Best Floors for Finished Basements

best flooring for finished basements

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Most of the time, people think of basements as the dark, wet, scary space under a house that houses storage and ghosts. However, with the increase of Additional Housing Units (ADU) and AirBnB popularity, finished basements have gained traction. 

When you decide to take on a remodel in your basement to make it into a welcome and enjoyable space, you need to consider a few things. Basements are underground and have maintenance concerns that are not like the rest of the house. Waterproofing can be very important.

Basements are notorious for being cold and damp. They are primarily framed out in concrete, which can leak and cause structural issues. Before you start your project, have your basement foundations inspected by a professional to address the damage that needs to be repaired before you begin your remodel. 

What is the best flooring for finished basements? Let Armor Coatings help you figure that out. 

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Finished Basement Flooring

Considering what the intended use of the basement you’re going to be finishing is the second step in this process. If you’re converting the space into a game room or another type of entertaining area, you’ll have different flooring needs. Whether you’re turning it into an AirBnB rental or a game room, every type of flooring has its purpose, and with a list of pros and cons. 

One thing is certain, no matter the chosen design, you’re going to want something durable and moisture resistant. Many choose to go with concrete overlays, paint, laminate flooring, hardwood, or epoxy. Carpets can always be layered over the hard protective surfaces for sound dampening, and a soft touch to the interior decoration.

With proper flooring and artistic touches in your finishes, you can quickly move the basement from creepy to comfy. Bring an elegance you wouldn’t normally associate with the basement when you finish the flooring with high quality and visually appealing options that are described below.

Further, finishing a basement will add value to your home’s equity by adding additional living space to the overall square footage. The return on investment with finishing a basement is huge when it’s done correctly. 

Choosing the best materials and techniques will help you get the most from your investment when it’s time to sell. 

Adding a guest space, another room, an office, a media room, or a spare apartment means you have added value. These things can increase your income, or add to the resale value. Mother-in-law suites or “Granny flats” are highly sought after by buyers as many families are doing in-home elder care. 

stained concrete in the home


Most basements are already slabbed concrete for the walls and floor. After making repairs to cracks or leaks, you can seal them and install a variety of concrete options. Armor Coatings is your San Jose, CA, expert on finishing your basements with concrete and epoxy designs.

Concrete Overlay

With concrete overlays, you can have a smooth and durable surface that is stark and industrial in its aesthetic. You can have your concrete artist create texture, mimic stone or other building materials for your floor, and have a relatively thin layer on the existing floor base. 

This is a fantastic choice for entertaining spaces that may see food or drink spills, such as a game room, theater, or other entertaining area. This is also a great option for a workout room, a man cave, and many other applications. It’s a versatile flooring option for a flexible space. 

Concrete Polishing

Again, using the base layer of the original concrete, after repairs and sealing, you can have your concrete floors polished to a high shine. This is another ideal solution for areas that will be used for entertaining or have a high likelihood of spills. The shine is achieved through sealing and polishing the floor with increasingly finer grit buffing surfaces.  

Concrete Staining

Since concrete is naturally porous, it’s an ideal candidate for staining. When combining concrete stain with polishing, you can get gorgeous details, a depth of color, and durable shine. This is an awesome option for flexible spaces. Using the space for entertaining and guest quarters means you want comfort, beauty, and durability.


This is by far the least expensive option for finished basement flooring. It’s also the most DIY friendly, but it lacks in durability. Paint is a fine choice for a room that will be used for an art studio or workout room. However, it will need to be reapplied often if there will be a lot of furniture movement, rough play, high traffic, or if you need something a bit more foot-friendly. 

Laminate Flooring

For a finished look suitable for a guest house, additional dwelling unit, or a vacation rental, laminate flooring is a fantastic choice. It’s engineered for moisture resistance and durability while maintaining the look of hardwood flooring. Engineered laminate flooring can be installed to a plywood subfloor, with or without a foam underlayment. There are also hundreds of colors and textures to choose from. 

Vinyl Planks, Tiles, or Sheets

Vinyl is a comparably inexpensive option for a moisture-resistant flooring solution for finished basements. Plus, we’ve come a long way from your grandma’s linoleum floors. You can get planks, tiles or sheets of vinyl that mimic wood, or ceramic tiles. You can also purchase this material in several styles and many colors and designs. It’s easy to install and easy to replace. 


Epoxy is a resin compound that fills gaps, seals cracks, and adheres to the concrete beneath for a nearly impenetrable layer of protection and versatility. It’s available in hundreds of colors, and true artists can do amazing visual things with epoxy floors. You can also add aggregate to give it texture or pigment to create artwork on your floors. Epoxy is shiny and long-lasting. 

Carpets and Rugs

Carpet isn’t an ideal option in a basement, but it’s a viable solution for some applications. Turning your basement into an ADU means you’ll likely have more than one “room” worth of use. You’ll want to explore combining different flooring options for different areas. The living room or bedroom can be carpeted, or a rug installed to separate the room from the kitchenette and dining area. 

Daylight Basements

Daylight basements can be treated more like the inside of the house because it’s not completely below ground. Some of the options are avoided for basements because of moisture factors, but can be used with caution in daylight basements. Concrete and epoxy are still the best options if there is any chance of flooding or water damage. However, if your daylight basement is completely sealed from moisture, you can consider full carpet or hardwoods. 

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We Can Help

Since 1984, Armor Coatings has been solving client flooring, deck, patio, and driveway issues. We’re here to help you finish your basements, pool houses, outdoor spaces, garages, shops, warehouses, and businesses. 

Our professionals maintain training on new and old techniques, and are continually practicing their craft to create the masterpieces you want on your property. Our experts can help you look at solutions you wouldn’t have previously considered, and brainstorm with you to find the best option for your needs and for your budget. 

Give us a call, or send us a message today to discuss your newest flooring, decking, or commercial concrete or epoxy project. We believe that amazing flooring is an investment worth putting time and energy into. We look forward to working with you on your next project. 

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