The basement level of our house (1/2 below grade) is currently just vinyl tile on concrete slab. It's cold during the winter, so we would like to carpet it. We do not get water penetration through the floor, but during the humid days of summer, there is frequently condensation on the floor (especially under furniture) where the very humid air contacts the cool floor.

What are our options for carpeting? Could we just lay down a carpet pad and carpet directly on the concrete / vinyl tile? Is it necessary to put down a sub-floor?

We were originally going to just do the pad and carpet, but I'm concerned about moisture / mold issues.

2 Answers 2


From a comfort and water protection perspective, I think you'll find it beneficial to install a sub floor. I'd recommend one which allows for ventilation beneath it such as these 2x2 panels you can buy at Home Depot/Lowes


This will give you a nice, warm "softer" surface to put your carpet pad on, and help protect from any condensation issues with the cold floor beneath by allowing it a place to form, and then with the proper ventilation openings cut into the subfloor (standard floor vent in the carpet to allow airflow) it'll dry out on its own.

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  • 2
    I'd also pair this with a good dehumidifier. If you live in a humid climate, a dehumidifier is pretty much a necessity for the basement.
    – DA01
    Jul 3, 2012 at 18:17
  • This will come out SO much better than bare carpet on concrete. Jul 3, 2012 at 18:20
  • @DA01 Thank you I MEANT to mention a dehumidifier and then completely forgot to! Jul 4, 2012 at 10:36

This sounds like a job for floor tiles. There are several brands, and two types. One has plastic feet, the other main style has foam (a popular brand is Dricore R+). The foam insulates more and is resistant to "clicking" if the floor is not level. The plastic feet type probably does a better job drying.

On top of this subfloor, you put whatever you want. A lightweight underlay and carpet that can breathe a bit, and you're good to go.

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