Basement Paincave Flooring Recommendation

I’m closing on my first house (next week…!! :grimacing:) and I’m looking for a nice looking flooring option to turn the basement into a paincave. We do a mixture of yoga / trainerroad / body weight fitness and also plan to also have some musical instruments down there as well. There’s no history of the basement flooding but i’ve been told basements get moist so something waterproof would be ideal. I’d also like something that’s easy to clean and won’t smell if it gets sweaty.

More details than you might want: The basement has asbestos tiles that we’re going to remove. The contractor will encapsulate the residual mastic so we need to find an appropriate flooring pretty quickly. I’ve been looking at vinyl flooring but i’m not sure how fake wood looks once it’s installed so i’m partial to be honest to the material and get something that looks like vinyl. But i’m open to any suggestions that you have seen / used and thought looked great. Also, the house is in the northeast USA.

TLDR: Can you recommend paincave flooring that’s relatively affordable to put over my basement’s concrete floor? Basic requirements are sweat resistant, easy to clean, not too dark in color since the basement only has a few windows


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I purchased “sport flooring” rubber tiles from the link above. Super easy to install, heavy duty and looks pretty good. Other than i got solid black which shows dirt like crazy. So i would advise one of the other color patterns. It seems to soak up noise and my trainer and treadmill have no slippage or bouncing on.
They will ship to your house or a local warehouse spot for pickup. I’m in Canada but the site refers to North American distribution and a warehouse in the US.

Just built a new house and put a trainer area in the basement. Mostly carpet in the basement but put vinyl plank in the trainer nook.

We spent an agonizing amount of time searching for the best vinyl plank. We wanted something that tge dogs (and us) wouldn’t destroy and was waterproof. We also wanted the most realistic looking wood. We used it throughout the main floor. We settled on a product from Karndean.

Couldn’t be happier. Even put the leftovers in our RV. It’s exceeded our expectations.

I’ll post a photo later.

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There’s “garage” flooring that comes with rubber bits that make it look “prettier” might provide grip.

I’m going in a more aesthetic direction and am going to stain and varnish my basement floors soon. I don’t care for the look of the rubberized finishes but I’m sure they’ll be easier to deal with!

One more recommendation for Karndean. Used several different varieties when we had our house made over a few years ago - including in the hallway where my Neo is set up.

I recommend going with heavy, rubber flooring, no matter what flooring you have. In our pain cave, the room came with wood flooring, and I immediately put down rubber tiles over the entire floor. This makes it so that most of the room can be used for weights, and I have my bike pushed up against one side without it needed an additional mat.

If you want cheap and outlast your grand kids, get horse stall mats.

Honestly, if it was me, I would put in in-floor heating. I HATE cold concrete under my feet. Then put the mats over the area you will be exercising.

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I am a contractor and have either worked with or installed almost every type of flooring on the market. The best bang for your buck currently is LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile). It comes in many configurations but the snap together planks are easy to install and ultra durable (also replaceable} if you don’t glue it down which most people don’t. The last job I did I paid 3ish dollars per square foot so very affordable for most. It’s waterproof and very durable overall. I personally use 3 or 4 interlocking foam mats under my trainer (between the trainer and floor)both for comfort and protection just to be safe. Just don’t buy the very cheapest you can find. Go middle of the road from a reputable vendor and you’ll be satisfied. * Unlimited colors and patterns.


I agree with @dprimm
I got rubber horse stall mats on sale at tractor supply my my garage pain cave and love them. My only complaint is that they don’t lock together. Over time they have migrated a little bit so very small gaps have opened between the mats. I could easily fix it, but I’m too lazy.

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If you dont want the room to look like a horse stall, @Paul_Palmer is right, I’d go with LVT. We are using some in a few places around the house, and I’m looking at putting Marmoleum in a few others and I’m really happy with the durability, appearance, and sound qualities. Marmoleum isnt water proof, so it may not work in your basement, but LVT is perfect, and wont turn the room into a barn.

Another vote for vinyl plank. It’s what we put down when finishing a basement for a playroom and exercise room. No problems two years and counting…

Managing basement moisture requires a few particular considerations, so be sure whoever is doing the work knows what they’re doing.

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Ambient offer bamboo hardwoods in wide colors and styles including strand woven bamboo, handscraped bamboo and engineered bamboo. Bamboo flooring is harder than other hardwood flooring & also water resist. I will recommend bamboo flooring option for you.

Ambient’s Bamboo Flooring

Just finished doing my basement. A few things I learned as I was finishing the floor:

Trainer and (especially) treadmill are hard on most flooring surfaces.

Horse stall mats work great, but they are also hard on the surface below them…and you may have to worry about discoloration over time.

We decided to do glue down vinyl plank on our floor because we attached directly to concrete. In the space below the pain cave, I left raw concrete and have the stall mats down. I saved a box of the flooring to put into that space should we ever move.

Not sure it was the best option, but it looks great and works well for us.

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I used vinyl plank also. It’s very durable, cleans easily, and looks great. I didn’t glue it though. Left it floating. Made for an easier install that way.