Materials include, but are not limited to carpet, tile, laminate and engineered wood. Selection of the best material must include the amount of traffic you expect and moisture.  Basements are notorious for moisture problems.

Basement Ideas – how to select the best flooring for your basement” is an excellent article that reviews the pros and cons of the basic types of flooring available.

The author recommends “a short napped carpet with lots of darker colors in it. This stuff is rather indestructible. The new stain repellant products built right in do a great job of protecting the carpet from damage by spills and other “topical” issues.”

“Laminate and engineered flooring are very beautiful and look great in a basement. The material and installation is more expensive than carpet but usually cheaper than using a ceramic tile.”  The basement floor must be very level and smooth for proper installation of laminate and engineered flooring.

“Ceramic and vinyl tile are the most durable choices for your floor. If water happens, no problem. Just mop up and you’re done. Ceramic and vinyl are more forgiving on wavy floors. Less or no leveling may be needed. Should a tile be damaged one can pull out the necessary tile and replace it.”

There it is – check out the full article for mor pros and cons on the materials.