A wonderful, low-maintenance option, linoleum is manufactured from linseed oil, making it environmentally friendly as well. While it does cost more than competitors such as vinyl, bottoming out at $2 per square foot and ranging up to $5 per foot, it also can last much longer when properly cared for. Often manufacturers will have warranties on these products that range from 20 or 30 years, cutting down on the cost of removal and replacement. It can also be self-installed saving that expense.
Simple Concrete Treatments
The cheapest floor may already be installed and waiting as the subfloor beneath your current surface coverings. In basements and below-grade locations, a concrete surface will be the top face of the foundation slab. In ground-level environments, it may be part of the structure of the house. Either way, this rough, durable, powerful material can be inexpensively treated with a variety of decorative methods that can soften its look, while also creating color, hues, and patterns that can simulate the look of natural stone.
Inexpensive Brick Pavers
Brick is one of the cheapest hard tile floor surface coverings available. Made from clay and sediments fired in a kiln, it is sold in small, relatively thin squares known as pavers. Less expensive options will cost just $0.50 per square foot, although there are some fancy stamped and patterned products which can be as much as $5 per square foot. You also often have to factor in the cost of installation, as the pieces can be heavy, and the process messy and difficult for an amateur with little experience.
Easy Install Carpet Tile
One of the most comfortable and inexpensive flooring options available, carpet tile can quickly and easily transform an environment. Available for as little as $0.50 per square foot, it can be self-installed in a few hours, creating a lush, warm, inviting environment in any room that you like. While these materials will not have a long life cycle, they’re relatively easy to remove and either wash or replace as desired. That makes them good for temporary use in places such as children’s bathrooms, playrooms, and bedroom settings.
Cheap Laminate Flooring Options
Laminates contain a sliver of natural wood, which rests on the surface of each piece, protected by a clear wear layer that prevents staining and damage. This creates the illusion of more expensive solid hardwood materials at a fraction of the cost. These floors are also relatively simple to maintain, just requiring regular sweep and or vacuuming. However they will degrade over time, and the lifespan of these installations tends to cap out at about a decade.