Dealing with a wet basement is a real nuisance. It can turn a potentially usable place into a dank, dark and uninhabitable cave. Even regular storage becomes unlikely because the floor is too moist. With some of the the best flooring for basement options, the lower level environment becomes less of a cavern and more like a manageable and even livable room. Luckily, there are plenty of types of flooring to choose from.
To start with, let’s consider the worst options, such as basement carpet, solid wood and laminate flooring. Sure, basement carpet is warm and cozy, but where there’s water, there’s going to be armies of nasty mold and mildew collecting inside of it.
Hardwood floors exposed to moisture, let alone fluctuating humidity, will eventually swell and ruin.
As long as the laminate flooring is glued, it will at least be slightly harder for water to enter the underneath “wear layer”, but if it does, it immediately splinters and destroys itself.
Now, let’s talk about what is actually viable for semi-moist to damp basement conditions:
Engineered wood – this is only moderately resistant to water. It has a sturdy plywood base, but it”floats,” meaning there will be a layer underneath that water can sneak into. In the event of a flood, the flooring affected will need to be replaced. It is also hard to find extra pieces from the manufacturer if only part of the floor needs to be repaired.
Linoleum tile and sheet – being oil based, this floor is more water resistant. The tiles, however, are composite material, so water will find places to seep into. Going for sheet linoleum is a better choice because there are less seams and the whole floor becomes flat and solid. However, in case of a flood, it will be impossible to make a seamless fix.
Vinyl tile and sheet – an excellent choice for the purpose of water resistance. Nothing sheds water like vinyl, but there is again the problem with the vinyl tiles as a potential entry way for water. Furthermore, if water does happen to get behind the sheet, it will cause the floor to raise and fixing it will be somewhat unsightly because of the irregularity.
Epoxy paint – very affordable. This stuff seals thick and hard, making it durable and reliable against water damage. They come in a few decent colors and can turn the basement from a moldy mess to a functional space.
Ceramic and stone tiles – this is the floor most commonly used in showers, bathrooms, pools and so on. It is one of the pricier choices, but it will last for a very long time since it doesn’t corrode or rot, no matter how much exposure to water there is. It can also be installed on the walls where there might be some extra water exposure, and it looks great. Compared to the previous choices, ceramic and stone make cleaning up water seem fun and easy.
Concrete – by far the best flooring for basement choice. Not only is it super affordable, properly sealed concrete will not let a drop of water into the floor. It is a good idea to pair concrete with a waterproof paint. Not only does it make a wet basement completely waterproof, adding a flair of dye for a tinted, stained or stamped look makes concrete look way more elegant than one would think.