How can I find cheap but durable flooring?
June 16, 2012 8:09 AM Subscribe
Any advice on getting the cheapest possible decent quality flooring? How to shop for it?
posted by slidell to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We're preparing to talk to the contractor about installing flooring. I'm looking to pick something that is cheap, but that also will be somewhat durable, fairly attractive for when we sell the property, and not awful for the environment or health.
Cheap: what's in the scope/budget now is $.79/SF laminate at Home Depot. But we already installed that in the upstairs and would now like to get something one step better for the main floor. But anything above that price comes out of our tiny household monthly budget. This unit is 775 SF, so something $1.79/SF is an extra $775, which is basically what I'm thinking. (I'm assuming the underlayments' costs would be the same.) We also can't pick something substantially harder to install.
Durable: this is a rental, and we'd even like to allow dogs. Alternatively, I suppose we may just have to get one thing now and plan to replace it.
Attractive: We like the look of wood.
Not awful: No carpet. No vinyl. Ideally low-VOC.
Also, any tips on sales or coupons? Any tips on comparison shopping online? I have found online sources hard to use, either not giving a good sense of how the product looks, or not listing a price. But with my work schedule, it's hard to get to stores. I'm in the SF Bay Area.
I think the question likely boils down to: what is the cheapest low-VOC laminate that looks like wood (or another flooring option under $2/SF), and how do I find it?