Laminate is the best option

Choosing the right flooring for a limited budget

When it comes to furnishing an apartment or house, one thing should count above all: The implementation of your own ideas and the design of your own home according to your personal preferences. But usually more often than you would like, the question of the budget also comes into play. In order to avoid horrendous costs, especially when it comes to flooring, which is often expensive, we show you the best options for stylish flooring at an affordable price.

What price differences exist for the different floor coverings?

There are a number of possible options for designing your own floor. In addition to optical differences, these are extremely different in terms of price. Inexpensive solutions such as laminate or vinyl start at five euros per square meter, while the price range is open at the top. For parquet flooring, a price of 50 euros per square meter can be assumed, so that this sometimes costs ten times the price of a square meter of the cheaper alternatives.

It quickly becomes clear that the price differences can be enormous and, above all, differ greatly depending on the respective area of ​​the floor. Of course, everyone has to decide for themselves how much their own floor is worth, but cheap floor coverings can also be a good alternative.

What cheap floor coverings are there?

Since the term cheap is generally difficult to generalize, we only look at products that cost less than 20 euros per square meter. This price includes a number of products and so reflects the price of cheap floor coverings. Overall, we compare the following three floor coverings:

  • Laminate
  • vinyl
  • Carpeting

Laminate: The well-known alternative to parquet

The classic among floor coverings and the typical alternative to parquet flooring is laminate. It consists of several layers of wood, plastic and paper glued together. Laminate is particularly popular because of its easy handling and appearance. Laminate flooring can often be easily laid by hand with the click of the various lengths. Laminate flooring also looks a lot like parquet and can easily be mistaken for it without looking closely. Although the laminate is of course not real wood and therefore does not offer the noble style of a parquet floor or other wood coverings, it is a good alternative to this. If the wood look is desired and the budget is to be saved, laminate is a good choice.

Vinyl: The modern competitor to laminate

The newfangled competitor to laminate is vinyl flooring. When choosing the right floor covering, the question is often which of the two is better. Basically, both are very similar and not easy to distinguish visually. However, vinyl flooring is basically made from a different raw material, namely PVC. This is robust, allergy-friendly and comes in many different designs and colors. With vinyl, too, the look is based very much on the appearance of the parquet floor and therefore looks high-quality. The advantage in contrast to the laminate, however, is that the noise development is much lower. In terms of price, however, laminate is a little cheaper than vinyl.

Carpet: the cozy alternative

The third floor covering in our comparison for the smaller budget is the carpet. This is of course completely different in appearance than the two predecessors, which come along in the classic look of the wooden floor. However, the advantages of carpeting are obvious. The soft feeling on the feet is more pleasant than the often cold surface of laminate or vinyl floors. It is also much more suitable for families with children, as they can play on the floor without any problems. Furthermore, the carpet is less prone to impacts or external influences, such as falling devices or moving furniture. The hard floors, such as laminate or vinyl, can suffer permanent damage here, which of course negatively affects the appearance of the floor. The disadvantage, however, is the sensitivity of the carpet to stains from liquids or leftover food that could land on the floor.

Before deciding on a floor covering, compare the prices of the material in various hardware stores and online sellers. Often, remaining stocks are offered at extremely low prices when they are sold out.

What other costs can arise apart from the material?

For a holistic view of the costs of a floor, a lot more has to be taken into account than just the pure material costs. In addition to the purchase, the floor also has to be laid and consequential costs can arise. In terms of the cost of laying, the price comparison is clearly won by the laminate. Click laminate, which is already available from the well-known provider Home Market for prices of around five euros per square meter, can easily be laid by yourself without much prior knowledge. All that is needed is a little time, but in most cases the involvement of craftsmen is not necessary.

Vinyl flooring, which, in contrast to laminate, is glued and not connected with just one click, makes for a lot more effort. More time has to be spent here, and the manual skill and knowledge required is greater. Laypeople should rather rely on the help of craftsmen instead of overbearing themselves with the project or getting an unsatisfactory result in the end. If craftsmen are hired, the costs naturally continue to rise.

The carpeting is a difficult story to install. Die-hard do-it-yourselfers will say that laying carpeting on your own is not a problem. But here, too, all sorts of problems can quickly arise that make hiring craftsmen a better choice. Even with carpets, one can assume that there are no costs for carpet layers without much experience.
There are therefore direct costs for laying vinyl and carpeting, and these are quite impressive. The average cost of the vinyl floor is € 11.18 per square meter, the carpet comes to € 7.80.

These are average values, which in reality can deviate significantly. The prices for laying can be as low as six or seven euros per square meter. Before buying the material, an offer should always be obtained from a craftsman!

Laminate wins, but it also has its disadvantages

If you consult all the relevant costs and compare them, you quickly come to the obvious conclusion. The laminate is by far the most cost-effective alternative for the floor. Due to the low material price and the simple installation without the help of professionals, the floor can be realized at low prices of ten euros per square meter. However, the laminate cannot keep up with the stylish look of the vinyl floor and the cosiness of the carpet. In addition, the laminate floor generates more noise than vinyl and is much more sensitive to impacts than the carpet.


Overall, the question of the right flooring is not only a question of taste but also a question of budget. The chic wood look of the laminate floor and the low price are quite convincing, but this is not suitable for every requirement.

Article image: Andrey Burmakin /

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