7 Fast and Fabulous Fixes for Frightful Floors

Black and white bathroom flooring with geometric patterns

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

Let's talk about that hopeless floor in your home. For some reason, hiding it under a rug doesn't cut it. Remodeling is also off the table because you live in a rental or don’t have the budget to rip out ugly.

That's why we rounded up the inspiration you need to makeover the eyesore underfoot. Each idea shares how you can quickly and easily fake or create brand-new flooring without going broke.

Here are seven fast fixes for frightful floors.

  • 01 of 07

    Color Your Floor

    Mirth Studio Floor Tile
    Mirth Studio

    News flash, vinyl peel, and stick tiles are no longer the ugly ducklings of the flooring world.

    Thanks to a spate of printing technologies that make it possible to print patterns on vinyl that closely resemble real things like petrified wood, or handpainted ceramic, decorative peel and stick products are more stylish than ever.

    Mirth Studio based in Charleston, South Carolina, is leading the charge with their multihued line of vinyl floor decals. The colorful collection inspired by hand-painted Moroccan tile will make any no-wax floor in your home look better fast, just peel and stick. For the best results, only apply to clean and level surfaces. FYI, if you're a renter, removing them later won't damage the surface underneath.

    But are they suitable for high-traffic areas in your home? Sure thing.

    Originally designed for commercial use in retail spaces, the decals are printed on tough weather-resistant vinyl created for outdoor signs and banners. Afterward, they're protected with a laminated coating for enhanced durability.

    Residential customers have used these decals to beautify kitchen, entryway, and laundry room floors. One client even installed them on their porch, says the folks at Mirth Studio. Each decal is 12-inches by 12-inches. A pack of 16 costs $112. Orders can be fully customized, including decal resizing, for an additional charge.

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  • 02 of 07

    Fakes That Look Great

    Groutable Peel and Stick Floor Tile
    Caitlin Wilson

    If you can't afford that Carrara marble floor you've been dreaming about, fake it with luxury peel and stick vinyl tile. Despite its, ahem, fancy name, it's not sumptuously priced.

    Tiles like these replicate the look of natural materials like sandstone and granite for a whole lot less than the real thing. The kicker is, you can grout them, so you can create a fabulous, faux stone tile floor that looks remarkably realistic.

    It's what interior designer Caitlin Wilson did when she needed a cheap and good-looking fix for her ugly kitchen floor. She used peel and stick tile from the Armstrong Crescendo collection. It costs around $1 per square foot.

    You can install removable, luxury vinyl tiles on top of any hard, level no-wax surface. Floors must be clean and dust-free before applying. If you plan to remove the tiles later, don't grout. While grouting keeps water out, it will also lock the tiles to the floor you're hiding.

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  • 03 of 07

    Fake a Pinterest Worthy Floor

    vinyl floor cloth fast fix ugly floor
    Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post

    Those beautiful home photos you click through on Pinterest make your bathroom floor a bigger eyesore than you initially thought. And it's maddening.

    But don't despair. Here's a satisfying solution from longtime apartment renter, Kerra Michele. She covered her ugly bathroom floor with a vinyl floor cloth. It's a durable, non-slip material that easily wipes clean. Best of all, it's available in striking geometric designs that resemble expensive tile.

    Vinyl floor cloth is available in dozens if not hundreds of vintage-inspired patterns at Pura Vida Home Décor. Prices start at $50 for a 20-inch-by-30-inch mat, and orders can be custom sized for an additional charge.​

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  • 04 of 07

    Baby Your Feet

    Interlocking Floor Mats
    Skip Hop

    When it comes to cheap, and cheerful flooring ideas, nothing is quite as colorful and comfortable as interlocking foam floor tiles. ​​You'll find them online in a broad range of colors, patterns, and styles from faux wood to geometric patterns.

    Need to cover a cold floor? Foam tiles will warm things up. Looking to soften the sound of stomping feet? They're also ideal for damping annoying vibrations and noises.

    Foam tiles resemble giant puzzle pieces.​ Each one usually measures 2-feet by 2-feet and is a cushy 1/2-inch thick. Their simple interlocking design makes assembling them in minutes a snap.

    For your health and safety, search for options that are non-toxic, waterproof, and fire-retardant.

    The set shared here from Skip Shop was intended to create a soft surface for babies and toddlers. When assembled it measures 70-inches wide and 56-inches high.

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  • 05 of 07

    Make Them Better With Paint

    stenciled-wood floor-scandinavian-apartment

    Hardwood floors are expensive to refinish. Making them better with paint costs a lot less. This idea uses a stencil to decorate a tired wood surface.

    Floors that were stained, sealed, and coated with polyurethane work best. Before getting started lightly sand the area you wish to paint.

    You can use chalk paint to transform your floor. It has a thick and creamy consistency that beautifully adheres to wood surfaces. It's also 100 percent nontoxic and odor-free. When the paint dries, apply a water-based clear coat to protect the surface.

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  • 06 of 07

    Run Your Toes Through Something Soft

    Floor Carpet Tiles

    Walking on hard floors can be brutal for sore feet. While carpet would make tired tootsies feel better, covering floors wall to wall may not be a doable idea.

    Hypoallergenic carpet tiles by FLOR may be the solution.

    They come with removable glue dots that make installing and later removing each tile super easy. Sensitive noses will appreciate that they don't come with that annoying new carpet smell. Also, unlike hard-installed carpet, these tiles are washable, which makes keeping them clean, and allergen-free a breeze.

    Another good to know, carpet tiles are modular so you can arrange them to create a one of a kind floor.

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  • 07 of 07

    Disguise a Shower Stall Horror

    teak floor mat in shower stall

    What if the floor in your shower stall is a gross stained mess? You can disguise it with a naturally water-resistant teak floor mat like the one shown above from TeakWorks4U. Stores like Crate and Barrel, Overstock, and Bed Bath and Beyond sell them for less than $100. You can also DIY a custom fit one in roughly four hours or less.