Unfinished Basement Ideas To Add Value To Your Home

by | Jul 10, 2022

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10 Unfinished Basement Ideas to Breathe Life Into Your Home

Do you have an unfinished basement? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

A lot of people have unfinished basements, but they often go unused and unloved. This is a shame because unfinished basements can be a great asset to your home.

They can provide extra living space, storage space, or even a place to work on DIY projects.

In this blog post, we will give you 10 unfinished basement ideas to breathe life into your home!

But before we begin, there are a few points to consider.

Do I need an egress window in my unfinished basement?

If you’re refurbishing your unfinished basement, one important thing to consider is whether or not you need an egress window.

An egress window is a window that is large enough and low enough to the ground to allow someone to escape in the event of an emergency.

According to the International Residential Code (IRC), every bedroom must have at least one egress window. So, if you’re planning on adding a bedroom to your unfinished basement, you will need to install an egress window.

There are many benefits to having an egress window in your basement. First of all, it provides a way for people to escape in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Secondly, it lets in natural light and fresh air, which can help to improve the quality of your indoor air.

Finally, an egress window can be a great way to add some extra ventilation to your basement.

How much does it cost to make a room in a basement?

The cost will depend on what type of room you would like and the type and specification of the finishes.

For example, converting an unfinished basement into a self-contained apartment with a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom will come with a hefty price tag.

Plumbing, appliances, partitions, and electrics all have to be considered and obviously, this is best undertaken by professionals.

Smaller basements may only have space for a family room, games room, or an extra bedroom.

The best advice is to work out your funds and move forward from there with your unfinished basement ideas.

If budget allows and you are looking for a complete transformation hire a contractor after obtaining several quotations.

How to paint exposed brick and drywall basement walls

If you’re planning on painting your basement walls, there are a few things you need to know.

First of all, if you have exposed brick walls, you’ll need to use a special type of paint – such as acrylic-latex masonry paint. This type of paint is designed to adhere to bricks and provide a waterproof barrier.

If you’re not sure what type of paint to use, you can always ask a salesperson at your local hardware store. Shop the Look.

In addition to using the right type of paint, you’ll also need to make sure that your basement walls are properly prepared before you start painting.

For exposed brick walls, this means cleaning the bricks with a wire brush or power washer. For drywall, this means filling in any cracks or holes with spackling compounds and sanding the surface until it’s smooth.

Once your walls are prepared, you’re ready to start painting!

Begin by painting the edges of your walls with a brush, then use a roller to paint the rest of the wall. If you’re painting over exposed brick, you may need to apply two coats of paint.

Once your paint is dry, you can enjoy your newly painted basement!

How to cover a basement ceiling

If you’re not a fan of exposed brick or drywall, you may be wondering how to cover your unfinished basement ceiling. There are a few different options that you can choose from, depending on your budget and preferences.

One option is to use acoustic tiles. Acoustic tiles are made from fiberglass or other sound-absorbing materials. They are designed to absorb noise, making them ideal for use in basements.

Acoustic tiles are available in a variety of colors and styles, so you can find a style that fits your basement.

Acoustic tiles

Another option is to use drop ceilings. Drop ceilings are suspended from the ceiling joists using metal tracks. They are easy to install and can be a great way to add some extra insulation to your basement. Shop the Look below

Drop ceilings are also available in a variety of colors and styles, so you can find a style that fits your basement.

Finally, you could simply paint your basement ceiling. This is the cheapest option, but it will not do much to improve the quality of your indoor air.

If you decide to paint your basement ceiling, we recommend that you use pale-colored paint. This will help to reflect some of the light from your overhead lighting, making your basement feel brighter and more spacious.

How to cover an unfinished basement concrete floor

If you have an unfinished basement with a concrete floor, you may be wondering how to cover it. There are a few different options that you can choose from, depending on your funds and preferences.

One option is to use carpet tiles. Carpet tiles are easy to install and can be a great way to add some color and style to your basement. Carpet tiles are also available in a variety of colors and styles, so you can find a style that fits your basement. Shop the Look.

Another option is to use laminate flooring over concrete floors. Laminate flooring is a durable, easy-to-clean option that can give your basement a more finished look.

Laminate flooring is available in a variety of colors and styles, so you can find a style that fits your basement.

Other unfinished basement ideas for a concrete floor are wood effect self-adhesive planks. There are many options to choose from and they stick on many different surfaces. Shop the Look

self-adhesive planks

What is the best lighting for an unfinished basement?

If you’re wondering what the best lighting is for an unfinished basement, there are a few things you need to consider.

First of all, you’ll need to decide what type of lighting you want to use. There are two main types of lighting: natural and artificial.

Natural light is the best type for an unfinished basement. If you have windows in your basement, you should open them up to let in as much natural light as possible.

If you can’t get enough natural light, you’ll need to use artificial lighting. The best type of artificial lighting for an unfinished basement is fluorescent lighting.

Fluorescent lighting is bright and does not produce a lot of heat, making them ideal for use in basements. These are particularly good if you are converting your room to a hobby room, playroom, gym, or office. Shop the Look

When choosing fluorescent lighting for your basement, you’ll need to choose the right size. The size of the fixtures you need will depend on the square footage of your basement.

You’ll also need to decide how many light fixtures you need. A good rule of thumb is to use one fixture for every 50 square feet of space.

Finally, you’ll need to decide where to place your fixtures. The best place to put them is in the corners of the room. This will help to evenly distribute the light throughout the space.

For a darker room for instance if you decide to have a movie basement room try to stretch your funds and install flush-mounted lights. Shop the Look.

Flush light

What type of room do I want in my unfinished basement?

So you have an unfinished basement and not enough money to hire a contractor to convert it.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 unfinished basement ideas along with a few tips and tricks that are affordable.

For this blog, I am assuming you have an egress window and I would advise having one installed.

For more information on styles visit our page Home Décor Styles Explained

10 Unfinished basement ideas

1. The Gym – a budget basement idea

Basement gym

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych

Calling all fitness fanatics! Why pay for a gym membership when you can totally utilize an unfinished basement?

To make your basement ideas come to life and adapt the space so it resembles a gym we just need a little investment and imagination.

Cover the basics for the walls, windows, ceiling, and concrete floor and lay over heavy-duty tiles which are made for a home gym. Shop the Look.

You can also add a few mirrors to your concrete walls. The overall look is very industrial but think of the money you could save working out in your own private studio space.

2. Kids Playroom

Kids playroom

Photo by Cottonbro

Moving on to the perfect unfinished basement ideas for the younger generation – a playroom.

Obviously, you will need to make sure your basement ideas include heat and all of the appropriate safety measures.

There are a variety of cool floor tiles that you can use which will make concrete floors warmer and more appealing and safer.

Playroom flooring 2

There are so many great items you can add to your playroom unfinished basement ideas. For example, hang chalkboards or whiteboards on the walls. Shop the Look

Add plenty of storage for the toys around the room. Easy access for little hands. Shop the Look

If your walls are flat bring them to life with a mural. Many murals are removable should you change your mind as time moves on. Shop the Look

Kids mural

Throw in a few floor cushions, bean bags, a desk, and a chair, and all the mess in the house is now confined to your basement.

3. A Grown-Up Reading Room

What avid book reader doesn’t want their very own reading room? How very grown-up. Cover the basics in your basement and just add a nice selection of bookshelves and create the perfect reading room. Shop the Look


Area rugs and a nice comfy chair and lighting will complete the look. If you have the space why not add a small table with a coffee machine or a small wine cellar. Shop the Look

4. Hobby Room / Art studio


Photo by Katya Ross on Unsplash

Unfinished basement ideas can include your very own art studio or hobby studio for the creative members of your family.

Ample storage for your paints and art materials stacked against the walls and it really doesn’t matter about the concrete floor, go for the industrial look. It is your art studio – make a mess and have fun. Shop the Look

5. Games Room and Bar

Turn your unfinished basement ideas into an entertaining games room and bar and have hours of fun.
Soft flooring, careful lighting, and imagination can transform your basement into a poker room, an X-box area (think of the peace and quiet in the house), or even a darts area with a small freestanding bar. Shop the Look.
Poker table

6. The Man Cave

Turn your unfinished basement ideas into the ultimate man cave. Well, ladies are welcome too.

The floor doesn’t matter. The walls can be rough for the industrial look. Leave the exposed joists – maybe paint them. Add a pool table if you have the room.

What is a man cave without a bar? Create your own. Add plenty of manly signs on the walls. Shop the Look

Bar sign

Add a nice expandable bar to your basement space and create your own bar space. Shop the Look

Home bar

Subtle lights if you are just using this as a drinking area, so use string lights on the ceiling to create a welcoming atmosphere.

7. The Home Office

Since Covid, many of us are working from a home office. Add one to your unfinished basement ideas.

Again, add some area rugs or flooring of your choice but make sure you have good lighting where you create your workspace.

Add a good size desk to your home office ideas, shelves, and space for a printer if you need it. Shop the Look.

Home office desk


8. Movie Room

Movie Room

Photo by Cottonbro

An industrial look is a great style for unfinished basement ideas. If you have exposed joists and bricks, hang the TV on the wall.

If you have bare wood struts, put up a couple of pieces of drywall and paint it black and hang the TV up.

Add some comfy floor cushions or seating if you have any spare and scatter rugs. Shop the Look

9. Laundry room

Laundry room

Photo by Cottonbro

Make some space in the kitchen and incorporate your laundry room in your unfinished basement ideas.

This room does not have to be fancy – you’re only doing the washing. Adapt it to suit your needs. Laundry baskets, shelving to stack spare toilet tissue, detergent, clothes drier, whatever you need. Shop the Look

Industrial shelving

Stick with the industrial feel when developing your unfinished basement ideas and add to the style with industrial shelving and racks.

10. The Wine Cellar

Where better to store a collection of wine. Create a cellar where you can make your wine, store it and even taste it.

Add a small table and chairs to make your own space into a tasting room. Shop the Look

Your unfinished basement ideas will have the neighbors flocking to try your latest tipple in your wine cellar.


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All prices are correct on the date of publishing this post.

The items within our Shop the Look selection are featured within our Mood Board/s, so you can purchase as many or as few as you want.

The Mood Board has been created to show you what can be achieved with the items that we have selected.

Cover the walls

LAtex paint

Latex paint – perfect to cover those exposed brick walls. Pick a color and a roller and away you go.

WALMART – $26.04

Soft underfoot


Easy to lay carpet tiles that form a shaggy effect carpet. 12 in a pack and ideal for basements, kids’ rooms etc.

AMAZON – $36.85

Feeling flush?

Flush light

Subtle lighting for a family room in the basement. Try this 10-inch flush fitting finished in brass.

WALMART – $24.99

Can I draw on the walls?

magnetic chalkboard

A magnetic chalkboard to keep those inquisitive minds busy in the basement.

WALMART – $35.99

Time for some quiet time


Who doesn’t love a good book? Adorn your walls with all of the latest bestsellers and display them in these wooden bookshelves.

WALMART – $49.88

Show me your cards


The basement that just keeps on giving. Poker night with the boys in your new space. This table doesn’t even need to be assembled and seats 10 of your best buddies.

WALMART – $545.99

Working from home


This desk fits right into the industrial-style decor in your basement. It beats working at the kitchen table and all the family will benefit from the extra space.

AMAZON – $108.99

Sounds perfect


Add these acoustic tiles to your ceiling or walls to create the perfect home movie room. 12 pack and a variety of colors to choose from.

AMAZON – $22.99

It looks like wood


Affordable stick-on floor planks to give a wood effect floor. Just grab a good sharp knife and convert that unfinished basement.

WALMART – $90.72

Ready for some heavy lifting?

Gym Flooring

An unfinished basement converted into a gym needs a good floor. Protect your equipment and your floor with these strong foam interlocking tiles.

AMAZON – $25.90

Keep it tidy

Storage for toys

This storage box is excellent for all of the toys in the basement. Easy to put them away and grab to start playing with again.

WALMART – $59.99

Snuggle in

Reading chair

The perfect chair to snuggle up into once you have decided on the next bestseller to read from your new bookshelves.

AMAZON – $154.99

Which way to the bar?


That basement home bar has never looked so good. Welcome your guests and direct them to the beer.

AMAZON – $35.99

Time for a movie

Bean bags

No furniture? What an excellent idea to have in your basement room. A couple of fun bean bag chairs to chill out on and watch the latest blockbuster.

WALMART – $36.98

Time for a glass of wine… or two

Bistro table and chair set

Sit and drink wine like the French do on your new bistro set. Perfect for your wine tasting basement or lovely in a garden.

WALMART – $109.98

Cover up an ugly ceiling

Suspended ceiling grid

A total DIY job if you want to cover up an ugly ceiling. Tiles laid into a suspended grid. Ultra thin and a variety of colors.

AMAZON – $109.50

Bright lights

Fluorescent light

A home office in your unfinished basement needs good lighting. Try this very inexpensive fluorescent lighting for your basement.

AMAZON – $46.47

Let’s get playful

Playroom flooring

Soft to the touch and perfect for the little ones. How cute are these interlocking tiles?

AMAZON – $49.99

Brighten up the walls

Kids mural

No time for painting but plenty of flat surfaces? Install a large mural. Easy and so effective.

AMAZON – $10.88

Paint Perfection

Art storage

Once you have your unfinished basement ideas converted to a hobby room, you will need some storage. Put all of those little bits and pieces in a handy storage box.

AMAZON – $31.99

No bar, no problem!

Home bar

All you need to do is fill this beauty up with your favorite tipples. Expandable and finished in mahogany. Another round, please bartender!

WALMART – $552.04

Do I have a clean shirt?

Industrial shelving

Kit out the new laundry room with an industrial-style shelf. Sleek, sexy, and great for storage. A few wicker baskets and you are up and running… or should I say ironing?

AMAZON – $199.95

3 + 2 =

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