Your basement features more versatility compared to the other areas in your home. You can choose to use it as your man cave, storage space, workspace or an extension of your daily living areas. However, unlike the other rooms, the basement doesn’t play by the rules when it comes to the selection of flooring systems.

Due to the fact that basements are much closer to the ground, they’re constantly damp, cold, dark, and more vulnerable to flooding. Even in the summer when the weather’s dry, it’s possible for basements to gather moisture. This implies that when it comes to choosing the best options basement flooring, you’ll have to install a system that dries out well if it has become wet. Most homeowners opt for stained concrete and epoxy flooring for basements in Southern Illinois due to the weather and climate. Below, we’ll take a brief look at some of the best floors for your basement, and why epoxy flooring is the best bet for basement floors.

What are the Best Floors for Your Basement?

Old basement floor

If you’re looking to find the best basement flooring options, you’ll need to learn more about what each one has to offer. Check this out:

1. Luxury Vinyl Tile or Plank

Compared to the conventional type of vinyl flooring that’s merely attached to the subfloor with the use of an adhesive, luxury vinyl tile or plank is attached piece-to-piece on the subfloor in a floating manner. This option can look a lot like the stone or wood that it’s supposed to replicate.

Luxury vinyl that looks like wood is thick (approximately 6 by 48) and can feature the same texture as that of real wood. Meanwhile, luxury vinyl that looks like stone can have a similar appearance of marble, slate, travertine, and other stones. They can be shaped like squares that can measure 16 x 16 or less.

One of the best things about luxury vinyl tile or plank is its thickness which makes it more durable than the regular vinyl tile or the conventional sheet. Furthermore, luxury vinyl’s thickness provides your floor with more warmth compared to its other alternatives. Plus, they look a lot like real stone or wood.

However, since other home buyers believe that vinyl tiles are inferior products, these may not give you high resale value. Also, if flood water gets inside your basement, there’s a big chance that these tiles will leak some of the moisture down to its subfloor. Another thing that you need to consider is the fact that luxury vinyl tiles can be a little bit pricey.

2. Engineered Wood Floor

You’re probably aware that it would be impossible for any kind of wood to withstand moisture for long periods of time. Aside from this, when temperatures fluctuate and when these floors are subjected to humid conditions, the dimensions of your solid wood flooring will change as well. Furthermore, under such conditions, there’s a really good chance that the floors will crack and warp. Therefore, most people steer clear of solid wood flooring when it comes to choosing the best floors for their basement.

However, engineered wood flooring is the exception to the rule. Aside from the fact that it closely resembles the look and feel of a solid wood flooring system, it can also provide you with a substrate that gives more stability for the planks. Moreover, this type of flooring is comprised of a thin layer of wood that’s been laminated into the backing of the plywood.

In terms of dimensional stability, plywood is better than solid wood. If there’s one thing you need to know about engineered wood flooring, it’s the fact that it’s able to withstand mild moisture and temperature fluctuations and it effectively absorbs sound. Furthermore, you can be sure that engineered wood flooring will transform your basement into an attractive-looking space.

It’s important to note that engineered wood is one of the most expensive flooring options in the market. They also need to be installed on a particular type of subfloor. When it gets damaged by water due to flooding, you’ll have a hard time taking them up because they’re securely joined to the subfloor. Therefore, any type of wood flooring for the basement may come with some issues, including engineered wood flooring.

3. Epoxy Floor

Epoxy floor coating

Epoxy flooring is the best type of flooring for basements, garages, pool decks, and any outside areas that are prone to moisture. Essentially, epoxy is the strongest option for any residential application, as it is incredibly strong and impervious to chemical damage, water damage, oil spills, blunt force damage, and cracking. As one of the strongest building materials, it has a very long lifespan and is completely waterproof.

Epoxy flooring is also known for being incredibly low maintenance, as basic sweeping will be able to keep harmful debris from harming the floor. Deep cleaning is actually discouraged, as epoxy has a strong and glossy finish that keeps scuffs and scratch marks to a minimum.

The bottom line is that epoxy is worth the money. Other flooring options may be cheaper, but once they are damaged by water or moisture, the repair bill will come back to bite you. Epoxy will last for decades and save your wallet in the event of minor flooding and water damage.

4. Laminate Floor

If you’re concerned about aesthetics, laminate flooring could be a great choice for you. It can come with image layer graphics that have significantly improved over the years. Plus, you can have deeper embossing with the laminate floor’s surface due to its remarkable thickness. Furthermore, laminate flooring is very easy to install, provides your cold basement with more insulation, and possesses considerable sound absorption features.

The only problem with this flooring system is that it can swell up when it comes in contact with water for longer periods of time. Once it does, it won’t return to its original size and its graphics will eventually peel off no matter how hard you try to dry them. In other words, laminate flooring that has been damaged by water would have to be replaced.

5. Stained Concrete

Homeowners who are trying to work on a budget and aren’t willing to spend the extra money for an epoxy flooring system often opt for the second best choice: a stained concrete floor. This flooring option is incredibly resistant to chemical spills, moisture, allergens, and other contaminants.

Not only does stained concrete protect against moisture, it can be customized into many different color and design options. Concrete can be stained to look like polished marble or it can be textured to have a wood-grained or brick-like finish. From a distance (and from up close), stained concrete can look like a number of different premium flooring options. Saw cuts allow us to create many geometric shapes, and trowels have the ability to build swirled dimensions.

The Winner as the Best Basement Flooring: Epoxy!

There you have it! If you were wondering what the best basement flooring options were, we would have to say epoxy and stained concrete.

Epoxy offers significant protection from moisture, chemicals, cracks, and falling equipment. It’s hypoallergenic and can also be customized to include anti-slip properties.

Stained concrete is the next best choice because it has a number of positive characteristics, such as slip resistance, chemical and stain resistance, and moisture/water resistance.