While extremely durable with a beautiful, timeless look, hardwood flooring can be a real budget-buster when building or renovating.  But even if you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of hardwood floors.  To give you some tips on how you can get the floors you want without going broke, here are some ideas for top budget friendly hardwood flooring.

Opt For Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is generally cheaper than solid hardwood because it only has a thin top layer of actual hardwood.  The lower layers below are created from plywood, fibreboard and other more economical materials.  As an added bonus, the lower layers of engineered hardwood typically make it more stable than solid.  If you have a specific type of solid hardwood in mind but don’t have the budget, you may be able to save some money by opting for the same type of engineered hardwood instead.

Choose A Cheaper Grade

Hardwood floors come in several different grades.  The grade depends on the size and quantity of knots, the colour uniformity and the wood’s sap content.  The highest grade has smaller and fewer knots, uniform colour and low sap content.  The lowest grade has a higher number of larger knots, more colour variation and higher sap content.  By choosing a lower grade of hardwood, you can save yourself a significant amount of money.

Choose Narrower, Shorter Planks

While long and wide planks may be in fashion these days, you’ll pay a premium for the prestige.  This is because long, wide planks are made from larger trees.  However, you can save yourself money by choosing shorter, narrower planks.  You should also pay particular attention to the price of planks that are four or five inches wide.  Five-inch wide planks need to be both glued and nailed, whereas four-inch planks only need to be nailed.  Depending on the size of your floor, labour and materials costs can be significantly different between the two.  The difference of an inch in plank width can save you a good deal of money.

Install It Yourself

This option isn’t available to everyone and we definitely don’t recommend installing a hardwood floor yourself if you’re not experienced.  But the fact is that a good portion of the cost of a hardwood floor is labour.  If you can remove that cost, you’ll find yourself with significant savings.