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Top Vapor Barrier Flooring Options for Basements

Best Vapor Barrier Waterproof Basement Floor Options

For some folks, dealing with moisture in the basement is a constant battle. Excess of moisture in the basement can come from a number of things like rain, floods, condensation, permeation, and humidity. If enough moisture settles in, basements can become susceptible to serious problems. For example, moisture build-up can cause water to pool and damage flooring, equipment, and more. It can also permeate through porous housing materials like concrete or wood, which can cause materials to crack or warp.

Some people spend thousands of dollars repairing damage caused by moisture in the basement. Sometimes, problems can be avoided just by running a dehumidifier during, particularly wet periods. However, moisture is always something that basement owners need to keep in check.

Important Things to Keep in Mind

As mentioned above, certain building materials do not do well in moist environments. For example, floor experts discourage hardwood and fiberboard as basement flooring options because they may absorb moisture, expand, warp and rot. They also harbor mold and mildew, creating a hazardous environment for homes and families, tainting air quality and possibly causing structural damage. Flooring made with organic materials have to be replaced in the event of flooding or persistent moisture.

Another thing to remember is that just because flooring material is waterproof doesn't necessarily make it the right choice for a basement. Some waterproof flooring may not be damaged by water or moisture but may trap water underneath the floor if not installed correctly. This can create the same mold and mildew issues as wood and carpeting.


Some people choose careful landscaping to direct rainwater away from the house. However, this may not solve the problem of water vapor. If landscaping isn't enough to prevent a basement from flooding, then a sump pump be necessary.

Vapor Barriers

Coatings of paint, adhesives, large sheets of felt, and pieces of plastic can all be utilized as vapor barriers. These barriers help protect materials and help prevent moisture from permeating walls, ceilings and floors. However, sealing off an entire room can get pretty costly.

Raised Flooring

Raised flooring prevents moisture from becoming trapped by maintaining a gap between the raised floor and the subfloor. Because air can flow underneath the flooring, moisture dissipates on its own, eradicating the need to constantly check underneath flooring tiles for moisture buildup.

Why Choose Raised Flooring

Raised flooring is one of the best and simplest ways to make sure a basement stays clear of moisture damage. Purchasing flooring tiles with a raised design makes creating a raised floor an easy, one-step process.

Most raised floor tiles feature a waterproof plastic base with holes or channels that allow for air movement. Some even offer a perforated top that permits air flow horizontally and vertically. Many have some form of interlocking system that allows for easy installation, removal and reinstallation without damaging the flooring.

Below are some of the top forms of raised floor tiles one can use to convert a damp basement into a home gym, family room or kids play area.

Carpeted family room

Raised carpet tiles make it possible to create a carpeted family room without the fear of the classic problems carpet can cause when met with moisture. Find a raised carpet tile with a waterproof base material and a waterproof carpet fiber.

Gym Rubber Floors offers a raised carpet tile called CarpetFlex Floor Tile that features a polypropylene base topped with a polyolefin ribbed carpet. The carpet top is environmentally friendly, chemically resistant and won't decompose in wet environment. It is made of the same materials as activewear, known for the ability to transport moisture away from the body. Meanwhile, the waterproof raised base keeps the carpet out of standing water, giving the ideal carpeting system for any basement.

Sports Den

Create a unique, fun and moisture resistant sports den by using artificial grass turf tiles. These raised tiles can be used indoor and out. The polypropylene grass is attached to a perforated polypropylene base that allows for superior air flow. They are 100 percent waterproof and have a lush surface with a comfy carpet feel and enticing grassy look.

Dance and fitness area

Max Tile Raised Floor Tiles yield a gorgeous wood or stone look perfect for dance floors, exercise rooms, aerobic areas and showrooms. These tiles feature a waterproof raised plastic base topped with a commercial grade vinyl surface. Extremely versatile, Max Tile floors maintain their integrity even with heavy use and feature a 7-year wear layer. They also have the option of ramped border edging and feature a 5-year warranty.

Kids play area

Design a colorful kids play area with raised play flooring like the Ergo Matta CushionTred tiles from Gym Rubber Floors. Available in eight colors, these Rubber and PVC tiles offer excellent sound dampening qualities and have a non-slip diamond shield tread design. Available with edge ramps, these tiles are also guaranteed for 5 years.

Home Gym

You can use those same Ergo Matta CushionTred tiles for creating a home gym as they offer anti-fatigue benefits. Another option for home gym flooring in damp areas are the Staylock Bump Top Tiles which are durable like rubber and cushion like foam. They will help protect your from the floor and the floor from your gym equipment while cutting down on noise.


If you use your basement as a workshop, StayLock Tiles durability and anti-fatigue properties can make your space much safer and more user-friendly. Made of durable recycled PVC, they are also waterproof, resistant to most acids and oils and easy to clean. In addition to the bump top surface, StayLock tiles are also available with orange peel and perforated surfaces. To top it off, there are multiple color options available to help you create interesting designs, patterns or color schemes. StayLock tiles feature a 5 year limited warranty and also come in different surface options. The expected lifespan of this type of flooring is 20 years.


Accessorize your basement bathroom with perforated tiles like SoftFlex Floor tiles. These soft PVC tiles are designed specifically for wet areas such as showers or bath surrounds. With a perforated top, water is never absorbed and will never pool on the surface of tiles. Meanwhile, air can freely flow in and around tiles to help keep everything dry.

Note: Foam and rubber basement flooring are typically other great options, but may not be the best choice for damp basements as they sit flat against the existing flooring and can trap moisture.

Covering your dirt floor

For those working with a dirt foundation instead of concrete, do not be disheartened. A finished floor is still an easy possibility, although a little more creativity may be required.

Consider a plastic perforated playground tile like StayLock Perforated Tiles or Ergo Matta perforated tiles. These non-absorbent tiles are designed for outdoor use and are resistant to mold and mildew, which means they are perfect on top of a hard, flat basement dirt floor foundation. Plastic playground tiles offer fall protection that makes them fit for a basement play area or exercise area. Perforated plastic tiles are flexible and interlock, allowing them to be placed on slightly uneven surfaces and prevent separation.

Learn More

With so many new tools and resources at your disposal, there is no reason not to go ahead and construct a moisture-conducive basement space you will absolutely adore. For more information, resources or assistance, check out Gym Rubber Floors' Basement Flooring product page.
For more on this topic please review our Basement Flooring Tiles product page.