Carpet Vs Vinyl Plank In The Basement – Which To Choose?

Trying to decide between carpet and vinyl plank for your basement? Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the best option for your space.

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Here’s a quick answer:

There’s no right or wrong reason for either carpet or vinyl plank as your basement flooring. It comes down to what you want and how dry your basement is.

If your basement tends to hold moisture, you’ll probably want to stick with vinyl plank. However, many low-pile carpet options could also be great for a basement.

Carpet Versus Vinyl Plank Flooring In Your Basement

Basements add valuable space to your home, even if not counted in the square footage. A finished basement is beneficial for a playroom, band practice, or a cozy living area.

One catch with basements, though, is moisture. It’s essential to have a good sense of your basement. Has it been well-waterproofed?

Does it tend to smell musty? Is it a walk-out basement with great natural light? All those factors must be considered when choosing the flooring you will use.

The Pros And Cons Of Vinyl Plank Flooring In Your Basement

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Vinyl Plank flooring is a wildly popular option for homeowners these days. It comes in various colors and styles and is relatively inexpensive.

It wears well for pets, kids, and general dirt. It’s also pretty easy for DIYers to install. 

Cons are that it is not as soft to the touch as carpet. It’s louder than carpet and, if installed incorrectly, could shift and move underfoot.

Do You Need An Underlay For Vinyl Plank Flooring On Concrete?

First, ensure your concrete floor is level; if not, address that before laying vinyl planks.

If level, an underlay isn’t necessary but offers noise reduction and extra cushioning. A moisture barrier is essential for basements with moisture before installing underlay or vinyl planks.

Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Waterproof?

This depends on the product you buy. Some vinyl plank is moisture resistant, and other brands are waterproof.

Depending on your basement, it may be more prudent for you to buy one brand over another. 

Vinyl plank flooring

This vinyl plank flooring from Lucida is 100% waterproof. Click here for this on Amazon.

The Pros And Cons Of Putting Carpet In Your Basement

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Another popular option for basements is to use carpeting. Pros include its softness, sound-muffling, cozy appearance, and affordability. Carpet squares are also easy to install yourself.

The cons of using carpet in a basement include moisture issues.

If your basement isn’t moisture-proofed, the carpet can become musty and harbor mold and mildew. Additionally, carpet is more likely to stain than plank flooring.

Can You Lay Carpet Directly On Concrete?

If you’re sure your basement is moisture-free, you can install your carpet directly onto concrete.

However, you’ll still want to run your tack strips around the edges and lay down a carpet mat before installing the carpet on top. 

If your concrete has moisture issues, you can always carpet your basement in a multi-step way. First, put down a layer of dimpled polyethylene above your concrete.

Cover this with the plywood subfloor. Then finish with your carpet pad and carpet. This method creates some space and airflow between your carpet and the basement’s concrete floor.

What Kind Of Carpet Is Good For The Basement?

Several carpets will work well in basements, and we’ll look at each of them here.

Synthetic Fiber Carpets

Because moisture is sometimes a concern in basements, synthetic fibers are well-suited. They retain less moisture and are easier to clean than natural fibers.

Choose materials like nylon, polyester, or triexta for synthetic fiber carpets.

Low Pile Carpets

Pile refers to the thickness of carpets, and a low pile carpet is lower to the ground without a lot of fluffiness.

You can still put a nice thick carpet pad beneath it so that it’s squishy and comfortable, but a lower pile carpet will dry out more quickly and hold up to the hard use a basement playroom might get.

Carpet Squares

Another fun idea for the basement is the use of carpet squares or carpet tiles.

If moisture occurs, you can easily replace sections instead of the entire carpet. They adhere to concrete with adhesive backing.

They’re available in mixed colors for a patchwork look or solid colors for a cohesive appearance.

If you like solid colors, those are available as well. Check to see what square footage they will cover. This brand comes in a box of 9 tiles covering approximately 34 square feet of area.

Your Beautiful Finished Basement

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A finished basement is a real boon to any homeowner. It will allow your family to spread and have some breathing room for whatever your favorite activity.

A big part of making a room look great is the flooring. Whichever route you take, we’re sure it will be fantastic.

If you enjoyed this post here at, please check out a few of our others below:

Best Carpet Types And Colors For The Basement

How To Make A Basement Smell Better [9 Helpful Methods]

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