In our recent basement flooring post we showed you some great ideas to inspire your basement remodel and the best flooring to go with it. Of course all the ideas and options on show took one thing for granted…that your basement is completely dry with zero chance of future flooding. If you are not in this fortunate position then you will either need to waterproof your basement floor or invest in a waterproof basement flooring product.
In this Home Flooring Pros guide we will introduce you to the best options for both scenarios, specific flooring products designed to completely withstand a wet or damp basement and also products you can use to seal a basement floor and make it waterproof.
Your best options for waterproof flooring for basements are:
• Waterproof concrete sealer
• Epoxy paint
• Place N’ Go interlocking plastic tiles
• Luxe plank luxury vinyl flooring
Let’s take a look at these top options. We’ve included waterproof basement flooring prices and brief installation advice for each one.
Waterproof Concrete Sealer
If your one goal is to waterproof the basement floor against the transfer of moisture from below, then a simple concrete sealer is a quick, cheap way to get the job done. As a bonus, some basement concrete floor sealers are formulated to resist the transfer of radon through the concrete into your home.
What it is: Most concrete sealers are acrylic liquids that flow easily to make installation a breeze. Your local home improvement store will have a range of products such as EnduraSeal Semi Gloss sealer and Foundation Armor Basement Wall & Floor sealer. Each has a wet look when dry, and these products resist yellowing with age.
How it is installed: Sealers are applied with a large paint roller. For the best adhesion and performance of the paint, it is recommended that you clean the concrete first. Using an acid etch to open the surface of the concrete to improve absorption of the paint helps too. Products like Seal-Krete Clean N Etch handle both of these functions. Most cleaners are applied and then scrubbed into the surface to maximize their performance.
How much it costs on average: The most affordable way to buy a waterproof basement floor sealer is in a 5-gallon bucket. The average cost is $20-$30 per gallon, and each gallon will cover 150-200 square feet depending on how absorbent your concrete is. That comes to just $0.10-$0.20 per square foot.
Concrete cleaning products like Seal-Krete Clean N Etch cost $20-$30 per gallon with similar coverage to epoxy paint.
Epoxy Paints and Coatings
As a waterproof flooring for basements there’s no easier solution than applying a coat of durable epoxy paint to your concrete slab. This is a very affordable waterproof basement flooring option too.
What it is: Epoxy is a polymer resin with waterproofing characteristics. Epoxy paints are formulated to with tint to provide color. The most basic and affordable epoxy basement floor paints are gray. Among the more popular epoxy paints are Anvil Eclipse and Rust-Oleum Epoxy Shield.
If you want to take waterproofing a basement floor to the next level, consider an epoxy coating. These products require two-step application that includes a hardener. The materials are typically referred to as Part A (the epoxy resin) and Part B (the hardener). With epoxy coatings, you’ve got many more appearance options including 30+ colors for most products or the blending of metallic flake and other materials to enhance the look. Leading brands of two-step epoxy basement flooring are Epoxy-Coat, Rust-Oleum, Valspar and Epoxy Master.
How it is installed: Epoxy paint is typically applied with a paint roller.
How much it costs on average: Epoxy paints range from $25 to $45 per gallon, and most products cover 200-300 square feet per gallon depending on the viscosity of the product and how porous your concrete floor is.
If you move up to an epoxy coating, expect to pay $275-$325 for a kit that will cover 500 square feet. In other words, epoxy coating cost is about $0.60 per square foot. Most kits contain tint and/or flakes, but both tints and flakes are available for sale independently too. Flooring contractors install epoxy waterproof flooring too at a cost of $5.50-$10.25 per square foot.
Place N’ Go Composition Floor Covering
If you’re looking for a waterproof flooring for basements that is easy to install, Place N’ Go is a great choice. This product is available in several appearance styles including cork, stone, slate and woodgrains.
What it is: The flooring is a composite blend of recycled waterproof materials, mostly plastics, so it is ecofriendly.
How it is installed: Place N’ Go flooring is interlocking tiles, so there are no adhesives. Installation goes quickly, and trimming can be done with a sturdy utility knife. The flooring is easily removed too.
How much it costs: Place N’ Go interlocking floor tiles cost $5.50-$6.00 per square foot. Note that imperfect “seconds” can be purchased for less than $4 per square foot. The imperfections are typically minor and affect appearance rather than waterproof performance.
Modutile is another interlocking tile floor covering with a similar product lineup to Place N’ Go. The Modutile products range in cost from $5 to $8 per square foot, but regular sales offer significant discounts.
A third waterproof basement floor tile product to consider is ThermalDry floor matting, an interlocking tile that includes an insulation material to take the chill out of basement flooring. However, ThermalDry isn’t sold for DIY installation. You get a quote from a registered contractor for both the product and installation.
Luxe Plank Luxury Vinyl Flooring
When you’d like the look of hardwood flooring or natural stone flooring but need a waterproof flooring for basements, Armstrong Luxe Plank flooring is an outstanding option.
What it is: This vinyl flooring is a waterproof vinyl flooring produced in plank size such as 6”x36” and 7.5”x48”.
How it is installed: Two products are available. Luxe Plank has Lynx an interlocking design producing a floating floor system that blocks moisture emanating from the concrete below. The Luxe Plank Fas Tak line features peel and stick self-adhering installation. Both products include instructions that are easy to follow including how to trim the material using a good-quality utility knife or heavy-duty pair of scissors.
How much it costs on average: Luxe Plank Lynx vinyl flooring is available in value, better and best lines. The cost is $2.50-$4 per square foot from various retailers. Luxe Plank Fas Tak costs an average of $3.65 per square foot.
If you have experience of waterproofing a basement floor or a particular waterproof basement flooring product please share it with us in the comments section below.
About the Author:
Rob joined the Home Flooring Pros team in 2014 and is a freelance writer, specializing in flooring, remodeling and HVAC systems.
“I’m the son of an interior designer and picked up an eye for design as a result. I started hanging wallpaper and painting at 14 and learned enough on the job to be the general contractor on two homes we built for our family and did much of the finish plumbing, electrical, painting, and trim work myself.”