Happy news! Even if you're on a limited budget, you can have beautiful, durable flooring for your kitchen and preserve your bank account for other must-have features. We'll show you what kitchen flooring options are the least expensive, plus offer tips for preserving and caring for the material. Check out these fabulous, cheap kitchen flooring ideas.
Hardwood Flooring Within Reach
You can choose between solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring —both offer affordable varieties. Solid wood flooring is just like it sounds: Planks are milled from solid pieces of wood. Engineered wood flooring features a wood veneer bonded to a substrate of plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). This makes it a more stable choice for temperature and humidity fluctuations.
As a low-cost option for solid hardwood flooring, consider hickory. The gorgeous color variations range from dark brown to red to light tan and highlight pronounced grain patterns. In a high-traffic kitchen, the hardness and density of hickory stands up well. One line of hickory strips (3/4 x 2-1/4 inches) sells for less than $3 per square foot. To see cheap floor covering ideas for solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring firsthand, visit a flooring showroom.
Bamboo Flooring on a Budget
Extend your budget and be kind to the Earth with sustainable and cheap bamboo flooring. Bamboo is a type of grass that grows back quickly after harvesting. You can find bamboo flooring in a wide range of stain colors and affordable price points.
For under $2 per square foot, consider a natural-stained engineered bamboo strip floor that features click-together edges for easy installation. Just as you would for solid wood flooring, be sure and wipe up spills right away on a bamboo floor, and use felt pads on furniture feet to avoid scratches. Sweep up dirt and grit daily.
Low-Cost Cork Flooring
In the world of inexpensive kitchen flooring ideas, you probably won't find a material that feels more warm and cushiony underfoot than cork flooring. It's Earth-friendly, too, because the inexpensive flooring is made from cork tree bark, which grows back after harvesting. You can find cork flooring choices for less than $1.50 per square foot.
Pinch Pennies with Parquet Flooring
Small pieces of wood assembled into a geometric pattern make parquet flooring look like artwork you can walk on. Even with precision construction, affordable parquet flooring is available, including 12-inch tiles with alternating grain blocks that form an attractive checkerboard effect. A prefinished medium-brown solid oak parquet tile with a high-gloss finish sells for under $3 per square foot.
Cheap Laminate Flooring
With laminate wood flooring, you can have the look of a handsome dark hardwood floor that is easier to clean and costs less. There is an abundance of laminate products that offer inexpensive kitchen flooring. Consider hand-hewn texture and warm chocolate brown hickory tones for inviting character at less than $1 per square foot. As an added bonus, cheap laminate flooring with fold-down installation doesn't require gluing and lets you walk on the floor right away.
Affordable Oak Flooring
If you're longing for an oak wood floor and have a limited budget, take a look at unfinished utility oak options for less than $1.50 per square foot through large flooring dealers. These "seconds" often have defects, knots, or machine burns and splits, and may come as a mix of square edges and V grooves. You can install them as-is for a rustic look that suits a country kitchen, or sand and finish after installation for a more contemporary style.
Cost-Saving Vinyl Planks
You'll be amazed by the quality and appearance of today's vinyl planks, which closely resemble hardwood flooring. With vinyl planks, you don't have to worry about scratches from furnishings and grit or stains from spills. With looks that mimic maple, cherry, and even reclaimed oak, there's a cheap vinyl flooring option to enhance every kitchen style. Prices start at less than $1 per square foot.
Wallet-Friendly Vinyl Tiles
Cheap kitchen flooring ideas don't get much more versatile than vinyl. Vinyl floor tiles duplicate the look of every flooring material imaginable—wood parquet, bamboo, oak, ceramic tile, and stone such as marble and slate—but for a much lower cost. Cheap floor tiles start as low as 50 cents per square foot and often feature adhesive backing for easy installation.
Budget-Friendly Ceramic Tiles
Long-lasting and easy to clean with mild detergent and water, ceramic floor tiles come in every color and pattern imaginable as well as a variety of sizes and shapes. Create a custom look by combining cheap floor tiles to form a border around your kitchen floor for a ceramic "rug." Ceramic tile prices start as low as $1 per square foot.