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Is Vinyl Flooring Good for Basements?

One of the main concerns with flooring for your basement is moisture; moisture from above if a flood occurs and below coming through the concrete.  Also, concrete, which most basement floors are made of, is hard to nail anything into. 

So the question is, will vinyl flooring be a good choice for your basement floor?

Is Vinyl Flooring Good for Your Basement Floors?

Vinyl is made of plastic and while this does not make it waterproof, it makes it water-resistant. 

Some manufactures will say their vinyl flooring is “waterproof” but this is not true. 

There are very few materials that cannot be damaged by water and vinyl is one material that can be damaged by water. 

To ensure that you have the best water-resistant vinyl flooring, make sure that it is good quality vinyl flooring.

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This is especially true if you have a below-grade basement location. 

These types of locations are the ones that are prone to water damage from flooding issues that can occur and from moisture that seeps up from the concrete flooring. 

Generally, vinyl flooring will not be damaged by a normal amount of water on the surface. 

It should also not be harmed by the damage that can happen occasionally from the concrete slab dampness. 

Against moisture in a basement, other than using tile, vinyl flooring is the best flooring to use.

Types of Vinyl Flooring to use in the Basement

Generally speaking, this includes all vinyl flooring. 

If you are looking for a ‘floating floor’ where you do not have to use adhesive and goes directly over the concrete floor, there are two options; planks and sheet vinyl.

  • Planks:  This type of vinyl flooring is often categorized as luxury vinyl flooring.  They are wide strips of flooring that snap together.  After they are snapped together, they will create a continuous floor that floats over the concrete.  For beginners, it is easier to lay down planks than it is for sheets.  The reason is that you are working with smaller pieces.  If you make a bad cut then you just have to cut a new piece. 
  • Sheets:  With these, they come in six to twelve feet rows and are fiberglass-reinforced.  They do a good job also floating over concrete floors.  Because it is installed as one big piece you will have to be precise when cutting it to fit the space.  If you have to have more than one piece, to make it look like one floor, you will have to use double-sided tape under the seam.  Once this is done, then you will seal over it using the manufacturer’s seam sealant.  This will help to create a water-resistant smooth joint.

Both of these types come in a wide variety of patterns and color, including giving your basement floor a wooden floor look that many would think was real wood.

Tips for Installing Vinyl Flooring in Your Basement

When you purchase your vinyl flooring the manufacturer will tell you everything that you will need to know in order to install it correctly.

Here are some extra tips to help you out.

  • The first thing that you need to do before putting down your vinyl flooring is to make sure that you have cleaned and smoothed the concrete.  For the vinyl flooring, the concrete does not have to be level but it has to be relatively flat and smooth.  If there are any dips and cracks, fill them in using a floor leveling compound that is designed to be used on concrete.  Once this is done, you will need to thoroughly sweep and vacuum the floor before you lay the planks or roll out the sheet of vinyl.  If there is any debris left on the concrete floor, it will show through the vinyl flooring.  It may even cause damage to the vinyl flooring.
  • For the sheets, double-cut the seams.  This means that if you have to use more than one piece, the trick to having an invisible seam is at the seam you overlap the pieces.  If the flooring has a pattern, match up the pattern first and then make a double-cut through both layers at the same time.
  • Most of these floating floors will need some wiggle room so you need to leave expansion gaps.  You should leave a gap of one-eighth to one-fourth inches at all walls along with other vertical obstructions.  Once the vinyl flooring is down, you can cover the gaps with shoe molding or quarter-round.

Reasons to use Vinyl Flooring for Basements

  • It is water-resistant, unlike linoleum and laminate flooring.
  • Because it is a floating floor, you will not have to worry about using nails or adhesives, especially the plank vinyl flooring.  This type snaps together like a puzzle so installation is quick and clean. 
  • If you decide to change the flooring later it is easy to replace vinyl flooring.  With plank vinyl flooring, all you have to do is remove it piece by piece but with sheets, it can be harder to change out.
  • Vinyl flooring is warmer than some other flooring material when you walk on it, especially if you like to go barefoot in the house. It will also cushion the bottom of your feet better.
  • It is more durable than bamboo or cork and holds up well under heavy foot traffic.
  • Today it is easy to get vinyl flooring that looks like laminate or wood flooring but is also less expensive.
  • The interlocking planks are easy to install and make a great DIY project.


  • When talking about moisture resistance, you need to remember that applies to just the vinyl flooring.  If you install any material, such as plywood, under the vinyl flooring to give it some cushioning, you could undermine the moisture-resistance of the vinyl flooring.  You could also be voiding the floor’s warranty.
  • With vinyl flooring for your basement, you do not have to lay down a subfloor first as the concrete under it is considered the subfloor.
  • Vinyl flooring is very suitable for basement floors