4 Attractive & Inexpensive Alternatives to Hardwood

by | Aug 1, 2018 | Additions, New Construction, Remodels

New floors do a lot for a home. They can brighten up the darkest of interiors and are all but guaranteed to add value to your property. Most homeowners consider installing new floors a huge renovation project that comes with a correspondingly huge price tag. However, laying down new flooring doesn’t have to force you to break into your savings.

You can make a big impact on the design and worth of your home for a relatively small amount of cash. You just need to think beyond the standard and standardly expensive. Instead, opt for a flooring material that is just as attractive but without all those extra zeros. Here are the four most popular inexpensive flooring ideas, including their advantages and disadvantages.


Cork flooring is so much more than the stuff you see on your office bulletin board. In fact, it’s a very popular choice among homeowners looking for a soft flooring alternative to carpet. On average cork flooring costs between $2 to $4 a square foot. Cork floors provide warmth and comfort underfoot. They’re also sustainable since cork is a rapidly renewable resource that doesn’t harm trees when harvested. Cork also emits few¬†volatile organic compounds, which means it won’t harm indoor air quality. Also, the softness of cork is good for your legs, back, and ears.

Not only is it considered resilient flooring, but it also has acoustical properties that can help mitigate unwanted sound. Cork floors can be charred to make unique patterns, and colored and finished in several ways. For example, you can create wide plank-style cork boards in gray or brown tones to resemble hardwood flooring.


Bamboo floors are prized as an eco-friendly choice because bamboo grows at a much faster rate than wood. It is approximately $4 a square foot and like hardwood flooring, bamboo is long-lasting and sturdy. While bamboo flooring is more water-resistant than hardwood flooring, you should still avoid placing it in high-humidity areas since it can warp. Also, the bamboo is not one of the hardest wood flooring options, so it can be more susceptible to scratches than, say, maple hardwood.


Concrete moves indoors! You’ve seen how durable it is for your driveway, so why not take it for a spin in your kitchen, living room, or any space that gets a ton of foot traffic? It costs about $2 -$6 a square foot and one of the biggest advantages of concrete floors is durability. It’s touch, low-maintenance and they make a strong aesthetic statement. They provide a modern, clean, urban feel to a room.


Vinyl flooring may have gotten a bad rap during the ’70’s, but like many design trends from that era, it’s not making a comeback. It can cost anywhere from $0.50 to $5 a square foot and although it may be one of the cheapest flooring options out there, that doesn’t mean it lacks style. Luxury vinyl tile is particularly impressive. LVT is long-lasting, hard-wearing, easy to clean, and gives a modern look to any space. It can mimic wood effectively, even including texture and plank style. Vinyl is highly resistant to water, which makes it a great alternative to wood.