One day, it hit you out of the blue. Maybe it was looking around at your kids’ toys strewn in a path throughout the house — from their bedrooms to the living room to the kitchen and even a few in the bathroom. Perhaps it was hearing your teenager and his friends roughhouse and blare music from the bedroom just down the hall. Or maybe it was trying to watch a football game with your 4- and 6-year-old popping in every five minutes complaining that they want to watch their favorite movie.
No matter what the inspiration, it suddenly occurred to you that you should remodel your basement. Whether it’s on the way to becoming a childproof playroom, a lounge for noisy teens, or a man cave, remodeling a basement is a bit different than revamping other rooms of the house. One of the biggest challenges will be keeping things dry, warm, and cozy in an often cold and damp room. Your biggest weapon against the cold will be your choice of flooring. Here are some of our favorite flooring ideas for basement remodeling projects of all kinds.
Regular vinyl flooring is one of the most inexpensive and quick of all of our basement flooring ideas, but we recommend you spend a bit more and upgrade to luxury vinyl. You can find it in patterns that resemble hardwood and natural stone at a fraction of the cost of installing the real thing. Luxury vinyl is thicker than conventional tile floors, providing better insulation from the cold. It’s also warmer to the touch than conventional tile or natural stone.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention engineered wood flooring because it simply looks beautiful in a finished basement area. It also holds up to moisture much better than real wood. Engineered wood is one of the more expensive basement flooring ideas, however, as it does require the installation of a subfloor beforehand.
Imagine the soft, bouncy flooring in a gymnastics or martial arts studio and you’ll have an idea of how rubber flooring will look. It’s absolutely perfect for a playroom where babies will be crawling about or small children will be wrestling or playing with toys on the floor. Rubber is also waterproof. The only downside is that it’s not a particularly attractive flooring option if you plan to grow the space into a living area or hangout for older kids and adults.
If you’re going for the ultimate in warmth, carpet can’t be beat. It can be more expensive than other flooring options, but provides softness and comfort if your basement is being converted into a playroom or extra bedroom. Moisture can pose a problem for carpet, however: if your basement floods or moisture seeps in, you’ll need to take steps to dry the carpet out. One of the basement flooring ideas that we highly suggest — especially for playrooms — is installing carpeting squares instead of solid, wall-to-wall carpeting. The squares make it easy to pull up and replace a specific area of carpeting without disturbing the rest of the room. They also come in a variety of interesting colors and patterns to make a kids’ area more fun.
Basement Flooring Ideas to Skip
With all of the wonderful choices of flooring to install, there are a few to avoid at all costs. Solid hardwood flooring is one, while the other is laminate flooring with a core that isn’t resistant to moisture. Even if you’ve properly prepped and waterproofed your basement, the possibility of moisture always exists, and if these materials get wet, they’ll buckle and warp beyond repair. What do you have in mind for your dream basement? Which one of these basement flooring ideas do you think would work best for your new space?