Below grade areas (basements, garages or any room of the home below the main level) can be tough on floors. This is especially concerning as we move into the humid months.  Homeowners often spend time and money refinishing their basement only to realize (the hard way) that the wrong flooring was installed. The problems can range from buckled panels to rapid mold growth. Here, we will discuss flooring that is suitable for below grade applications.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring offers a variety of waterproof options. Moisture resistance is important for below grade flooring, and luxury vinyl excels at this. Additionally, LVT and LVP are some of the most scratch and dent resistant flooring options available, making it a great choice for storage areas. Even better, LVF is among the few flooring types that can be installed directly over concrete (though this varies by selection).

Engineered Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring naturally absorbs moisture. Over time, this can lead to warped and buckled panels. Engineered hardwood flooring was created to overcome these challenges. A layered design makes engineered hardwood more moisture resistant than solid. It also includes a more stable core. Still, not all engineered flooring options are suitable for below grade applications. Pay careful attention to the documentation.


Only a limited selection of carpet can be installed below grade. Fortunately, we carry several lines of waterproof carpet. Ours use waterproof backing, allowing it to prevent mold growth. The fibers themselves feature the R2X treatment that helps repel stains and moisture. Just remember to also use a waterproof carpet cushion rated for below grade areas.

Porcelain Tile Flooring

Tile & stone flooring is popular in kitchens and bathrooms because of its moisture resistance. For basements, porcelain tile is especially useful. Porcelain is heated at higher temperatures at the mill. This increases its durability and moisture resistance, making it a great choice for damp storage areas. If you do install tile in a basement, remember to purchase waterproof grout.

Learn More

Ready to make an informed choice? Visit Griffin’s top flooring experts at Cleveland Carpets today!