Cheap Hardwood Floor Alternatives Vs. Natural Hardwood Floors

Cheap Hardwood floor alternatives exist in the market. Hardwood floors are undoubtedly the most popular flooring choice among many homeowners and buyers in search of their dream homes. Every realtor including myself will tell you homes with updated features like hardwood floors typically get a lot of foot traffic and interest than homes with other types of flooring.

So what is there to love about hardwood floors?

Well, it can instantly make any room look flawless without trying too hard. Hardwood floors allude to luxury, high-class, and minimalism. In addition, properties with hardwood floors tend to have a higher resale value than homes without hardwood, which is a plus if you know you may move to another home in the long run.

While there are many things to love about hardwood flooring, there are a few downsides to it.

  • There are pretty high costs associated with hardwood flooring material, installation, and maintenance. Hardwood floors could cost anywhere from $8 to $20 per square foot, depending on type, quality, and finish.
Hardwood floors are very hard to maintain and can be damage by moisture
  • Hardwood tends to be more susceptible to humidity and moisture which leads to deterioration of the wood. Even a small amount of moisture can deteriorate the wood.

The Best Hardwood Floor Alternatives

The good news is you don’t need real wood to get the look of a wood floor!

There are a wide range of hardwood look-a-like options that are easy on the pockets. Below are a few types of cost friendly and durable hardwood flooring imitations:

Laminate Wood Floors

Laminate flooring is usually the go-to alternative to wood flooring because it’s a simple and cost-effective way of creating a hardwood flooring aesthetic. It is easy to install, more durable than solid wood flooring, cozy and safe for homes with kids and pets. These floors can cost anywhere from $0.29 – $4/sqft.

Wood-Look Tiles

Wood-look tiles can either be ceramic or porcelain tiles and they are a great choice because they come in a variety of colors, textures and sizes to choose from. They give a natural hardwood look and are by far more durable than the other flooring choices available. These moisture resistant tiles serve as a great option for wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and entry ways.

Luxury Vinyl Floors

LVT is slowly becoming the most popular flooring of choice among many homeowners. Vinyl floors closely mimic hardwood floors and are very easy to install and maintain. Choose LVT floors as an affordable wood-look option that withstands daily wear and tear with strength. It is water-resistant and perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, or mudrooms.

Engineered Hardwood Floors


With engineered hardwood floors are planks designed with a layer of real wood on top of a core that’s made from layers of ply bonded together. For this reason, they easily achieve a closer aesthetic to that of solid wood flooring than any other type of hardwood look flooring. Additionally, they hold up 5X more than traditional hardwood This makes it a great choice for kids’ rooms and living spaces.

Bamboo Floors

Bamboo floors are a newer, eco-friendly option that cleans up easily and can be refurnished. They hold up better than hardwood and is the best choice for classing up a space.

Why Consider Affordable Hardwood Floor Alternatives?

Realtor.com advices homeowners who may eventually become sellers to shy away from installing new carpets as a way of sprucing up their homes, because a lot of consumers, especially millennials favor bare floors with statement rugs than carpet floors.  Also, a study from 2018 National Association of Home Builders found that, hardwood flooring was second only to having a laundry room when it comes to what Millennials look for in a house. These facts suggest that cheap hardwood floor alternatives are the look of the future.

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