Best Flooring for Concrete Slab Foundation

Education & Training with Big Show Realty

Concrete floors are not an optimal flooring situation. They can get cold and damp, and do not look very good in a room. When covering up a concrete floor, there are many types of flooring options to choose from. It is important that you chose the type of floor that best suits your needs and design style. There are tons of different types of flooring, but there are a few that are the best option when you have a concrete slab foundation.

Best Flooring for Concrete Slab Foundation

The best options for flooring over a concrete slab foundation are wood/laminate, carpet, or tile for your whole house.


Many concrete floors have a tendency to get damp, so when you are installing wood floors over a concrete slab foundation there are some important things that you need to do. First you should put down 2x4 inch lengths of wood called sleepers. Make sure that your sleepers are placed 16 inches apart and are centered. Next, cover the sleepers with plastic and lay down the plywood. Then, cover the plywood with 15 pound roofing felt. Lastly, install the wood flooring. The wood flooring can be glued or nailed to the base that you previously installed. If you are using laminate, and your concrete is prone to getting wet or damp, then you will need to go through the same process with the plywood base as you would with wood flooring. If you are using laminate floors, and your concrete slab foundation is not prone to getting damp or wet, then your installation process is a little simpler. Laminate floors do not attach to the floor beneath them, and they are considered to be floating floors. You can place the laminate flooring directly onto your concrete slab base. Laminate flooring is typically a lost more cost effective than wood flooring, and easier to install without professional help -- just make sure you’re laying them the right way.


Even if your concrete slab foundation has moisture problems, you can still install carpet. If you are installing flooring in a basement, carpet can actually help to warm up the space. When installing carpet you need to go through the same process as you would to install wood floors. The only extra step with carpet installation is to make sure that you put down padding. The extra padding under the carpet with help protect the carpet from mold and to keep the room from smelling musty. The best type of carpet is a carpet that is made with synthetic materials because it will be more affordable, and synthetic materials are known for being breathable. You don't want gross things to build up in your carpet, especially in a basement, so a breathable carpet will be the best decision.


There are 3 different types of tile that you could use over a concrete slab foundation. Vinyl, ceramic, and rubber tiles are all great options - especially for areas like your kitchen or bathroom. For vinyl tile, you would still need to install the plywood base, but you would not need the felt on top. The vinyl tile can be installed right on top of the plywood. If you concrete base is uneven, it is recommended to go with a thicker tile. For ceramic tile you need to put cement boards on the concrete floor and then use concrete nails to ensure that they don't move. After that, put down the mastic, the tile, and then fill in the tile with grout. Rubber tile fits together like puzzle pieces and can be applied directly onto the concrete foundation. They are the easiest tile option to install, and then can be removed very easily as well. Rubber tiles are typically used in areas in which you want temporary flooring.

Bottom Line

While there are many options to choose from when flooring your concrete slab foundation, the best options are wood/laminate, carpet, or tile. All of these options make your space look great and can be installed professionally or by yourself so they work perfectly on top of concrete when you’re looking for flooring services and options.


Comments (4)

Jaime Jurado

On laminate flooring, had a gentlemen that places the flooring over the concrete foundation slab without nothing over the concrete floor, no felt nothing just straight on the bare floor. Sections sounds like its loose when walking over it. Is that the proper way to Install the flooring?

Feb 28, 2020 04:03 PM

I am laying outdoor indoor carpet on a cement slab. This for a seasonal cabin so no heat during the winter. Can I use carpet pad? If so any type I would use. Thanks

Apr 30, 2020 06:20 PM
Angus Clark

There is a special underpaid for concrete

Jul 31, 2020 06:04 PM