Affordable flooring ideas are quite different yet these alternatives are worth the consideration when you need an alternative to exclusive high end floor covering as they are cost effective and with good appearance. In addition, each and every cheap flooring option has its advantages. We shall have a look at the top 6 cheap flooring options, their pros and cons so you can choose the one that is most suitable for you.
One of the most popular affordable flooring ideas is to use laminate planks or laminate flooring. Modern laminate floor planks offer exceptionally high quality for a reasonable price and their performance is very close to the one of hardwood floors. It became popular as a cheap alternative of parquet flooring but with development of technology laminate is no longer “for the poor” and has become a floor covering with its own advantages. It provides endless opportunities for interior decoration as nowadays, manufacturers offer a vast variety of color options, wood finishes and textures.
Advantages of laminate flooring: durability, easy installation, wide variety of colors, versatility – laminate can be installed in any room of the home, including bathroom. Laminate flooring can be installed over an existing floor which saves money and labor. Laminate floors are resistant to the growth of mold and bacteria. The protective top layer protects the laminate floors from stains and the floors require low maintenance.
Disadvantages of laminate flooring: Laminate floors cannot be sanded or refinished. Laminate floors imitate wood successfully but do not have the same feeling when walking barefoot. They can be damaged by water, susceptible to scratching and denting, and could be quite hard.
Engineered wood flooring – pros and cons
Very often engineered wood is confused with laminate but these are two different types of wood flooring, manufactured in a different way and have different properties. Engineered wood floors are the closest to hardwood but cost significantly less. One of the most popular affordable flooring ideas, engineered wood floors have many advantages to offer.
Advantages of engineered wood flooring – resistant to moisture and humidity, cost-efficient alternative to hardwood floors, environmentally friendly, easy installation and repair. Engineered wood floors are offered in many colors and wood grain finishes and can be used anywhere in the house. They are solid, stable, comfortable and pleasant to walk barefoot. Depending on the thickness of the veneer, engineered wood flooring can be sanded or refinished.
Disadvantages of engineered wood flooring – thin veneers do not allow sanding and decreases the lifespan of the floor. Engineered wood floors are more expensive than laminate, tile and carpet.
Affordable flooring ideas – pros and cons of cork floor
Being a natural and renewable material, cork is one of the best affordable flooring ideas. Cork floors offer a soft feel and a beautiful appearance. Cork is an excellent option for families with young children and due to the natural softness prevents accidental injuries in case someone falls or trips.
Advantages of cork floor: Exceptional durability, resistance to cracking and abrasion. Cork coverings is impermeable to gas and liquid. Cork floors are resistant to mold, mildew and termites and with proper maintenance have a lifespan of about 40 years. Cork flooring is fire resistant and anti-microbial. Cork has exceptional insulating properties – both thermal and acoustic – and keeps the rooms warm and quiet. Cork floor tiles are offered in various sizes, colors and styles and work with many interior design concepts.
Disadvantages of cork floor: it is more expensive than other cheap flooring options and usually requires a professional installation. Extensive exposure to sunlight may cause discoloration. Cork is susceptible to scratches and is not a suitable option for homes with pets.
Vinyl flooring – cost efficient option
Vinyl flooring has been a widely popular cheap flooring option for decades and is offered in either tile or sheet form. It offers a great value and is available in a wide range of colors, designs and styles.
Advantages of vinyl flooring: easy to cut and install and an excellent DIY project as the installation does not require special tools and skills. There are vinyl floor tiles with self-adhesive backing which makes installation even easier. Vinyl floors can be installed over an existing floor (vinyl or linoleum), they are soft and flexible, very durable, with a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Vinyl floors are resistant to dirt and water and maintenance is practically zero. Except for regular sweeping and mopping to keep the floor clean, no further maintenance is required.
Disadvantages of vinyl flooring: vinyl floors need an even sub-floor otherwise there may be bumps and lumps. The sub-floor has to be perfectly clean, especially when installing peel and stick vinyl floor tiles, otherwise they will loosen. Sharp objects can damage vinyl floor sovering and when moving furniture, the floor can be scratched. Furniture pads on the feet of all furniture are a must. The use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the manufacturing process is the biggest con of vinyl flooring as it emits volatile organic compounds when new.
Carpet and carpet tiles – cheap flooring ideas
The market offers a number of opportunities – you can buy a wall-to-wall roll carpet or carpet tiles which are much easier to install and an excellent DIY project, saving you installation fees. Wall to wall carpeting is offered in so many styles, textures, designs that you will easily find the best option to complement your home style and design.
Advantages of wall-to-wall carpet and carpet tile flooring:
Carpet flooring adds coziness and warmth to the home. It is versatile and can be used on stairs, in living rooms, family rooms, bedrooms. Carpet flooring offers very good insulation properties and exceptional coziness and warmth. It feels pleasant to bare feet and does not allow chills and drafts seep through the floor. In addition, the noise insulation properties of carpet floors make it perfect for bedrooms as it reduces the sounds and noises inside the home. Once installed and with proper maintenance and regular cleaning, the carpet will retain its beautiful look for many years. Carpet tiles are an ideal choice for tricky floors and provide an option to create a unique floor for your home combining colors, shapes and patterns. They can be easily installed and easily replaced, if needed.
Disadvantages of wall-to-wall carpet and carpet tile flooring:
Carpet flooring, whether wall-to-wall carpet or carpet tiles, absorbs moisture and are susceptible to staining, and mildew growth. This is one of the main reasons why carpet covering is not a good choice for bathrooms. Once damaged by mold and mildew, the carpet floor should be removed immediately. Sometimes it may cause allergies or respiratory problems as fibers collect dust, dirt, bugs, and bacteria. Carpets stain easily and retain odors, which is why they are not a good alternative for families with pets. In such cases it is better to consider other affordable flooring options.
Like we mentioned earlier, linoleum is not vinyl. Real linoleum is a type of floor, made of linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone and pigments. The components are mixed and pressed onto a jute backing. Real linoleum flooring is non-toxic, biodegradable and does not contain formaldehyde, does not emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
Advantages of linoleum flooring: incredibly durability, easy installation and very low maintenance are some of the major pros. When properly maintained, linoleum flooring can have a lifespan up to 40 years. Linoleum flooring is very comfortable underfoot as it is a soft material. In addition, linoleum floors are naturally anti-static and anti-microbial. In terms of appearance, linoleum is versatile with the many color and pattern options. Linoleum is easily cut and allows you to create unique patterns. Due to the fact that dye is infused through linoleum covering, it does not fade and your floor will retain its color for many years. Installation is very DIY friendly and does not require special skills. You can choose linoleum floor tiles or sheets, whichever suits your taste and the floor that needs to be covered.
Disadvantages of linoleum flooring: linoleum is soft, which is an advantage, but at the same time can be a disadvantage as it can be easily torn or scratched. Right after installation, linoleum flooring emits linseed fumes. Those are harmless and will disappear in a week or so. It needs to be sealed and requires periodic polishing to retain the good look.
Other affordable floor ideas include rubber, ceramic tile, concrete, vinyl composite tiles, plywood floors. As you can see – there are many cheap options and each homeowner can choose the one that is best for his home and budget.