Good Questions: Cheap Flooring Options for Crooked Floors?

Good Questions: Cheap Flooring Options for Crooked Floors?

Maxwell Ryan
Mar 15, 2006

Hello AT,

I live in an old, crummy-looking rental apartment with crooked floors. The entire apartment floor--from kitchen to bedrooms--is covered in an ugly, ancient, dishwater-gray vinyl tile. (Actually, I think it was installed long before vinyl was invented.) I want to cover the floors wall to wall with something stylish but very inexpensive. I am considering:

-Ikea laminate (about $1 per sq ft)
-Home Depot parquet (about $1.79 sq ft)
-Home Depot berber carpeting (86 cents sq ft)

I'd prefer "wood," but worry that my sloped floors won't hold the laminate or the parquet, hence the berber idea. I would appreciate any advice on these floorings--or other cheap flooring--especially on crooked floors (my apartment kind of "sinks" in the middle of each room). Again, it's a rental and I don't want to sink a fortune into my landlord's floor.

Thanks! Griff

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Dear Griff,

The super-DIY thing to do (in a rental situation) is to lay a new floor down over the old one. If you use cheap sheet of plywood, you will get a flat floor again and you can do anything you want on top. A friend once used the wood from 100 wood wine boxes (that she found) to redo her entire kitchen. The box pieces fit together like tiles and neatly fit over all the bumps and depressions in the floor.

You could also do the plywood and then paint and polyurethane it exactly to your specifications. Go for wood if you can.

Of course, you might he able to get away with the IKEA or Home Depot solution because they both flex a bit. However, we hate fake and these surfaces always feel really cheesy to us. If you're going to go with laminate or vinyl, you might as well use the squares that look like what they really are: linoleum or vinyl, and get some nice warm colors. The people who do this best are the Marmoleum people from Forbo. Check this out.

Anyone else??

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