Carpet tiles have long been a popular option in commercial spaces, but they're a great choice for residential basements too. Look for tiles that are dense and flat, and buy extra squares so you have spares to swap in as sections wear down over time.
Related: 7 Secrets to Keep Your Carpet Looking New
Coating a concrete basement subfloor in epoxy will make it waterproof and durable. Available in water-based, solvent-based, and 100 percent solid solutions and in a variety of colors, epoxies can be easily applied to a basement floor in the course of a weekend.
Related: 9 Sneaky Ways to Get New Floors for Under $50
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Stain can dress up concrete floors with little cost or effort, and unlike some other types of concrete coating, stain is not prone to chipping or flaking. Stains come in water- or acid-based varieties and in a range of colors that offer the opportunity to play with different combinations and designs.
Related: 12 Finishing Touches for Your Unfinished Basement
Affordable and timeless, ceramic tile can be installed directly over a concrete slab, provided the subfloor is fairly level. Tile is unaffected by water and humidity, making it a good choice for basement floors.
Related: 14 Tips for a Cozy Basement Bedroom
Vinyl Tile or Planks
Vinyl tiles are a waterproof option that can hold up to all manner of spills as well as foot traffic. Some higher-end options emulate the appearance of wood or stone, which can give your basement floor a luxury look at a relatively low cost.
Related: The 7 Best Low-Cost Alternatives to Hardwood Flooring
Because basements are prone to moisture and flooding, it is wise to avoid hardwood flooring, which will become warped or damaged if exposed to water. You can still get the look of hardwood floors, though, if you opt for engineered wood boards. Made of layers of composite wood sealed with adhesives, engineered wood is less prone to swelling and can be glued in place or installed as a floating floor.
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If you are comfortable painting your walls, you'll have no problem with this easy solution for basement flooring. First, do a little homework and find a latex floor paint that performs well in high humidity and cool temperatures, then use a roller to apply at least two coats to a clean concrete floor.
Related: The 10 Best Colors for a Brighter Basement
Rubber Floor Tiles
Tough and flexible, rubber tiles lock together like puzzle pieces and provide comfort underfoot in high-traffic areas. Unlike rigid tiles, they are flexible enough to conform to uneven subfloors and can be easily swapped out as they sustain damage over time.
Related: So, You Want to… Waterproof Your Basement
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Large roll-out plastic or rubber floor mats are great temporary solutions for covering large sections of a basement floor, or even an entire floor. They do not require adhesive and feature nonslip textures to aid traction.
Related: Solved! What to Do About a Flooded Basement
The basement is a convenient spare space for making it what you need (or want!) for your house: a family hangout, an extra bedroom, even a bar. Whether you’re looking to fully finish it or you’re making do with its bare bones, there’s a range of materials to choose from to help you finish the look.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!