Top Cheap Ways to Finish a Basement Floor

Finished basements can add significant space to your home, and increase the value of your property. Unfortunately, finishing them can be tedious and quite expensive. Luckily, there are a few affordable options to consider when it comes to finishing the basement floors. So, what are the top cheap ways to finish a basement floor?

Cheap ways to finish your basement floor include paint, install rubber mats, linoleum, laminate, vinyl floor, or carpet. All of these are cheap and relatively easy to install. You can also install ceramic tiles if your budget is not too tight.

Before choosing one of these options, consider the pros and cons, and think about how it will fit your existing design.


Paint is the cheapest option on this list, but you’ll need to prepare the floor before painting it, which will take some time.

We all know that new paint only sticks to a clean and dry surface. So you will have to clean all the dirt and grime from the basement floor.

You will also have to fill any cracks and holes to get as smooth of a surface as possible.

Then you’ll need to prime it and paint it.

Take a good look at your concrete floor and see what would be the best paint option.

By mixing colors you can get all kinds of designs and your concrete floor may end up looking like an expensive stone!

Try to get good quality paint while staying within your budget. The cheapest paint may not get you the results you need. Choose some mid-price range, and you will still finish your basement floor without spending much.

Keep in mind that some of these paints evaporate and smell bad when applied and during the drying process, so if your basement is not ventilated, this might not be the best option.

Another paint option is using a concrete stain and a sealer. Concrete stain is similar to paint, but it does not stay on the surface. Instead, it soaks up in the upper layer of concrete and has to be protected with a sealer. These are easily applied and are very long-lasting.

The video below shows how Stefani got rid of the carpet from her basement (she hates carpet.) Then she demonstrates each step she followed to prep the floor and paint it, resulting in a beautiful clean look.

Rubber Mats

If you use the option of tiles that interlock, rubber mats will be one of the easiest to install among the cheapest options. Edges of rubber “tiles” are built to interlock. You can simply attach them together like a jigsaw puzzle.

You can find various colors and patterns.

The rolled rubber flooring option is much harder to install, and each roll is very heavy to carry.

Rubber mats are completely water-resistant, and they are softer than other options. You will not slip on these floors even if they get wet.

Although rubber mats are popular for home gyms use, they can be used for any other purpose. Just make sure that is the look and feel you want.

This video shows how easy it is to install rubber mat tiles:

Linoleum, Laminate, or Vinyl

Linoleum, Laminate, and vinyl were popular decades ago, but in the past years, more and more people are installing vinyl floors in their homes, and this style is becoming trendy again.

Some homeowners love the look of hardwood floors, but unfortunately, they are quite expensive. You can find linoleum, laminate or vinyl flooring at a fraction of the cost of hardwood floors.

One of the best things about this type of floor is that you can find them at various price ranges, from cheap to more expensive ones. You can choose among hundreds of colors and patterns.

Cheap options may limit you a bit because not all colors will always be available, and the most affordable options usually have the lowest quality. It does not mean these floors will not be durable; however, scratches and dents will be a bit more frequent.

If you want to save money on installation, you can install it yourself. If you’re going to do it yourself, you will be better off buying these materials in tiles and not large rolls made to cover the whole room in one piece. Tiles will be easier to install.

These type of floors are relatively durable, but using your basement as a storage space for large and heavy items is not the best option because they are not very scratch resistant.

The video below shows how to install vinyl plank flooring as a beginner. The installation is in a laundry room, but the principles are the same for a basement.


Installing a carpet is one of the cheapest ways to finish your basement floor.

This is a good option if you are planning to use your basement as an extended living area.

Carpets are available in all price ranges, and you can easily find something that will be within your budget.

You can install it yourself to save a bit more money too. If your basement has a humidity problem, choose an option that is moisture resistant. But you should solve your humidity problem before you install it either with a dehumidifier or other solutions.

Carpets are a bit harder to clean than some of the previously mentioned options, but they give your basement that warm and cozy feeling.

Some carpets have adhesives already applied to their bottom side, and you can simply unroll it, and it will stick to your floors.

Ceramic Tiles

Another option to finish the basement floor is installing ceramic tiles. Like linoleum or vinyl, ceramic tiles are available in all kinds of patterns, colors, and sizes.

If you are going for the cheapest ones, your options may be slightly reduced, but you will be able to find something that suits your needs.

This option is great if you have a humidity problem because tiles (depending on the type) are moisture resistant. Tiles are easy to clean and are a good option for a basement where you spend time creating DIY projects or similar.

Keep in mind that tiles could break if you accidentally drop something on them.

When it comes to durability, ceramic tiles are the best option, although slightly more expensive.

A big problem with ceramic tiles is that there are not easy to install, and you will probably have to hire a professional, which will add to the cost.

Closing Thoughts

Before you decide to install any of these options, make sure you inspect the concrete, fix the cracks, and check for moisture. If moisture is coming out of the basement floor, it should be fixed before installing any floor type. If you install flooring before fixing the humidity issue, mold can form underneath it, spread around, and cause serious problems.

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