What should you do if you're looking for flooring options but you're on a tight budget? You might have already done enough research into the pros and cons of cheap flooring alternatives to get the idea that “cheap” and “durable” do not go together in the same sentence. However, we've talked to people who are looking for a flooring option that will work for a place where their only roommate is a pet cat.
These are people who just don't want to overspend on a floor that doesn't have to take the punishment of an entire family and their golden retriever. That means they can get away with going with cheap flooring ideas like these.
10 Best Cheap Flooring Options
Carpet is a popular option for people who want a wide variety of styles to choose from without having to spend a ton of money. You can even create your own style and save a few bucks by mixing and matching carpet remnants. People who tend to dislike housework also like carpet for the ability to just run the Roomba once or twice a week and forget about it.
#2 Laminate Flooring
Laminate is a good pick for people who like the look of natural hardwood but don't want to pay a lot for natural or engineered hardwood. It requires a bit of extra care to avoid damage, but is moderately resistant to water damage if installed correctly.
#3 Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile generally goes into rooms that routinely get a lot of moisture or are most likely to see liquid spills, such as a bathroom or kitchen. You can actually get this fairly cheap without getting ripped off if you look for discounts at reputable sellers like Home Depot.
#4 Vinyl & Linoleum
Vinyl and Linoleum are cheap to both buy and install. A lot of people like these choices for being easy on their feet. It's a popular pick for laundry rooms because it muffles some of the sound of a washer and dryer, but it can be tough to clean and is prone to wear and tear.
#5 Cheap Domestic Harwoods
Domestic hardwoods tend to provide a good “value for your money” flooring because you're getting all the benefits of hardwood without paying the high price of an exotic or rare wood floor. For greater durability, look for ones with a high Jenka rating like Hickory, Pecan, Hard Maple or White Oak.
#6 New Particle Board and Paint
new particle board and paint is all right as a cheap option if you don't intend to stay for long in your current location, but be aware that a lot of people hate this option because it is very vulnerable to water damage. If you already have particle board flooring in your home, have the floor and the surface underneath inspected for possible deterioration before you do anything.
#7 Old Bricks
Old bricks can sometimes be salvaged from a demolition site, cleaned up and sealed against possible water damage to use as your flooring if you make friends with the construction workers. Just be aware that they often have to deal with liability issues with people who might take risks while looking for cheap construction materials.
#8 Rubber Tile Flooring
Rubber tile flooring can work well in a home with a contemporary look if you want to aim for an industrial look that doesn't look too terribly commercial. This is primarily a “niche” option that might not be to everyone's tastes, though.
#9 Large Area Rugs
Large area rugs might work for situations where you've already removed a badly damaged floor, your subflooring is still in good condition and you haven't made a decision about what you want in a floor yet. Just don't make this your permanent choice because your subfloor was never meant to be directly walked on.
#10 Recycled or Salvaged Materials
Recycled or salvaged materials can actually be pretty cheap and stylish. Some people have created their own flooring by saving spare change, wine corks or bottle caps. A lot of flooring installation professionals don't like dealing with salvaged materials, though, so make friends with somebody who's pretty handy with DIY home improvement projects if you aren't already a very handy person yourself.
If you want to save even more money on the flooring installation, we recommend that you choose options that are DIY-friendly. Laminate flooring is pretty easy to install if you can establish a straight line.
Vinyl can give you options for peel-and-stick installations. Tile and hardwood both require special tools and are tough for beginners to work with, though. So while saving money on your new flooring, be sure to shop like a smart consumer so you can get good value for your money on both the flooring material and the installation.