Forty years or so ago, I didn’t have any choice or say in what was the best flooring option for the home we lived in. In fact, my mom didn’t have much of a choice either. Our house was always a cheap rented house and the floor was either wooden and rickety or it was just painted and polished concrete.
I loved seeing the clean shiny floor that we created every Saturday morning. I didn’t however, enjoy the hard work it took to create it. Our kids nowadays would hate if we woke them up early on a Saturday morning to sweep or vacuum the floor!
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Here’s the process we had to go through to get the most amazingly clean and shiny floor ever:
- First, there was the matter of removing almost all of the furniture from the room that was your responsibility for the day. Anything that wasn’t too heavy was placed on the verandah or in the front yard.
- The floor was then given a proper wash with a solution of water and bleach or Dettol antiseptic or even washing up liquid.
- After waiting for the floor to dry, you then had to get on all fours with a tub of floor wax polish and an old cloth or rag to polish the entire surface area of the room.
- The next hard bit involved getting back down on all fours to go over the polished areas with a coconut brush (maybe if you google it you will see what it looked like) and giving a buffing until, according to mommy, you could see your face!
- To get the furniture back into the house, we would walk gingerly on rags, taking the furniture from outside and putting them back where they belonged.
Now that was hard, sweaty, back breaking work and if I tell you that we smiled happily during this chore, I’d be lying. In fact, when Mommy saved up enough money to buy a second hand Hoover floor polisher, it was a glorious day in our house!
Things and times have certainly changed and guest blogger Amelia shares with us how we can make sensible frugal choices about the best flooring options for our homes today.
If you want to lead a frugal life, you don’t only have to think about how much you spend every month. True frugality comes from sustainable living as well. Actually, this is one of the most important aspects of saving money properly. That being said, one of the more prominent investments involves your flooring. Installing certain flooring materials can be very pricey. Also, some materials that are really cheap to buy will cost you a lot more because of maintenance and repairs later on. The following flooring ideas will help you make the best choice for your home.
Linoleum or vinyl
The first thing you should know is that the prices of linoleum and vinyl vary. Therefore, it would be best to shop around in order to find the perfect solution for your home if this seems like a good investment. In general, both linoleum and vinyl are very easy to install on your own. If you want to save some money, this is the perfect way to do so. Moreover, you can make this job a lot easier for yourself simply by choosing linoleum tiles instead of whole rolls. Finally, the biggest pro for linoleum and vinyl is the fact that these materials are very durable, but they can be cleaned in a jiffy.
It’s true that ceramic tiles can be on the pricey side, but you can budget this expense as well if you opt for larger ones. Also, these are pretty simple to install without professional help. Essentially, ceramic tiles are so popular because they are even more durable compared to linoleum. In case one tile gets broken or damaged in any way, you can replace just that one tile. Obviously, tiles are also extremely easy to clean and maintain, and they are waterproof. An extra benefit is the option to mix and match different tile styles to achieve a unique look.
Use rubber mats
If you don’t want to replace the flooring you already have, opting for rubber mats may prove to be a great frugal solution for you. Rubber mats are on the more affordable side – the cost is similar to the one of linoleum and vinyl. These are also very easy to install. Furthermore, rubber mats can be found in many different shapes, colours and patterns to perfectly fit the space you have. They are anti-slip, anti-stain, waterproof and pretty durable.
An indoor/outdoor carpet is a great flooring option if you want to add some warmth to your home. Pay attention to the fact that these are not your regular pile carpets – those wear like crazy. Because the carpets in question are made for both indoor and outdoor use, they are pretty resistant to moisture. If you’re looking for the most affordable option out there, this is it. Not to mention that indoor/outdoor carpeting is without a doubt the most attractive option of them all. If you don’t mind having a cleaning schedule to get rid of possible dirt particles and accidental stains every once in a while, definitely go with this one.
Extra tip: hardwood
In case you already have hardwood flooring in your home, many people will consider you lucky. However, hardwood can be damaged easily if it’s not properly sealed. As mentioned, you can use rubber mats to protect your hardwood floors. However, going with a good quality floor coating first will save you a lot of money and trouble later on. What’s more, if you invest in hardwood flooring protection now and secure the look and durability of your floors, you’ll successfully boost your home’s resale value.
Even if you want to live a frugal life and choose long-lasting flooring options for your home, that doesn’t mean that your home needs to lack personality. These days all of the above-mentioned materials can easily be found in many attractive designs, so don’t settle for something that you don’t like just because it’s cheap. Here’s one final extra tip for you – take off your shoes before entering your home. This will help prolong the life of your floors as well.