| Bargain Outlet
Expert Contributor

Your choice of flooring not only sets the tone and mood of your space, but it can add or detract from your home's resale value too.

Floors that are uneven, patchy or just downright ugly don't show well. Even worse, they're depressing to look at day after day and make your home feel more like a dungeon than the castle it's meant to be. But you can easily fix even the most challenging floors by waxing a little creative with your choice of coverings. Even if your sub-floor has high points and low points, there are still flooring options out there that will work. Some require leveling the sub-floor; others don't. We've found two of the best and most budget-friendly: 


Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP)

The average cost to install luxury vinyl plank flooring typically runs around $7 per square foot, not including the cost of the planks. For a room that measures 500 square feet, that's about $3,500 you'll need to dedicate to having LVP professionally installed — not bad when compared to the $8 to $12 per square foot for hardwood or the $17 to $36 per square foot for natural stone flooring. LVP can be installed over a sub-floor that's less than level so long as the high points have been sanded down. No floor patch or underlayment is necessary when installing luxury vinyl flooring, which makes this job economical and quick. 

Luxury vinyl flooring can mimic an almost endless variety of flooring, including stone, wood, tile, brick, porcelain and marble. It's manufactured using a photographic process so realistic that it's difficult to tell the difference once the planks have been installed. 



Laminate flooring averages around $6.33 per square foot for installation alone. It's one of the most affordable floor coverings, plus it looks great and works toward increasing your home's resale value. Laminate flooring can be manufactured to look like wood, tile or stone, but it's deceptively easy to maintain and provides durable and attractive coverage for years. Laminate flooring works well for below-grade basements, kitchens, baths and other high-traffic areas because it's resistant to moisture, scratches and cracks. 

Unlike vinyl planks, laminate flooring needs a level sub-floor, which may require the use of floor patch. This type of flooring also requires an underlayment to handle moisture. The underlayment may or may not be pre-attached to the underside of the flooring pieces. 

When you're ready to repair and replace aged flooring that's lost most of its appeal, visit your local flooring store and talk with a flooring associate to discuss your options. Older homes are typically less than square, may have sub-floors that are less than level and often present challenges that can be overwhelming to homeowners who are considering hardwood or tile floors. Before you make a hard and fast decision, make sure you're familiar with all the choices available and with how easy or difficult it is to install each. You can easily get almost the same upscale look and feel for your space while spending only a fraction of your budget on flooring when you opt for luxury vinyl or laminate. 


Anne G. specializes in writing articles, blog posts, press releases, product descriptions and marketing materials in a variety of fields. She enjoys researching, social media, landscaping, gardening and home renovation. Anne enjoys volunteering at her church, her children's school, and with the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.