Inexpensive Flooring Materials to Consider – Forbes Advisor


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REMARK: The early half of 2021 saw an unprecedented labor shortage as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with this, the demand for construction materials and jobs has skyrocketed. As a result, prices for materials may be higher than shown in this article and delivery times may be longer than usual for labor and materials.

If you’re looking to make updates to your home but are working on a tight budget, you might consider making small changes like repainting walls, replacing cabinet hardware, or restoring furniture. However, there are some things you can do to have a bigger impact without breaking the bank. One of those options is to replace your flooring.

There are many types of flooring available to suit almost any price point. If you’re considering installing new flooring, a little research will help you determine which material will give you the most bang for your buck, while meeting the needs of your lifestyle. Here are five inexpensive flooring options and some pros and cons associated with each.

1. Vinyl Sheet

Sheet vinyl averages between $0.50 and $2 per square foot, making it a great affordable option. Sheet vinyl is a popular flooring choice among homeowners because it is comfortable, durable and economical. Plus, it’s available in a wide variety of colors and patterns to suit almost any style desire or need.

That said, the quality of sheet vinyl can vary from brand to brand, and even within the same brand. If you’re looking to save money, sheet vinyl is a particularly good option because it’s usually easy enough for most homeowners to install on their own, so the cost of installation can be avoided. ‘installation. However, it can be tricky to remove, so if you get to this point in the process, it’s recommended that you seek professional help.

2. Linoleum

The typical price for linoleum flooring usually ranges between $2 and $3 per square foot, making it slightly more expensive than sheet vinyl. It is often confused with vinyl, as they are visually very similar. This type of flooring is a good option because it is low maintenance, durable and environmentally friendly. It should be noted that it is water resistant but not waterproof, and if completely submerged in water damage will likely occur.

Linoleum installed in rooms with high sun exposure can turn amber, which is when the surface begins to yellow, however, this can be avoided with proper maintenance such as waxing every two to three years (if the floor is not already coated at the factory). It’s possible to install linoleum flooring yourself, but if you’re working with an uneven subfloor, you may want to hire a professional.

3. Laminate

Laminate floors usually cost between $1 and $6 per square foot. It’s a great choice for those looking for a flooring option that looks like hardwood floors, but can be installed at a much cheaper price. It is easy to clean and maintain and is quite durable. That said, laminate cannot be refinished or resealed, so if damage occurs, it usually needs to be replaced.

If it is not properly sealed and water or moisture seeps through the cracks, it can easily be damaged and deformed. Laminate is a good option if you’re looking to save money on installation, as it’s fairly easy to install without a professional. However, it sometimes has a reputation for having a false appearance and being hard underfoot, so if comfort is a top priority for you, laminate might not be the best choice.

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4. Carpet

Depending on the quality and material of the rug you are looking to buy, prices can range from $2 to $7 per square foot. Carpet is an extremely soft and comfortable flooring option, so it offers a level of safety that makes it a particularly attractive option for households with children.

Rugs can be found in a wide variety of colors, styles, and materials, so chances are you can find something to suit your style. Because carpet installation is a project that is done without a professional and can easily go wrong, DIY is not recommended.

Also, since it is not an easy-to-wipe surface, cleaning and maintaining carpets is slightly more complicated and expensive than hard flooring. Additionally, hard surface flooring options are increasing in style and trends, so carpeting can actually decrease the resale value of your home.

5. Polished concrete

Prices for polished concrete floors range from $2 to $8 per square foot, making it a relatively inexpensive flooring option. Since concrete must be mixed and prepared to a specific degree before it can be properly installed, it is usually best to leave the installation to a concrete professional. Any mishaps that occur during the casting stage will impact the final product and are difficult, if not impossible, to correct.

That said, once the floor is laid and polished, cleaning and maintaining polished concrete floors is extremely easy and inexpensive. Additionally, if properly maintained, polished concrete floors are extremely durable and can easily last a lifetime.

However, as a flooring option, concrete can be particularly cold, hard and uncomfortable. Although the density is an advantage in terms of durability, since it is a material that is not easily damaged, it is a disadvantage in terms of safety, since falling on it can be extremely dangerous.


Installing new flooring doesn’t have to be expensive, if you know where to find the right materials and what material you want to use for your floors. If in doubt, consult a flooring installation company, who can help you find the lowest prices and install the flooring for you.

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