A low-cost alternative to flooring is something I've been pondering lately. Everyone knows about tile and hardwood flooring, and knows how expensive they can be. As I look at the prospect of home ownership, I contemplate the expenses, and conveniences of different types of flooring.
Hardwoods and tiles are amazing because of their
cleanliness. They don't retain smells or stains and are very easy to
clean. They last for a long time, far longer than carpet which is also
more expensive to clean and maintain. So I wonder, what type of hard
flooring can I get which is clean and lasts as long as tile or hardwood,
without the expense? Here's what I found:
I am practically in love with the idea of simple concrete floors. They
are under most subfloors and flooring in a standard basement to start
with, so they make a wonderful flooring option for a basement. Even if
you want to finish your basement, concrete floors can look amazing. If
you rent some common tools for a hardware store, you can buff, clean,
polish, and seal it yourself in 1-3 days and have results that will last
Concrete is porous, but if you seal it with a few
layers it becomes extremely sanitary. Concrete is
arguably more sanitary than tile or hardwoods as it has absolutely no
cracks for allergens, dirt, or other matter to gather in.
feeling slightly deterred from concrete, thinking about how slippery it must be
once it's finished. I had already planned to throw some nice ornamental area
rugs over it, but I still wouldn't want anyone slipping elsewhere. I was
pleased to find that there are non-slip sealants out there, that while
still looking glossy, have added texture for friction. Amazing!
Acid Stained Concrete
is the same as the regular concrete flooring. However this adds in an
extra step which, although it doesn't affect the floor's functionality,
makes it completely different. By adding in some acidic, colored stains,
you can get a faux marble look. You can stain concrete any color you
wish (most common is brown), or enhance the natural grays. The end
result is truly beautiful. It looks like a marble floor that costs far
less than most other options, and will last your whole life!
Recycled Glass Tile
this can still be expensive, glass tiles usually run less than ceramic
tiles. They are also found to be more durable in many cases because of
the way they are created. You can find them in solids, dapples, and
print designs or colors. The most wonderful thing about these is that
they are recycled and reused glass, which means one small victory for
already written about using pennies as a form of cheap alternative
flooring in a past blog. I love this idea, though it does require a
particular design to be pulled off right. But if you're feeling daring,
try a penny floor. They will look best in a room with a lot of natural
light, or pure artificial light. for $1.44 a square foot, you can't beat
the price. The only other costs are the adhesive to glue them to the
floor, and the sealant. Oh, and some Advil for that back pain after
laying 500 pennies.
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