The Best Waterproof Flooring Alternatives for Your Basement

Find alternatives to your favorite flooring styles for your basement!

For years, homeowners had to choose between style and functionality when they picked a basement flooring. People wanted to have the floor they loved but also needed a viable waterproof basement flooring option. In the end, they had to choose between the two and often sacrificed style for practicality.

That’s in the past now.

New advances in flooring technology have opened up a world of possibilities for waterproof basement flooring. At Floor Coverings International, we’ve identified the most popular floors homeowners love and paired them with the best basement alternatives. Read below to find our expert recommendations for waterproof basement flooring.

Flooring #1: Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is among the most popular flooring options in the world, especially in the United States. It comes in a variety of species and styles and can be made to suit any preference. It will also increases the value of your home, making it an even more attractive option. Unfortunately, it’s not a great choice for basements.

Hardwood flooring cannot be consistently exposed to moisture, which is exactly what would happen in a basement environment. Hardwood floors exposed to water can experience swelling, warping, and buckling, to name just a few of the problems that could arise. And many hardwood floors have beveled edges, meaning the water can get channelled right into the seams where it can do the most damage.

Alternative: Luxury Vinyl Flooring Planks

If you love the look of hardwood and want it in your basement, waterproof vinyl flooring can make your dream a reality. Luxury vinyl flooring planks are able to closely imitate the appearance of hardwood without the vulnerability to water damage. This is because the surface layer uses advanced imaging technology to mimic the hardwood aesthetic and texture buyers love. This technology has been perfected over years and is able to deliver a highly realistic flooring product.

Even better, luxury vinyl flooring is classified as a resilient flooring by the Resilient Floor Covering Institute. This means you’ll get superior durability, which is great for basement environments. Luxury vinyl flooring is particularly resistant to scuffing, scratching, staining, and discoloration. And of course, the resilient vinyl material is water resistant, making it a viable basement alternative to hardwood.

This waterproof flooring is also cost effective. High-end solid wood flooring can get very expensive, even for a basement. Luxury vinyl flooring can bring you the same look at a fraction of the price.

Flooring #2: Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring has been growing in popularity in recent years. Homeowners often choose it as a cost effective alternative to solid hardwood flooring. The technology has improved over the years to more realistically emulate the look of hardwood flooring. While this is a great choice for many places in the home, it’s a poor choice overall for a basement setting.

Constant moisture is bad for laminate flooring. Spills need to be wiped up immediately to prevent long-term damage to the floor like warping. And because basements are prone to moisture, regular laminate floors don’t do well in this environment.

Alternative: Waterproof laminate flooring

Instead of choosing traditional laminate, opt for waterproof laminate flooring for your basement. New advances in flooring technology have made this flooring option possible. Laminate waterproof flooring is made entirely out of PVC plastic, making it a suitable option for areas that are regularly exposed to water such as basements and bathrooms.

Even with the advancement of waterproofing, this is still an affordable flooring option. Waterproof laminate is less expensive than solid hardwood floors and even less expensive than high-end luxury vinyl flooring. For an affordable flooring option that can handle a basement environment, waterproof laminate flooring is an excellent choice.

Flooring #3: Carpet Flooring

Carpet flooring is a classic flooring option that individuals and families love. It’s soft, stylish, and sound absorbent, to name just a few benefits. It’s also great for safety as it reduces slippage and cushions falls. But while carpet is great in many respects, it’s not great when exposed to consistent moisture.

Carpet dries out very slowly, so when it gets really wet, the water will sit in the floor for an extended period of time. This leads to a host of problems including mold and mildew growth. That’s bad for your floor and bad for your health. A flooded basement would be a disaster for traditional carpet flooring, which is why we recommend choosing the alternative.

Alternative: Waterproof Carpet Flooring

This is a new edition to the residential flooring world. If you loved carpet but also wanted it in your basement, you used to have to choose one of the above alternatives. But now you can have carpet above and below your home. The fibers used in waterproof carpet flooring are specially treated to be stain and spill resistant. This type of flooring also has a 100% waterproof backing to prevent long-term damage associated with moisture. Now you can enjoy carpet in every room in your home—even your basement.

Style and functionality are both important, but thanks to new basement flooring technology, you don’t have to choose one over the other. To learn more about the best waterproof flooring for basements, schedule a free in-home Design Consultation today.