cost-friendly flooring solutions for your house

Sticking to a budget is crucial when renovating — big-ticket expenses like flooring can really blow things out of proportion.Play Video

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Whether you’ve just bought a new home, you’re renovating to sell, or you simply need a new floor, here are some of the most high quality, cost-effective flooring options that won’t break the budget.

Vinyl floorboards

Timber-look vinyl planks are a less expensive but harder-wearing alternative to floorboards.

Stylist from The Block and Reno Rumble, Darren Palmer opted for vinyl floorboards in his home for a pet and child-friendly solution.

“We have three dogs and [vinyl floorboards] are very timber-like with a natural looking grain and texture, but they are also robust, water and stain-resistant, as well inexpensive and easy to DIY install,” he says.

“Whilst they aren’t as bulletproof as tiles, they look and feel soft underfoot without being a porous material.”

Laminate flooring

Laminate is another option for inexpensive timber-look floorboards. Despite looking very similar, there are a couple of key differences between laminate and vinyl floors.

It may cost less, but today’s laminate options can still look a million bucks.

Firstly, laminate is typically lower in cost. However, there are low and high-end products in each category.

Another key difference is what is at the core of the floorboard. Laminate has a mulched, highly compacted and pressurised wood at its core, whereas vinyl is vinyl through and through.

Finally, vinyl flooring is traditionally glued down whereas laminate has an interlocking mechanism and can be laid as a floating floor.

Both products are very durable, water resistant and easy to clean.

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Hybrid tile

Hybrid floorboards, which are similar to vinyl and laminate, are typically the most expensive of the timber-look flooring options.

However, if you’re not after a timber-look floor, you may want to consider hybrid tiles.

Recreate the much-coveted terazzo look with hybrid tiles.

Hybrid tiles come in a range of looks that emulate more stone-type flooring, from concrete to terrazzo to marble and so on. Like hybrid planks, tiles can be laid as a floating floor, making them easy to install yourself as part of a DIY renovation. They can be a perfect solution for living, kitchen and laundry areas.

“A number of hybrid and laminate flooring options on the market are water resistant and suitable for wet areas,” Carpet Court’s Flooring Merchandise Manager, Loreta Sgarioto explains. “However, the sub floor, particularly in a bathroom area, does need to be waterproofed in order for these products to go down.”

Furthermore, Loreta adds you may need to check the building regulations in your area before laying a hybrid in the bathroom as it may outline a need for ceramic flooring specifically.


Carpet tends to be inexpensive per square metre. However, many folks have misconceptions about how a ‘cheap’ carpet will ultimately look and feel. The good news is, budget-friendly carpet isn’t going to leave your home looking and feeling like an office.

The Glenwillow II carpet, seen here in the ‘crisp’ colourway, offers softness and durability.

“There’s been a lot of technological development in fibre types in carpets,” Loreta notes. “Traditionally, there’s been two types: wool carpet and a solution-dyed nylon, synthetic carpet. But there’s been a lot of development in polyester, or PET, fibres and polypropylene fibres. These fibres have now been produced to create a much softer feel underfoot.

“If I was looking for something quite luxe but on a bit of a budget, I would definitely look at a polyester cut pile, or a polypropylene cut pile carpet such as Carpet Court’s UltraPet Birman, Glenwillow II or Universal.”

How to keep flooring costs down

If you’re worried about your flooring costs ballooning, Loreta explains that a common unexpected cost comes when people don’t realise work needs to be done to their existing floor.

“One thing that’s often overlooked, particularly if you’re renovating an older property, is the subfloor and what’s actually underneath any existing flooring,” she says. “It needs to be structurally sound, relatively flat and smooth for a product to be put on top of it.

“It’s a hard consideration to factor in because some things you don’t know until you pull the floor up and see what’s underneath. Going into a Carpet Court store, customers will be advised on that sort of thing. Often [our team] likes to come out to your property and have a look where possible. Hopefully, they can identify any issues that could come up.

Don’t be afraid to rely on the experts when it comes to choosing the right flooring for your home.

Loreta’s final cautionary words? “Do as much scouting as possible prior to buying — that will give you a better insight in to what you’re up for.”

Housing Market Forecast

The COVID-19 pandemic forever changed real estate shopping and purchasing decisions in the United States. It also changed the housing market forecast for the immediate future. The demand for 3D virtual tours increased by 89 to 2,327% from February to March 2020 for single-family vs. multi-family properties, respectively.

On the flipside, new listings fell by 40% and homes for sale dropped by 17% in April 2020 compared to April 2019. Residents also departed states like New Jersey, Illinois, and New York for states like Idaho, Arizona, and Oregon. 

These and other factors led industry experts and consumers alike to wonder about the future housing market. What will inventory look like? Will home price increases slow to pre-COVID levels? Keep reading for our own housing market forecast and more.

Housing Inventory Predictions

Housing inventory in 2022 will produce mixed results, based on inputs from varying perspectives. From one angle, experts anticipate the currently limited supply of homes will increase based on where Americans are moving from and to. Nashville, Raleigh, and Phoenix are expected to experience greater housing demand, with coastal cities and urban areas anticipating greater housing supply. 

The housing market forecast for 2022 may also include investors selling properties to take advantage of current high prices. Trends like these will generate significant short-term cash flow and free up dozens of properties to be newly listed. 

Unfortunately, homes for sale inventory is expected to remain low for the next two to three years. Real estate consumer experts share that Baby Boomers–3.2 million of whom retired in 2020–aren’t moving as frequently as they used to. This will keep the available number of homes in relative deadlock. 

Housing Price Predictions

If you were looking for the best time to sell a house (or buy one) in the US throughout 2021, you’re familiar with the meteoric rise in prices. Home sale prices rose by 18% or more between September 2020 and September 2021, which was the largest annual price gain since 1976. To put this in perspective, home values usually increase by 3.5 to 3.8% year-over-year (YoY). 

Part of this was caused by COVID-related shutdowns that led to supply chain issues and a shortage of home building materials. Another part of it was caused by fewer people moving during COVID because it’s much harder to sell when the pool of buying opportunities is temporarily restricted.

Given the smaller number of people selling their homes and the larger number of those looking to buy, our housing market forecast includes the fact that prices will remain high for a few years. Home price increases in 2022 may slowly drop to lower double digits, such as 12 or 13%. 

The availability of homes also affects pricing. The more housing becomes available, the lower prices go. This may lead to more bidding wars, but it may not, as buyers take more time now than they used to. If you haven’t done a comparative market analysis before, now is a good time to start.

Home availability will depend on how effectively home builders attract workers in 2022, as well. Fewer workers means fewer homes are built, and at a slower rate. Fewer homes on the market means demand will keep prices pretty high.

Housing Interest Rate Predictions

Interest rates are challenging to predict in a housing market forecast because so many factors influence them. Throughout most of 2020, mortgage interest rates hovered around 2.93%–some of the lowest in 30 years. We’ve witnessed rising mortgage rates again during 2021, based on inflation and Americans returning to work or gaining employment. 

In 2022, mortgage experts predict an average interest rate of 3.6%. Rates often rise in conjunction with higher yields of 10-year Treasury notes. The interest rate on Treasury notes increases the more often loans are requested, as the government must collect more money in order to loan more of it out.

Since Treasury notes offer guaranteed repayment but at lower interest rates, banks set mortgage interest rates a little bit higher. This attracts investors more often because they will get a higher return and usually in less time. Slightly higher interest rates are also useful for banks, because they can offer loans to more home buyers. 

Even with increased economic activity and more loans issued, our housing market forecast anticipates low rates ahead. Mortgage rates have been falling steadily since 1981, when they were a staggering 18.44%. Despite recessions and pandemics, US homebuyers likely won’t see interest rates higher than 3-5% any time soon.