Flooring Question

The aftermath of Ida caused water to come up through the slab in our grade-level den. It soaked the rug and padding, but thankfully did not impact the walls. We are very lucky and grateful that more did not happen, especially as so many lost so much. Also got some water in the basement (lower level than the den) as the sump pump couldn’t keep up.

We have been in this house for 24 years and has never happened. Was a very fast intense storm, after a very wet period so that the water table was already high. While way more than a 100-year event, with climate change could happen again.

We ripped up the rug and are trying to decide what to do. The underlying floor is linoleum tile, which will stay in place as we don’t want to remove due to concerns about asbestos. Need carpet with padding as it is on a slab and quite cold in the winter. Trying to decide whether to re-carpet or do some kind of flooring with an area rug. Carpet is likely the least expensive option.

All suggestions welcome! Thanks in advance.

How old are your tiles? If later than 1980 the tiles are unlikely to contain asbestos. You really want to seal your floor. Concrete is like a sponge it’s always slightly damp. Putting carpet on unsealed concrete is just asking for trouble. In any event I would do area rugs which you can take outside and dry in the sun if you have water issues again.

We’ve had water in the basement a few times for different reasons — seepage, storm surges, burst pipes, rusted-out water heater, and yuck, sewage. After the first incident, we removed the wall-to-wall carpeting and I would never reinstall it down there. We put down ceramic tile in the heavy-traffic area and left the concrete in the “living” area. On top of that concrete we put down a loose layer of indoor-outdoor by-the-yard carpet. It’s cut to fit the area, but not installed. On top of that we put a cushy comfy rug. We didn’t put a pad under it, but you could. That way everything can be pulled up and taken out to dry if we don’t catch whatever has caused the flooding. It’s just a part of life here (Chicago suburbs) unfortunately.


Thanks. The tiles likely predate the 1980s. There was carpet over them when we moved in. House was built in the 50s.

Can we put sealer over the linoleum tile?

Would putting ceramic tile down serve as a sealant?

Seems like it’s okay. Asbestos Tile: Is it Safe to Remove? - This Old House (to tile over or seal, better than removing them.)