Can You Use Vinyl Tiles on Bare Concrete Basement Floors?


Installing vinyl tiles in your basement gives you an easy-care, durable surface for your space. Installation over a concrete floor is not a problem as long as the floor is clean, dry and level. Taking the time to prepare the floor properly ensures a successful installation.

Vinyl Tiles

  • Vinyl tile flooring is available in a wide range of patterns and colors resembling wood, stone and ceramic. The wear layer of the tile protects the floor from day-to-day wear and tear, and a protective layer resists tears and gouges. The flooring is low-maintenance with a no-wax finish that requires only regular sweeping and damp mopping to keep it looking good.

Basement Floors

  • Before considering vinyl tile installation for a concrete floor, inspect the floor to be sure it is in good condition and is structurally sound. The floor should be smooth, dry and free of grease, dirt and paint. New concrete needs to cure for at least 28 days prior to installation of the flooring. Check older concrete for the presence of moisture. Place an 18-inch square of plastic on the concrete floor. Tape it down on all sides. After 24 hours, lift the plastic and check for condensation or darkening of the concrete, which are indicators of excess moisture in the floor. If moisture is present, address the problem with a building contractor before installing the flooring.

Floor Preparation

  • Sand off paint, sealers or bonding agents before attempting to install vinyl tiles. Fill holes, cracks or depressions with leveling compound to create a smooth, level surface. Clean the floor of any grit, dust or debris for proper tile adhesion. Apply latex primer to the floor if you are using self-adhesive tiles. The primer reduces moisture and alkalinity in basement installations and improves adhesion.


  • Before installing vinyl tiles, place them in stacks in the room to acclimate them to the temperature and humidity levels. The room and floor temperature needs to be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. For ease of installation, vinyl tiles come with adhesive backing. After determining the layout of the tiles, begin installation by peeling the backing paper off and pressing the tiles in place. The tiles are difficult to remove once in place, so be sure of placement before pressing them down. Using adhesive spray for installation is an option that allows for easier removal of tiles if you decide to change the floor in the future.

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