What is the cheapest flooring to install? We have 7.

Are you looking for low-cost flooring ideas for your kitchen? Or perhaps you want something inexpensive but still stylish to lay down in your garage? You’ve come to the right place! We believe you don’t need to splash big to make your home beautiful. Thanks to the technological upgrades over the past years, homeowners like you can now enjoy affordable flooring options.


In this article, we have covered them for you! We have compiled commonly used low-cost flooring ideas, including their average prices, how long they last, and how labour-intensive they are to install.



1. Vinyl

Vinyl floorings are available in sheets, tiles and planks. They are mostly made with Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), which makes them durable and water-resistant. Plus, you don’t have to worry about where they can fit in your home — you can install them anywhere! One of the amazing things about vinyl flooring is that you won’t have to worry about maintaining it because it’s easy! Vinyl requires little maintenance. Just a little vacuuming and the occasional mopping should do.

As for how much they cost, vinyl is one of the least expensive flooring ideas in the market; and if you install them properly, you can get as long as 25 years out of them!


2. Sheet vinyl

This flooring has enjoyed plenty of upgrades over the past years. From its design to texture to quality, the sheet vinyl is the ultimate contender in low-cost flooring ideas for your home. Sheet vinyl floorings come in 6 and 12 inches widths, making them heavy to lift and hard to handle. As a result, installing them yourself can be tricky, which is why you need to leave it to the professionals to get it done.

Sheet vinyl is inexpensive. The average price per square foot is $1.25 (excluding installation). But should you choose to go for luxury brands, they can cost as much as $5 per square foot.


3. Laminate

If you want the closest thing to hardwood or stone floors, your best bet is laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is made up of composite materials that are designed to look like real hardwood, thanks to a photographic image that’s embossed on its surface. Unlike sheet vinyl, laminate is lightweight. They are cheap, too. But they are not as durable as vinyl floorings. Their weakest factors are heat and water. If the laminate is exposed to any of these elements, it will damage quickly. For this reason, don’t install laminate in areas of your home that are regularly exposed to water such as your kitchen, basement and bathroom.

Laminate flooring is often installed as a floating floor, meaning the pieces click and lock together rather than being glued to your main floor. And it’s often time-consuming preparing the area where you want to install it. But once you have that out of the way, installing laminate is pretty snappy.

The average cost of laminate flooring is $2.50 per square foot (without installation). But the price may jump depending on the materials used and the manufacturer. If well maintained, laminate flooring can last up to 10 years.


4. Cork

If you need soft flooring, cork is an excellent option. This flooring material is inexpensive and easier to install than hardwood floors. Cork flooring is obtained from the cork oak tree, which is used to make floor tiles, planks and sheets. With as low as $2 you can buy a square foot of this unique material. But the price depends on the thickness, quality and finish.

Cork will last as long as it doesn’t get too many scratches and dents as this could damage its soft surface. Another downside of buying this flooring material is that it doesn’t do well in wet areas like bathrooms or any area with high humidity. This will cause it to crack and break.


5. Carpet

It may seem old-fashioned to have one, but new technologies have improved the way carpets look and feel. Plus, the choices are vast, thanks to a wide range of available materials. Whether it’s wall-to-wall or peel-and-stick, whatever you choose, carpets are very affordable and can last as long as 10 years or more if you clean them regularly.

Although carpets are good for your feet as they are soft and great at dampening sound, they wear and tear faster than other floorings. Also, you can’t put them in wet zones like bathrooms because when they get wet mould starts growing on them. Not only will this ruin the carpet but also harm your health.

As for their prices, wall-to-wall carpeting is cheap. You will per square foot for as low as $1. But the real hard work is installing this material. It is cumbersome, particularly if you’re going to do it alone — which we don’t advise. Installing wall-to-wall carpeting requires more than just two hands. You’ll need extra hands to do it perfectly to avoid wrinkles, bumps and weak seams that often appear due to the shoddy layout.

But to avoid regretting buying one, we advise that you hire professionals to do it for you. Peel-and-stick carpet doesn’t give that much headache, however. They are easy to install just like vinyl tiles. Note, when installing these carpet tiles, make sure your floor is clean. Peel-and-stick carpets have an adhesive backing so that all you need to do is just peel their sticker off before attaching them to the floor. If some of them don’t fit into the space you want to put them, you can trim them down with a box cutter. For less than a dollar, you can get per square foot of the material in retail stores.


6. Tiles

This is the most common flooring material you will likely find in many homes, particularly in developing countries. Whether it’s porcelain or ceramic, tiles can be installed anywhere in the home. Some are specially designed for wet zones like your bathrooms while others are better suited for the kitchen. Tiles come in different sizes, designs, and materials. Plus, they are very affordable. For less than $1, you can per square foot of ceramic tile.

When buying tiles for your home, check that it has a rating of at least 3 on the Porcelain Enamel Scale (PEI). Ratings less than three are considered too thin and brittle to sustain floor traffic. As for installation, it can get pretty messy if you don’t know how to do it. There’s plenty of cutting involved. So, if you’re uncomfortable handling a wet saw or a cutter, we advise you to call a professional to install the tiles for you.

If you’re getting porcelain and not ceramic, they are best suited for wet areas like your kitchen and bathroom. This is because, unlike ceramic, porcelain is designed to repel water better hence why they weigh more. But they are not cheap. You’ll pay more than a dollar per square foot. However, they wear better than ceramic tiles which makes them a great choice!


7. Revamp your floor

If any of the flooring ideas we have suggested is way out of your budget or feels like a huge debt trap, don’t worry, you can still make your floor look great. A simple revamping will do the trick! If you have a wood floor, apply a little paint or varnish to make it shine again. If it’s concrete, applying a specialised paint or sealant can give it that refreshing, new look that you’ve always dreamt of.

Bottom line

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to make your home and floor look good. With these seven flooring ideas we’ve compiled for you, you can change the look and feel of your home and the best part is…they’re all affordable!