The best affordable alternatives to luxury flooring and tiles
Fancy the luxe look of real wood floors or marble walls on a budget? Check out these stylish, affordable lookalikes
If your walls and floors are due an update but your budget is tight, don't fret! If you lust after real wood floorboards, delicate porcelain tiles or luxurious marble walls, you can find affordable materials that will give you a similar look for a fraction of the cost. Manufacturing processes have become so sophisticated that it would sometimes take an expert to tell the difference between the imitation and the real thing!
These low-cost alternatives to high-end wall and flooring materials will help you to create a luxury look, without breaking the bank. And for more purse-friendly inspiration, check out our tips for decorating on a budget.
Wood floor alternatives
Wood is a perennial favourite in interior design due to its warmth, versatility and tactile nature, however it can come with a hefty price tag. Thanks to sophisticated modern printing techniques there are plenty of realistic alternatives to grace your walls and floors at a purse-friendly price.
Channel those mid-century Mad Men vibes with this sophisticated dark wood-effect wallpaper. It’s perfect for creating
a cool and cosy atmosphere in a home office or a dining room.
Replicating natural woodgrain, this laminate flooring boasts Hydro+ water repelling technology, ideal for combating
splashes in areas such as the bathroom, utility or kitchen.
Parquet and herringbone floors are back in vogue, but they come at a price and take expertise to lay. Thankfully, you can achieve the same look at a fraction of the cost by using a lookalike vinyl, which is so much quicker and easier to install.
Inspired by the Japanese technique of 'kintsugi', the art of repairing, this woodgrain wallpaper brings together natural forms and precious metallic detailing. It combines beautiful, organic and natural patterns found in woodgrain with luxurious rose gold touches and soft, muted pink pastels, making it an ideal choice for the bedroom.
More like this
Hard-wearing and easy to clean, tiles are a popular choice for bathrooms, kitchens and floors in high traffic areas of the home, but they can prove expensive, especially if your DIY skills aren’t up to laying them yourself. That’s where lookalikes come into their own, giving you the look, and often the feel, of tiles for a fraction the price.
This timeless tile-effect vinyl looks like a million dollars but it comes with a surprisingly affordable price tag. Patterned floors can help create the illusion of more space in a kitchen and this would work in both classic and contemporary schemes.
If you love the relaxed boho look of mismatched tiles, but don’t have the confidence to decide which patterns to combine, then cheat with this beautiful laminate, where the hard work has been done for you.
If you love the look of modern geometric tiles, but your DIY skills aren’t up to scratch, then this contemporary honeycomb wallpaper is a great way to cheat the effect, without wobbles!
Tiled floors are a great way of adding pattern and interest to a kitchen, but they can be costly to install. This luxury vinyl has all the good looks of the real thing, but has the added bonus of being soft and warm underfoot too.
Creating an eye-catching tiled splashback effect has never been quicker or simpler. This contemporary self-adhesive design simply needs to be cut to size and stuck in place, giving your kitchen a whole new look in no time at all.
Industrial style on a budget
Industrial style is still a huge trend, but the finishes that come with it, such as polished concrete, rusted steel, polished plaster and stripped brick can be tricky, labour-intensive and expensive to achieve. But DIYers can rejoice, because there’s a whole host of fabulous fakes out there to give you that edgy urban vibe for a fraction of the cost and none of the mess.
Looking just like real terrazzo, this vinyl plank flooring gives a modern industrial edge to your home. It’s easy to install, quiet underfoot and slip-resistant, making it an ideal choice for kitchens or hallways. It’s 100 per cent recyclable too, so not only does it looks great, it’s good for the planet too!
The rich, deep, mottled tones of rusted metal look incredible on a feature wall and, thanks to a clever new two-step system from Craig and Rose, you can re-create that time-worn, distressed look with ease. You can also use it on other surfaces, such as garden ornaments and home accessories.
If you love the urban vibe of painted bricks, but don’t fancy the hassle of chipping off the plaster and painting them yourself, then this wallpaper is a quick and easy way to re-create that New York loft look.
The soft pink of raw plaster has become so popular in recent years that it’s fast becoming a new neutral. If you love that slightly distressed look of fresh plaster but don’t want the mess and hassle of getting in a plasterer, then re-create the look by colour-washing your walls with a blush pink chalk paint.
Love the look of stone and polished concrete? These affordable Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) have a soft speckled effect in cool grey shades giving them the look of a stone floor.
Marble: cheaper alternatives
There’s no getting away from it, marble is having a moment right now. But the real thing comes with a hefty price tag, which isn’t ideal when you’re on a budget. Luckily, thanks to marble riding high on the style stakes, there are lots of affordable versions on the market to give you that champagne look for a lemonade budget.
A slab of marble as a splashback in a modern, urban kitchen can look stunning, but it can be prohibitively expensive. Thankfully, this self-adhesive glass splashback gives you the same luxe look for a more purse-friendly price.
Marble is an easy-to-live-with finish on the walls, giving just the right amount of pattern interest without being overpowering.
This marble-effect wallpaper works well in most rooms, but looks particularly effective in a hallway, where it will help to keep the space looking light and bright.
Love that luxury hotel look of wall-to-wall marble in a bathroom but don’t love the price tag? Then these luxurious tiles are the answer. With their high gloss finish and gold veining, they give that boutique hotel look for a B&B price tag.
This elegant splashback combines two top kitchen trends in one – metro tiles and marble. The subtle grey and white tones
of Calacatta marble means it works equally well with both modern and more traditional kitchen styles and the ceramic surface
of the tiles means they are easy to keep clean and pristine.
Marble floors look stunning but they can be cold underfoot and unforgiving of anything that’s dropped on them. However, a marble-effect laminate offers the same elegant look combined with a surface that’s safer for dropped items and warmer to walk on.
This is a digital version of a feature that originally appeared in Home Style magazine. For more inspirational home ideas, why not subscribe today?
Anna-Lisa De’Ath is a freelance magazine editor and journalist specialising in homes & interiors, gardening and crafts