wood flooring installation

In the Basement, Which is Best, Engineered Hardwood Flooring or Solid?

Many people prefer the look of wood in their finished basements, but are afraid to take the risky leap of installing a wood floor below grade. The simple answer to the question posed in the title of this article, if you asked most people, would be, "Neither".

However, there are conditions under which you might be able to install a wood floor in a basement setting, but it will take a little extra effort on your part and a bit of luck. So, when can you install a wood floor in a basement, which of these two choices is best, engineered hardwood flooring or solid? Let's take a closer look.

Why Wood is Generally Avoided in Basements

The major reason that wood is usually shunned in basement applications boils down to moisture. The basement is below grade, and this means that water from above grade, is bound to work its way down. This, is in addition to the presence of pipes that could burst, and the fact that many people put their laundry facilities in the basement, as well. These factors all add up to an increased danger of water damage that is particularly nasty in the case of wood floors, which can warp, cup, and even crack due to variations in humidity.

Is There Anything That Can Be Done to Allow Wood in the Basement?

If you are extremely confident that you can control the moisture in your basement, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to install some type of wood flooring in your basement. You'd just have to be sure that your pipes are in tip-top condition and unlikely to leak. The same goes for your water heater, if it's located in the basement. You also have to be sure that your yard is properly set up to move water away from the house after rain.

You can also invest in things such as powerful sealants for your subfloor and basement walls, or run a powerful dehumidifier to help mitigate the humidity.

Solid or Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

If you really have your heart set on wood flooring in your basement, it would probably be best to buy engineered hardwood flooring, because it is less expensive and easier to replace in the event of moisture damage occurring. Engineered also has protective layers that will serve as an extra line of defense against moisture damage, that may allow you to clean it up in time to save the floor.


At the end of the day, if you really have your heart set on real wood for your basement, you have to be sure you are willing to take the extra steps outlined above to prevent a serious flooring disaster.

If you are looking to learn more, or buy engineered hardwood flooring in Baton Rouge, LA, Wholesale Flooring & Granite would love to hear from you! Just call, e-mail, or stop in at our showroom in Baton Rouge, LA, and our staff will help you decide which flooring choice is best for your basement or any other room, for that matter.

We also have a wide selection of waterproof flooring options that perfectly mimic the look of wood that might interest you if you decide that you're not willing to gamble on wood in the basement, but just can't get past the desire to have wood down there. Stop in soon and have a look- you might be surprised at what you find!