personal laying down an engineered hardwood tile flooring

Pros & Cons of Flooring Types (Tile, Cork, Concrete, Epoxy, Vinyl, Rubber, Carpet, Hardwood)

Looking to finish or update your basement this spring, but aren’t sure what flooring type to go with? We’ve got you covered! Check out our list of your best basement flooring options to determine which is right for your space.

But first things first.

Which Flooring Types Should You Avoid?

Because basements are often more prone to mold, mildew, and moisture than other areas in your home, some flooring options should be saved for your home’s upper levels. These include real hardwood and laminate, both of which can be easily damaged by too much (or even a little) moisture.

Which Flooring Types Should You Consider?

Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles.

These tiles are easy to clean and very low-maintenance. They also come in a variety of colors, styles, and textures, so it’s easy to get the look you want if trying to mimic stone or wood. Pros: Dries out perfectly in the event of water damage and will never rot. Cons: Poor sound absorption and lack of heat.

Epoxy Floor Coatings.

Not the same as concrete paint or stain, epoxy coating is a concrete sealant that’s easy to apply, comes in various styles, and is completely waterproof. Want more reasons to love it? It’s cheap, low maintenance, and looks great. But wait, there’s more! It prevents cracks and stains, is easy to clean, and is resistant to germs and bacteria! Pros: Everything we just mentioned. Cons: Prepping your concrete takes a large chunk of time, your feet will forever be chilly, and there’s a strong ammonia smell during the application process.

Cork Flooring.

Natural, soft, warm, and comfortable, cork flooring is growing in popularity. However, because it’s an organic material, it can be easily damaged by moisture. Pros: Comfortable and great sound absorption. Cons: Prone to water damage, requires a sturdy subfloor, and not easy to install.

Vinyl Tile, Plank, or Sheet Flooring.

There’s a reason it’s known as “resilient” flooring! You really can’t go wrong with vinyl. It’s waterproof, inexpensive, and comes in a variety of styles to match whatever look and feel you’re wanting in your underground getaway. It’s also warmer than plain old concrete or ceramic tiles. Pros: Everything we just mentioned. Cons: Requires a lot of subfloor prep and may not always make for an easy do-it-yourself project.

Engineered Hardwood.

If you just can’t let go of hardwood, then engineered may be the way to go. Engineered wood is made with real wood, but if exposed to moisture it can still withstand it enough to hold its shape. It’s also one of the most beautiful basement flooring options on the market. Pros: Great sound absorption and easy on the eyes. Cons: Expensive, and requires a subfloor.

Rubber Flooring.

If your basement’s sole purpose is a child’s play place or an at-home gym, rubber flooring is a solid choice. Some variations fit together just like a puzzle, making it very easy to install. It also creates the most insulation, keeping your toes warm no matter the season! Pros: Usually won’t be damaged by water and soft to walk on. Cons: Not very aesthetically pleasing.


It’s 2019, and concrete no longer means unfinished! If you want an industrial or modern look, concrete is a great way to go. You can bring in rugs to add warmth and cushion, and if you want to brighten the place up, there’s a wide variety of concrete paints and stains to change up its appearance. Pros: It’ll handle moisture the best of any flooring option. Cons: It’ll get cold…very, very cold. It also won’t lend itself to great sound quality if you’re hoping for a basement theater space.


Tried and true for a cozy basement, carpet is always a nice choice. A great benefit of a carpeted basement is the added warmth carpet can bring to a space that’s usually on the cooler side. Pros: Warm and great sound absorption. Cons: Can be damaged by too much moisture.