DIY Cheap Flooring Tips

By James White of Homey Improvements

Photos by Alicia from DIY Home Health blog

Flooring can be expensive. You might assume the process of installation is tricky and you’ll need to hire someone to do it for you, but thankfully, that’s not the case. This is a project you can take on yourself.

While going cheap on flooring may save you money during your renovations, there are a few things you should know: 1) Tile flooring and real hardware floors increase your home’s value the most and 2) Less money typically means more time on your behalf. However, if you’re just looking for an affordable way to spruce of your living space and make it your own then these DIY flooring ideas are perfect for you!


  1. Bargain Outlets for Flooring: Once you’ve got an idea of the type of flooring and how much you need, give the standard hardware stores a miss and check out what you can beg, borrow and buy second-hand or at a reduced price at bargain outlets. You may also find a great deal at wholesale stores like Costco or Sam’s.
  2. Plywood Floor It: Yes, for just over $100, you can make over your floors with plywood. All you need is plywood, a nail gun, nails, a sander, a table saw and stain or whitewash. Just be careful with the tools, and you’ll be good to go.
  3. Don’t Be Picky: Flooring is flooring — it covers up a range of sins. So instead of spending time ripping up vinyl and scraping off paint, just lay the flooring over it if you can. This may not work for tile but floating floors and vinyl is a great option when overlaying on vinyl.
  4. Go Lavish on a Shoestring: Find a cheap rug by getting a bound carpet remnant. Make it super comfy by adding in carpeting cushion underneath.
  5. Be Creative: You can use almost anything to floor your house or office. Leather belts, loose change, beer bottle caps and old records all make for a perfectly functional floor, as well as adding some unique flair to your home.
  6. Reclaim That Wood: Needless to say, this would be a fabulously sustainable alternative to standard wood. Look for reclaimed wood from whiskey barrels, for example, for a truly distinctive and original wooden floor.
  7. Scrap Marble: Head to a local granite or marble distributor and collect those scraps for next to nothing. Like a mosaic or a jigsaw puzzle, set about tessellating your new pieces of treasure for a thoroughly unique and stylish floor.
  8. An Excuse for That Second Glass: Cork flooring has boomed in popularity, and it’s easy to understand why — it’s attractive, affordable and 100 percent renewable. Most cork flooring comes in both tiles and planks. Tiles can be glued down, whereas planks can be simply snapped together.
  9. Cheap Threshold: Who knew such a tiny piece of wood or metal could be so expensive! Instead of buying a traditional threshold, you can go cheap by buying just a thin piece of wood, paint or stain it to the color of your floor and cut to fit the transition area.
  10. Stencil Your Life: If you need some more excitement in your life than just a stain or whitewash, stencil your floor to magnificence and finish it up with a few coats of polyurethane.

DIY should be fun, and it certainly should be an adventure. Good-quality flooring is, of course, an absolute prerequisite, but you don’t need to fall into the trap of paying thousands to someone else to do it for you. If you have some free time and an artistic flair, try out one of the above tips. It will be well worth the effort.

James has been blogging for over four years about gardening and DIY home projects at Homey Improvements. He loves sharing tips on how to live a homey life on a budget. James left his construction job a few years back to write full time, though he still gets plenty of tool time working on home projects. On the side, he also enjoys cooking, playing Settlers of Catan, and binge-watching old episodes of Doctor Who. Aside from Homey Improvements, you can find James on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

DON'T MISS OUT! Get Texas Home and Garden email updates. SIGN UP