Planning a basement remodel? One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is which flooring is right. Deciding depends on your family’s needs, your space and your budget.

As much as we all love solid hardwood, the basement is one place where you do not want to spend the money on gleaming hardwood floors. Even the slightest bit of moisture can warp an expensive hardwood floor.

Some experts say that engineered hardwood – made of thin layers of real wood that are bonded together with high heat and glue – will withstand the moisture levels in a typical basement. If you know for sure that your basement is watertight, engineered hardwood is an option.

Laminate flooring is a good option for basements. Inexpensive and durable, there are countless patterns and designs available allowing you to work with your design elements. Again, you’ll need to make sure your basement is watertight. Be sure to properly install a vapour barrier and look for a waterproof product (not all laminates are waterproof). Extra care should be taken to ensure the product is properly installed.

Ceramic tile is a risk-free option for your basement remodel. And since it can be applied directly over the concrete slab, you can save an extra inch or two in a space where ceiling height is often a concern. Ceramic tile will not be affected by moisture or flooding.

Vinyl tiles are another smart option for basements. They are very affordable, easy to install by yourself, easy to clean and durable. Plus, vinyl tile comes in a variety of patterns and designs and, if you’re willing to spend a little extra, can look remarkably like hardwood or ceramic.

Carpet is a possibility for basements – many homeowners choose it for its warmth factor. But it’s important to choose the correct underpad – one that is resistant to odour and moisture.