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A Buying Guide To Cheap Wood Flooring: Understanding Why Wood Flooring Can Cost Less

01/03/2024
Cheap wood flooring options - engineered, solid, and alternatives

Looking to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property without going over budget? One solution is to invest in cheap wood flooring. It's a popular upgrade for homeowners across the globe that is affordable, stylish, and durable.

In terms of flooring, low cost doesn’t always mean low quality. This guide will debunk such notions, showing you how to achieve affordable floor covering for years. 

By understanding the factors that make wood flooring cheaper, you can make budget-friendly home upgrades at lower cost. Investing in your property shouldn't be a financial burden, and affordable wood flooring can be a key ingredient in your home improvement recipe. 

Cheap wood flooring options - engineered, solid, and alternatives

What Is Cheap Wood Flooring?

Cheap wood flooring is an affordable variant of traditional wood floors. It includes options like laminate, engineered hardwood, and lesser-known wood species, offering the same classic wooden appearance without straining your budget. It’s a great solution for cost-effective, attractive home upgrades. 

How Much Is Cheap Wood Flooring?

Cheap wood flooring in the UK generally ranges from as little as £30 to £120 per square metre. Price depends on various factors like:

  • Type of Wood Flooring: Laminate flooring is often the cheapest, which ranges from £15 to £25 per square metre.  Engineered wood flooring can cost more at a base price of £30.
  • Wood Species: Common species such as oak and maple tend to be more affordable than exotic ones like mahogany or teak.
  • Wood Quality: although more expensive, higher-quality wood generally offers better longevity and durability.
  • Installation Complexity: Floors requiring intricate installation processes can drive up the total cost.
  • Regional Pricing: Costs may vary depending on your location, driven by factors like local market competition and availability of materials. 

What Makes Cheap Wood Flooring?

Cheap wood flooring isn't solely a reflection of a lower price point. It's more about the strategic selection and optimisation of materials and methods. Here's how:

  • Choosing Affordable Wood Types: Opting for economical wood species or engineered options like laminate can substantially reduce expenses while achieving a stunning look.
  • Sourcing Locally: Utilising locally available wood minimises transportation and import costs, contributing to a lower overall price.
  • Simpler Installation Processes: Flooring types requiring less elaborate installation methods can reduce labour costs.
  • Bulk Purchasing: Consider buying in bulk if you plan to cover a large area, as this often results in cost savings.
  • Sale and Discount Opportunities: Look for sales or discounts from suppliers and retailers. These can drastically decrease the cost of your flooring project.
  • Self-Installation: If you have the experience and are willing to take on the task, self-installation could save on professional fitting fees. Just be sure to understand the process first to avoid potential damage. 

What Types Of Wood Flooring Can You Get Cheap?

There are several options for budget-friendly floor surfaces. This section will introduce you to these cost-effective choices and help you identify the best fit for your home.

  • Laminate Flooring: Laminate is a popular choice for those on a tight budget. It's composed of a photographic layer (which imitates the look of wood) and a clear protective layer. It's ideal for high-traffic areas due to its durability and easy-to-clean nature.
  • Engineered Wood Flooring: Engineered wood consists of a real hardwood veneer attached to multiple layers of other wood, such as plywood. It's more stable than solid hardwood and can work well in areas with slight moisture, like basements.
  • Bamboo Flooring: The quick-growing nature of bamboo makes it a sustainable and inexpensive option. It's best for homeowners seeking an eco-friendly choice.
  • Oak Flooring: Within the hardwood category, oak is relatively affordable and offers a classic, timeless look. Its warmth and elegance are best for living areas and bedrooms.
  • Pine Flooring: Pine is another economical softwood option known for its distinctive grain and knots. It can give a rustic charm to country-style homes or cottages.

Solid Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring is made from a single piece of wood, offering a classic and authentic appeal.

Solid hardwood flooring is a classic choice that exudes a high-end appeal. As its name suggests, it is made from a single, solid piece of wood, usually 18-20mm thick. The thickness means it can be sanded down and refinished multiple times over its lifespan, keeping it looking fresh and new.

One of its key characteristics is the natural grain of the wood, providing a unique pattern and texture for each plank. This adds to its charm and makes each installation one-of-a-kind.

Solid hardwood is known for its durability and longevity. It can last decades with proper care, making it a potentially cost-effective option in the long run. However, it's worth noting that it can be susceptible to moisture and temperature changes, which can cause it to warp or shrink. 

Therefore, it's best to avoid installing it in moisture-prone areas like bathrooms or sub-grade basements.

Solid hardwood flooring offers an unrivalled warmth and timeless elegance. Whether you go with a traditional choice like oak or a more exotic option, it can substantially increase your home's aesthetic appeal and value.

In terms of price, solid hardwood flooring usually starts around £20 per square metre in UK shops. This can climb significantly for premium wood types and finishes. However, with smart choices and a keen eye for deals, you can secure solid hardwood flooring without overspending.

Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring consists of a thin layer of real wood on top of several layers of plywood or other wood, providing stability and resistance to moisture.

It’s a popular choice that combines the beauty of real wood with practical features. At its core, engineered hardwood comprises a top layer of real wood veneer, usually ranging in thickness from 2mm to 6mm. It is attached to several layers of high-quality plywood or high-density fibreboard (HDF).

The multi-layered construction resists temperature fluctuation and humidity, reducing the risk of warping and making it suitable for areas where solid wood may not fare well, such as basements or over-radiant heating systems.

Unlike solid wood, the top veneer of engineered hardwood can be sanded and refinished only a few times, depending on its thickness. However, considering the lifespan of modern finishes, this should be more than enough for most homeowners.

Engineered hardwood can achieve a desired aesthetic by choosing from a wide variety of wood species for the top veneer, from classics like oak and maple to exotic options like mahogany or zebrawood.

Its installation process is less labour-intensive than solid wood, offering a quicker and potentially cheaper fitting. 

While often more affordable than solid hardwood, it's more expensive than alternatives like laminate or bamboo, offering a middle ground for those seeking the look of real wood without the hefty price tag.

Why Should You Go For Cheap Wood Flooring?

Choosing cheap wood flooring is an excellent way to bring the timeless beauty of wood into your home without overspending. Affordable wood flooring options, like laminate, engineered wood, or lesser-known wood species, offer durability and style that fits most budgets.

The cost of wood flooring varies, affected by factors like wood type, sourcing, flooring installation complexity, and regional pricing. By understanding these, you can find ways to make even high-quality wood flooring more affordable.

You have a range of cheap flooring options available. Laminate and engineered wood flooring often offer the best value, providing the look and feel of wood at a lower cost. Bamboo, oak, and pine are also cost-effective choices, each with unique benefits and aesthetics.

Cheap wood flooring is a smart choice for those seeking a balance between cost, aesthetics, and durability. It proves you don't have to sacrifice quality or style when working with a budget.

Cheap wood flooring options - engineered, solid, and alternatives

What Are Some Alternatives To Cheap Wood Flooring?

If you're exploring alternatives to cheap wood flooring, you'll find several other affordable options that still deliver on aesthetics and durability.

  • Imitation Wood Flooring: Imitation wood flooring, such as laminate or luxury vinyl tiles, is designed to mimic the look of wood but often comes at a fraction of the cost. These materials resist stains and damage, making them ideal for high-traffic areas.
  • Vinyl Flooring: Vinyl flooring provides a water-resistant and inexpensive floor covering alternative. Available in various designs and styles, including those that replicate the look of wood, it's a versatile choice suitable for areas prone to moisture, like kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Linoleum Flooring: Linoleum, or ‘lino', is a natural product made from linseed oil. It's a durable, cost-effective flooring solution available in various designs. It's a great choice for those seeking an eco-friendly alternative.
  • Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles: While not imitating wood, these offer a low-maintenance, long-lasting flooring solution. Depending on their design, tiles can create different looks, from modern to rustic, and are best suited to areas like kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Bamboo Flooring: Bamboo flooring is a sustainable and cost-friendly option, providing a unique aesthetic appeal. Its fast-growing nature makes it a more affordable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional hardwood.
  • Cork Flooring: Cork is another eco-conscious choice, known for its resilience and comfort underfoot. It's also perfect for those seeking a unique visual aesthetic.

Conclusions

Home improvement shouldn't be a daunting financial task. Affordable alternatives, like cheap wood flooring, can significantly enhance your property's appeal.

Options like laminate, engineered wood, bamboo, and cork offer a balance of style, durability, and cost-effectiveness. The key is understanding your needs, researching your local market, and making informed choices.
Ready to upgrade your flooring? Get in touch with our experts so we can help you navigate the sea of affordable wood flooring options and ensure you make the best investment for your home.

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