Just Floored! 15 Totally Unexpected DIY Flooring Alternatives

Bottle caps, leather belts, and pennies are just a few of the unusual materials that creative do-it-yourselfers have incorporated in these cheap flooring ideas. Click through for 15 finished projects prove that—for very little money—you can add a lot of beauty and interest underfoot!

By Larry Bilotti | Updated Aug 30, 2018 05:03 PM

Belts Beneath Your Feet

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Leather Floor

Wait—don't throw away that old belt! Arranged into large squares or tiles, used leather belts make a uniquely warm and soft flooring for home or office. Who would have thought?!

Related:  5 Things to Do with... Leather Belts


Sure Looks Like Salami

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Printed Photocopies

This sandwich meat–inspired flooring is the brainchild of Belgian artist Wim Delvoye. If you look closely at the center of each tile, you will see the distinct salami-patterned swirl replicated in the scanned, printed, and laminated images of luscious charcuterie…anyone else suddenly craving a sandwich?


More than a Pocketful of Pennies

Cheap Flooring Ideas - DIY Penny Floor

Some people wish for a money tree out back, but why not a money floor? This project tops the cheap flooring ideas because it literally costs pennies to make. Glue copper coins in place, fill in with black grout, seal with clear coat, and you have a cent-sational floor that will wow your guests.

Related:  Kitchen Countertops the DIY Way


We'll Drink to That

Whiskey Barrel Floor

Reclaimed wood like that of whiskey barrels can cost less than the typical oak flooring. This particular flooring's manufacturer, McKay, in the United Kingdom, carefully preserves the barrels' branded markings from sherry, whiskey, and bourbon that make this lumber so distinctive.

Related:  5 Things to Do With... Old Barrels


Put a Cork in It

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Wine Cork Floor

This one-of-a-kind floor was created from thousands of wine corks, laid horizontally in a wave pattern. If it sounds too daunting to drink your way to enough corks to cover the ground with this cheap flooring idea, try contacting local restaurants and bistros to ask for donations instead!

Related:  Trending Now: Cork Flooring


A Bit Puzzling

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Puzzle Flooring

These fun, hardwood-look floor tiles are like child’s play for the do-it-yourself crowd. The floating floor jigsaw-pattern pieces click together like laminate and allow the installer to create either a repeating or random pattern in the floor's coloring.


Cap It Off

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Bottle Cap Floor

This crazy bathroom floor was created from thousands of beer bottle caps, but any bottle caps will create a multicolor penny tile effect so long as they are of uniform height. Once you’ve collected your caps, fill in the backs so they don’t cave in under foot traffic. Then lay them out, grout, and brush on a clear coat for a colorful, whimsical mosaic.

Related:  5 Things to Do with... Bottle Caps


Wood...With a Twist

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Cross Cut Wood Floor

Who says hardwood floors have to be boring? Created by Chicago flooring company Birger Juell Ltd., this bathroom floor comprises horizontal cuts of oak, birch, and maple, as well as tiny twigs and branches—all gathered from the client’s property.

Related:  10 Things to Do With...Cross-Cut Trees


Giving New Meaning to "The Pits"

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Peach Pit DIY

In South Africa, peach pips—or peach pits, as we know them in North America—have long been used for floors. The warm hues and natural texture make these floors a delightful accent for kitchens and entryways.


Not-So-Plain Brown Paper

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Paper Bag Floors

Ripped-up brown kraft paper crumpled into balls, soaked in liquid, and smoothed onto plywood subfloor makes this a cheap and easy project for a creative and industrious homeowner. It looks almost like high-end custom flooring, don't you think? Check out our guide to paper bag floors before you dive into your own!

Related:  Bob Vila Radio: Kraft Paper


A Pallet-Made Parquet

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Pallet Flooring

You can make more than furniture with recycled wood pallets—in fact, taken apart, the used boards can be reassembled as one of the most popular cheap flooring ideas. Rough hewn, these boards add great character to the mudroom or porch. Once installed, a floor sander could give them a more even finish for indoor use.

Related: 5 Things to Do with… Shipping Pallets

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Welcome to My Turf

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Rec Room

Astro turf can be laid down with adhesive onto a deck, a plywood subfloor, or concrete floor—a perfect DIY flooring option for rec rooms, basements or playrooms. Customize it for play with outdoor paint. You can hose it down or vacuum it when it gets dirty.

Related: Man, Oh Man! 7 Unbelievable Guy Spaces


Design in Record Time

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Music Room

Don’t let your vinyl record collection just sit in dusty boxes. Album covers can be laid out as floor tiles for an eye-popping effect in a rec room, basement, or music room. Lay them down with adhesive and apply several coats of oil-based polyurethane on top for protection. It’s a conversation starter that will keep guests talking all night.


Chalk It Up to a Good Idea

Cheap Flooring Ideas - Chalkboard Ideas

Put a new twist on the painted floor by using chalkboard paint. The doodled designs are then ever-changeable. Great for a playroom, or office, where inspiration needs to be recorded. Clean-up is easy: Just wipe down with a damp mop.

Related: 10 Reasons to Go Crazy for Chalkboard Paint


Cut Your Own Carpet

Cheap Flooring Ideas - FLOR Carpet Tiles

FLOR tiles are an affordable way to customize a carpeted floor covering for any space. Make anything from runners to wall-to-wall designs—no glue or tacks required—and by simply adhering the tiles with non-toxic adhesive dots to your existing floor. And when you're ready to "rip" them out, send them back to FLOR in a pre-paid mailing label for recycling. Easy and earth-friendly.

Related: How To: Choose Carpeting


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