The Best Wood Flooring For Basements

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Conventional wisdom has long held that hardwood is not the best flooring for basements – higher levels of humidity or occasional flooding in basements will cause wood floors to warp, crack, cup or crown.

While there’s truth to this, there are basement flooring options that can let you enjoy the look and feel of a beautiful hardwood floor without risking the damage that moisture and humidity can cause.

Why are basements so damp?

Basements have traditionally been difficult spaces for hardwood floors because of condensation. Moist and humid air is denser and tends to sink to the basement where it condenses when it comes in contact with colder surfaces like a concrete floor. Basements can also be prone to water seeping through the walls or entering through cracks in window casements – address these issues before you consider installing any kind of basement flooring surface.

Engineered wood flooring: the best flooring for basements with spikes in humidity

At Carlisle, we recommend engineered wood as the best flooring for basement installation. Engineered wood is made with a top layer of hardwood – called the “wear layer” – that’s adhered to multiple layers of backing material, creating a floorboard that’s less affected by changes in temperature and relative humidity. For this reason, engineered floorboards are ideal for installation over radiant heat and concrete slab.  Engineered flooring can be glued directly to the subfloor, nailed or glued to a plywood subfloor.


Light Hardwood Floor Bedroom
Engineered Hickory Flooring l Southern Long Beach, CA

You might be wondering: “Can an engineered wood floor have the look and feel of a solid hardwood floor?” It’s a common question – there’s a lot of misinformation and misconception about engineered floors, and frankly, there are a lot of substandard engineered products on the market.

At Carlisle, we make our own engineered hardwood flooring, designed to deliver the beauty and longevity of our solid wide plank hardwood floors. We use the same center-cut hardwood for the top layer as the wood in our solid hardwood floors, and an extra thick wear layer means our engineered floors will last as long as solid wood and can be refinished just as often. We use up to 11 layers of Baltic Birch to create the most stable and durable core available on the market today. Additionally, our engineered floors are available in widths up to 10” and lengths up to 12’, much wider and longer than standard engineered flooring.

Ultimately, our superior engineered flooring means that you don’t need to sacrifice beauty or quality when choosing the design and structure of your floor.

Learn more about Carlisle wide plank engineered floors

Vinyl: The best option for waterproof basement flooring

When you love the look of wide plank floors but want a fully waterproof basement flooring, wide plank vinyl flooring may be the best basement flooring option. Wide plank vinyl floors combine the beautiful, luxurious appearance of wide plank wood floors with vinyl construction that provides waterproof, warm, quiet and easy-to-maintain floors. Many consider vinyl to be the best flooring for basement bathroom installation.

Learn more about Torlys wide plank vinyl flooring curated by Carlisle.

The best solid wood flooring for your basement

Of course, if you’re intent on having a solid wood floor in your basement, there are steps you can take and methods you can use to reduce the effects of moisture and humidity. To learn more about the best wood flooring options for your basement, contact a Carlisle wide plank specialist who can walk you through some of the required steps for a successful installation.


Medium Brown Floor in Casual Livingroom
Tranquil Collection l Eden l Available in Solid or Engineered
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