Cost is one of the major factors to be considered when installing a new floor. Flooring can cost a lot of money if you do not properly consider material and installation costs. For that reason, it is very important to learn about the cost factor in flooring and learn about the type of floor materials that are cheaper and affordable. Advancements in technology and flooring practices have brought the costs of installing a floor down. But still, flooring costs a fortune. Among all the flooring options, premium floors that cost more usually provide a more premium look, feel, and quality, but the cheaper floors may provide a good look and feel, they do not provide the same quality as the premium ones.

So, you will either have to spend money to ensure the best quality or save money and get an average quality product. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to the cheaper flooring options that will provide you the standard quality, look and feel. Also, this article will give you more insight into what flooring types are cheaper than others? and what qualities they have? If you want a floor that costs less and is affordable for you, read the article below completely.

Cost Controlling Factors

Three different factors control the cost of your floor. Below are complete details about these.

Flooring Material

Flooring material costs are the biggest factor here. There are a lot of flooring materials and options that you can choose for your floor. But each type of floor material type has a different price tag. These flooring materials include hardwood species, tile flooring, vinyl, and laminate flooring options. Each of these has several sub-categories and each one has a different price. These prices mostly determine the total cost of your floor. More than 60 to 70% of the total cost goes to the flooring material. The floor material is sold per square foot. You can get an estimation of the cost of material by multiplying the total square feet of material that you need by the price per square foot.

For example, if the material price per square foot is $5 and you need it for 100 square feet. The total amount of this will be $500. If you are having trouble calculating, there are a lot of estimation tools that you can use. But to use them, you will need to know the total area in your home that needs the floor. After that calculator, you can simply multiply it with the price and get an estimated cost for the material.

Cost of Installation

Crystalflooringsydney, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The second type of cost that you must keep in mind is the cost of installation of the floor. Some floors are cheaper to install. This is because these floors are easier to install. Some floors also come as DIY install materials. You will not need the help of an expert and you can do it on your own. These floors cost only a small amount on installation. But other types of floors that are difficult to install, such as wooden hardwood floors and tile floors cost a lot of money in terms of installation cost. You cannot install them properly on your own because they are hard and need to be cut into different small pieces to fit in places.

Only an expert installer can do this. If you try to do this on your own, you may end up breaking the floor planks and tiles or may get injured as well. For that reason, it is highly recommended to get help from an expert floor installer. Some people try to save money by installing the floor on their own, and they end up spending more money because they break more planks and tiles. So, you should hire floor installers instead of doing it yourself. This will help you save money and time as well. The cost of installation can be up to 30% of the total cost of flooring.

Misc. Costs

These are miscellaneous costs that include the costs of delivery, repairs, and finishing the floor. Miscellaneous costs also include the cost that your floor would cost in the future. If you want to keep enjoying your beautiful floor, you will have to spend money on repairing and refinishing it. For some floor types, these costs are not much, but for some other floor types, these costs keep increasing every year and you will have to spend more and more money over the years.

How Much Can Flooring Cost?

The answer to this question is very difficult to answer because there are so many flooring options and each one has a different cost. Finding the average cost between all the flooring would not provide us a usable result. To truly answer this question, I would like you to consider what type of floor you want to install. If you know the flooring type that you want, it would become easier to find the right average and cost of flooring.

If you want a solid hardwood floor, or an engineered hardwood floor costs will be different for both of each. There are many species of wood that are used in solid hardwood flooring. Each species has different features and different prices. Premium flooring species can cost up to $30 per square foot on average, meanwhile, the normal wooden species flooring can cost 10 to $15 per square foot. The same goes for the tile flooring marble tile flooring costs a lot more than any other tile flooring option. Marble tile flooring can cost 15$ to 25$ per square foot.

Cheaper flooring options such as cheaper wooden floors and tile floors cost between 6$ to 10$ on average. Other cheaper flooring options such as Vinyl and Laminate also vary in price. But their average cost is less than 10$ including installation. These are estimated costs, to get the exact figures, kindly check the online stores and vendors that provide flooring materials to know the latest prices.

What Type of Flooring Costs More?

Some flooring options cost more than what average floors cost. These are luxury and super luxury flooring options. These options are known for their unique look, feel, and high quality. Their materials are also of top quality. They last longer and keep providing a rich and premium look to your floor. Below is a list of a few types of floor materials that cost more than others.

  • Exotic Hardwood – Exotic wooden floors such as Santos’s mahogany hardwood floors, Brazilian Oak, Brazilian Cherry, Merbau, Walnut, Kempas, and Ebony. These are known as the exotic hardwood species in the United States because they are mostly imported. Most of these exotic species are imported from Brazil. Each of these hardwood species has the best features. They are known for their distinct color, shade, and quality. These species are known for lasting over centuries as they have high strength and flexibility that protects them over the years. These floor types can cost between 20$ to 30$ per square foot.
  • Evergreen Stone/Marble Tiles – Not all tile floors are expensive, but natural evergreen stone or marble tiles are some of the most expensive floors. These are expensive floors because they are also imported from other places. These floor types are made up of natural tiles. These tiles are cut from the stones and this process takes a lot of energy and time. For that reason, the cost of tile material is much more than other floor types. It can cost between 20 to 25$ per square foot. These floors can last an entire lifetime in your floor while maintaining a fresh look for decades. They are made up of stones and that is why they have extreme strength. They require minimum care over the years. But their installation costs are much more than any other type of flooring option.
  • Luxury/Designer Ceramic Tiles – Ceramic tiles are known as a cheaper and affordable flooring solution. But some designer ceramic tiles can cost a lot of money. These are luxury designer ceramic tiles. These tiles have a beautiful design engraved in them. Ceramic tile floors are also strong and tough and can survive for decades. Ceramic tile flooring requires minimum care in terms of cleaning and maintenance. But these tiles can crack if extreme pressure is applied, if that happens, you will have to replace that part of your floor. So, their installation and aftercare costs are more than others.
  • Luxury Vinyl Tiles/Plank – Vinyl is known as a cheaper and affordable solution for flooring but some types of vinyl floors also cost more money than others. These vinyl floors are known as Luxury Vinyl Tiles/planks. These tiles and planks are synthetic but mimic the real wood or tile. Vinyl tiles of high quality can cost more because they look more realistic. The Cost of installation of the vinyl floors is very low. Some of these floors are also DIY floors and you can install them. These floors can cost you up to 8 to 15$ per square foot. Although their installation is easy and they cost less on installation, their repairs are frequent and you will have to spend money more often.

List of Affordable and Cheap Flooring Options – Least to Most Expensive

Below is a list that contains several cheaper flooring options. This list goes from least expensive to most expensive flooring options.

  • Carpet Flooring

Carpet flooring is one of the cheapest flooring options. It not only costs less in terms of materials but also installation is easy and DIY. so, it can help you save money on the materials and also on the installation costs. Apart from this, it also requires less maintenance and cleaning. To clean other types of floors, you will need to use water and will have to mop the floor. But in carpet flooring, you will never have to mop the floor to clean. Vacuuming the floor is enough to keep your carpet floor clean. This floor provides a soft touch while walking. It also maintains the temperature in your home.

If you live in a cold region, your floor will remain warm while if you live in the hot region, it will not let your floor absorb heat. Apart from this, there are no costs related to repairs, because your floor will not crack or tear apart like the other flooring types. In some cases, the carpet flooring can increase the expenditure on cleaning and protection from fire. If you are looking for one of the cheapest flooring options, you can consider carpet flooring. It can cost between 2 to 7$ per square foot depending upon where you live and what type of carpet you want to use.

  • Vinyl Sheet Flooring

Vinyl Sheet Flooring is the second least expensive type of flooring. There are a lot of options when it comes to Vinyl sheet flooring. Vinyl floors are synthetic and are manufactured on a large scale. For that reason, these floors are known for providing a large variety of options for everyone. These sheets are one of the easiest to install. These sheets can mimic tiles and floor planks as well. So, if you want your floor to look like a wooden floor, you can get Vinyl Sheet that provides the same look.

Vinyl Flooring is also an easy-to-install flooring option. If you love DIY floors, you should choose vinyl sheet flooring. These sheets just need placing on the base of a floor and they stick to it. Cheaper Vinyl Sheet floors can cost between 3$ to 7$. Prices can be different if you choose a different type of option in Vinyl sheets. Because some luxury vinyl sheets can cost between 5 to 7$ on average. Vinyl is a strong and water-resistant material. It lasts longer and provides a beautiful look to your floor. You can also use it in your bathrooms and also in your basement where moisture levels are higher.

  • Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl Plank Flooring is another type of cheaper flooring option. Vinyl flooring planks look like wooden floor planks and tiles. These planks cost a little extra but provide a more premium look and feel. Also, these are not as easy to install as the Sheets are. You will need some help from the experts to install these planks on the floor. There are different techniques for installing these vinyl planks. Some require gluing them with the base floor and some require nailing them down to the base floor.

Each technique has its benefits and losses. Vinyl Floor Planks can cost up to 4 to 7$ per square foot. This amount can increase if you have selected a luxury option. These are not as strong as the wooden floors or the tile floors. Hence, they require more frequent repairs and maintenance. This increases the cost of maintenance in the future. You should keep this factor in mind if you are choosing the Vinyl floor planks for your floor.

  • Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is slightly costlier than Vinyl flooring, but it provides a more unique and natural look. To create the laminate flooring, numerous wooden chip layers are stacked upon one another. After that, the wooden material is glued and pressured using pressure and heat. This creates a very strong floor plank. But this floor plank needs a covering. A layer of lamination is put over the floor planks using the machines. This makes them look like engineered wooden planks.

The best thing about the laminate flooring is that it has a similar look to the wooden floor. Apart from this, its strength protects it from scratches and it is also very easy to clean. The cost per square foot of the laminate flooring ranges between 8 to 15$ including installation. It is a little expensive but still, you get the type of look that you want. You can also get the different sizes and shapes of the planks if you like. In laminate flooring, you can install it on your own because the planks have a lock and key type configuration and they click when put together. Installation can also require nailing and gluing depending upon your choice of method.

  • Cork Flooring

The Cork Flooring is made with wood from a cork tree. Corkwood is slightly softer but after proper processing, it can be used for flooring purposes. It is one of the cheapest wooden flooring options that you can have. The basic cost for cork flooring can range between 3 to 12$ depending upon the quality of floor planks and installation cost.

It is slightly less than the laminate flooring, but I have kept this one below the Laminate flooring because that does not require as much care and maintenance as the cork flooring does. This is one of the major problems with the cork flooring. They need more maintenance and need refinishing more often. This cost can increase the overall spending on your floor. For that reason, if you are selecting cork flooring, you should know about its pros and cons better.

  • Ceramic Tile Flooring

Tile flooring indeed costs a lot of money, but there are some options in the tile flooring space that are cheaper and affordable for everyone. Ceramic tile flooring is one of these options. It is not only cheaper, but stronger and a durable flooring option. It has a lot of benefits, and you can use it anywhere in your home including the bathroom and basements as well. Ceramic tiles come in all types, sizes, designs, and shapes. You can use them to create different beautiful patterns on your floor as well.

The durability of the material and affordability are the two main reasons for the popularity of ceramic tile flooring. Material cost for the ceramic flooring is not that much, but installation can cost more because it is hard to correctly install the ceramic tile floors. Material cost per square foot of the ceramic tile is about 10$ but the installation costs vary greatly and can cost between 4 to 10$ per square foot. But the good news is, after this one-time investment, you will not have to worry about anything because this floor almost requires no maintenance and you will be saving a lot of time and money.

  • Porcelain Tile Flooring

The Porcelain Tile Flooring is also an affordable flooring solution. It is a type of tile flooring that can last for decades and would require almost no maintenance. These tiles can sustain the heavy force, weight, and temperature as well. You can install them anywhere in your house.

These are beautiful tiles and come in a variety of colors and shapes. Porcelain Tiles can also be used for the creation of beautiful patterns. The cost for cheaper Porcelain Tile Flooring ranges between 10 to 20$ including the installation costs.

Cheap Hardwood Flooring

There are also some cheaper hardwood flooring options that you can consider. Cheaper hardwood flooring options can cost between 7 to 15$ per square foot. If you include the cost for installation in this, it would be less than 20$ per square foot. Hardwood floors are known for increasing the value of your property. So, if you are looking forward to selling your property, you should consider installing a hardwood floor. They are strong and highly reliable and can last for decades with proper maintenance.

Cost Vs Quality – What You Should PRIORITIZE?

If you are looking forward to installing a floor, you will have to set up your priorities. You will have to decide between quality and cost. As you know, the cheaper floors do not provide a premium look and quality and do not last as long as the premium and high-quality floors. Flooring experts advise that you should not cut your cost too much so that you end up with a bad quality floor that would need replacement within years. You should create a balance between quality and cost. You should decide the best option for flooring that is also in your budget. For example, if you can spare money to buy a laminate floor, you should buy a laminate floor instead of a carpeted floor. Whatever you decide, you should keep this factor in your mind that your floor will be responsible for adding value and beauty to your home.


In the article above, we have discussed the cheaper and affordable flooring options. There is no correct average flooring cost because every floor type has several sub-types and each one has a different price. But still, we can calculate the overall cost of the floor using the area and cost per square foot.