5 Affordable DIY Flooring Ideas

Dog laying on orange painted wood floorImage: Lara Edge for HouseLogic

Think you can’t afford to makeover that seriously ugly floor? These budget-friendly ideas will change your mind.

It’s easy to overlook what’s underfoot, until, well, you can’t any more. Because it’s a @#)*%($ eyesore!

From paint to plywood, we’ll show you how to DIY a floor you’ll love.


1. How to Transform a Decrepit Wood Floor

Painted hardwood DIY flooringImage: Lara Edge for HouseLogic

There’s nothing like refinished hardwood. But hiring a pro to restore a severely damaged one costs an arm and leg (and maybe even a kidney). So, what can you do? Follow Lara Edge’s lead.

Her wood floors were riddled with holes and in such bad shape that she was told refinishing them would cost thousands. That wasn’t in her budget, so she decided to put on her tool belt.

After sanding her floors, she patched the holes with putty. Once the putty was dry, it was sanded. She repeated the patching, drying, and sanding process until the floors were level.

Afterward, she painted the floors a vibrant terra-cotta shade. Paint is a lot cheaper than refinishing, and it’s great for concealing flaws. Plus, the pop of color adds a wow factor to her home.

To learn more and to see additional photos go here.

Cost: Less than $1,000 for paint and renting a sander.

Related: Guide to Hardwood Floor Finishes

2. How to Ditch Your Carpet for Cork

DIY cork flooring in a child's bedroomImage: Sabrina’s Organizing

If you’re thinking of ditching your carpet but still want something soft underfoot, you may flip for cork flooring just like Sabrina from Sabrina’s Organizing.

She installed interlocking cork tiles in her daughter’s room, and she says it was a cinch to do.

Even better, cork flooring softens thuds and footsteps, which is a big plus for Sabrina. Her daughter is a dancer, and she makes a terrible racket when she practices.

But Sabrina had to take one additional step to soften the blows from her daughter’s prancing feet. She shares all the details here.

Cost: Interlocking cork flooring starts at around $1.29 per square foot.

Related: Green Kitchen Flooring: Linoleum and Cork

3. How to Make Flooring Underlayment Look Like Hardwood

Have you ever had a floor so ugly you wanted to chop it to pieces? Well, that’s what Tracy from General Splendour did to her foyer’s white ceramic tile floor.  It was impossible to keep clean, and it was working her last nerve.

Fake DIY hardwood floor drawn on woodImage: General Splendour

After she tore it out with a hammer and chisel, she was left with the underlayment. While she wanted to install hardwood flooring, it was out of her price range. So she faked it using a sharpie and paint.

She explains how she created her fabulous faux floor here.

Cost: $50. The most expensive item was the sealer, which cost $40.

4. How to Makeover a Floor Using Pennies

DIY flooring made with penniesImage: Amy, PrettyPurpleDoor.com

We were floored when we discovered that 11-inch-by-11-inch sheets of real penny tile, which includes 224 coins, can fetch more than $50 each.

But Amy from Pretty Purple Door saved a chunk of change by creating the tile sheets herself. Even better, she created a penny-floor template that helped take the tedium out of the tile-spacing process.

She explains everything you need to know about creating your own copper penny floor, from creating a level surface to how to properly seal it, here.

Cost: The pennies totaled $3 per square foot.

5. How to Create a Hardwood Floor on the Cheap

DIY flooring made with plywood planksImage: Lori

Last year, Lori and her hubby tried a little experiment. They used 1/4-inch plywood to create a hardwood floor in their bedroom.

One year later they couldn’t be happier with the results. So they decided to redo all the floors in their home using 1/2-inch plywood.

Why did they double the thickness? They didn’t say, but we think it’s a better way to go. It will give you more to work with if the floor ever needs sanding.

The couple also wanted their new floor to have that farmhouse look.  So they had their local Home Depot cut the plywood sheets into 12-inch planks.

For more project details go here.

Cost: $300

Related: Do’s and Don’ts of Flooring