There is a vast choice of inexpensive flooring if you are looking for an alternative to exclusive high-end flooring.
While flooring is one expenditure that may become a significant part of a renovation budget, you do not have to compromise beauty for affordability. The world of affordable flooring has grown due to technological advances, providing homeowners and DIY’rs with plenty of choices.
These inexpensive flooring options are excellent alternatives to hardwood flooring and give hardwood a run for its money. Learn more about cheap flooring choices by reading this guide.
Laminate is a synthetic material that resembles oak or stone due to an embossed photographic image on its surface. While laminate is similar to vinyl sheets in cost, it is not as strong, it is not heat resistant or waterproof, and has a lifespan of just ten years. Avoid laminating in places that are exposed to high moisture levels or water, such as kitchens, basements, or bathrooms.
Laminate wood flooring is placed as a floating floor, meaning the pieces clicks and locks together instead of being bonded to the subfloor directly. While properly preparing the space will take time, installation is relatively fast once you begin putting the parts together.
Cost: Laminate flooring costs on average $2.50 per square foot, but may vary based on the manufacturer's materials and warranties.
Vinyl flooring is available in tiles, sheets, and planks. It is mainly made of PVC, resulting in a durable, waterproof surface, which can be installed in any room of the house. It is low maintenance, requiring just routine sweeping or vacuuming and the occasional cleaning. Furthermore, it is among the most affordable flooring choices available. If installed correctly, it may last up to 25 years.
This cut-to-length style has seen significant improvements in terms of texture, design, and quality. Sheet vinyl is usually available in widths of 6′ and 12′, making it heavy and difficult to handle. Installation is best left to the experts.
Cost: The average cost per square foot is $1.25, with premium brands costing more than $5 per square foot.
If you are searching for a more authentic hardwood or stone appearance, plank vinyl is the most affordable option in replicating the look of expensive flooring. And, unlike sheet vinyl, planks are available in various sizes, simplifying the installation procedure. Vinyl planks may be placed with adhesive or with a peel-and-stick, click-and-lock method. Installation is often straightforward, even for people who are inexperienced with home repair work.
Cost: Prices vary according to the kind of vinyl plank selected: luxury vinyl plank (LVP), engineered vinyl plank (EVP), stiff core vinyl plank (SVP), or waterproof vinyl plank (WVP), which is a stone composite variant suitable for high-traffic areas. On average, without installation cost, the price per square foot begins at $1.39. It varies according to thickness, grade, and manufacturer warranties.
Cork is a flexible, eco-friendly option for composite flooring that requires less installation time than hardwood.
While one of the advantages of cork is that it is often softer than other reasonably priced flooring choices, this softness also is a disadvantage, as it is prone to scratch and dent. Additionally, it is not suitable for restrooms, where high humidity (anything above 60%) causes the material to shatter and break.
Cost: This recyclable material is made from cork oak trees and is used to produce floor tiles, sheets, and planks, with prices starting at about $2 per square foot and rising depending on quality, thickness, and finish.
Carpeting comes in a variety of styles, from wall-to-wall to peel-and-stick. There are many options available according to the variety of materials and quality levels. Regardless of the carpeting, it generally lasts ten or more years with regular vacuuming and quick stain treatment.
And, although the carpet is comfortable to walk on and excellent at absorbing sound, it does show wear and tear far more quickly than any other type of flooring. It should not be used in bathrooms or other areas prone to mold growth.
While wall-to-wall carpeting is a cost-effective flooring choice, this is not a layman job Typically, this is a multi-person, multi-tool task that needs precision. Consider hiring an expert to install wall-to-wall, since there is minimal room for mistakes.
Using peel-and-stick carpet tiles simplifies the installation process. As with vinyl boards, the smaller pieces facilitate installation. Carpet tiles are self-adhesive, so all you need to do is clean the floor, peel off the stickers, and stick the tiles to the floor. Additionally, you may trim parts as required using a box cutter.
Cost: These carpetings can be purchased for less than $1 per square foot.
At less than a dollar per square foot, solid and durable ceramic tile is an excellent value for money. Select manufactured tile with a minimum PEI rating of 3, which is the industry standard established by the “Porcelain Enamel Institute.” Tiles with a rating of less than 3 are too thin and fragile to sustain floor activity. In terms of installation, if you are not confident using a wet saw and tile cutter, leave it to the experts.
You can consider porcelain tiles in flooring areas that remain wet, like bathrooms and kitchens. Porcelain is denser and more effective at resisting water than ceramics. Although it costs somewhat more per square foot, it outlasts ordinary ceramic tile.
If replacing your existing floor is not an option, you may always refinish it for a fraction of the cost. With a little paint or varnish, wood floors can be transformed; concrete can be made to appear like new with specialist paint and sealer, and sometimes even tile can be enhanced by just removing the grout. So, depending on the budget, you can easily change the appearance of your floor without spending a lot.
Cheap flooring is available in a variety of forms. Never rule out anything as a flooring choice just because it was not intended to be used as flooring in the first place.
Also, keep in mind that installing new flooring may not always be the best solution. According to the kind of foundation you have, there are inexpensive methods to update your current flooring and make it extraordinary.