Choosing the best flooring for your basement can be a confusing task — there are tons of options available. But the right one for you will depend on what your lifestyle is, how you use your basement, and what you want the final design to look like. For unfinished basements, you may want to stick with simple and practical options. If it’s a living space or a man cave, you’ll want to go for more of a refined aesthetic. If it’s being used as a gym, a padded option is the most sensible and cost-efficient choice. Always try to purchase about 10% extra, which will account for cuts.
Factors to pay attention to include your budget and how much moisture your basement will have to deal with. Vinyl is the most popular alternative to wood, since it provides a realistic appearance but is ultra-thin, easy to install, and completely waterproof and scratch-resistant. Laminate flooring is similar but often doesn’t have as realistic a look, and isn’t as waterproof as vinyl. Hardwood panels provide a coveted look, but can easily get damaged and warped. Consider engineered wood as an alternative, which is less likely to swell, and is made of many composite wood layers. If you have an uneven subfloor, flexible flooring like foam and rubber are your best bet.
If you’re looking to keep a concrete floor as is but make it look brand new, consider applying epoxy paint, which will give a nice sheen and cover up any imperfections. Here are the best flooring for your basement to buy online now.
1. CALI Vinyl Pro Classic Waterproof Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Many people would agree that vinyl is the best flooring material for both basements and entire home coverage, given its thinness, extremely waterproof nature, and realistic feel. It’s also non-slip, which can help in preventing accidents for both humans and furry friends alike. This luxury vinyl option looks just like real wood and while this one has an aged hickory effect, there are tons of finishes available. While it’s a little pricier than cheap laminate alternatives, the investment quickly pays off in the long run, especially if you have a basement that’s prone to flooding or moisture issues.
2. Home Decorators Collection Water Resistant EIR Laminate Flooring
While laminate flooring isn’t always as waterproof as vinyl flooring, this variety by Home Decorators is still water-resistant, and it’s also scratch-proof. Planks fit together with an easy click-lock installation over any wooden or concrete subfloor. Available in both an oak or maple finish, this laminate flooring is a durable alternative to hardwood but still has an attractive finish. This is also a sturdy flooring for anyone with pets who frequent the basement. One buyer says, “The quality, look and feel of this floor is incredible for being less than $2 a square foot.”
3. Pergo Defense+ Night Shadow Oak Antimicrobial Laminate Wood Flooring
BEST ANTIMICROBIAL PICK
Let’s be real: a lot of gross stuff can happen in your basement. But it can be prevented by making the right flooring decision. This handsome, dark oak flooring by Pergo is made of laminate and is antimicrobial, keeping mold and mildew out and preventing the growth of things that cause stains and smells. Thanks to being completely antimicrobial and waterproof, you can also steam mop these faux wood floors without damaging them.
4. TrafficMaster Cascade Ridge Slate Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile
BEST CERAMIC PICK
If the wood aesthetic isn’t up your alley, consider this slate ceramic floor, which is a big step up from drab concrete. It’s also an ideal choice for bathrooms and any other high-traffic areas. The gray and black slate tones add a modern and minimalistic look to any basement, so even if it’s unfinished or just a storage area, there’s a streamlined and coordinated feeling thanks to the flooring. It’s highly resident to abrasion, providing the look of stone without worry.
5. Black with Blue Speck Interlocking Recycled Rubber Floor Tile
BEST RUBBER PICK
This eco-friendly black rubber floor with blue specks is made from interlocking recycled rubber floors and is a shock-absorbent alternative to foam flooring that’s nearly impossible to rip or damage. They’re perfect for high-traffic areas and have a non-slip backing. If you’re dealing with a basement sub-flooring that is at all uneven, these flexible squares can conform, unlike rigid tiles, which will get damaged over time.
6. Livelynine 16-pack Grey Vinyl Floor Tile Peel and Stick
BEST PEEL AND STICK PICK
Although this vinyl floor looks like genuine marble, it’s actually a peel and stick tile that even easier to apply than a click-and-lock system, requiring zero experience on the part of the installer. To remove, simply pull it off. Even though it’s applied easily, it’s still waterproof, offering a chic basement flooring option with minimal hassle. Sixteen tiles come in a pack, making this a clever alternative to linoleum or laminate. To trim, forget cutting tile — simply use a utility knife, peel the backing, and apply. This can be installed over any existing floors.
7. BEAUTYOVO Puzzle Exercise Mat Interlocking For Tiles
BEST FOR BASEMENT GYM
This exercise mat foam floor fits together to create a cushy surface. This is ideal if you’ve converted your gym to a basement, or just have sensitive joints and want a lower impact surface to walk on. Forget yoga or exercise mats — this turns your whole basement into one! This impact-resistant foam is also an ideal surface to put a weight rack or barbells. Safeguard your floor while providing all the padding you need for your body and equipment. Every piece interlock tightly to avoid falling apart during use.
8. Smart Squares in A Snap Residential Soft Carpet Tile Peel and Stick
Many people want their unfinished basement to be as basic as possible, but if your basement is at all used as a living or socializing space, consider this easy to apply carpet tile, which is applied via a peel-and-stick method. Although installing and ripping out carpeting is usually a habit, this super comfortable carpet makes it a DIY dream come true. It even has high-density memory foam on the side behind the carpeting, and its unique color system ensures that fibers remain resistant to fading, stains, and bleach.
9. Schim Home Furnishings Nexus Vinyl Dark Slate Marble Tile
This weathered, dark slate marble is actually hyper-realistic vinyl tile and features a gorgeous high-gloss finish that looks much more expensive than it actually is. One customer says: “Buy this if you want to save time and money!” Another reviewer used it as an under-the-sink lining hack. For a low-maintenance flooring option that will cover up a stained or scuffed up floor, consider this beautiful option from Achim Home Furnishings, which will fool guests every time.
10. SUPERJARE 16 Tiles Eva Foam Interlocking Tiles Protective Flooring Mat
BEST INTERLOCKING PICK
Even though at first glance you might think these are laminate or vinyl flooring, this foam flooring imitates wood with a dark grain. If you have a workout space that you frequently convert to a living space, or don’t want that gym aesthetic, consider these interlocking faux wood tiles which feature two removable edges. Putting this waterproof flooring together is like putting together a puzzle, and it only requires a wet cloth to be cleaned.
11. Lifeproof Engineered Waterproof Click Lock Hardwood Flooring
BEST ENGINEERED HARDWOOD
This engineered hardwood flooring for basements is a welcome alternative for people who don’t want the repeating patterns. With this option by Lifeproof, every single plank is different. It’s the closest thing that looks and feels like real wood and can be installed in a click-and-lock style just like vinyl floors. It might not protect as well as more waterproof materials but it is the best choice if your heart is set on hardwood.
12. Behr Premium Slate Gray Interior/Exterior Concrete and Garage Floor Paint
If you have a concrete floor that doesn’t necessarily need to be covered but just spruced up, consider adding epoxy concrete paint, which provides a gleaming smooth surface to clean and also offers a more finished look to your unfinished basement. This paint can also be used in your garage, as it resists the peeling that hot tires can cause. Just a single coat should do the trick.