Four Inexpensive Kitchen Flooring Options

Four Inexpensive Kitchen Flooring Options

You can easily spend $20 to $30 per square foot on luxury flooring for your kitchen, but if you are willing to shop around, a new kitchen floor can cost well under $10 per square foot. However, it’s important to note that price is not the only consideration. The material also must be a good candidate for the kitchen environment. Any legitimate option must agree with two basic rules:

  1. It must be durable and easy to clean. If you have to replace the flooring in a few years, either because it’s too dirty to look at or it’s falling apart, it’s not a bargain.

  2. It must be DIY-friendly. If you are on a really tight budget, you can do it yourself.

Given these rules, the four most realistic options for cheap kitchen flooring are ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate, and cork. That's actually a fairly broad list, considering that all of these are available in a wide range of styles. They are all pretty good performers in the kitchen.

Note: The costs given below are recent prices from a national home improvement retailer. They are subject to change and do not include underlayment, adhesive, grout, or other installation supplies or labour. Consider those additional costs when evaluating any flooring.

Vinyl Flooring

Easy-to-Install in Tiles, Sheets, or Planks

Price: Starting at $1.00/Sq. Ft. for vinyl tiles; $2.00/Sq. Ft. for vinyl luxury planks

Vinyl is the easiest kitchen flooring material to install. If your subfloor is in good shape, vinyl is also the cheapest because you can usually install it right over the subfloor (or suitable existing flooring), avoiding the expense of new underlayment. Vinyl comes in several types, so you can shop based on price, look, and/or installation method. The most inexpensive type of vinyl tends to be peel-and-stick tile, followed by peel-and-stick planks and sheet vinyl.

The best all-around DIY option is the luxury plank, which is usually thicker than standard vinyl tile and can be installed as a click-together floating floor. Prices for luxury planks start at about $2.00/sq. ft.

·         Advantages:

o    One of the most inexpensive flooring materials

o    Resilient surface is easy on the feet 

o    Easy to clean

·         Disadvantages:

o    Vinyl can be gouged or scratched rather easily

Installation tips: For tiles: dry-lay a full row across the width and length of the floor to establish a layout, then draw perpendicular layout lines to guide the installation.

Laminate Flooring

Comes in Many Styles

Price: Starting at $1.00/Sq. Ft. for regular and $1.79/Sq. Ft. for water-resistant laminate

Laminate has a rightful place among cheap kitchen flooring options, but it must be said that it's not the most durable choice for this room. The hard resin surfaces of the planks are plenty scratch- and stain-resistant for kitchen traffic and abuse, but the seams between planks are vulnerable to water damage. A leaky dishwasher or forgotten spill can cause the planks to bulge along the edges, so you must be mindful of standing water, and avoid wet-mopping altogether (occasional damp-mopping is OK). 

Installing a laminate floating floor in the kitchen is a doable day-long project, and many people don't seem to notice that it's not really hardwood. If you’re willing to spend more, you might look into “water-resistant” laminate, which is guaranteed to resist standing water for a specified period (such as 24 hours). 

·         Advantages: 

o    Can convincingly mimic wood, ceramic tile, stone, and other premium floor coverings

o    Installation is surprisingly easy 

·         Disadvantages:

o    Not ideal for areas where moisture is an issue

o    Can be scratched

o    Underlayment and trim pieces can add substantially to installation costs

o    Cannot be cleaned by wet-mopping

Installation tips: Be very careful with the plank edges during installation; they break easily. Plan the plank layout so you don't end up with a really short piece at either end of a row or a really narrow strip at either side of the room.  

Ceramic Tile

Durable and Easy to Clean

Price: Starting at $0.75/Sq. Ft.

Shaw Ceramic Tile Floor in Pepper

Ceramic tile gives you the most bang for your buck because you get an essentially indestructible floor that’s easy to clean. Well, at least the tiles are easy to clean. The grout joints can be like grease traps, but they are much less trouble if you seal them carefully (as soon as recommended after laying the tile).

If properly installed, bargain tile lasts forever, just as long as expensive tile. Styles may be less trendy, but if you go for a clean, simple style no one will be the wiser.

·         Advantages:

o    A very elegant flooring surface

o    Extremely durable—can last for decades

o    Surfaces are easy to clean

·         Disadvantages:

o    A very hard surface that lead to fatigue; dropped dishes may shatter

o    Can be a cold surface on the feet

o    Grout joints are prone to trapping dirt and stains

o    A more complicated installation than most other types of flooring

o    Additional materials needed can significantly add to the overall cost

Installation tip: Install the tile over a layer of cement board, which helps stiffen the floor (to prevent cracking) and isn't affected by moisture that gets through the tile.


Comfortable, natural, and Easy to Install

Price: Starting at $1.99/Sq. Ft.

Cork is at the higher end of inexpensive flooring options, but it's a comfortable and visually pleasing material that's easy to install. Bonus, this flooring is all natural and renewable material. Cork is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and termites. It offers more cushion underfoot than the others and is quite long-lasting. You might have to shop around to find cork, but it is available.

Cork is most commonly sold as  snap-together planks or tiles for a floating floor installation, similar to how laminate flooring is installed. This makes cork a good DIY option, and many types of cork do not require the foam underlayment that is necessary with laminates.

·         Advantages:

o    Very comfortable to the feet

o    Easy installation

·         Disadvantages:

o    A bit more expensive than other flooring options

o    Not as durable as ceramic tile

o    Can be damaged by high heels, sport cleats, and pet claws

Installation tip: Plan the layout of the planks so you don't end up with a really short piece at either end of a row or a really narrow strip at either side of the room.

Where to Buy

For a better idea of what kitchen flooring options we have available, visit our design studio in Cranbrook. Our Kitchen and Bath experts can help you find the best design, colour, and material for your home remodel. Together, we can find the right product to make your flooring eye-catching and functional!



How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost?

How much does a bathroom remodel cost?

If you’re planning to remodel your bathroom, typically means you are looking to update the style (hello dated!), increase resale value, add functionality, and storage. Simple enough. Right?

However, the scope of a project depends on a variety factors — most of all budget. As with most things, there are three levels of bathroom remodeling: good, better and best. Of course, the costs below are all relative and pulled from our experiences and will depend on a variety of factors, including your personal style, how old your home is and what kind of renovations have already been done. For example, remodeling a bathroom from the 90's is going to be a lot different than overhauling one built in the 1940's. 

Let’s take a look at three different cost ranges for bathroom remodels and common materials for each.


1. The Basic Bathroom Update

Basic Bathroom Vanity Remodel with counterop

Often runs from $3,000 (DIY) to $8,000

Great if: Your budget is limited, obviously. This basic bathroom update is ideal if you’re looking to resell your home but don’t want to spend a ton to make it look nice.

What you could get: You will not be able to move major features around, but you can update fixtures and other materials with standard stock products that can be found in the average hardware store. If your space is small, you might even be able to get a specialty vanity designed.

Countertops: Laminate countertops are most popular in this price range.

Tile: Don’t expect to tile the entire room, but you can likely get a bathtub or shower area done with standard subway tiles, especially if you have any DIY skills. Think about doing a counter backsplash around the vanity, it will add a high-end look at an affordable rate.

Walls: Painting the walls is the most affordable choice.

Cabinets: Make sure to inspect the interior and look for signs of water damage, especially under the sink. If there are any signs, just replace it. Beats having to do it down the road and tear the room apart again. If your cabinets are in good condition, you might just want to simply paint or reface them. There are lots of off the shelf options, but you will sacrifice quality and lifespan. It is worth talking to a cabinet manufacturer, often they have a standard style that they offer at a competitive price.

Lighting, fixtures and finishes: All basic, off-the-shelf products. 

Designer Advice:

The best advice we can give for this price range is to splurge on a nice light fixture or a new vanity. Accessorizing will draw the eye more so than the type of tile you have, especially since it is likely that you will put up a shower curtain that hides it all anyway. You can make up for the cheap stock materials by putting focus on the accents.

Who to hire: This level of a remodel will largely depend on your DIY skill set, the more aspects you hire out will up your labour costs. If you’re somewhat knowledgeable, you can do it yourself and save your money for that dream vanity or must-have sink and faucet.


2. Mid-Range Bathroom Remodel

$8,000 to $25,000

Great if: You’re doing a remodel for yourself and not because you plan to sell and move soon. You’re limited in the space or footprint, but you’ll still be able to do a lot more with finishes, fixtures and cabinetry.

What you could get: Better fixtures, like a toilet or faucets with better flow. New features like flooring, a sink, lighting, hardware, toilet, a vanity and countertop, a framed mirror that matches the vanity and a recessed medicine chest — all of which are better quality than from a big-box store. You can even make a few adjustments to the layout.

Countertops: A higher-grade laminate or solid surface are options, you might even find a low-grade granite that works.

Cabinets: Custom pieces with higher-end finishes — stained or painted instead of just clear — and decorative details like unique hardware and intricate door panels. Something made locally will maximizes every inch in your bathroom for counter space

The bathroom vanity shown here is an example of a mid-range bathroom. It features new tile, a his-and-her custom vanity, granite countertops and oil rubbed bronze plumbing fixtures

Plumbing: You can make moderate adjustments to the plumbing, like moving the faucets and sink positions.

Lighting Fixtures: You can upgrade the fixtures for ones with quality copper or bronze inside, which will last considerably longer than off-the-shelf units.

Tile: At this level you have more color, size and design options. You’ll have the option to do interesting borders and accent tiles, and you can tile the entire space instead of only the shower or bathtub area. 

Walls: You can get a more creative with materials and do tile walls, ship lap, or bead board for a custom high-end look.

Who to hire: You’ll likely have a team that includes a cabinet maker, plumber, drywaller, tiler, painter and others. As you start to get into a larger project scope we recommend consulting with a general contractor who can manage and schedule sub trades realistically and ensure that tasks are completed to British Columbia's building code. 

3. The High-End Bathroom Remodel

$25,000 to $50,000-plus

Great if: You have the funds, obviously. But at this level, you’re really getting the bathroom you want. Putting money back into your home and making it more enjoyable for you is a great investment.

This level is also known as a full gut job. Everything will go away, and you’ll put things where you want. You might move walls or punch out the exterior to increase the space. The shower might go away and a sauna might come in; all-new high-end fixtures, materials, cabinets, lighting and finishes are added. 

Countertops: A mid to high-grade granite or marble.

Cabinetry: Solid wood construction with custom finishes with decorative accent pieces and custom storage accessories.

The bathroom vanity shown here has granite tops with his and hers under-mount sinks and high-end faucets. The vanity includes lots of drawers and pullouts for maximum storage. The pullouts come with custom bins for organizing and the center one has special metal bins for hair dryers and straightening irons. 

Tile: Natural marble, limestone or granite, all of which are more labor intensive.

Plumbing: High-end finishes and parts.

Amenities: Steam showers and radiant floor heating. Full tub surrounds.

Who to hire: Depending on the scope, you might have an interior designer on board to help guide your vision and selections, engineers if you’re changing the footprint, a general contractor and all sorts of subcontractors, like a carpenter, a plumber, and an electrician.

How Kootenay Locals are Upgrading their Main Bathrooms


Bathrooms are one of our customers most popular room to renovate, after kitchens of course! After all, these are important spaces where we spend a good amount of time — several hours a week, in fact. 

How much will it cost me? 

Perhaps the most important consideration for people embarking on a bathroom renovation is how much it will cost. Obviously, the answer will vary widely depending on the finishes and custom options selected. On a wide basis, the most common budget for, as well as the actual cost of, a master bath renovation is $8,000 to $20,000. Plenty of people spend more, and plenty less, but the majority of these bathroom projects cost between $5,000 and $35,000.

We just can’t stand it anymore. 

Why renovate the bath? Often, it’s because the homeowner can’t stand the old one anymore. And a close second theme is finally having the money to do so.

Upgrading the basics. 

More than four in five local homeowners renovating a master bath are replacing major features in their bathroom renovations, from countertops and vanities to showers and floors. Notably, far less who renovate are updating their tubs or tub-shower combos compared with the large share of those addressing showers.

Supersizing the shower.

Today’s master bath renovators are all about the shower. While the majority of master bathrooms stay the same size during a reno, most homeowners are increasing the size of their showers. 

Popular shower trends are switching to Rainfall showerheads, installing new showers add a dual shower and adding mood lighting.

Tile is still #1 for floors.

Ceramic or porcelain tile is the most popular flooring material chosen as an update, followed closely by stone tile or slab. Among the most popular stones, marble is king, travertine is a close second, and granite and slate are tied for third.

Hardly anyone takes a bath.

Most of us are hardly using the bathtub at all these days. More than half of our clients who own a bathtub and went through a master bath renovation have said that they never use a tub in the course of a normal month. No wonder they are putting their money into showers instead of tubs.

A change in style.

Bathrooms are very personal spaces, so it’s perhaps not so shocking that most clients who renovate their master bathrooms change the style of their master bathrooms when they upgrade. 

Beauty over resale value. 

Beyond specific features or decor choices, the most appreciated design aspects of renovated master bathrooms are their style and beauty. Far fewer owners are valuing a master bath renovation for adding to resale value. This is an interesting trend, suggesting that a gorgeous bathroom is worth it just for the soothing factor.

The pros who make our bathrooms beautiful.

If you’re not doing a renovation on your own, you’re not alone. A whopping 75 percent of our clients who undertook master bathroom renovation projects last year or are planning one this year enlist the help of industry professionals. 


Plan Your Kitchen Renovation Budget

It's no secret that choosing to remodel your kitchen is going to cost quite a few pennies, but that doesn't mean it needs to break the bank. 

Here at Gipman Millwork we firmly believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. So much activity happens in this space on a daily basis and if it isn't open and inviting those activities will be dreaded chores. Kitchen remodels are popular, especially in the Kootenays, because