Hardwood floors are not for everyone. Sometimes your budget doesn’t allow for it, sometimes your floor is too elevated, sometimes you’re worried about possible flooding and moisture, perhaps you’re concerned about the environmental impact. There are many, many reasons to avoid a hardwood floor. But you must admit they are beautiful.

So what can you do when you want the look of hardwood without using hardwood? Well, we’re here with 4 cheap alternatives!

High-Quality Vinyl

Over the years the quality of vinyl has increased tremendously. High-quality vinyl is still cheaper than hardwood but will give the same effect and the best part? It’s waterproof! This little feature can save you thousands in case of a flood or if you’re in a high moisture area like Northern Virginia.

Bamboo Floor

Bamboo’s a grass. It’s a little more versatile than hardwood, has less environmental impact, looks nice, and is cheaper! It does have some drawbacks though. They scratch easier than hardwood floors and the scratches are more noticeable. They also don’t last nearly as long and they don’t hold up to water (after all, it’s technically a floor made of grass). But if you love the design, which is both pleasant and unique, it may work in some apartments, especially if you don’t have pets or wear shoes inside.

Cork Floor

Cork is another one that has been gaining popularity lately. The cool thing about cork is that it’s not as hard as the other option, there’s a little bit of shock absorption. That makes it great for places where you’re always walking around like the kitchen, or if you have a little one in the home. It does look slightly different from hardwood, some folks don’t like it, but many say it’s trendy.


Tile is one of the most conventional alternatives to hardwood. By now there are thousands of designs you can choose from to give the illusion of hardwood on your floors. The good news is that this is also waterproof, and highly versatile. We highly recommend this type of floor for basements.

We hope this list proves that you can have the floor you want even with financial and practical implications. What you don’t want to do to save money, however, is do the floor yourself. Investing in a qualified professional will make sure your floors are installed properly and efficiently, otherwise, you risk making a very expensive mistake, and not saving that much money after all.