Hardwood flooring is extremely popular and a good choice for a beautiful floor, however, when you have a large area to replace, sometimes you need some less costly choices. Here are a few that are beautiful that don't break the budget!
Concrete - Durability is the biggest plus of a concrete floor. There are so many finishes you can have added and beautiful sealers that can make it look less cold and industrial. It is heavy, however, so it's usually limited to the ground floor in a home. They can tend to be colder and are very hard, which are things to consider if you have small children or elderly in your home. Also, you need to make sure they are sealed properly because they are susceptible to moisture.
Bamboo - This product is actually a wood product, but it is eco-friendly because of how quick bamboo can grow, it is easily replaced in the environment. It is durable and sturdy and it is less susceptible to moisture than traditional hardwood flooring. You will want to avoid placing it in a high humidity area, however, because it can warp. It is also a bit softer than hardwood so it can scratch a bit easier.
Cork - This option is also a sustainable flooring. It is soft and warm, good on your feet and back and produces less chemical emissions than carpet might. Cork has great acoustical qualities, since it can absorb room noise. It can come in a variety of colors and patterns and can even resemble a hardwood floor. However, since cork is soft and porous, it needs to be sealed often and will wear more in high traffic areas (similar to how carpeting might react). It also can stain.
Vinyl - Vinyl sometimes conjures up wild patterns that were popular in the 70s, but boy things have changed! There are now luxury vinyl (floor) tiles (or LVT) that look like planks of wood even with different variations to make it more realistic. They are installed similar to a hardwood flooring but unlike hardwoods, LVT is great with moisture, easy to clean and does not scratch easily. It is considerably less a square foot to put in a home, so if you have a lot of flooring that needs replacing this is a great, cost effective and beautiful choice. Some vinyl flooring may need to be waxed every few years.
There are a lot of choices for flooring out there today. Figure out what your flooring needs are, do some research and see what flooring choices are right for your home. It's great to know that you can update your floors and not have a horrendous expense to do it.