Cheap Flooring Alternatives

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Inexpensive flooring options are becoming increasingly available.
Inexpensive flooring options are becoming increasingly available. (Image: Home slippers image by Lesiar from Fotolia.com)

Flooring often sets the tone for a room, but it can be an expensive investment for homeowners. If you're on a budget, it can be stressful trying to find just the right material at a cost you can afford. But you can find affordable eco-friendly recycled options, as well as high-end manufactured wood and other materials, to fit your budget.

Repair Existing Wood

Rather than buying new flooring, you may be able to reclaim what you already have. Many historic and some newer homes feature wood floors that have been covered with carpet or are out of date. By renting a decent sander and applying a little elbow grease, you can redo most floors and update them to your standards. Simply pull up the carpet, remove the nails and staples and sand the wood floors. You choice of stains is almost limitless, so just visit your local home improvement story and choose a color that suits your decor. Restoring original flooring maintains an original feel and provides a unique character to the floor. Embrace imperfections, and enjoy the history that they represent.

Cork

Originating on the Iberian Peninsula in the Mediterranean, cork oak provides a thick and spongy bark that, in the last century, has developed as high-end flooring. Trees that grow cork grow for centuries and are harvested every nine to 15 years, providing an eco-friendly and sustainable option. Warm and resilient to wear, cork can maintain its color and shape for extended periods of time. As flooring, it is made in more than 70 shades and styles, making it diverse and an easy decorative choice. Cork flooring recovers from dents; is slip-, mold- and fire-resistant; and maintains a comfortable temperature in extreme heat or cold. Ideal for kitchens, bathrooms and high-traffic areas, it is available in floating panels or glue-down tiles.

Marmoleum

Originally produced in England in the 1860s, marmoleum is making a comeback and remains a low-cost option for flooring. Produced from linseed oil, the material is eco-friendly and highly renewable. A very durable flooring product, Marmoleum is moisture-resistant and has anti-static properties which prevent dust collection, making it ideal for allergy sufferers. The material features antibacterial properties and, with proper maintenance, can last for many years, even in high-traffic areas. The material comes in pre-finished click-lock planks in 18 colors or conventional glue-down squares in more than 100 color options. You can order customized insets and borders, as well.

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