Basement Finishing Ideas
Flooring and Ceiling Options

When people ask for basement finishing ideas, there are two things that they ask about most often. Those are the floors and ceilings.

Walls can be challenging too. Most people are able to use drywall or paneling to finish them. A few people simply paint the block walls and live with it.

There are a few other options for the walls, but this article will primarily focus on your floor and ceiling options. An overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each option is included. Although some may disagree, hard wood is about the only flooring option that does not work in the basement.


Carpeting is an option for basements only if there is no risk of flooding. Dampness and mold can ruin carpeting quickly, making it a costly choice. The advantages of carpet include reduced sound and improved warmth. It’s also more comfortable to walk on in bare feet.

Installation can be challenging if standard carpeting is used. Stick-on carpet tiles work well and if properly installed look very nice.

If you really want carpet, but you are concerned about the dampness, installing a floating subfloor may be the solution. It will also make installing floor coverings easier.

Floating Subfloor

A floating subfloor is not a finished option. It increases your basement flooring options. Installation is easy, because the subfloor simply rests atop the existing concrete floor. The two piece barrier includes a corrugated bottom and a plywood top. This barrier protects carpet or any other floor covering from moisture.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is a good option, particularly when there is the possibility of flooding. Plumbing leaks or broken water heaters won’t damage the tile. Tiles are hard and cold compared to carpet, but they are long lasting.


A less expensive alternative would be to use linoleum. Linoleum may have the look of ceramic tile. It’s a little softer on the feet and can be applied directly to the concrete floor with adhesive. It usually lasts longer than carpet, but not as long as ceramic.

Basement Ceiling Options

There are only two primary basement ceiling options. If you have drywall on the walls, you may be thinking about using it on the ceiling. The problem with that option is that drywall blocks access to pipes and wires. When repairs or changes are needed, the ceiling will suffer.

Suspended ceilings are really the best option. Installation is easy and less expensive than drywall. Ceiling tiles are available in a variety of colors. Gaining access to pipes or electrical wiring requires only the removal of a single tile.

These basement finishing ideas are doable and not necessarily super expensive. Get going on that project you've been meaning to begin. You’ll find that your family enjoys the extra living space.

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