Gorgeous But Cheap Flooring Ideas

January 18, 2022

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Need to update your outdated floor on a tight budget? These cheap flooring ideas are budget-friendly, but high on style. Check out these affordable ways to update old tile, wood, vinyl and linoleum floors. 

Y’all, we all know what one of the most expensive things to makeover in your home is your floors. Many of us have been left wondering if there is even such a thing as cheap (as in inexpensive, not as in unattractive, lol) flooring ideas. Hardwood, tile, laminate hardwood…there are lots of choices, and most require a professional installer and come with a seriously hefty price tag.

Since we moved into our current home last year, we’ve had to make some decisions about how to update some of the floors in this home so I did lots of research. I was blown away by how many truly affordable flooring ideas there are out there. There are so many awesome ways to update floors without blowing the budget. Don’t let your floors hold you back from giving your room a complete makeover. Check out the AMAZING ideas below and get inspired! 

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Affordable Flooring Ideas for Updating Your Existing Floors

Ideas for Updating Old Tile

Our current home was FULL of brown, outdated tile flooring when we moved in. We knew we didn’t want to have rip all of it out and replace it (at least not anytime soon). So I researched ways to update tile floors and was SO EXCITED to learn about tile stickers! They are made from vinyl and are completely waterproof. 

Tile stickers have allowed us to totally update our outdated tile floors without any sort of demo or hard work. And they were far more affordable than entirely new flooring! They are quick and easy to install and are completely painless compared to re-tiling. They work beautifully on ceramic tile, porcelain tiles and any other tiles that don’t have textures. I would not recommend using tile stickers on travertine, slate or other natural stone tiles. Tile stickers really need a smooth surface to adhere properly.

And I have learned that they aren’t ideally suited for high-traffic areas like kitchens or mudrooms/utility rooms. But I HIGHLY recommend them for secondary bathrooms and lower traffic areas. Just remember to order your tile stickers 1/8″ smaller than your tiles to prevent the edges and corners from peeling up.

We’ve used tile stickers in Avery’s bathroom makeover. Here are the tile stickers we used in Avery’s bathroom.

updated bathroom tile floor

And we also used tile stickers to update the tile floor in Attley’s bathroom! Here are the tile stickers we used in Attley’s bathroom.

girls' pink bathroom

Below are some of other beautiful tile stickers that I’ve seen.

Click on any image for full product details.

I’m not the only one who has used tile stickers. My friend Laura used them in her bathroom, as you can see below!

Vinyl Floor Stickers Over Old Tile by TheTurquoise Home

tile stickers on tile in bathroom

You can also install sheet vinyl over tile like my friend Lauren of Bless’er House did (see the photo below).

luxury sheet vinyl that looks like marble tile in bathroom

Sheet Vinyl Floors Over Tile by Bless’er House

And of course painting tile is always an option as well!

Painted Tile by Remington Avenue

painted tile floors

Faux Cement Tile Painted Floors by Bright Green Door

faux cement tile floor

Options for Updating Damaged Wood Floors

Paint your hardwoods

If your hardwood floors are damaged (or you just don’t like them) but replacing or refinishing them is not in your budget, you still have some awesome options! Whether you like colorful decor or prefer neutrals, you should definitely consider painting your hardwoods. I have done it myself and can tell you that as long as you use porch and floor paint and prep your floors correctly, you do NOT need to worry about the paint peeling or chipping! And NO–you really, truly don’t need a top coat on them. This is the kind of paint you MUST use for durable painted hardwood floors. Paint is an excellent way to hide stains and even out imperfections in worn out wood floors! And painted wood floors can look beautiful no matter your style.

Liz Marie painted the hardwoods in her farmhouse the perfect creamy white/cream color. Aren’t they stunning with the rest of her neutral decor?

painted hardwood floors

If you prefer a pop of color, then you will love these painted green floors by White Dog Vintage. They add so much depth and character to the space.

affordable floor idea painted green floors

And I love how Teri Moore of T. Moore Home painted her historic hardwoods white in an otherwise colorful space!

white painted hardwood floors in colorful room

In our old home, the bamboo hardwood floors in our kitchen were SO damaged. We knew we would replace them eventually, but we painted and stenciled them to make them more our style in the meantime. We wound up keeping them this way for over 6 years and they never peeled or chipped on us!

painted and stenciled hardwood floors in kitchen

Revive your hardwoods

If you are not at all interested in the idea of painting your hardwood floors, you may be able to revive them with one of the following options:

  • If your hardwoods are still thick enough, you can sand them down, re-stain and seal them. I personally would not recommend this as a DIY project. We have paid to have floors refinished in 2 of our former homes. It’s expensive and messy (even with the “dustless” systems–you’ve been warned). But the results can be beautiful!
  • Another option is to have your floors “screened.” With floor screening, the top layer of polyurethane is lightly sanded off and a fresh layer is applied. This works well if you have a lot of surface scratches, but no significant damage. It also doesn’t help if you want to change the color of your stain.
  • Last but not least, you can apply a product like Rejuvenate which fills in light scratches, protects your floor and adds shine. This is something we will be trying in our current home soon!

Install a floating floor over your hardwoods

If you don’t like the idea of painting or reviving your hardwoods, all hope is not lost! You can install a floating floor right over them! The term “floating floor” does not refer to a type of flooring material. Instead it refers to the method of installation that can be used with a variety of materials, including laminates, engineered hardwood, and luxury vinyl flooring. With a floating floor, individual planks or tiles interlock edge-to-edge to form a single surface that rests on the underlayment. It is MUCH quicker and easier than glue-down or nail-down methods and can look absolutely gorgeous. We are in the process of installing a floating floor in our laundry room right now and it’s looking beautiful!

Downright Cheap Flooring Ideas to Update Other Types of Flooring

By cheap I mean the most affordable options! And none of these ideas skimp on style. I love every single one of them! In fact, some of the least expensive flooring ideas are my favorite!

Wallpapered Floor by Grillo Designs-Medina updated the scratched laminate flooring in the entryway of her rental with wallpaper. How cool is that?!

wallpaper on floor affordable solution

This geometric stenciled floor by Sarah Sherman Samuel for A Beautiful Mess was done over an old tile floor, but you could also do this on pretty much any flooring surface, including old parquet floors!

geometric stenciled floor

We painted the super outdated vinyl floor in our old laundry room using this porch and floor paint. Simple stripes gave it a fresh new look that we loved!

painted vinyl floors

Those painted stripes stayed just like that for over 6 years. But when it came time to get our old house ready to put on the market, we put peel & stick luxury vinyl tiles right over the top of the painted vinyl floors. The installation only took about an hour and it looked beautiful!

marble luxury vinyl flooring

If you really want the look of hardwood floors without the huge price tag, consider this stained plywood subfloor by Ana-White!

stained plywood floors

Or you could create your own plywood plank floors like Christina at Remodelando la Casa (below) or the white wide-plank plywood floors from Little Green Notebook (second photo below).

plywood plank floors
painted plywood wide plank floors

And if you are feeling SUPER adventurous and are patient, then you could install theseDIY geometric wood flooring like Mandi at Vintage Revivals. I love, love, love these floors so much. Someday I will install them somewhere!

geometric inlay wood floors

And if you have concrete floors that you don’t love, consider these GORGEOUS stenciled concrete floors by The Crowned Goat.

painted faux cement tile floor

Now let’s look at some of the most original flooring ideas I’ve ever seen. Check out his incredible scrabble tile floor by Katie Lo of Mullo Designs. I mean… it’s so cool. I’ve never seen anything like it!

scrabble tile floor

And these gorgeous green art paper floors by Lazy Cozy are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. So creative!

art paper floor

I am so impressed with all of these cheap flooring ideas! They are so pretty and don’t blow your makeover budget out of the water. Which is your favorite? I am seriously in love with those green-painted floors! Also, the scrabble tile floor is insanely clever and fun. I love seeing how creative people can be with their budgeting dollars!

Budget-Friendly Flooring Ideas for Replacing Your Floors

Sometimes you want to start off with a completely new slate without spending a fortune. Been there! When we moved into our old house, all of our floors needed a complete overhaul. I have ALWAYS loved hardwood, but it was completely out of our price range. So here’s what we did to buy brand new flooring without spending a fortune.

Install Laminate Flooring

We wound up installing high-quality laminate floors throughout the main rooms of our entire home, and we couldn’t have been happier. Read about that here in our downstairs and upstairs. Laminate flooring was far less expensive than hardwoods AND the installation of it was a perfect DIY job. You can even do it one room at a time or in phases like we did. And you can see how beautiful it was in our old house. I actually really miss it! It’s water-resistant and darn near impossible to scratch or damage, which makes it a great option if you have pets.

Install Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring has become very popular recently and for good reason. It’s easy to install, affordable and can look really, really beautiful! It comes in tons of different designs, including some that look like stone tile and those that look like hardwood floors.

We just installed this luxury vinyl tile it in our own laundry room a few days ago and floated it directly over our old tile floor. I wrote a whole post about exactly how to install a floating floor here. Get this… It’s 100% waterproof. Perfect for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms!

luxury vinyl tile that looks like marble

And I love how it looks in this kitchen by Chris Loves Julia.

luxury vinyl tiles that look like marble in kitchen

Install Carpet

Carpet is something else to consider. In fact, a lot of people prefer carpet in bedrooms. We had carpet installed in the secondary bedrooms in our old house and in our current house! We’ve chosen the exact same carpet both times because we love it so much (this is the carpet we love). Though you can’t install carpet yourself, the cost of carpet even with installation is quite affordable if you shop around. And here’s a pro tip… don’t splurge on an expensive carpet. It’s much better to buy a lower price carpet and spend more to upgrade the carpet pad. That’s what we have done both times!

I hope these flooring ideas have given you some ideas for updating the flooring in your own home. Sometimes all you need is a little info and inspiration!

Here are some other posts you may enjoy:

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  1. Jill Catrinel says:

    What’s amazing is many of these look even nicer than expensive flooring. The bold patterns and stripes get me every time. This post has me day dreaming of home ownership so I can paint the floors!

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