Home Improvement

Flooring Installation on a Budget: Tips and Tricks for Cost-Effective Solutions


Flooring installation is costly, but there are ways to reduce costs.

Carpets can be inexpensive if you choose wall-to-wall tiles rather than a full roll of linoleum or vinyl.

If you opt for wood floors, consider less-expensive pine instead of ritzy mahogany. You can also save money by choosing a synthetic material that mimics the look of natural wood but costs significantly less.

Look for Sales

If you’re planning to redo the flooring in any room of your home, work with a professional and choose one style that will be consistent throughout the entire space. This is important, as research shows home buyers are often willing to pay more for homes with consistent flooring.

Look for home improvement, flooring, and carpet store sales to find the best deals. Be sure to shop early and check back often, as inventory can move fast and prices fluctuate.

You can also get a great deal on flooring by checking with reuse centers, such as Habitat for Humanity ReStores, that sell tile, wood, and sheet vinyl that would otherwise be thrown out or donated. Many of these places offer cheap plank vinyl that rivals the look of pricier options, and installation is simple even for DIYers. Linoleum is another inexpensive option that lasts long and comes in sheets or snap-together tiles.

Do Some of the Work

Installing flooring yourself may save money on labor costs, but some types of flooring require specific skills and equipment. For example, installing wall-to-wall carpet requires a stretcher, seam roller, knee kicker, and other specialty tools. Buying these tools is expensive, but renting them for the project can be less costly.

Laminate flooring has an intermediate difficulty level, but it’s a reasonable DIY option if you’re comfortable using power tools. Installing ceramic tile, however, requires experience preparing the surface and grouting correctly. Likewise, nail-down hardwood requires skill to avoid splitting the wood and blending plank lengths for a balanced look.

Hardwood floors are the crown jewel of many homeowners’ dream homes, but the high cost of professional installation can keep them off the remodeling wish list. Following these tips, you can get the hardwood floors you want without selling your kidney. Start the project with a plan: Purchase about 10% more wood than your room’s square footage to account for discarded boards and possible imperfections.

Look for Less Expensive Materials

Using budget-friendly flooring materials is a great way to save money on your renovation. For example, you can get the look of hardwood with engineered wood floors instead of solid wood; concrete can be stained and polished to create a beautiful surface that’s long-lasting and affordable; or carpet tiles are easy to install without a pro and are comfortable underfoot.

If you will use an affordable material, you should also consider how it may affect your resale value. A cheap flooring material in a high-traffic area can quickly show a lot of wear and tear, which could be better for your home’s resale value.

Another thing to remember is how hard or easy it will be to install the flooring yourself. Sheet vinyl or roll carpets are typically not recommended for inexperienced DIYers. On the other hand, vinyl planks and laminate are much easier to handle because they come in small sizes and lock or snap together for quick installation.

Shop Around

Flooring might keep a low profile, but it can significantly impact your home’s aesthetic. Whether you’re on a tight budget or want to add more style and personality to your home, plenty of cost-effective flooring options can help.

A quick online search shows that most flooring companies offer product sales and discounts. It would help if you also shopped around for the best prices before purchasing anything. Look for local and national home improvement, flooring installation, and carpet stores to find out what their products are selling for.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative to hardwood floors, consider gray oak laminate planks from TrafficMaster. They’re stylish, durable, and easy to clean. Another budget-friendly option is vinyl with a peel-and-stick backing, eliminating the need for grout and installation tools. Prices start at less than $1 per square foot. You can also find affordable ceramic tile options that mimic the appearance of stone or wood for less than $2 per square foot.

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