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Are you tired of your dull and outdated floors but don’t want to break the bank on expensive renovation or new floors? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we’ll dive into the world of budget-friendly flooring ideas that you can easily tackle yourself. We’ll explore a variety of cost-effective options that will not only spruce up your home decor but also leave your wallet smiling.

cheap flooring ideas for your home

Updating the floors in your home doesn’t have to mean a massively expensive and time-consuming undertaking. There’s so many options available that are both budget-friendly and DIY friendly. Whether you’re looking for small bathroom flooring ideas or just cost efficient, I’ve got you covered!

While we were lucky enough to be able to sand and stain our hardwoods before we move into our house, the kitchen floor, bathrooms and laundry rooms had ugly linoleum and tile flooring that desperately needed to be updated. Two of the spaces had luxury vinyl tile installed, the kids bathroom got a complete remodel including new tile and the laundry room got a fresh look with vinyl floor stickers (they’re not a long term solution but look awesome!)

Budget-friendly Flooring Ideas

With so many great products available both online and at local home improvement stores, there’s definitely a product that will work for your skill level, time and budget constraints. Here are some of my favorite affordable flooring DIYs and ideas.

Painted Floors

Let’s start with a fun and creative option—painted floors! Not only is this a great choice if you have a tight budget, but it also allows you to unleash your artistic side.

Painting floors is a fantastic option for improving the look of your space without the need for expensive replacements. One of the great advantages of painting floors is that it works well on various types of surfaces, including wood, concrete, plywood, or even vinyl. Whether you have worn-out hardwood floors, outdated tile, or drab concrete, a fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into your floors.

When it comes to choosing the right paint for your floors, it’s essential to opt for a paint specifically designed for high-traffic areas. Look for floor paints that are durable, stain-resistant, and offer good adhesion. Epoxy-based paints or porch and floor paints are excellent choices as they are formulated to withstand heavy use and provide long-lasting results. Additionally, they are available in a wide range of colors, allowing you to customize the look of your floors to match your desired aesthetic.

When painting floors it’s important to ensure proper preparation and maintenance for durability. Thoroughly clean and sand the surface before painting to create a smooth and well-adhered foundation. Applying a primer can also enhance the paint’s resilience and adhesion. Once the paint is dry, adding a protective topcoat, such as polyurethane or clear sealant, will protect the painted surface from scratches and everyday wear and tear.

Keep in mind that painted floors may require periodic touch-ups or re-coating over time, especially in high-traffic areas. However, with proper preparation, quality paint, and regular maintenance, painted floors can offer an affordable and stylish solution that withstands the test of time while giving your space a fresh and vibrant look.

Old hardwood floors painted white with white walls, too
Opaque Painted Hardwood Flooring via Liz Marie Blog

Painted Linoleum

This is a quick way to spruce up a floor on the cheap. It probably works best on a floor that’s not super high trafficked, like this laundry room floor.

painting linoleum is a cheap way to upgrade your floor
Painted Laundry Room Floor via Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body

Painted Plywood Floor

If you’ve recently removed carpet and now all that’s left is the plywood subfloor – paint it! This is a great way to live with what you have until you decide (or can afford) to do what you really want. Although, Carrie’s painted plywood floor is so beautiful, you may be tempted to keep it forever!

Black painted plywood subfloor
Painted Plywood Floor via Lovely Etc.

Stenciled Floors

Whether its wood, concrete, tile, or really any flooring, a quick and easy fix is adding a stencil design. Stencils offer a wide range of patters and it’s a cheap option to improve the look of your flooring. If a solid floor is a little boring for you but it’s in good condition, consider this fix. You can stencil directly over the floor or add a base layer of paint paint like the first picture below.

A stenciled floor can transform any space, plus it’s an easy DIY! With a little creativity and some paint, you can achieve intricate patterns or even mimic the look of expensive tiles and hardwood. Seal it properly, and you’ll have an impressive floor that’s sure to impress.

Yellow and white stenciled hardwood floors
Stenciled Hardwood Floor via Paisley Wallpaper
Stenciled tile floor in entryway
Painted Faux Cement Tile Floors via Bright Green Door

Concrete Overlay Floor

If an industrial vibe sounds like your jam, then you might love these concrete floors. Poured straight over the subfloor, then can even be polished to give a more finished look.

Concrete overlay over existing subfloor for a cheap flooring solution
DIY Concrete Floor via DesignMom

Acid Stained Concrete Floors

Another option for basement or garage floors is to acid stain the concrete. You can go with any color your heart desires, even turquoise like this room. This is a popular technique for outdoor concrete slabs but why not do it indoors, too!

Acid stained concrete floor indoors
Affordable DIY Stained Concrete Floor via SemiGloss Design

Vinyl Floor Stickers

Vinyl floor stickers, also known as floor decals, are adhesive vinyl sheets designed to be applied directly onto existing floors to create a new look or add a decorative touch. These stickers often come in various patterns, designs, and sizes, making them a versatile and customizable option for updating floors.

They are typically made from durable, waterproof, and easy-to-clean materials, ensuring longevity and practicality. They adhere easily over existing ceramic tile, porcelain tile, sheet vinyl, or linoleum floors.

Vinyl floor stickers are best used in areas where you want to make a statement or add visual interest, such as entryways, kitchens, bathrooms, or playrooms. They can transform plain or outdated floors into eye-catching focal points, mimicking the appearance of expensive tiles, intricate patterns, or even natural textures like wood or stone. Vinyl floor stickers offer a temporary solution for updating floors without the commitment or cost of permanent renovations, making them particularly popular among renters or those who frequently change their decor.

With their affordability, ease of installation, and wide range of designs, vinyl floor stickers have gained popularity as a creative and accessible way to update floors. They provide an opportunity to experiment with different styles and aesthetics, allowing you to personalize your space. Vinyl floor stickers offer a cost-effective and trendy solution for giving your floors a fresh and unique look, making them a favored choice for DIY enthusiasts and those looking for a temporary flooring makeover.

I’ve actually just ordered a sample of these and I cannot wait to see them in real life. Lauren used them in her laundry room and reports that a year later they are still holding up amazingly well.

laundry room with vinyl patterned floors
Laundry room vinyl floor stickers via Bless’er House

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVT Plank Flooring)

I LOVE Luxury Vinyl Planks. This is the only idea that I’m featuring here that I’ve actually tried myself and I’m 100% a convert. Last year, we installed it in our master bathroom and it has held up so well. Because it floats, you can install right over the existing flooring (tile in my case) without having to do any hard renovations. It just clicks together!

Bathroom with waterproof vinyl plank floors
How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring via Jenna Kate at Home

It’s a much more durable option than Laminate flooring, and has a much easier installation process, too. It’s easy to achieve the look of wood, but without the cost and maintenance. Plus, it feels nicer underfoot! Your local home improvement store will sell LVP, but it’s best to go to a specialty flooring store for the best quality product, as not all LVP is created equal!

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT Tile)

Similar to LVT plank flooring is Luxury Vinyl Tiles. It comes in all shapes and patterns but I’m particularly in love with the marble looking one. LVT tile and planks are rated for kitchens and bathrooms, making them both a beautiful and affordable choice for your floor.

Kitchen with marble look luxury vinyl tile flooring
Luxury Vinyl Tile Floor via Chris Loves Julia

Modern Sheet Vinyl and Linoleum

Linoleum and vinyl flooring have become increasingly popular as an affordable and versatile option for updating floors. Unlike its outdated reputation, modern linoleum offers a wide range of styles, patterns, and colors, making it a fantastic choice for those on a budget. Its affordability is one of its key advantages, allowing homeowners to achieve a fresh and stylish look without breaking the bank.

In addition to being cost-effective, linoleum flooring is also durable and easy to maintain, making it ideal for high-traffic areas in the home. It is resistant to stains, scratches, and water, making it suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, and even basements. Linoleum is available in both sheet and tile formats, providing flexibility in terms of installation and design options. With proper installation and regular care, linoleum flooring can last for many years, making it a practical and long-lasting choice for those seeking an inexpensive flooring upgrade.

Modern sheet linoleum flooring is a cheap way to update a bathroom
Hexagon Tile Effect Sheet Vinyl Floor via Decor Adventures

Sheet vinyl flooring and linoleum are both popular choices for affordable and resilient flooring, but they have some key differences. In terms of affordability, sheet vinyl flooring is generally more budget-friendly compared to linoleum. It is widely available in various styles, patterns, and colors, offering a cost-effective way to achieve the desired look for your floors. Sheet vinyl is also known for its durability and ease of maintenance, making it a practical choice for high-traffic areas.

On the other hand, linoleum is considered a more eco-friendly and sustainable option. Made from natural materials such as linseed oil, cork dust, and wood flour, linoleum is biodegradable and does not emit harmful chemicals. It often comes in sheet or tile form, and while it may have a higher upfront cost compared to sheet vinyl, it can provide long-term value due to its durability and potential for refinishing.

Ultimately, the choice between sheet vinyl flooring and linoleum depends on individual preferences, budget, and environmental considerations. Both options offer affordable and practical solutions for improving the look of floors, allowing homeowners to find the best fit for their specific needs and design goals.

Groutable Peel and Stick Vinyl Tile

For a hassle-free installation, consider peel and stick tiles. These self-adhesive wonders are easy to apply and come in various styles and patterns, mimicking the look of traditional tiles or hardwood. They are perfect for adding charm to kitchens, bathrooms, or even entryways.

Peel and stick herringbone tile floors
How To Install Peel and Stick Tile in a Herringbone Pattern by Shark Tails

Revive Old Hardwoods

Reviving old hardwood floors through sanding and re-staining is a fantastic alternative to more drastic and costly flooring options. In fact, it can often be a surprisingly affordable solution that brings out the natural beauty of the wood while rejuvenating your space.

Instead of covering up your existing hardwood floors or replacing them entirely, this process allows you to restore their original charm and character.

Sanding and re-staining old hardwood floors involves removing the existing finish, sanding down the surface to remove any imperfections, and then applying a fresh stain and protective sealant.

While this may sound like an intensive task, hiring a professional or even tackling it as a DIY project can be a cost-effective choice compared to installing new flooring altogether.

Not only does refinishing hardwood floors revive their appearance, but it also extends their lifespan and durability. By addressing scratches, scuffs, or wear and tear, you can transform tired-looking floors into stunning focal points that elevate the entire room.

Additionally, the versatility of stain colors allows you to customize the look of the floors to match your desired aesthetic, whether it’s a contemporary, rustic, or traditional style.

Freshly refinished and stained hardwood floors
Sand and stain old hardwood floors (Bona Provincial stain)

Ultimately, reviving old hardwood floors offers a budget-friendly option that enhances the value of your home while preserving the timeless beauty of natural wood. It’s a worthwhile investment that brings both aesthetic and financial benefits, making it a popular choice among homeowners looking to refresh their interiors without breaking the bank.

You have a few options here:

  • Sand down your floors, re-stain and seal them (most expensive, most labor intensive).
  • Have your floors screened. Basically the top layer of polyurethane is lightly sanded off and a new fresh layer applied. This works well if you have a lot of scratches (but not gauges).
  • Apply a product like Rejuvenate which fills in light scratches, protects your floor and adds shine.

Whitewashed Hardwoods

Whitewashed hardwoods are very trendy right now. If your wood floors are in good shape but you just want to lighten the color, a whitewashing technique like this may be perfect for you. I personally think the best part of this technique is that the grain of the wood still shows through.

Whitewashed hardwood floors are a cheap flooring solution
How to Whitewash Your Floors via That Nordic Feeling

Paper Bag Faux Hardwood Floor

I still can’t believe that these are not real hardwoods. It’s just brown paper bags stained and with a faux wood effect rolled on. It’s crazy but so clever!

paper bag faux hardwood floors
Faux Wood Plank Floors From Brown Paper Bags via Remodelaholic

Plywood Faux Plank Flooring

I’ve used plywood for my faux shiplap in my powder room but never would have considered it for a flooring. It’s a lot cheaper than traditional hardwood flooring and according to this informative post on Remodelaholic, it holds up very well. This is a feasible option for dry areas but should probably be avoided in kitchens and bathrooms.

plywood faux plank flooring with varied colors
Sand Dollar Lane’s Plywood Floors via Remodelaholic

Tile Over Old Tile

If you’re worried about having to smash out old tile and the mess it will make, you can just tile right over that old tile! In my home, all our bathrooms have tile original to house (1960). The tile is embedded in 2 inch thick of concrete and unless we smash it out, it’s not budging.

PLUS it was too risky to start smashing the floors upstairs since we may have damaged the ceiling below it.

Bathroom with gray tile floor that went right over existing tile

Instead, we tiled right over the existing tile. As long as the original tile is still firmly intact, it’s easy to do! You can purchase tile on sale for as little as $1.50 a square foot and the tile adhesive and grout isn’t too expensive, either.

With only a couple of hundred dollars investment (and watching a few YouTube tutorials) you can get a beautiful new tiled floor!

Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles are a fantastic and affordable way to improve the look of your floors while adding warmth and comfort to your space. These modular carpet squares offer a cost-effective solution for homeowners who desire the cozy feel of carpeting without the expense of wall-to-wall installation.

A living room with carpet tiles forming a grid pattern
Image via FLOR

When it comes to budget-friendly carpet tile options, there is a plethora of choices available. You can find affordable options that offer durability and stain resistance, making them suitable for high-traffic areas. From neutral tones to vibrant hues, there are carpet tiles to suit every taste and budget. Not only are they an economical choice initially, but they also provide long-term cost savings as individual tiles can be easily replaced if damaged or stained.

The installation process for carpet tiles is straightforward, making it a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts. Simply peel off the backing and stick the tiles directly onto the floor, creating a seamless and professional look. Alternatively, some carpet tiles come with interlocking mechanisms, allowing for a quick and easy snap-together installation. This versatility makes carpet tiles suitable for any room in your home. Additionally, customization options are available, allowing you to create unique patterns, mix and match colors, or experiment with different textures for a truly personalized touch.

Cork Flooring

Not only is cork flooring eco-friendly, but it’s also budget-friendly. Cork provides a soft and comfortable surface that’s ideal for playrooms, bedrooms, or home offices. Install it as floating planks or tiles, and enjoy its natural warmth and sound-absorbing properties.

A close-up view of cork flooring
Cork flooring via Pretty Handy Girl

Cork flooring is not only a unique and eco-friendly option, but it can also be an affordable DIY project to improve the look of floors in your home. Cork is derived from the bark of the cork oak tree and offers a range of benefits. It is a sustainable material, as the bark regenerates over time, making it an environmentally friendly flooring choice.

In terms of affordability, cork flooring falls within a reasonable price range, especially when compared to other types of hardwood or engineered wood floors. It is available in various styles, finishes, and colors, allowing you to find an option that suits your budget and design preferences.

As a DIY project, installing cork flooring can be straightforward. Most cork flooring comes with a click-lock or adhesive installation system, which simplifies the process. With the proper tools and preparation, you can easily install cork flooring over a smooth and clean subfloor. Keep in mind that it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for a successful installation. Additionally, cork flooring is known for its resilience and durability, making it a practical choice for areas with heavy foot traffic.

Epoxy Floor Coating

This metallic floor coating provides a rock hard finish that is perfect for garage or basement floors.

Epoxy coating on garage floor
Metallic Floor Coating via BlueiStyle

Wallpaper Floor

Now this is a crazy idea that is actually pretty awesome. I have no idea how well it holds up but it sure is unique!

green wallpaper flooring in a bathroom
Wallpaper Floor via Lazy Cozy

Penny Inlay Floor

This one is a little out of the box but the effect is quite beautiful. If you’ve got years of pennies in a jar somewhere, maybe consider this intricate but cheap flooring idea.

Penny flooring idea
Penny Floor via Our Irish Manor

Final Thoughts

So many amazing, unique and beautiful cheap flooring ideas, right? I’m excited to use the floor stickers in our laundry room and I already love the two rooms in which we put LVT planks.

Which of these flooring ideas would you use in your house and which ones are definitely a no-go? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Helen Milstead says:

    I love the idea of going over tile with tile. What do you do about your baseboards and so forth? Like by a tub?

    1. Baseboards come off and then go back on afterwards. They’ll be a smidge higher but nothing crazy.