ADVICE & TIPS, FLOORING

Kitchen Floor Ideas On A Budget – Top Picks & Expert Tips

Choosing the right kitchen flooring for your project is no easy task. Not only is it a large amount of visual real estate that needs to coordinate with everything else in the room, but it can also be a large part of your overall budget. So what are the best kitchen floor ideas on a budget?

In this post, I’ll explore a variety of affordable kitchen flooring materials, their benefits, costs and maintenance requirements, all aimed at helping you make an informed decision for your kitchen makeover.

Let’s get into it!

Flooring In A Kitchen – Aesthetics, Functionality & Budget

The choice of kitchen flooring plays a pivotal role in defining the aesthetics of the space. It can set the tone for your kitchen’s design, complementing your cabinetry, appliances, and decor. But beyond its visual appeal, kitchen flooring must also meet the demands of a high-traffic, spill-prone area.

It needs to be durable, easy to clean, and resistant to stains and moisture, all while providing comfort underfoot. The right flooring can enhance your kitchen’s functionality, making it a more enjoyable place to cook, dine, and socialize.

However, remodelling a kitchen, especially the flooring, can be a costly endeavour. Budget constraints often come into play, making it essential to find flooring options that offer the perfect balance between cost and quality.

But working within a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style or durability. There are numerous affordable kitchen flooring options available that can give your kitchen a high-end look without the high-end price tag.

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Kitchen Floor Ideas On A Budget

This section is dedicated to helping you discover the wide range of budget-friendly flooring materials available in the market. Each option has its unique set of advantages, costs, and maintenance requirements.

From the eco-friendly charm of cork to the DIY-friendly installation of laminate. Hopefully, there’s something that has the perfect blend of style, durability, and affordability for your kitchen floor.

1. Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is a unique and eco-friendly choice for your kitchen. It’s derived from the bark of the cork oak tree, making it a renewable resource that’s kind to the environment. Cork flooring is known for its soft, cushiony feel underfoot, providing comfort during those long cooking sessions.

It also has natural insulation properties, keeping your kitchen warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Additionally, cork is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, and pests, making it a healthy choice for your home.

cork-flooring-kitchen

Cost and Installation

In terms of cost, cork flooring is relatively affordable compared to other natural materials. The price is typically in the range of $3 to $12 per square foot (£25 – £100 m2), depending on the quality and design. Installation costs can vary based on whether you choose to DIY or hire a professional.

Cork flooring comes in both tiles and planks and can be installed using a glue-down method or as a floating floor. While it’s possible to install cork flooring yourself, hiring a professional can ensure a smooth, well-finished result.

Maintenance and Durability

Cork flooring is relatively easy to maintain. Regular sweeping or vacuuming can keep it free from dirt and grit, and any spills can be quickly wiped up with a damp cloth. However, it’s important to note that while cork is quite durable and can last for decades, it’s not as hard as other flooring options.

It can be susceptible to scratches and dents, especially in high-traffic areas. To protect your cork floor and extend its lifespan, it’s recommended to use protective pads under heavy furniture and to reseal the floor every few years to guard against moisture and stains.

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2. Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) / Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) Floors

Vinyl flooring such as Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) are modern flooring options that offer the look and feel of traditional hardwood or stone flooring but at a fraction of the cost.

These flooring options are known for their durability and resistance to moisture, making them a great choice for kitchens. They come in a wide range of styles, colours, and textures, allowing you to match your flooring to any kitchen design or aesthetic.

Additionally, LVP and LVT are softer and warmer underfoot compared to natural stone or ceramic tile, providing a more comfortable surface to stand on during your kitchen tasks.

Vinyl-flooring-in-kitchen LVP

Cost and Installation

The cost of LVP and LVT flooring can vary depending on the quality and design, but they are generally more affordable than natural hardwood or stone, with prices usually in the range of $2 to $7 per square foot (£15 – £60 m2).

Installation costs can also vary, but these types of flooring are often designed for easy installation, with many products featuring a click-lock design that allows for a floating floor installation. This can potentially save on installation costs if you’re handy and choose to do it yourself. However, for a flawless finish, you might consider hiring a professional.

Maintenance and Durability

When it comes to maintenance, luxury vinyl planks and luxury vinyl tile flooring are easy to care for. Regular sweeping or vacuuming and occasional mopping with a damp mop are usually all that’s needed to keep these floors looking their best.

They are designed to be water-resistant, making them easy to clean and a good choice for kitchens where spills are common. In terms of durability, LVP and LVT are highly durable and resistant to scratches and dents, making them suitable for high-traffic areas.

With proper care, these floors can last for many years, making them a cost-effective choice for your kitchen.

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3. Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is an increasingly popular choice for kitchens due to its eco-friendly nature, durability, and unique aesthetic appeal. Made from the fast-growing bamboo plant, this type of flooring is a renewable resource that’s as hard as traditional hardwoods.

Bamboo flooring comes in a variety of styles and finishes, from natural and carbonized hues to more dramatic stained options, allowing you to create a kitchen space that’s truly your own. It’s also known for its resistance to moisture and stains, which is a significant advantage in a kitchen setting.

bamboo-flooring a budget kitchen floor idea

Cost and Installation

The cost of bamboo flooring can vary depending on the quality, style, and finish, but it generally ranges from $3 to $10 per square foot (£25 – £80 m2). Installation costs are also similar to hardwood.

While it’s possible to install bamboo flooring as a DIY project, professional installation is recommended to ensure the best fit and finish. The installation process involves either nailing or glueing the bamboo planks to the subfloor, or using a click-lock system to create a floating floor.

Maintenance and Durability

Bamboo flooring is relatively easy to maintain. Regular sweeping or vacuuming can help remove dirt and grit, and any spills should be wiped up promptly to prevent staining. While bamboo is resistant to moisture, it’s important to avoid excessive water or the use of harsh cleaning chemicals. For a deep clean, a damp mop and a mild soap solution can be used.

In terms of durability, bamboo flooring is hard and long-lasting, but like any wood flooring, it can be susceptible to scratches and dents. Using protective pads under heavy furniture and keeping pet nails trimmed can help maintain the beauty of your bamboo floor.

With proper care, bamboo flooring can last for decades, making it a sound investment for your kitchen.

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4. Laminate Wood Flooring

Laminate wood flooring is a synthetic flooring product that mimics the look of natural wood. It’s composed of a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer, with an inner core made from melamine resin and fiberboard materials.

One of the main advantages of laminate wood flooring is its versatility. It comes in a wide range of colours and styles, allowing you to achieve the look of almost any type of hardwood without the high cost. Additionally, laminate wood flooring is resistant to stains, scratches, and moisture, making it a practical choice for a kitchen.

Laminate-flooring-for-kitchen budget flooring ideas

Cost and Installation

Laminate wood flooring is one of the most cost-effective alternatives to hardwood flooring, with prices typically ranging from $2 to $6 per square foot (£15 – £50 m2), depending on the quality and design.

The installation of laminate flooring is relatively straightforward, often designed with a click-lock system that allows the planks to be easily snapped together. This makes it a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts. However, for a perfect finish, especially in a large or complex kitchen layout, you might consider hiring a professional installer.

Maintenance and Durability

When it comes to maintenance, laminate wood flooring is easy to care for. Regular sweeping or vacuuming can help keep the surface free from dirt and grit, and spills can be easily wiped up without causing damage.

However, it’s important to avoid using excessive water when cleaning, as it can seep into the seams and cause the laminate to warp. In terms of durability, while laminate flooring is resistant to many common issues that can damage other types of flooring, it’s not as long-lasting as real wood or some other options.

That said, with proper care and maintenance, you can expect your laminate wood flooring to last for 15 to 25 years, making it a great option for those looking to balance cost, aesthetics, and longevity in their kitchen flooring.

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5. Linoleum Flooring

Linoleum flooring is a classic choice that’s been around for over a century. Made from natural materials like linseed oil, cork dust, and wood flour, linoleum is an eco-friendly option that’s both biodegradable and renewable.

It offers a retro aesthetic that can add character to your kitchen, and it comes in a wide range of colours and patterns. One of the key benefits of linoleum is its durability. It’s resistant to scratches, dents, and stains, and it can handle high-traffic areas well, making it a practical choice for busy kitchens.

Lino Linoleum flooring

Cost and Installation

The cost of linoleum flooring is quite affordable, typically ranging from $2 to $6 per square foot (£15 – £50 m2). However, installation can be more complex than other types of flooring due to the need for precise cutting and fitting, and it often requires a professional installer. This can increase the overall cost.

Linoleum comes in sheets, tiles, or planks, and it’s typically glued down to the subfloor, although there are also click-lock options available.

Maintenance and Durability

Linoleum flooring is easy to maintain. Regular sweeping or vacuuming can keep it clean, and spills can be easily wiped up without causing damage. For a deeper clean, a mop and mild soap can be used. It’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive water, as these can damage the surface.

Linoleum is also sealed with a protective coating to enhance its durability and make it easier to clean. When it comes to durability, linoleum is a strong performer. With proper care, it can last for several decades, making it a cost-effective and long-lasting choice for your kitchen.

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6. Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is a versatile and durable choice for kitchen flooring (and typically slightly cheaper than porcelain tiles). Made from a mixture of clay and other natural materials, ceramic tiles are then kiln-fired to create a hard and sturdy material. They come in a vast array of colours, sizes, shapes, and patterns, allowing for endless design possibilities to suit any kitchen style.

One of the main benefits of ceramic tile is its resistance to stains, water, and high traffic, making it a practical and long-lasting choice for kitchens.

Ceramic tile flooring

Cost and Installation

The cost of ceramic tile can vary widely, from as low as $2 to over $20+ per square foot (£15 – £160+ m2), depending on the type, design, and quality of the tile. Installation costs can also vary, but it’s generally recommended to hire a professional for tile installation to ensure a proper, long-lasting fit.

The installation process involves applying a layer of thin-set adhesive to the subfloor, laying the tiles, and then applying grout to fill the spaces between the tiles.

Maintenance and Durability

Ceramic tile is relatively easy to maintain. Regular sweeping or vacuuming can remove dirt and debris, and any spills can be easily wiped up. For a deeper clean, a mop or tile cleaner can be used. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the tile’s finish.

In terms of durability, ceramic tile is one of the most durable kitchen flooring options. It’s resistant to scratches, dents, and moisture, and it doesn’t fade in sunlight. With proper care, ceramic tile flooring can last for many decades, making it a great investment for your kitchen.


Comparison table of kitchen floor ideas on a budget

Flooring TypeDurabilityMaterial Cost (per sq ft)Installation ComplexityMaintenance
CorkModerate; susceptible to scratches and dents$3 – $12Moderate; DIY possible but professional recommended for best resultsRegular sweeping/vacuuming; wipe up spills promptly; reseal every few years
LVP/LVTHigh; resistant to scratches and dents$2 – $7Easy; DIY-friendly click-lock designRegular sweeping/vacuuming; occasional damp mopping
BambooHigh; similar to hardwood but can scratch/dent$3 – $10Moderate; professional installation recommendedRegular sweeping/vacuuming; wipe up spills promptly; avoid excessive water
Laminate WoodModerate; not as long-lasting as real wood$2 – $6Easy; DIY-friendly click-lock designRegular sweeping/vacuuming; wipe up spills promptly; avoid excessive water
LinoleumHigh; resistant to scratches, dents, and stains$2 – $6Moderate to High; precise cutting required, professional installation often neededRegular sweeping/vacuuming; wipe up spills promptly; avoid harsh chemicals
Ceramic TileHigh; resistant to scratches, dents, and moisture$2 – $20+High; professional installation recommendedRegular sweeping/vacuuming; wipe up spills promptly; can mop or use tile cleaner
Comparison table of kitchen floor ideas on a budget

Expert Tips and Advice

When it comes to selecting the perfect kitchen flooring on a budget, there are a few considerations and things to keep in mind.

  • Choosing the Right Flooring Based on Kitchen Usage: Assess your kitchen’s usage and lifestyle factors before making a flooring choice. If you have a busy household with children and pets, durable and scratch-resistant options like LVP/LVT or ceramic tile may be ideal.

    For those seeking comfort and eco-friendliness, cork or bamboo flooring can be excellent choices. Understanding your specific needs and priorities will guide you toward the most suitable flooring option.

  • DIY Installation vs. Professional Installation: Consider your skill level, time availability, and the complexity of installation when deciding between DIY and professional installation. Some flooring types, like LVP/LVT or laminate, are designed for easy installation, making them DIY-friendly.

    However, options like ceramic tile or linoleum may require more expertise and precise cutting, warranting professional assistance for a flawless outcome. Weigh the pros and cons and choose accordingly.

  • Maintenance Tips for Each Type of Flooring: Proper maintenance is crucial for preserving the beauty and longevity of your kitchen floor. Each flooring type has its specific care requirements. For LVP/LVT and laminate, regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and periodic damp mopping are generally sufficient.

    Cork and bamboo flooring benefit from regular sweeping and prompt wiping of spills. Ceramic tile and linoleum often require regular sweeping, mopping with appropriate cleaners, and grout maintenance. Refer to manufacturer guidelines for specific maintenance instructions for each flooring type.

By considering your kitchen’s usage, installation preferences, and following the recommended maintenance tips, you can ensure that your budget-friendly kitchen floor stays in optimal condition for years to come.

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Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Some great kitchen floor ideas on a budget. Remember, the kitchen floor is not just a functional element but also a design statement that sets the tone for your culinary haven.

Whether you opt for the eco-friendly charm of cork, the affordability and versatility of laminate, or the timeless elegance of ceramic tile, there’s a flooring option to suit your unique needs and aesthetic.

Take into account the level of foot traffic, potential spills, and desired maintenance level when finalizing your flooring choice. And whether you choose to tackle the installation as a rewarding DIY project or enlist the help of professionals for a seamless finish.

With proper care and maintenance, your budget-friendly kitchen floor will not only enhance the beauty and functionality of your space but also withstand the test of time.

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Author

Michael from Kitchinsider.com

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.