Laminate or vinyl planks in basement?

Question Icon
Posted by: from Edmonton
3/27/2015 at 11:52:58 AM

We are finishing our basement and the flooring right now is just builder's concrete. We live in Alberta and there doesn't seem to be any moisture or mould issues in the basement (thus far!). We have a cat who has a tendency to scratch everything except her scratching post and sometimes has accidents.

We have decided on a "hardwood look" and have narrowed the choices down to laminate or vinyl planks. The prices seem comparable but I have read online that vinyl is more waterproof but scuffs easier than laminate.

Does anyone have any advice as to which one is better? Also, what type of sub-floor should go underneath? I know some people don't install sub-floors for these floating type of floorings but we want to.

Thank you!

User Icon
Date/Time3/27/2015 at 1:09:51 PM

Hi there,

If you have pets, like me, i strongly recommend using a vinyl hardwood flooring product. We have used this in many projects and the results are brilliant. All vinyl products are water resistant and very easy to clean. I would recommend using a quality product that will outlast a laminate.

We have started to explain to home owners the value in using a vinyl compared to laminate and the benefits as well. As it may cost a fraction more than a laminate, the final result will be savings in the long run.

Thank you

User Icon
Date/Time3/27/2015 at 1:22:02 PM

Hi Anne,

Vinyl planks is really a good choice for your basement floor with a good quality under-layers.

All the best!


User Icon
Anne in Edmonton
Date/Time3/27/2015 at 1:23:19 PM

Thank you both!

What type of underlay should be used on top of the concrete and under the vinyl? I have read on here that Dricore is recommended but that it is very expensive.

User Icon
Date/Time3/27/2015 at 1:44:10 PM

Hi Anne,

I t really should come down to personal preference.

But, I would suggest you have a look at snap lock vinyl flooring. All the benefits of vinyl plus you will have an underlay which will make it warmer and water resistant. Also the snap lock gives you the opportunity to change out any pet damaged planks.


Wayne Balliet

Project Manager

Builtru Construction

User Icon
Date/Time3/27/2015 at 5:46:49 PM


Both are fine, but talk with someone who really knows the products.There are different thicknesses as well and widths and styles. I assume you won't be changing the flooring for a long time so you should consider doing a good job, both on the sub floor and the flooring that you choose. You may not see any moisture, but it's there. That is a fact of the concrete. Also, if the concrete floor isn't level, look into this as well. If you can live with what you see, fine, however if you wand a level and warm floor, take your time and do the proper installation. A properly installed subfloor will be worth the comfort level in the long run.

Have fun and enjoy your project.


User Icon
Matthew from Matt of All Trades in Kitchener
Date/Time3/29/2015 at 9:00:16 AM

Hi Anne,

Your decision will come down to comfort for your feet. The laminate and vinyl products are both great, but the key is to have some separation or a thermal break between concrete and flooring to keep your feet warm.

The "dri-core" product is the right idea for the subfloor that you want to to put in. Then you can do a laminate product for sure and of course vinyl. Vinyl can go directly on the concrete, but will always be chilly on the feet. Laminate must go on an subfloor of some type.

The dricore product is pretty expensive in my opinion so I generally use the "Delta" membrane, which has a raised knub pattern to give that separation from the concrete and allows air movement to protect any moisture that is in the concrete or leaks in. It is raised up about a half inch from the ground. I then put down 5/8" tounge and groove OSB and screw that down to concrete, effectively re-crearting the Dri-core flooring system. Its about a 1/3rd of the price for the materials.

Do the math and see what sytem is cheaper depending on the area that you are talking about.

Laminate or vinyl planks in basement?
User Icon
Date/Time4/5/2015 at 11:02:53 PM

Hands down vinyl plank as for subfloor self leveller if your floor isn't totally smooth.

User Icon
Date/Time9/30/2015 at 11:25:17 PM

Both of your flooring choices would work fine. Your main concern should be your underlayment, which I suggest.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

It appears you may be located in the US

TrustedPros is designed to deliver results targeted to your location.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.