Get more for your money with these ideas for cheap floors - with DIY tips to brighten up your existing kitchen floor or lay new inexpensive flooring!
Flooring is a big visible element in your kitchen, so it has to look good...but new or updated flooring needn't cost big money.
First of all, what flooring is there now? Here's a list of the usual suspects:
A great solution when you want cheap floors that look good is to restore fresh life and beauty to the flooring you've got...OR give it a whole new look!
Here are some ideas to inspire you:
Scuffed hardwood? Give your wood floors new life with products like Rejuvenate Floor Restorer.
I designed a kitchen for homeowners with worn oak flooring. After the remodel was done, they treated their floors with Rejuvenate...the results were amazing!
Paint your hardwood floors. Use tough latex paint made especially for floors and porches. Sand the wood with an orbital sander...enough to rough up the surface. Then prime and paint with a brush or roller.
Go for the shabby chic look for cheap floors that look charming and lovingly used. Read this how-to article on floor painting, shabby chic style.
Get creative with paint - "stencil" on a rug, hand-paint a border or cut a sponge to create diamonds, bricks or other shapes.
Refinish the floor. Big time labor-intensive but the cost is low and the results beautiful! Rent a sander, and then stain and seal (or just seal). Cheap floors + weight loss - it's a win-win!
NOTE: REMOVE STUBBORN FINISHES FROM CORNERS AND EDGES WITH DENATURED ALCOHOL.
To remove tile is a tough job. Ear-splitting jackhammers, dangerous flying debris, a really big mess! Instead, renew your tile with products like Rejuvenate (see link above).
Is your tile in good shape but grout is the problem? You can remove the old grout and re-grout. Buy an inexpensive grout removal tool and run it back and forth along the grout lines. Take care not to chip tiles, especially at "intersections."
Vacuum and wipe with a damp rag to remove all the dust...if your new grout mixes with old dust it can result in a different color!
Clean the grout - rent a grout steam cleaner, then re-seal the grout (2 coats) to keep it clean.
OR stain the grout to a beautiful new color! Grout staining in a color similar to your tile makes a kitchen look larger! Tile specialty stores sell stain kits and can advise on tips and techniques.
Want to lay new tile yourself? It's a great DIY project and not super-expensive! For complete instructions, see How to Tile a Floor.
Concrete can be painted - or stain concrete for a mottled stone look...one of the best cheap floors solutions to give yours an expensive, classy look! Acid stains are best applied by a pro, but water-based ones are DIY friendly.
Terrazzo, an aggregate of marble chips laid over concrete, is
highly susceptible to staining. Try a stain removal product and then
refinish. Consider covering problem terrazzo with another type of flooring.
Sometimes you can restore the shine to old vinyl floors. Armstrong makes a floor polish called Shinekeeper, and Rejuvenate (see link above) restores vinyl as well.
The top coat on vinyl is all there is - the color doesn't go all the way through. For nicks use a colored touch-up pencil or putty stick.
Self-stick tile is one of the easiest DIY projects - and it's the best way to get NEW cheap floors!
Cheap floors CAN look beautiful - check out the latest in self stick patterns. One new style is wood-look tile sold in strips that you lay in random length patterns like real hardwood.
Commercial grade 12" x 12" vinyl tiles are
great for comfortable cheap floors...about 1/8" thick and the color
goes all the way through. Not self stick - takes a special adhesive
(VERY sticky - wear old clothes & shoes!). These tiles are a perfect
choice for a retro checkerboard pattern!
Self stick tile tips:
Here's a magic trick to get exact cuts along a wall or cabinet toe kick:
1, Stick your last (in the row) full-size tile to the floor.
2. Line up a second tile right on top of the first (leave the paper backing on!). Fold the backing paper under a bit to be sure this tile sits EXACTLY on top of the first.
3. Lay a third tile firmly against the wall over the double-stacked tiles. Using the edge of this tile, score the loose tile on top of the one stuck to the floor.
4. Remove the tile you held against the wall. Lift the tile you scored and break/cut it. The piece will fit perfectly. MAGIC!
Thinking of remodeling?
Keep a notebook or scrapbook of notes, clippings and ideas.
Kitchen magazines are expensive - look through them in the grocery checkout line. If you see pix of a kitchen you really like, buy that magazine.
Stop in at home centers and pick up any free cabinet manufacturers' catalogs.