling warm and soft to the touch. In the event of a small water event, carpet can most likely be saved if it is dried quickly before mold or mildew develop. Many times, carpeting can be pulled up and dried.

Carpet can be a more budget friendly option for the basement as well. With many different options and styles, there is a carpet style suited for any budget.

Carpet Pros:

  • Cozy feel
  • Can make for a quieter space
  • Offers great cushion for hard basement floor

Carpet Cons:

  • Not water resistant
  • Can mold if left moist
  • Stains easy if spilled on
carpeted basement flooring with a couch and tv

Hardwood & Laminate Flooring for Basements

When it comes to basement flooring and basements in general, the less wood the better. Basements are a very humid and water prone environment where wood will not hold up well. Wood based flooring when placed in a basement will begin to warp and twist. Even without flooding, your basement foundation will have moisture leaking through which will form condensation underneath the flooring causing damage to the wood. Installing and replacing hardwood flooring can also be very costly and time consuming for homeowners as well.

Hardwood Pros:

  • High end look and feel
  • Can match the rest of your homes flooring

Hardwood Cons:

  • Extremely prone to water damage
  • Will warp and twist
  • Prone to mold
moldy warped wood flooring in basement tear out

Ceramic Tile for Basement Floors

Ceramic tile is a viable option for basement flooring, although it has some drawbacks. When glazed, water cannot penetrate the tile making it a good choice for water resistance and stain resistance. Ceramic tile also comes in a large variety of sizes, shapes and colors to go along with any design. A big downfall of ceramic tile in the basement is the temperature and cost. Ceramic tile is adhered directly to the foundation making it very cold for basements. The cost and time to install ceramic tile is also much higher than most other flooring options. Many times, our homeowners will elect to go with a ceramic tile in a bar or bathroom area only, and choose vinyl plank flooring for the majority of the basement.

Ceramic Tile Pros:

  • High end custom look and feel
  • Water resistant

Ceramic Tile Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Time consuming
  • Requires a professional to install
Ceramic tile in bathroom

Epoxy Flooring for Basements

Epoxy flooring in basements is becoming a bit more popular than it used to be. It can offer a unique design choice while being easy to maintain and durable. One major drawback to epoxy flooring in basements is the temperature, like ceramic tile. epoxy flooring is very cold and hard on your feet. Depending on your uses for the basement a more padded flooring could be a better option. Epoxy flooring can be a great way to give your basement an industrial design.


Epoxy Pros:

  • Water resistant
  • Durable
  • Long lasting

Epoxy Cons:

  • Cold to touch
  • Hard on your feet
epoxy covered flooring finished basement white


Things to think about when picking basement flooring:


Moisture Resistance

When choosing any materials for your basement, it is always best to ensure they are capable of handling moisture.


Depending on how you will be using your basement you may want to see how durable a product is. A playroom for the kids may need different flooring than a custom bar.

Comfort Level

Basements can be used for everything from an extra living room, home theater, or even a custom bar. Choose a flooring that is most comfortable for your specific needs.


Keep in mind the temperature of your basement. The cold foundation will make for a colder floor if you choose a ceramic tile or epoxy.



Whether you are finishing your basement for added living space, a playroom for your kids or even a custom bar, you will want to protect your investment by picking materials that will last for a lifetime. Research the materials being used for moisture resistance, durability and comfort level. Finishing your basement is no small task and requires lots of planning, research and help from the professionals. If you are interested in finishing or remodeling your basement, our specialists are here to help. We offer Free Consultations for complete basement finishing. We are your one stop shop to transform your basement into a brand-new lower level.

Check out our basement finishing service areas in Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties throughout Michigan.

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