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What Kind Of Flooring Can You Put Over Concrete?

When deciding on the best flooring for your home, you must ask the right questions. As a homeowner, you will have to consider not only your artistic preferences but also your lifestyle when choosing the right flooring for your home. So what kind of flooring can you put over concrete? We asked experienced masons and here's their reply. 

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

The best kind of flooring you can put over concrete includes 

  1. Vinyl 
  2. Vinyl Sheet
  3. Engineered wood 
  4. Laminates 
  5. Carpets
  6. Tile

To learn more about these kinds of flooring and how to properly install them, hang on and keep reading. We would also talk about LVT flooring and how to choose the cheapest flooring option possible. 

Bathroom of a modern hotel room, What Kind Of Flooring Can You Put Over Concrete?

What Are The Best Kind of Flooring to Put Over Concrete?

Worker making flooring with vinyl tiles

When you look at flooring options, you think about the colors, styles, and materials that will work best in your home. One aspect you may overlook is the material on which you will lay your flooring.

This fundamental layer is referred to as a substrate, and it serves a number of important functions. A substrate's material can influence the type of flooring you select, the distribution of weight, and provide support for your floor.

Concrete slabs have a few distinct characteristics that can directly affect your flooring. Keeping these characteristics in mind can help you choose the flooring that will complement your basement and work well with your substrate.

Moisture and unevenness are important elements to pay attention to when dealing with concrete floors. Concrete, despite its appearance, is a permeable substance that can soak up and release moisture. Due to high humidity or ground moisture, water may enter your concrete slab.

More so, some flooring types may amplify unevenness if your concrete slab isn't perfectly flat. Even minor grade variations can be overblown after flooring installation. Check to see if your concrete slab is level to help guide your flooring selection process. 

Another important factor includes the location of your slab, the amount of water it receives, and your flooring preferences. You can choose the flooring that complements both your concrete slab and your design objectives. 

Best Flooring to Put Over Concrete?

Some of the best kinds of flooring are; 

Engineered Wood

Hardwood floor samples at flooring store. Display of selection of engineered hard wood floors

Natural hardwood flooring is both aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting. However, if natural wood is exposed to excessive moisture, it can warp and disrupt your floor. Engineered wood is better at handling moisture while presenting a spectacular wood floor look when it comes to water resistance.

Engineered wood's water resistance is due to its unique structure. Each engineered board is made up of thin strips of strong wood compressed onto high-quality plywood. When moisture is present, these layers allow the wood to remain rigid and resist contracting and expanding.

Engineered wood is usually made up using a thin top layer of real wood which is glued to a backing made of plywood or a really thick fiberboard. To homeowners, engineered wood provides the flexibility to layer wood-like items over concrete slabs. Engineered wood materials are long-lasting and cost-effective. 

Furthermore, engineered wood is available in a variety of thicknesses which gives an advantage to places with heavy foot traffic. 

Vinyl 

different carpenter tools (rubber hammer, electrofret, joiner angle) on the laminated floor

Similar to engineered wood, vinyl uses the power of layers to increase its durability. Backing, top design, and protective layers are all included. Vinyl materials are made strong enough for the toughest conditions. When it comes to function and appearance, vinyl has a lot to offer. 

Vinyl Sheet 

This vinyl type comes in a single sheet that is installed over the concrete floor slab. A vinyl sheet can be installed if your concrete slab isn’t perfectly even. Because it doesn’t include any gaps, this type of vinyl flooring offers the most moisture resistance.

Luxury Vinyl Tile or Plank

Luxury vinyl has the appearance of hardwood or tile but is more resistant to moisture. Because this vinyl comes in the style of planks or tiles, there is the possibility of tiny gaps allowing moisture to seep into the concrete substrate.

All vinyl is water-resistant, and cushioned vinyl contains a layer of foam to make standing more comfortable. Vinyl remains a go-to option for kitchens and bathrooms, it is also well-known for its high water resistance. Aside from its low cost, vinyl flooring has temperature advantages for basement installation.

Many basement subfloors are concrete slabs that are cold to the touch, particularly in the winter. Vinyl will not transfer the cold from the concrete, resulting in a long-lasting and comfortable basement flooring.

You can avoid routine waxing and polishing when installing vinyl flooring options over concrete. Get basement flooring materials that are known to last up to 20 years.

Laminates 

laminate flooring - worker installing new floor

Laminate floors are chemically synthesized composites consisting of four layers of materials merged into an exceptionally tough surface that are preferred by homeowners and design enthusiasts for their extreme durability and fantastic stain resistance. These layers include:

  • A back layer, for resilience and moisture opposition
  • A Fiberboard core, for impact obstruction, strength, and durability
  • A decorative layer. This gives the composite the appearance of wood, tile, ceramic, or other materials.
  • A wear layer that acts as a clear, protective coat to protect against moisture, staining, and fading

Laminate, like other flooring materials that work well over concrete slabs, combats moisture with layers. As a result, it is a dependable option for installing over a concrete slab. If you intend to convert your basement into a high-traffic area for entertaining and relaxing, laminate may be an excellent choice.

For optimal performance, laminate may require protective measures such as vapor barriers or padding, but this should not be a problem with an installation crew that is experienced. 

Carpet

Worker with removing old carpet in a living room

Carpets add a significant amount of color to your home while offering child-friendly flooring. Carpet holds a lot of benefits, it is made of material fibers which are extremely absorbent, helping to absorb water should there be a flood. But carpets should not be kept in water for a long period.

If it remains wet and dampens your concrete slab, your carpet may start to decay and cause mold problems. Basements that experience frequent flooding may want to consider a different flooring choice to prevent these risks. 

Tile

Professional tiler installing new tiles on the floor.

Tiles are known for their durability and versatility, it is familiar to see tiles in bathrooms and pools where water is a frequent element. This is because tiles are highly water-resistant. 

If your basement is constantly wet but you want stylish flooring, tile may be the best option. It requires little maintenance, its glaze stops water from penetrating the concrete, and it does not support mold growth.

Choose between ceramic and porcelain tiles for the look and durability you need to update and protect your basement.

What is The Easiest Flooring to Install Over Concrete?

PVC vinyl floor. Samples of vinyl flooring. Collection of vinyl tiles. DIY home items.

LVT flooring ( luxury vinyl tile) is flooring styled in a tile form, it is the definition of elegance and durability. It is designed in a way that is easy to maintain. LVT is designed to imitate real wood. 

With LVT flooring, you can replicate the look of natural materials while using a product that is designed to handle commercial environments.

Luxury vinyl tile eliminates the need to compromise high-quality style for industrial utility. LVT flooring is available in a variety of styles, varying from realistic woodgrains to bright color pops.

Vinyl offers a no-stress option with its peel-and-stick vinyl tiles. It is a beautiful, non-statin flooring material. Vinyl (LVT- luxury vinyl tiles)  gives homeowners a comfortable choice to DIY.

Also, Interlocking rubber tiles are simple to install and can be laid directly over concrete or a subfloor. The same is true of rubber sheet flooring.

Check out these Luxury Vinyl Tiles on Amazon

Can You Lay Flooring Directly on Concrete?

A good flooring that is cost-effective and durable is the LVT or the LVP. Also, Laminate flooring can be installed and used right away.

Laminate flooring can be installed on top of a concrete, wood, or carpet subfloor, as well as other surfaces. It is strongly advised to install high-quality underlayment. Underlayment installation is simple, but it must be done precisely to avoid any cuts.

How Can I Cover Concrete Floor Cheaply?

You might want to get your concrete covered but you're way past your budget? here are several ways to cover your concrete floor without breaking the bank. You can use the following. 

  • Concrete paint.
  • Concrete stain.
  • Carpet or area rugs.
  • Tiles.
  • Linoleum.
  • Bamboo flooring.
  • Cork flooring.
  • Concrete overlays.

You can choose from each option above to cover your concert floor depending on your budget. 

Do You Need Underlay For Vinyl Flooring on Concrete?

Underlayment is not crucial in installing vinyl, what is important is ensuring a clean and level floor. Contrary to laminate flooring, vinyl is designed to be installed directly on top of the subfloor

Is It Better to Glue or Float an Engineered Wood Floor on Concrete?

Engineered hardwood flooring board seamless texture

In deciding which is the best fit between these two, then engineered wood flooring float is a better option because you can install it easily and without having to worry about which glue to use or how long it will take to dry. 

To Sum Up

As a homeowner, you can never be too careful in choosing the best option for your concrete flooring, durability, style, and cost-effectiveness must be thoroughly pondered upon. 

For more related articles on flooring, check out these posts: 

What Flooring Goes With Saltillo Tile?

15 Gorgeous Dark Oak Flooring Idea