Waterproof Basement Flooring

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Waterproof basement flooring solutions come in many forms, including many you might not expect, such as carpet tiles and PVC flooring. Take a look at our extensive selection of non-absorbent flooring options that not only resist damage from leakage or flooding but also add comfort and style to your basement living space.

When it comes to waterproof flooring, two thoughts come to mind.
  1. Will it become damaged if it gets wet?
  2. Will it prevent water from seeping through, protecting my subfloor?

Greatmats offers waterproof basement flooring made of several different non-absorbent materials, including:
  1. Closed-Cell Foam
  2. Polypropylene Plastic
  3. PVC Plastic
  4. Rubber/Foam Blends
  5. Vulcanized Rubber
  6. Vinyl

Waterproof Basement Tiles

Because the majority of these options are available as tiles or planks, it's crucial to know how each one responds to water on top of and below the flooring system.

Snap Together Tiles

The majority of modular click- or snap-together flooring will not be damaged by water or moisture, but because the tiles are simply butted together and essentially clamped at the seams, water can still seep through the flooring. For that reason, many of these tiles featured some form of a raised base to prevent water from becoming trapped underneath the flooring. Some do this through the use of supportive pegs on the underside of the flooring, while others have a specially engineered support system that allows for airflow and/or drainage.

A great example of this is the Max Tile Raised Floor Tile. It is made of non-absorbent vinyl on top of a waterproof polypropylene raised base. The tiles are connected using a hook and loop attachment that overlaps only very small portions of the tile edges. This makes for a simple, secure, and tight connection, but if water is significantly spilled or dumped over the seams, it will still be able to work its way between the tiles.

Fortunately, the raised base design allows plenty of room for airflow beneath the tile, allowing for the water to flow to floor drains when available or simply air dry. If there is too much water for air drying, the tiles are also designed for repeat installations without causing damage, so you can disassemble all or portions of your floor to allow more airflow and manually dry the floor yourself. This is especially helpful in times of basement flooding. Once the floor is dry, simply snap the tiles back into place.

Puzzle Tiles

Some basement floor tiles connect using puzzle-style edges. While the interlocks are tight-fitting, they still leave the possibility for water seepage to make it through at the seams. Most puzzle-style tiles are either very low profile or padded with closed-cell EVA foam.

In either case, they will not allow nearly as much, if any, airflow or drainage. However, they are even simpler to remove - even just a single tile in the middle of the floor - as nothing hooks together beneath the floor. These are great for basement floors with a couple of small moisture problem areas - maybe in a leaky corner of the room or next to a furnace, water heater, or washing machine.

Overlapping Tiles

To prevent water from making its way through the flooring to the subfloor, there must be some sort of overlapping taking place when the tiles connect. There also should be no perforations in the surface of the tile to keep that watertight seal.

A perfect example of a waterproof basement tile with an overlapping connection system is the Slate Floor Tile Colors. These PVC tiles maintain their squared-edge look and prevent water from seeping through by creating a groove around the surface edges on which adjacent tiles can sit. Outside of that groove is a thinner ''flap'' with puzzle-style tabs.

On the underside of the tiles, there are lips to go into the grooves and molded cavities to match the puzzle edges for a perfect fit. Without using adhesives or locking tabs, this makes use of two different types of connectors to maximize connection.

This tile uses a waffle-style support system, which allows it to have a very low profile while still being slightly raised.

How thick is waterproof basement flooring?

Depending on what style of tile you choose, you may have to pay attention to the thickness of the flooring to accommodate doors, cabinets, etc. Raised flooring would be the most likely to cause such a concern.

The thinnest waterproof basement flooring options available at Greatmats are 4.5 mm thick (around 3/16 inch). These fall into the PVC puzzle tile variety.

The thickest option is 20 mm thick (25/32 inch). This, too, is a puzzle-style tile, only it is made of highly cushioned closed-cell EVA foam. Greatmats does also offer thicker, nonabsorbent EVA foam flooring for athletic use and play areas.

Can I install basement waterproof flooring myself?

Yes. The vast majority of our basement flooring options are designed for DIY installation. The one exception may be our glue-down tiles. While it is possible to do it yourself, many customers choose to have them professionally installed.