What type of flooring is better for a basement: LVT or Carpet? It depends.
Basement flooring doesn’t play by the rules when deciding what flooring is the best fit for your situation. Even when the weather is dry, basement flooring could have some moisture in the form of vapor due to being so close to the ground. Water can also enter basements during heavy rain so it’s important to know the best option for your situation.
Both LVT and carpet have pros and cons as flooring options for basements. To help you evaluate which product is better for your situation, you'll find details for each one below, starting with LVT.
Above is Coretec HD in Fresco Driftwood installed in a basement.
LVT or luxury vinyl flooring is considered a resilient floor that is either joined to the subfloor by adhesive or installed as a floating system.
This product can look remarkably similar to the material it is replicating, whether wood or stone whereas standard sheet vinyl is not as realistic.
Wood-look luxury vinyl comes in planks around 6 inches by 48 inches and larger. Since it is anywhere from 8 mils to 20 mils thick, it can also show embossing for a texture that resembles true wood grain.
Luxury vinyl tile aims to replicate the look of marble, travertine, slate, and other popular stones. It comes in an assortment of sizes with the most popular being a rectangular shape. Products start at $6.99 / sf installed and go up from there.
The three installation images above and below represent basement luxury vinyl installations we recently completed.
Karndean Korlok Reserve 7x48 in Grey Oiled Oak
A thick wear layer means superior durability as compared to sheet vinyl. The overall thickness is typically up to 2x as thick as a conventional vinyl tile or sheet vinyl.
It’s also very easy to maintain with regular sweeping and using a spray-on cleaner and dry mop to wipe up!
You'll love the many wood species and stones available that look amazingly similar to the real thing!
Johnson Farmhouse Manor in New Haven
The main negative of luxury vinyl is that it doesn’t increase the value of your home the way hardwood will.
Even so, it is also a more expensive option than carpet would be.
Just like any flooring option, you always want to avoid dragging heavy items across the floors to protect their structural integrity.
Even though it looks like hardwood, luxury vinyl floors can’t be refinished. We do offer plank replacements if you ever end up with a gauge in your luxury vinyl floor that you just can’t live with.
Keep in mind that styles change every 4-5 years so if you are updating now, we suggest doing all areas you’d like to do at the same time to keep the look consistent throughout your home.
Stanton Integration in Marine – Multi Color Cut / Loop Pattern - Polypropylene Carpet
A lot of people with small children prefer carpet because it is the most comfortable option to sit and play on. It's also great for sound absorption. If your basement is typically dry throughout the year, carpet can be a great investment that can last if maintained properly.
Keep in mind if you end up with a water-based catastrophe such as a broken pipe or flooding from the exterior, you will almost always have to replace it. Depending on the amount of water damage, sometimes it can be salvaged through a 3rd party service but the majority of the time, there is too much damage done to the backing.
Multi-colored, cut/loop carpet selections are the best option in a basement as you can see from the two basement carpet installations we recently completed pictured above and below.
Carpet is one of the warmest flooring options available and can also reduce indoor air allergens.
It is great for sound quality as well as a comfortable option for families with small children.
You'll find many different price points to choose from so it’s important you select the fiber that’s right for you and your current needs.
Shaw Carpet Fourstar in Storm - Multi Color Cut / Loop Pattern - Nylon
Carpet can be fairly expensive once you get into better, more durable fibers. Polyester is very stain resistant but will show wear sooner than nylon.
Even though carpet can be a luxurious feel, wood Is what the majority of people prefer to see.
When you're ready to purchase new flooring for your basement, we invite you to visit one of our two showroom locations in Middletown or Orange, Connecticut. We welcome the opportunity to answer your questions so you ensure you have the best product for your basement and your living situation.
Don't hesitate to let us know of any questions in the comments or contact us.
Thanks for reading,
Note: We originally published this article on 12/16/2020, and have updated it.