Best Carpet for Basements 2023 (Top 3 Options)

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Best Carpet for Basements

Finding a good carpet for your basements is a bit trickier than you’d imagine. This is because basements are hotspots for mold, mildew, and other unpleasantness because of the increased exposure to moisture.

When it comes to the best carpet for basements, synthetic materials are your best bet. This is because they’ll absorb more moisture, withstand the elements better, and won’t need as much constant maintenance.

However, there are a lot of different synthetic materials that are available and some will be better than others depending on your situation.

Key Takeaways:

Consider comfort, style, and longevity for basement floors. Olefin, nylon, and polyester are great carpeting options as they’re durable, hold shape, and can be stain-resistant. Consider carpet pile, material, pads, waterproofing, and sectioning before carpeting your basement.

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Types of Carpet Suitable for Basements

When most people think of their favorite type of carpet, their minds will often wander to materials such as wool or other organics. While these are great options for places such as bedrooms and living rooms, they’re simply not going to cut your basement.

Here are the options you should consider when looking for a great carpet for your basement:

  • Olefin
  • Nylon
  • Polyester



Olefin is known within the carpeting industry as a material that is tough, reliable, and quite comfortable to boot. It’s similar to wool in texture, making it rather comfortable to walk on. It’s also intricately woven to help prevent clumping and debris from becoming too ingrained into your flooring.


olefin was used in outdoor scenarios because of its durability and reliability against dirt, debris, and other nasty materials that are common in the outdoors

. However, in recent times, olefin has become a popular carpeting material for basements and other areas of a household that are known to receive a beating more frequently.

Specifically, it shines in basements with a lot of moisture.

It should be noted that Olefin is a great material to keep your basement’s carpets in good condition, but it doesn’t hold up well to continuous exposure to sunlight. If your basement has a lot of windows or receives constant exposure to sunlight, the olefin will eventually wear away and you’ll be back to replace your carpet all over again.



Nylon is the most popular option when it comes to carpeting. You won’t typically see it in the living room or bedroom, but you’ve almost certainly seen it within a basement or an office setting.

That’s because these areas either receive a lot of foot traffic or a lot of exposure to elements such as dirt and debris.

Nylon holds its original shape much longer than other carpets, making it ideal for long-term use

. If you want a carpet that you can put down, don’t have to constantly maintain every day, and want it to last a long while, nylon will do the trick.

It’s also fairly easy to clean when you do need to. Debris and dirt won’t get caught up within the fibers and most standard cleaning methods will get the job done quickly.

However, nylon also produces a lot of static electricity. If you scoot along with it or find yourself rolling around in your chair frequently, be prepared for a literal shock. While this isn’t a huge downside, it can become quite annoying after a while.



Polyester is the ideal choice for basements if you want an all-around, versatile carpet. This synthetic material is resistant to spills, accidents, and especially moisture.

Basements are frequently plagued by increased moisture. This can lead to many problems including mold, mildew, and, of course, damaged carpets. If your basement is known to produce a lot of moisture, polyester can be the ideal option to combat any future problems that may develop down the line.

On top of polyester’s reliability and durability, it’s also fairly easy to clean. A quick run with a vacuum should get the job done as dirt and debris won’t get clung to any fibrous materials.

On the downside, polyester will need a little bit more tender care and love than other popular carpet options for a basement. If you don’t keep messes cleaned up as they happen, clumping can happen and you’ll be left with an even bigger headache than when the mess first happened.  

What to Look for in a Quality Basement Carpet

carpeted basement

Before you jump into making your final decision, you should know the basic qualities you should be on the lookout for to get the best carpet for your basement possible.

Here are the factors you should be considering:

  • The pile
  • If the carpet is pad-less
  • The type of material
  • If it’s sectioned or not
  • Waterproofing

Advice from the Expert: In my extensive experience dealing with carpeting, remember it’s important to factor in the amount of foot traffic in your basement. It helps determine the durability required. If there’s heavy foot traffic, go for a high-quality, durable synthetic material like nylon.

The Pile of a Carpet

The pile of the caret is a measurement for how thick a carpet is. Ideally, you should be looking for a low-pile carpet.

This is in contrast to other areas of a house, such as a living room or bedroom, that will typically want a high pile. This is because low-pile carpets will take less time to dry out. If your basement is prone to water damage or simply has a lot of moisture in it, you want to ensure that your carpet will be able to dry out as quickly as possible to prevent any damage from occurring.

The lower the pile, the faster your carpet dries. The faster your carpet dries, the longer it will last.

Pad-less Carpets

Padding is a popular option for most carpets. However, be warned that you shouldn’t look to get padded carpeting for your basement.

Yes, padded carpets feel better on your feet. They’re soft, warm, and feel wonderous. However, they act as a sponge. They can and will soak up the moisture that finds itself in your basement.

This increased exposure to moisture will end up making your carpet spongey and gross. It’ll also damage it in the long term, reducing the overall value of your carpet.

Look for carpets that are pad-less to increase the longevity of your basement’s carpet.

Expert Advice: Installation can make or break the longevity of your carpet. So, here’s a tip from the trenches – let the experts handle it. Correct installation will ensure that moisture is mitigated properly and will reduce the chances of mold or mildew forming. It may seem like an added expense, but it’s a great investment to protect your basement carpet in the long term.

Go For Synthetics

It can’t be said enough, synthetic carpets are the absolute way to go when it comes to carpet for basements. These man-made materials will hold up longer and be a better purchase.

Avoid natural materials such as wool to get the most out of your carpet.

Sectioned Carpeting vs Wall-to-Wall

Sectioned Carpeting vs Wall to Wall

A common mistake that is made when it comes to carpets for basements is whether to go for sectioned or wall-to-wall carpets.

The only answer is sectioned carpets. Wall-to-wall carpets are nice, and a bit easier to install, but will cause a giant headache in the event of water exposure or damage.

This is because if one portion of a wall-to-wall carpet becomes damaged, you’ll have to cut away quite a large portion of it, if not the whole thing.

To avoid headaches such as these, get sectioned carpeting so you can easily replace only the sections that become damaged. It’s also incredibly easy to do.

In the end, using sectioned carpeting is a simple no-brainer for the smart consumer.

Waterproof Carpets for a Basement

If you didn’t know, some carpets are considered waterproof because of the special backings that come with them. Look for these types of carpets to ensure that you’ll be getting a longer-lasting, more reliable carpet.

Expert Advice: A quick tip from my years of working with different types of carpets – always check whether your chosen carpet comes with an antibacterial treatment or allow for one to be applied. Basements can be a breeding ground for allergens and bacteria due to the humidity, something you surely want to avoid.

Final Thoughts – Best Basement Carpet

So, at the end of the day, what is a great carpet for basements? The simple answer is synthetic, man-made materials. More specifically, olefin is going to be your best bet.

It comes with all the benefits of a durable, reliable carpet without sacrificing much in terms of comfort and the feel-good touch that we all know and love on our feet.

On the other hand, olefin is a bit fibrous in texture because of its design. If your basement is prone to flooding or constant exposure to a lot of water, polyester or nylon may be a better option to help keep your carpet in tip-top shape through the ages.

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Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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