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Flooring for Wet Basements

Poushali Ganguly Mar 15, 2020
Have a moisture problem in your basement? Fret not! The right flooring option will help you solve the problem and utilize your basement in myriad ways.
Basement can prove to be a very functional and useful area in a home for recreational as well as storage purposes. But, there are so many people who cannot use this space as it remains wet for most of the time. However, there are ways in which the problem of wet basement can be solved and once that is done the finished space can be utilized in myriad ways.
Using an appropriate basement flooring option after waterproofing your basement is the correct way of finishing your basement. Normal wood floor is not the solution for basement since water and wood are a bad combination.
The floor has to be changed a number of times as it starts rotting if exposed to water for a period of time. Flooring for wet basement is a tough decision to make, if you are not aware of the many flooring options available to you.

Why is Finding a Flooring for Wet Basement So Difficult?

Unless you live in an arid desert, problem of underwater seepage is something that is encountered in most parts of the country. The problem only aggravates in areas of heavy rainfall. The moisture that creeps through basement walls and flooring can play havoc with your basement flooring.
It can weaken the adhesive used in floor tiles, thereby leading to heaving and crumpling of tiles. Besides, the problem of mold and mildew which results from moisture can virtually make a basement uninhabitable. So, this is the problem that has to be solved before flooring can be finalized.
The simplest way to find if you basement has moisture problem or not is to cover your floor with a sheet of impermeable material by sticking it end to end and keeping it overnight or so. If you find dampness under the sheet, it means that the basement floor has a moisture problem. To solve the problem, the source of the problem has to be found out.
It could be anything ranging from standing water to cracks in the foundation. Whatever the source may be, the seeping of moisture has to be stopped first and then the flooring has to be done. Basement waterproofing can take care of most of your problems resulting from water seepage.

Basement Flooring Options

There are various types of flooring options available for wet basements. You can choose any material for your basement flooring that is resistant to moisture.
While installing hardwood flooring may not be the wisest idea for basement flooring, you can explore several options in other materials that render the same effect as hardwood flooring. Here are a few flooring options for basements with water problems.

Engineered Hardwood Floor

This is a potential alternative to normal wooden floors, constructed in 3-5 layers of various hardwood materials. This structure gives more resistance towards the changes in the humidity and moisture problems.

Laminate Floor

This is made of wood that is moisture resistant. They have a backing which helps the flooring to adhere to the sub-floor.
Melamine or aluminum oxide coating on top gives it a decorative look and keeps the floor dry besides preventing it from scratching and staining.

Ceramic Floor or Porcelain Tile

These are also a good option if the moisture problem is solved completely and successfully. You can first put an impermeable layer and then a layer of hardwood or cement.
Ceramic or porcelain tiles are to be installed on this surface. These tiles are aesthetically good and serve the purpose really well.


The simplest of all the methods is the concrete flooring which is cheapest and the best. For better look, you can paint it or stain it.
However, you might have to lay a carpet on it to avoid incidences of 'cold shock', that are peculiar with ceramic and concrete flooring.


This alternative to normal wooden floors are constructed in 3 to 5 layers of various hardwood materials which gives more resistance towards the changes in the humidity and the moisture problems.
Out of all these, laminate floors also at times have the problem of warping like wooden floors. Still if you want a laminate floor, you can do it by installing some of the other equipment such as vapor guard or basement dehumidifier.
The basic thing that has to be checked before you can decide on the flooring of the basement is the sub floor and the severity of the moisture problem. You may get professional help if required.