What is the best flooring to install over concrete?

What is the best flooring to install over concrete?

Choosing flooring for rooms with a concrete slab comes with another (important) criteria. In addition to being good-looking, durable, and fit with the room décor, flooring installed over concrete needs to be water-resistant.

Concrete is a porous material. Moisture seeps through the concrete (even in a waterproofed basement). Because of this, hardwood floors are not a good option for rooms with a concrete slab. Wood floors are damaged by the moisture, which leads to warping and permanent water damage.

Fortunately, there are other options for flooring suitable for basements, sun rooms, additions, and homes with a concrete slab. Always mention the concrete slab to the local flooring pro so they can pull out options that are made for rooms with concrete. Also, for a long-lasting installation with no damage, homeowners should research to see if a pad or other materials should be installed over the concrete (or hire a pro who has experience installing floors over concrete).


Carpet is one of the most popular choices for rooms with a concrete slab because of the warm feel underfoot. Concrete slabs tend to feel cold when the temperatures drop; carpet and rugs can make even the coldest rooms feel warm. Carpeting is also affordable, long-lasting, and made for the busiest of households. For homeowners, that means carpets are easy-to-clean (both with a carpet cleaner and for removing spots) and durable.

Luxury vinyl

Available in planks and tiles, luxury vinyl offers the best of all worlds: looks, durability, water resistant, and easy-to-clean. These floors are also a smooth do-it-yourself project (use these guidelines for an easy luxury vinyl plank installation). Both luxury vinyl plank and tiles come in styles that resemble wood, perfect for homeowners that want the look of wood without the risk of damage.


Tile floors are a match made in heaven for homes with radiant heating. A natural conductor of heat, tile floors offer looks and a warm floor underfoot. Modern tile products can even resemble wood, giving any room a warm and beautiful look. Tile floors are also water resistant, easy-to-clean, and incredibly durable. For handy homeowners, tile can be installed with the right tools and an easy-to-learn tutorial.

Engineered hardwood

Engineered hardwood is a possibility for any homeowner who is intent of adding wood floors to a room (on their own or by a professional). These floors are manufactured in layers with a level of wood on top, making it possible to install over a concrete slab. Ask a flooring pro to see the right engineered hardwood floors suitable for these spaces. Some engineered hardwood floors can even be refinished for a long-lasting floor.

Sheet vinyl

With new designs and styling, today’s sheet vinyl floors look great and wear well. Sheet vinyl floors are able to withstand heavy foot and paw traffic. The installation only requires adhesive and a few tools, making it an easy do-it-yourself project.

Rubber flooring

Rubber floors are an ideal choice for a play room or gym. Available in tiles or sheets, rubber floors are an easy install and long-lasting flooring option. These floors are tough, able to withstand the weight of workout equipment and strenuous foot traffic that comes with a busy space.

Carpet squares

The old saying, “variety is the spice of life” certainly applies to carpet squares. Carpet squares come in a variety of colors and patterns suitable for a playroom, office, or family room. These carpet tiles add interest to a room and are also incredibly durable and easy-to-clean. If there are any spills that can’t be removed, the square can be removed and replaced. For do-it-yourself homeowners, carpet tiles can easily be installed over concrete for an instantly better space.