How to upgrade your flooring without breaking the bank

How to upgrade your flooring without breaking the bank

Give your home a dramatic makeover on a budgetWhere to spend your money to get the best return???A room-by-room guide to renovating

There are many ways to improve your flooring, from sanding and staining with limewash or colour, painting or covering with carpet or floating flooring. I’d spent the time to refresh my paint but now the floors looked totally out of place and with the wealth of choices on the market I had some questions I needed to answer to decide which solution was right for me.

DIY or tradesman install?

For me it was DIY all the way. I had no budget to spend on tradesmen so I needed a solution that I could handle easily, install myself and plug away at piece by piece. That ruled out covering with tiles or carpet.

Staying in the house or moving out in the process?

I had to stay. It was holiday time and we weren’t going away so the idea was to move furniture out of the way and do room by room. The best way to sand and stain floors is to have no one in the property for a number of days as any traffic on drying floors can ruin them, let alone allowing dust to settle on newly painted or lacquered finishes. That ruled out sanding and staining.


My personal favourite floating floor is engineered oak board. I’ve used them in projects and even floated them above the existing carpet in my office so naturally I gravitate to engineered boards as the solution. They’re great value for money but if you’re willing to have a slight, and I do mean slight, compromise of real timber versus a representation for value for money there is no going past score and click vinyl plank boards.

Vinyl planks have had significant gains in finish and technology. The latest iteration of planks feature very realistic prints of real timber colours and patterns with a huge array of variation from plank to plank. To avoid repetition, you need to keep an eye on the pattern of individual boards but due to the number of different patterns this is more of a side note than a focus.

The technology in texture too has advanced in leaps and bounds, with the grain now very much in line with real timber and engineered timber boards. A matt finish that gently picks up the grain when light falls across it is more realistically subtle than the over embossed textures of the past.

With the many choices available to me the possible flooring was whittled down to one, a great product from my own range of flooring with Carpet Court called Home Sweet Home vinyl plank in the colour Taupe. It looks magic down, feels great under foot, cleans well and I could install it all on my own with nothing more than a box cutter, a ruler, a tape measure, straight edge, chisel and hammer.