Top 5 Best Cheap Flooring Upgrades

Money. Pretty much everyone loves it and wouldn’t turn down more. But we often just throw it away on lattes and prime deliveries. It’s no different when it comes to home improvements – our homes are a huge investment and can become economically burdensome during most large home projects.

So it should come as no surprise that more and more homeowners are looking for value across all their projects. But while many improvements don’t offer the chance for value, there are some great ways to upgrade and save on your flooring. And by working with a professional installer - such as your full-service flooring and remodeling partners at The Good Guys – your enhancements are sure to be done right and looking tight.

Whether you’re looking to save money on your floors, you’re looking for luxury and décor upgrades on a budget, or let’s face it – you’re looking for good, cheap flooring to replace the builder-grade stuff, there are fantastic options out there for the homeowner if you know where to focus your search.

Let’s kick off our shoes, relax and look at some of the excellent new options for underfoot!

Top 5 Cheap Flooring Options Infographic

Stained Concrete

While the name conjures mental images of that spot in the garage where your dad spilled all that stuff, then tried to clean it up with all that other stuff -- permanently marring the ground forever -- stained concrete is actually a great way to add some color and class to one of the most basic and sturdy materials in your home.

If you live in a home or high-rise with concrete floors, your professional installer can add a variety of colors, texture effects, and finishes that will help increase the durability, longevity, and even the UV-resistance of the floors.

Stained concrete is an affordable option, averaging a professionally finished installed cost of $2-3 per square foot. Stained concrete floors can mimic more traditional designs or complement the sleek silhouette of modern décor – this is NOT your parent’s cheap flooring.

And as concrete is typically extremely hard, and part of the building structure of the home, there isn’t a flooring that is more durable and will withstand anything you can throw at your floors. Unless it’s like, some glowing stuff from those science experiments you’re doing, which you probably shouldn’t do, as you won’t turn into a superhero like in the movies.

Stained Concrete Flooring

Carpet

Some things stick around for a long time because they work well. When it comes to flooring, carpet is one of those things. With a variety of styles, weaves, patterns, and colors, carpet offers a timeless look and feel for the home.

Comfortable and warm, soft underfoot, carpet offers a low-cost way to soften and improve any room quickly. Styles like Berber or loop offer a great mix of appearance and durability, resisting stains and traffic equally. Carpet is traditionally very stain-resistant and easy to clean – though we would recommend blotting up serious spills as soon as they happen.

While there are upgraded or premium versions that feature more stain resistance, more natural materials, etc., the majority of the good, basic, economical carpets can be professionally installed at an average of $2-3 per square foot, and can immediately transform your room while simultaneously giving your cat and their favorite automatic vacuum something to enjoy for years.

Cheap Carpet Flooring

Luxury Vinyl Plank/Tile (LVP/LVT)

This newer offering shot to the top of the popularity charts for its combination of value, durability, ease of maintenance and stunning looks. This one is going to be a lot of folks’ favorite value flooring.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: this is not your parent’s sheet roll linoleum from your 1980’s kitchen with the avocado countertops! Vinyl plank floor is strong enough for many commercial flooring applications but has made its way into the residential flooring space. It’s nearly 100 percent water-resistant, the plank construction allows homeowners to get the look of wood or tile floor with the durability of vinyl, offering literally hundreds or more varieties and styles, and it can be installed in wet/humid areas of the home like kitchens, bathrooms or basements.

Vinyl can be installed over a number of different substrates (that’s a fancy word for the wood or concrete subfloor found in most homes), though it may require some floor leveling, preparation or glue. Your floors can be updated with Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring for as little as $3-4 per square foot. Many homeowners are looking toward more commercial-grade materials as some vinyl plank does dent due to heavy materials sitting or being dropped on it. Your professional installers from The Good Guys will help you navigate selecting the best vinyl plank for your home upgrade.

Wood Look Vinyl Plank Flooring

Laminate

This is another one that’s come a long, long way with technology and feature development. Laminate flooring has long been a way for homeowners to achieve wood floor looks on a budget, but they had to sacrifice some of the benefits of real hardwoods to achieve that lower cost.

Today’s laminates feature more high-definition top layers, providing more realistic wood looks. Some even offer a “custom hand-scraped” style on a laminate budget. Cores and construction have improved, which has helped with laminate’s Achilles’ heel: moisture and water vulnerability.

While still not truly “waterproof,” many laminate floor options are now truly and strongly water-resistant. So you don’t have to worry about your cat knocking that cup off the end table during the day while you’re at work, even though you told the kids not to leave it there in the first place!

Newer laminates can be installed in areas previously thought impossible, and professionally done for about $5-6 per square foot. The Good Guys will help you choose the look and combination of features that are right for you without breaking your bank.

Brown Wood-Look Laminate Flooring in Kitchen

WPC/SPC Vinyl Plank

Not to be confused with the aforementioned vinyl plank (remember when we were talking about that a few paragraphs above? Ah, good times), WPC and SPC vinyl plank floors are a more rigid construction of vinyl combined with either a wood/plastic composite (pieces of wood mixed with plastic) core or a stone/plastic composite (if you guessed pieces of stone mixed with plastic you guessed right!) core.

The core is the center of the flooring plank and makes up the majority of the product. It gives it strength, makes it straight rather than floppy, and can add water-resistance, such as in the case of SPC Vinyl. Combined with an outer layer of vinyl, these rigid flooring options are the top of the stack in the value flooring market.

Offering near-infinite options for color, grain (mimicking wood), veining (mimicking stone) or patterns (mimicking tile), WPC and SPC Vinyl Plank can be installed on average between $7.50 and $9.00 per square foot. So as options in this category go, this is on the “baller” end of the financial spectrum, and quite swaggy.

Working with a professional installer is the best way to go on this product. Cutting, adding trim, aligning patterns, and ensuring maximum water-resistance are jobs all best left to the pros and The Good Guys can help. Give a shout today to get a look at the great WPC and SPC Vinyl we have available to maximize your value on your project.

Gray Wood-Look Waterproof Vinyl WPC Flooring in Bathroom

For a bite-size overview of these cheap flooring options, we have laid the information above in the handy dandy table below:

Top Five Cheap Flooring Upgrades

Flooring Option Pros Cons Entry Level Price per SF
Stained Concrete Variety of textures, colors and finishes Not for every home or design scheme $2.00-3.00
Carpet Comfortable, warm, variety of textures and hues Not so long-lasting as other options $2.00-3.00
Luxury Vinyl Plank/Tile (LVP/LVT) Durable, wood- or stone-look for less cost, water-resistant Can dent and fade $3.00-4.00
Laminate Pet-friendly, durable, wood- or stone-look for less cost Not water-resistant $5.00-6.00
WPC/SPC Vinyl Plank Water-proof, durable, made to look like wood or stone Not DIY-friendly $7.50-9.00

So those are some great options for cheap flooring, with big bang for your buck, on your next project. New products seem to pop up all the time, and manufacturers are always looking to deliver more value to homeowners, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled on this blog or get in touch with The Good Guys today – as the trusted professionals in flooring, they’ll help you at all phases of your project.  And they’ll help you find ways to stretch your dollar, as we know you’re “frugal” or “value-driven” or a “bargain hunter”, OK, we know you’re cheap! And we’re here to help!


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