Whether you are finishing out your basement for the first time or you are remodeling it to modernize the style, you may currently be focused on choosing the right flooring for your space. Selecting a flooring material for this area of the home can seem rather tricky because of the many different factors that each homeowner needs to consider. Each homeowner may have unique needs and preferences, so there is not a catch-all answer about which type of flooring is best to install in a basement. However, when you turn your attention to these important points, you can more easily make a great decision about which flooring material to install in your basement. 

The Question of Your Budget

One of the most popular types of flooring materials that many homeowners are drawn to today is hardwood flooring. This material has a sophisticated, upgraded look that appeals to many people, and it is available in an extensive range of colors and styles. However, whether you choose solid or engineered hardwood flooring, you may find that this is one of the more expensive material options to consider. If you are shopping for flooring on a budget, laminate flooring or some of the lower-grade types of carpeting may be better options to consider. Remember to focus on the cost of the material as well as cost of the installation when you are pricing out some of the different material options available.

The Look of the Space

A finished basement often becomes a part of your home’s living space. When you entertain, your upper level may flow well into your basement. When you sell the home, a buyer may want to see a cohesive style throughout the entire home. This does not necessarily mean that you need to have the same flooring material on your main floor as you have on your basement floor. However, the general look throughout the home should be similar. For example, if you have high-end hardwood flooring on the main floor, installing the lowest grade of carpeting that you can find is often not a good idea. You do not want to create a disjointed look in your home because of a poor flooring decision.

The Need to Buffer Sound

Finished basements are usually living spaces that a family may spend a lot of time in. You may have bedrooms and bathrooms, a home office, a playroom for the kids or other features in this space, so you understandably want to create the right ambiance. One factor that can heavily influence ambiance is the sound. Laminate flooring and other types of hard floor surfaces can magnify or echo sounds in some cases, and this can make your time in the basement unpleasant. This is particularly true if the space will be used for children playing, to watch movies or for other loud functions. If noise is a concern, carpeting is a great option to consider. Otherwise, if you install vinyl plank flooring or other materials, you may add area rugs to your space to absorb some of the sound. 

A Focus on Durability and Maintenance

Durability and maintenance are two important factors to consider as well, but each homeowner may have different ideas about what these factors entail. For example, if you plan to live in the home for decades, the investment of solid or engineered hardwood flooring may be cost-effective. You may not mind having to re-finish the floor a few times over the course of the years. On the other hand, hard floor surfaces, such as vinyl plank flooring and others, can easily show dirt and may be hard to keep clean. Many people enjoy plush carpeting in a home because it is easy to clean with a vacuum, hides dirt well and is generally more affordable to replace when it begins to show signs of aging. Keep in mind that most carpet types will need to be replaced within five to ten years. Ensure that your space is fully waterproof before installing any type of flooring material. This step will eliminate the risk of water-related damage to your basement floors.

The Question of Comfort

A final factor to think about before you invest in a new flooring material for your basement is comfort. Consider your biggest complaints about the other flooring materials in your home. For example, is your tile flooring upstairs very cold to walk on in the winter months? Do you get aches in your back, legs and feet when you stand on a hard floor surface for too long? Your flooring can affect the overall comfort level in your home in different ways, and each material that you may choose from has pros and cons in this area

A Focus on Your Health


You may not think that your floors have much to do with your health, but this is not necessarily true. Some people are concerned about the chemicals that are used in wood flooring materials, such as formaldehyde. Others are concerned about the potential for allergens, bacteria and other elements to build up in carpeting over time. After all, vacuuming a carpet will not usually remove all of the materials that fall onto it. If you have these or other concerns related to some flooring materials, give them adequate attention during your decision-making process.

It can be confusing to determine which flooring type you want to install in your basement. For each of these factors, you may have several options that do and do not work well for your space. A smart idea is to rank the above factors in terms of importance to you. Then, list the top one or two materials to consider under each category. It may also be wise to write down materials for each category that definitely do not appeal to your needs. By analyzing this list more closely, you can make a better decision about which type of flooring to install in your basement. Remember to compare the options carefully when shopping so that you find a quality product at a fair price.