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Upgrade your home on a budget by choosing cheap flooring that only looks expensive. Whether you're shopping for the flooring to complete your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or basement, you'll find that the latest innovations in materials give you more looks to choose from while keeping your budget in check.
Cheap flooring options include popular materials like laminate, vinyl plank, ceramic tiles, carpeting, engineered bamboo, and more. Luxury vinyl tile, or LVT, is an especially durable option--don't let the word 'luxury' fool you, since plenty of affordable varieties of LVT are available.
The biggest factors to consider when shopping for affordable floor materials is the price per square foot, water-resistance for wet areas like kitchens or bathrooms, and whether or not you're looking for the plush feel of carpeting or the cool feel of ceramic underfoot.
Ahead, the best cheap flooring options.
Best Overall: LifeProof Greystone Oak 12 mm Laminate Flooring
One of the top picks in cheap flooring is laminate. Choosing a laminate floor for your home offers savings, style, and easy installation. Many varieties replicate the look of wood grain, though it’s unlikely to fool anyone into thinking it’s the real deal. However, it offers simple maintenance and is a good choice as cheap flooring for many areas of the home, including living rooms, bedrooms, dining areas, and more.
LIFEPROOF laminate flooring is exclusive to Home Depot and offers great value. The Greystone Oak series, for instance, hovers around $2 per square foot and carries a limited lifetime warranty. This click-lock flooring can be installed over concrete or wooden subfloors, with no underlayment required. Each plank is 12 mm thick for a sturdy feel underfoot.
The biggest weakness of laminate flooring is its susceptibility to water damage, due to the fiberboard core at the center of each plank. However, LIFEPROOF floors offer enhanced water resistance and can withstand moisture from spills if removed within 24 hours.
Best for Kitchen: Armstrong American Home Hickory Luxury Vinyl Plank
Luxury vinyl plank flooring may sound expensive but a budget variety like Armstrong’s American Home series can give your kitchen an upscale look at less than $1.50 a square foot. Available in a variety of hickory shades, this wood-look vinyl plank flooring is both stylish and affordable. You will have to settle for glue-down installation since click-lock vinyl plank flooring jumps up the price. However, this version from Armstrong offers a thicker board (0.080 inches) and hefty 12mil wear layer when stacked up against the competition for other cheap luxury vinyl plank floors.
The big claim to fame for LVP flooring is that it is waterproof—the boards won’t swell or buckle when exposed to moisture from routine activities like washing dishes or cooking. And while some other cheap flooring materials, like ceramic, are also waterproof, you’ll appreciate that a dish dropped on LVP is less likely to shatter when it hits the floor.
Best for Bathrooms: TrafficMaster Manvel Ash 12 in. x 12 in. Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile
For bathrooms on a budget, consider a low-cost ceramic tile. It is both waterproof and stain-resistant, relieving worries about your floor swelling or buckling from shower puddles or sink splashes. The TrafficMaster Manvel is a classic 12 x 12-inch tile that costs well under $1 per square foot and can be used for bathroom floors, but also as a wall tile.
This stone-look ceramic tile has a glazed matte finish for easy care and maintenance. It features a Class 3 abrasion resistance rating, which means it can stand up to areas of medium to heavy foot traffic. When choosing ceramic tile as a cheap flooring material for the bathroom, keep in mind that you will also need to factor in the grout, backer board, and thinset. Even still, the budget price of this tile makes it an obvious choice for wet rooms where you want a durable, easy-to-clean flooring option.
Best Peel and Stick: FloorPops FP2914 Medina Peel & Stick Floor Tile
Give your floor a fresh look with the fast and easy help of peel-and-stick tiles. Made of vinyl with a strong adhesive backing, this cheap flooring material requires no grout or special tools for installation. It’s a great option for a DIY flooring upgrade on a budget.
FloorPops is a leading manufacturer of peel and stick tiles and offers a variety of stylish patterns and prints to choose from. The Medina tile comes in a pack of 10 tiles; each one measures 12 x 12 inches but can be cut and trimmed to fit your space. The tiles are water-resistant and washable and frequently used in bathrooms, kitchens, or entryways.
Take note that you can lay these peel and stick tiles over just about any existing flooring surface—but they’re not easily removed. Once laid, the adhesive forms a strong bond to the surface underneath. Many times this cheap flooring option is used as a short-term solution until a full-scale remodel is possible.
Best Carpet: Mohawk Fast Pitch Textured Carpet
If you’re searching for affordable carpeting, consider this textured carpet from Mohawk. Clocking in well below $1.00 per square foot, the Fast Pitch series features a 0.5-inch pile height and easy-care polyester fibers. Carpets made from polyester offer excellent color retention and are not prone to fading. In addition, they are non-allergenic.
This Mohawk carpet is treated to offer lifetime stain and soil resistance and it also carries a 10-year abrasive wear warranty. While it’s not the plushest carpet and polyester fibers that can be prone to flattening, it makes a great pick for budget remodels or quick replacement of worn, dirty, or damaged carpeting.
Best Bamboo: Home Decorators Collection Strand Woven Engineered Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo has become an increasingly popular option as a cheap flooring option, thanks to its durability, sustainability, and affordability when compared to traditional hardwood floors. Since bamboo is basically a fast-growing grass, making it into a wear-resistant flooring material requires a considerable transformation. However, the end result is a durable and strong floor that can be made to imitate the look of many types of hardwood floors, including oak, walnut, maple, and more.
This engineered bamboo flooring from the Home Decorators Collection is strand woven bamboo with an impressive Janka hardness rating of 4,000, meaning it offers superior resistance to dents. To put that rating in perspective, a bestselling option for oak hardwood flooring has a Janka rating of just 1,290. Aside from being strong, this option for cheap flooring is also easy to install, thanks to a simple click-lock installation design.
Best for Durability: MSI White Ocean 12 in. x 24 in. Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Tile Flooring
Vinyl flooring is often considered one of the more durable options for floors, since it's generally waterproof and not easily scratched or scuffed. This is a good thing since you can’t ‘refinish’ a vinyl floor in the same way that you could hardwood flooring. However, opting for vinyl tiles gives you the option to replace a tile, in the event that it does sustain any surface damage.
Vinyl tile flooring, like this 12 x 24-inch Rigid Core Luxury Vinyl Tile from MSI, gives you an upscale look that is easy to clean and maintain. It’s ideal for high traffic areas and makes a good pick for homes with kids or pets. You can use it in any room of the home, including areas prone to moisture like bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry areas. This durable yet cheap flooring material comes in a variety of looks and patterns, making it easy to find a style and color to fit your décor.
Go for an easy-care and stylish laminate floor like LIFEPROOF's Greystone Oak series (view at Home Depot). Unlike early generations of laminate floors, LIFEPROOF has improved water-resistance for up to 24 hours with this wood-look flooring option. It also boasts 12 mm thick planks that have a more solid feel in comparison to thinner cheap laminate floors. For an easy-to-install option, consider FloorPops Vinyl Peel and Stick Tiles (view at Amazon). These cheap vinyl tiles adhere easily to any existing floor materials but provide a classy upgrade, especially in areas like entryways, bathrooms, or kitchens.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Erica Puisis researched and wrote this roundup. As a professional writer with experience in home improvement and interior design, she has written more than 200 articles for The Spruce since 2017.