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Updated: Sep 12, 2022

Best Flooring For Basements That Flood

Flooding in your basement can be devastating, both to the structure of your home and to your possessions. Basements are particularly susceptible to flooding because they’re below ground level and most basements don’t have windows or skylights that let in natural light, which can lead to mold growth if moisture isn’t able to dry out quickly enough. Flooding also wreaks havoc on floors and carpeting that are susceptible to water damage, which can lead to discoloration, cracks, and even structural issues with wood subfloors or concrete slabs.

Best Flooring For Basements That Flood

Jump To Our 5 Best Flooring Options For Basements That Flood

No Flooring Is the Best Option

The best option for a flooring in a basement that no flooring at all. We recommend the homeowner fixes the water problem first. Fixing a basement flood is typically less expensive than laying down new flooring all over again. It makes no sense whatsoever to replace basement flooring, if you know the basement is going to continue to flood.

When a basement floods, it will damage whatever type of flooring it touches. Even worse; some types of basement flooding can cause mold growth on your floors or walls. Mold can be very difficult and costly to remove from your home. If you have had one basement flood already; you may want to consider installing an anti-flood system like check valves or sump pumps before replacing your flooring next time.

While some flooring is considered waterproof, that does not mean it should be installed in a basement that you know will flood, the next time it rains. Even if your basement floods only once every five years; there is no guarantee that your luck will hold, and water won't damage your floors again. The best way to protect your home from basement flooding is to make sure you have an anti-flood system like check valves or sump pumps installed before installing any type of flooring.

Too many people have water damage in their basement, only to turn around and purchase new flooring, without fixing the water problem first. It simply does not make any sense. After your basement floods, you will probably want to get rid of whatever type of flooring was damaged by the flood. You can replace it with another type of waterproof or non-waterproof flooring. Just remember; if you live in a home where basement flooding is a common occurrence; there is no such thing as waterproof flooring for basements that flood!

Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

Once you get your water problem properly fixed, we feel the best flooring option is luxury vinyl plank flooring. It’s waterproof and can be installed over a concrete subfloor without any special preparation or extra steps to ensure it stays in place. It’s also one of the most realistic looking wood floor options available today, which means it won’t detract from your home’s value if you decide to sell at some point in time.

Luxury vinyl plank flooring is a waterproof product. So, if you’re worried about your basement flooding and ruining your investment, you can rest easy knowing that it will hold up in wet conditions. This is especially important if you live in an area with frequent heavy rains or flooding problems. If your home has suffered flood damage in the past, you may want to consider luxury vinyl plank flooring as an option to prevent any future problems from occurring.

However, just because luxury vinyl plank flooring is considered waterproof, does not mean it will withstand an entire basement going underwater. Customers should always check their product warranty information to read the fine lines of what is covered in case of water damage.

In addition to a warranty, luxury vinyl plank flooring is also easy to clean. This makes it ideal for areas where mud and dirt tend to accumulate often. Dirt is unlikely to build up underneath your new flooring as opposed to other options such as hardwood or tile, which means less maintenance on your part.


Carpet is the most affordable option for flooring in basements. As long as your basement does not flood, carpet should last for a very long time. However, if your basement does flood, there is a very good chance your carpet will be ruined. The water that gets in the basement will not only soak the carpet, but the carpet pad as well.

In most cases, the carpet and carpet pad will need to be removed, in order to prevent mold from growing. Mold issues are a big concern when basements incur water damage. Make sure you have current insurance for your basement flooring. If flooding occurs, your insurance company can pay for new flooring.

Carpet is the most affordable flooring option. Carpet comes in a variety of colors and styles, making it easy to customize your basement floor. Another advantage to carpet is its durability. It should stand up well to family basement foot traffic.

One final point, carpet is easy to clean. If you have a basement bar or playroom, you can easily clean up spills and messes with soap and water. Carpet is an affordable option for basement flooring. However, if your basement floods often, you may want to consider another option.

Engineered Hardwood Floors

While most engineered hardwood flooring products can be installed below grade, if you have a basement that floods, engineered hardwood flooring is a terrible option. Water will seep into your home through these boards, causing mold and mildew to grow.

In addition to being unsightly, these areas of mold and mildew can cause allergies and other health problems in your family members (or even yourself). If you’re trying to find flooring options for your basement that flood on occasion or frequently, look at other options.

Engineered hardwood flooring costs a lot of money. Why would you purposely put this product in a basement that you know has a tendency to flood? Again, if your basement floods, don't put any flooring down until you fix the problem.

Once the problem has been corrected, then engineered hardwood flooring could be a great option. It’s durable and lasts a long time. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, it’s also very functional in basements. However, as we have stated a million times, if you have a basement that floods frequently or on occasion, avoid installing any type of flooring until you can fix your basement flooding issue.

Engineered hardwood flooring comes in a variety of colors and styles. This makes it easy to find a product that matches your home’s décor. Because you can choose from so many different options, engineered hardwood flooring is often less expensive than other types of wood floors. You also have more options when it comes to installation; you can install engineered hardwood floors yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile)

VCT (vinyl composition tile) is used in commercial applications such as hospitals and schools. It is very durable and will last forever. Commercial VCT comes without wax, and after installation, needs to have a coat of wax applied. Residential VCT already comes prefinished, with residential designs.

The problem is: VCT will not hold up to water damage. Water will get underneath the tiles and release the VCT adhesive. When removing a damaged tile, you can see where there was no adhesive left behind.

This leaves an uneven surface which is difficult to clean, as well as an uneven surface on which to lay new tile. If you plan on having your basement finished with any type of flooring, it’s best to stick with ceramic or porcelain tile, as they are more resistant to water damage than VCT.

In addition to all of this, VCT is simply not an attractive floor. There are better options available if you want a finished basement with a nice-looking floor.

Plus, the sub-floor for VCT installation needs to be very smooth. If you have any bumps on your basement cement floor, it will show through once you lay down your tile. You’ll need to sand down those imperfections before laying tile. This is a lot of work and expense just to install a floor in your basement!

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile in a basement is a good option to consider. Tile is waterproof and sturdy, so it’s great for basements that flood occasionally. The best part about ceramic tile flooring in a basement is you can use it to create an entire room or just lay it over your concrete floor as an accent piece in another room of your house. If you have a large basement, there are even options out there with grout lines and tiles of varying sizes—basement-friendly flooring at its finest!

However, water can eventually work its way in to the grout joints and get underneath the tiles. If you have a basement that floods frequently, ceramic tile may not be your best option because it’s expensive to replace if it gets damaged. Plus, ceramic tile doesn’t hold up well against extreme temperatures either; if you live in an area with hot summers or cold winters, you might want to consider another flooring option for your basement.

Ceramic tiles hold up very well to water spills that hit the top of the tile, but if water gets underneath the tiles and starts to seep, it can cause damage. If you have a basement that floods frequently or experiences extremely high humidity levels, you might want to consider another flooring option.

At first glance, ceramic tile seems like a great choice for basements because it’s waterproof and easy to clean. However, you should be aware of two potential issues with using ceramic tile in your basement: damage from extreme temperatures and water damage from below.

If you live in an area with cold winters or hot summers, you might want to consider another flooring option for your basement; likewise, if your basement floods frequently. That said, if you live in an area with mild winters and don’t have flooding issues in your basement (or simply aren’t worried about these issues), then ceramic tiles are a great option!

5 Best Flooring Options For Basements That Flood

#1 Selkirk Vinyl Plank Flooring-Waterproof Click Lock Wood Grain

  • 100% waterproof. Mopping and common household spills won't damage the floor.

  • Enhanced wear layer protects against scratches, scuffs, and stains.

  • Easy to install. No acclimation time. Typically little to no subfloor prep. Can be installed over existing hard surfaces such as concrete, old ceramic tile, wood or non-cushioned vinyl flooring.

  • Limited lifetime-15-year residential and 5-year light-commercial warranty.

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