So, you’ve decided to remodel your basement? I must say, it’s the right decision because that’s how you’re going to add an extra usable place to your house. Now you may not be willing to invest a whopping amount like $30 per sq ft. for marble tiles, but that doesn’t mean you will install plush carpeting for $2-$3 per sq ft. You have to find the best inexpensive yet most effective basement flooring type to ensure that your utility space withstands all those hard uses it receives in the long run.
Yes, a basement needs to have good serviceable flooring material because it faces the most abuse than any other part of your home. Plus, it’s prone to moisture issues that can rot or mold in the low-quality materials. And for any homeowner, moisture should be the primary concern for his basement. Then, how do you choose the best inexpensive basement flooring type for your underground space?
Well, fortunately, there are a handful of affordable basement flooring options available. I’ve listed 8 best types of flooring for the basement in the below section. You just need to go through this list of inexpensive basement flooring ideas and pick your wished flooring type depending on your requirements. Let’s begin!
8 Most Durable and Inexpensive Basement Flooring Ideas of 2021
No matter whether you want your basement to function as a workspace, a gym space, a storage space, or even as an extension of your living space; you must not opt for all those cheap basement floors covering types like traditional strips or below graded plank hardwoods.
Instead, go for these below mentioned cheap basement floor ideas to make sure you don’t spend an arm and still get the best basement flooring options over concrete. Have a look!
Epoxy Flooring is gradually becoming one of the most common flooring options for hallways and basements. Many people use Epoxy due to its unique design and durability. Also, they are easier to maintain than any other flooring options. It’s because this one is waterproof, available in solvent-based and water-based solutions.
They come in various colors, and they also don’t take a long time to be applied on the floor. Another reason why I recommend Epoxy is because they provide a great industrial look to your whole basement.
But Epoxy flooring is very cold to touch, like ceramic coatings and tiles. Apart from using Epoxy for the basement floor, some people also prefer the coating for their garage and other outdoor surfaces. They are customizable, really durable, sustainable, and used for decorative purposes.
Epoxy flooring contains multiple layers of epoxy coating that professionals apply to the floor with at least two millimeters depth. However, epoxy floor and epoxy floor coating are different. The difference between the two is the depth of the Epoxy used to apply to the floor. If the depth is less than two millimeters, then they are called epoxy floor coating.
Like, any other flooring option, Epoxy comes with some advantages and disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons of epoxy flooring for basement:
- They are water-resistant
- Epoxy flooring is durable
- Does not take more than a week to apply
- Provides a nice decorative look to your basement
- They are hard on your feet
- Cold to touch
Stained Concrete Flooring
Stained Concrete Flooring is a common solution for highways and streets because they are pretty strong and durable. The reason why the governments choose concrete floors is- it doesn’t scratch easily and is also hard to dent. You can even turn dull and boring grey concrete floors into the beautiful and attractive ground using dyes and etching techniques.
Another reason for choosing concrete floors is they are pretty cheap basement flooring options as well. They cost around $2 per square foot but can also become $30 per square foot if the finishes are more professional.
You will need a structural engineer who will help you install concrete over your subfloors that are supported by joists. Concrete can be both heavy and lightweight, depending on the solutions. But like epoxy flooring, concrete flooring is too hard on foot, and they can even develop cracks over time.
Still, they are the most beautiful and inexpensive basement flooring options available at the moment. You can make them look fabulous by adding any coloring option you like. You can make unique designs with colors on the concrete floor that you might not be able to do with epoxy flooring.
To understand this flooring options in a better way, let’s check out the pros and cons of stained concrete floors:
- They are easy to maintain and also last for a long time
- You can easily remove dirt or stains by wiping or sweeping the floor
- You can decorate the concrete floor using any design that comes to your mind
- They are suitable for the heated floor using electrical cables or hot water tubes
- They develop cracking over time
- Concrete floors are hard and uncomfortable for our foot
Ceramic Tile Flooring
Is tile suitable for the basement floor? Absolutely. Ceramic Tile Flooring is the only flooring option that works for any part of the house, and you can add them to your basement as well. The most common rooms where you will see ceramic tiles are the kitchen and bathroom, and some people even install them on their rooftop too.
The governments use ceramic tiles in high-traffic areas and subways. You can install them on any part of your house because they look fantastic. Though ceramic is not the most affordable basement flooring options, adding them to your basement floor won’t cause much. Unless, of course, your basement is pretty huge.
Ceramic floors have a hard and attractive surface, which is also very easy to maintain. They don’t hold on to dust for long, making it easy for you to keep it clean. However, they are not suitable for DIY installation, and you will need a professional to install them.
What’s the ceramic tile flooring cost per square foot? Well, ceramic tiles cost around $5 to $6 per square foot, but the cost is depending on the quality and difficulty level of installation. I like this flooring idea because it gives a professional touch to your overall basement or whatever you are installing.
Check out these ceramic tile flooring pros and cons if you are wondering, what are the disadvantages of ceramic tiles and how long does a ceramic tile floor last. Here we go:
- Ceramic tiles are water-resistant, and they are hard to stain
- There are various designs and options you can choose from
- One of the best flooring options for basement
- They are durable and very tough
- Need the lowest maintenance ever
- Hard and cold to walk on
- Needs professional installation
- Is very time-consuming to install
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
When you are picking out a new flooring option for your basement, this can take a while to make up your mind. Among the many types of flooring for the basement available, vinyl probably gives the most luxury touch to the overall area. Luxury vinyl floors look natural and are made of hardwood. Though they seem like a luxurious option as a basement floor, they cost less than hardwood floors.
This is one of the best affordable options for basement flooring that look like hardwood floors and also comes with various hues and grain sizes. The cost of the vinyl plank floor depends on the trees’ species, and you can look for exotic trees to avoid paying a hell of a lot of money for the basement flooring option.
Vinyl flooring not only looks good, but it also has some excellent advantages. Such as, it is spill-resistant. You won’t have to worry about any stain or damage as long as you wipe the spill immediately after the occurrence. People more often use vinyl for the bathroom and laundry floor rather than the basement. Check out its pros and cons before considering this basement flooring option.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring Pros and Cons:
- They are more affordable than hardwood flooring
- Soft in touch
- Gives a nice aesthetic look to your overall floor
- Requires a little maintenance
- They are still not immune to damage and can scratch and scuff
- Does not add that much value to hardwood flooring
- Still an expensive option for other flooring solutions
What is the best flooring for an uneven basement floor? Well, laminate flooring is the answer. Yes, try to laminate your uneven surface; that is an easy to install flooring option for the basement. Undoubtedly, laminating is one of the best flooring choices for basements that looks attractive and durable. Equipped with the latest technology, laminating your floor with sharp and high-definition images will look better than any flooring option.
Moreover, you don’t need to consult a professional for the installation purpose. You can do this alone with the right instructions and instruments. Another good reason to consider this flooring solution is it is one of the low-cost basement flooring ideas. You can find good options within the $2 to $3 range per square foot. Though this is one of the most inexpensive options, I would recommend you to invest in the best laminating option you can afford.
Also, if you wish to install it in your basement through a professional, you can do that too. It won’t cost you much. Laminate floors are also effortless to maintain using a vacuum or brooms but don’t use too much water while mopping the floor, which can cause swelling between the boards. The most common places for installing laminate are the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry, but people use it for the basement too.
Laminate Flooring in Basement Pros and Cons:
- They are easy to install
- They are the best and most inexpensive basement flooring ideas
- Is good at resisting stain
- Hard and noisy underfoot
- Chemicals present
Carpet Tile Flooring
Carpet tile flooring is one of the most common choices these days. It falls into the category of the best inexpensive basement flooring options as well. There might be a chance that carpet is not the ideal floor covering for a damp basement. But apart from that, it is popular because of its quality, look, soft feel, and warmth.
The carpet tiles are sufficient enough to absorb moisture but are prone to mold and mildew. So, it’s essential for you to be sure that the basement is completely waterproof before you’re moving ahead for carpet tile flooring. When you wish to get carpet tile flooring, you must start with getting a waterproof vapor barrier for your basement.
Some old homes do not have the vapor barrier, but thanks to the technology that it is now easier to install. A vapor barrier is a stack of 6 mil poly sheeting that you can use to have a reasonably dry basement.
Moreover, who all want to go with cheap basement flooring options, carpet flooring is going to hit at the top of their priority list. It comes up with excellent sound absorption quality as well, so in case you are setting up a music room or home theatre, this flooring type won’t create any trouble for other people in the surroundings.
Also, when you are moving ahead to place your order for carpet tiles, look for those which are dense and flat. Do not forget to buy Extra Square so that spares will be there in case of wear and tear. Nowadays, people are considering carpet tile flooring for their drawing rooms and bedrooms as well. This lets them roam in the room bare feet, and there will be no need for them to look for slippers again and again.
Pros and Cons of Carpet Tiles in Basement Floor:
- Carpet flooring is an inexpensive option to have
- It comes up with sound absorption qualities
- Carpet gives a soft and warm feel to your bare feet
- You can choose from a plethora of attractive designs
- It is prone to mold, mildew, and water damage
- Not a durable option as compared to other basement flooring material
Engineered Hardwood Flooring
Engineered hardwood flooring is one of the best basement flooring options to choose from these days. It lets you have the feel of real wood. The moisture resistance technology ensures the long life of this flooring type. Also, these are super easy to install as a floating floor system.
No need to search for suitable glue or put the time in sticking the material as you can install it right away. Engineered wood is the most versatile choice you can consider as it comprises several layers.
The top layer is made of the species of real hardwood, and it allows you to pick from a variety of colors, cuts, and finishes as well. The core layer is engineered hardwood and is made up of durable and sturdy pine and spruce wood. These components allow the engineered flooring to expand and keep up with the changing temperatures.
The best part is, the moisture level of your basement can’t affect the floor at all. This clearly indicates that for the surroundings where the moisture level is quite high or unstable, a person can go for it without a second thought!
It is available in multiple colors ranging from dark chocolate brown to walnut. Hence you can choose any of them accordingly as the engineered hardwood flooring is hitting in the category of durable ones. That also clearly indicates there will be no need to spend money again and again after maintenance once you install it. So, if you want a one-time investment for your basement flooring, definitely pick it.
Pros and Cons of Engineered Hardwood Flooring:
- Best moisture-resistant flooring type of basement
- Temperature resistant, so no worries of wear and tear due to sudden temperature changes
- Certainly, a durable choice to consider
- One of the best budget-friendly options you can have
- It is prone to scratches
- Needs to pay attention to kids for maintaining them
Rubber flooring is the most accessible surface choice for all the homeowners out there. Majorly the rubber flooring is found in gyms and hospitals because the material has been developed by keeping the surface into consideration and heavy foot traffic as well. Moreover, if you want to create your own workout room and want the surface to support you during the activities, rubber flooring will be the best option to go for.
The material is made up of natural tree rubber or synthetic fibers. In the case of the synthetic material, it is a recycled product made from the vehicle tires. These materials are durable and require low maintenance, as well. Rubber flooring lets you have a surrounding, which is safe for physical activities or heavy-duty tasks. Also, it provides plenty of choices, and you can choose any of them as per your wish and requirement. Rubber flooring is completely slip-resistant and delivers smooth resiliency as well.
During the installation, you don’t need to go for any adhesive. Yes, you can install rubber floors without any adhesive. Along with that, for cleaning, you don’t need to take a bit of stress. This is because you can clean it easily only with a blow of your vacuum cleaner or any steam cleaner. But if a person is going for steam cleaning, it is essential to leave the surroundings for a while because it gets slippery after coming into contact with water.
Pros and Cons of Rubber Flooring for Basement:
- Rubber floor is the right choice for any type of surrounding
- The antimicrobial technology works really well
- Available in different shapes and designs
- It is known to deliver a firm grip when you stand
- It appears to be slippery when wet
- Sometimes it contributes to a bad odor
Most Inexpensive Basement Flooring Ideas of 2021 (FAQs):
What is the Best Flooring for a Basement Cement Floor?
8 types of flooring can be done on your basement cement floor. To name those- Epoxy flooring, Stained concrete flooring, Ceramic tile flooring, Luxury Vinyl plank flooring, Laminate flooring, Carpet tile flooring, Engineered hardwood flooring, and Rubber flooring. Now you need to pick one depending on the environment and condition of your basement.
Can Mold Grow Under Vinyl Flooring on Concrete?
It’s a bit tricky to answer this question in ‘Yes,’ or ‘No.’ Vinyl floors are resistant to moisture but being a porous material, if there is stagnant water on your floor edges, under the floor or around the grooves, mold, and mildew can grow significantly. But if you keep cleaning your floor, there shouldn’t be an issue.
What is the Best Underlayment for Laminate Flooring Over Concrete?
Foam or cork is the best underlayment for laminate flooring over basement concrete. There is a reason behind it. Foam or cork is easy to install, works as a good sound barrier, and comes at a really cheap cost. Most importantly, foam works as the best moisture barrier when an extra layer is attached.
How Long Does Epoxy Basement Floor Last?
On average, 10 to 20 years. But Epoxy basement flooring can last longer than that if you keep it maintained properly and do touch-ups from time to time.
Is It Better to Glue or Float an Engineered Wood Floor?
Floating is definitely the best idea. While installing an Engineered wood floor, if you keep it floating instead of sticking with glue, it will be really easy for you to install it. Plus, you don’t have to invest time in getting a suitable adhesive for sticking the material.
Author’s View – What is the Cheapest Flooring for a Basement?
After skimming through different platforms and listening to different homeowners, I have curated this list of 8 most durable and inexpensive basement flooring ideas of 2021. If you ask me which one is the cheapest yet durable, I’ll go with Carpet tile flooring. It not only enhances the look of your basement but also stays like new in the long run. But again, you have to make sure your basement is free of water spillage or moisture. Else, your carpet will get damaged easily.
However, it’s nothing like whatever suits me will suit you, so pick your one wisely, considering every fact about your basement. For further queries, drop it in the comment box below, and don’t forget to share which flooring you got for your basement. Stay connected for more articles.
We hope you liked this list of 8 best and most inexpensive basement flooring ideas of 2021!
You might also like: How to Make a Small Bathroom Look Bigger with Tiles in 2021