Hardwood floors are among the most popular types of flooring for every room in a home, from kitchens to bathrooms.
When taken care of, a wood floor can withstand regular wear and tear and look beautiful for years to come. And there are all different types of solid wood flooring to give you the exact look you’re going for.
Still, a solid hardwood floor can be pricey, especially if you want to place it throughout your home. Read our buying guide on hardwood flooring if you want go with hardwood flooring.
If you want something more budget-friendly but with a similar look, you might wonder about a cheaper flooring option for your home. The forms of wood in this guide are more inexpensive flooring options with many of the same benefits as solid hardwood floors.
What Type of Wood Floor is the Most Budget Friendly?
The flooring options below consist of materials designed to look like wood floors to bring that aesthetic into your home. If you’d rather go with materials that last for the same – or lower – price as cheap hardwood flooring, then these are some of the cheapest wood floor alternatives on the market.
Laminate flooring is, by far, one of the most popular hardwood floor alternatives. This type of flooring is made from real wood and coated in a waterproof layer.
It can mimic various wood designs down to the smallest details, making it virtually impossible to spot the difference. You can save a few dollars per square foot by choosing laminate over hardwood.
Laminate floors are usually easier to install than hardwood, requiring no special floor nailers thanks to their tongue-and-groove installation. They’re also easier to keep clean and maintain. You don’t need to use floor polish to clean and shine them; usually, some vinegar and water do the trick.
Estimated pricing: $3 to $8 per square foot, including installation
Read our article on laminate vs solid hardwood flooring for more information.
Vinyl planks can also help you save money on your kitchen remodel or home renovation. These boards are made from fiberglass and PVC vinyl to create an extremely waterproof floor that’s excellent for use in resisting water in bathrooms and kitchens.
Vinyl planks look a lot like wood, especially when you choose thick planks, also known as luxury vinyl planks.
This type of vinyl floor is traditionally a bit more expensive than thinner ones, but it’s perfect for replicating the look of hardwood. Overall, vinyl planks are usually the cheapest hardwood alternative per square foot.
Estimated pricing: $3 to $6 per square foot, including installation
Bamboo flooring is dense and durable like hardwood, and can even add value to your home for a cheaper price tag. Homeowners with pets may not find bamboo to be the best option, though, as it can scratch easily. Fortunately, you can refinish bamboo floors to make them appear new again.
Bamboo may appeal to eco-friendly homeowners because bamboo is a more sustainable option than hardwood. Bamboo plants grow so rapidly and are, therefore, more easily grown and harvested than trees. Bamboo generally costs about half the price of hardwood per square foot.
Estimated pricing: $4 to $13 per square foot, including installation
If you are not convinced with these options and instead want to go for carpet flooring then read this article: Carpet vs Hardwood flooring.
The Bottom Line
Consider the above flooring options as alternatives for hardwood floors in your home. You get the durability, comfort, and design of hardwood without putting you over your renovation budget.