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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

  • Claire Douglas

Easy DIY flooring - cheap flooring ideas you'll love

Updated: May 8

tiled flooring complete with zig zags

This is the second in a new series of DIY quick wins: ideas for quick and simple home DIY projects. Yesterday, we looked at ways to revamp your kitchen cabinets in as little as an hour with ideas from installing an in-cupboard pull-out bin, to revamping your under-sink storage with a super-organised and easy-to-fit pull-out storage.

Easy DIY flooring to transform your floor

Today is all about easy DIY flooring. Perhaps you have an area in your home earmarked for future renovation, so you don't want to spend a fortune on a new floor but do need a temporary measure. I had this exact situation in my porch, so I completed a super quick £50 revamp, which made a world of difference. Read about it here. Or maybe you have a bathroom that needs some attention, but you simply don't have the budget for a 'proper' refurb, so are looking for a quick fix.

Whatever your reason for being here, I have lots of creative ideas to inspire you to start DIYing. Before we get into the details, a reminder of my top tips for completing 1-hour DIYs quickly and efficiently. I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that the key to success is getting organised and planning things meticulously. You probably would be surprised to hear the number of hours I have wasted wandering around looking for missing tools or charging drills or driving to the DIY store upon realising I've bought the wrong thing mid-way through a DIY!

Top tips for easy DIY flooring projects

  • Plan everything and leave nothing to chance.

  • Figure out all the steps and the exact tools and materials you’ll need to install your DIY flooring beforehand.

  • Gather everything before you start your easy DIY flooring project and check all your tools are in working order and see if any bits (drills) or blades (saws) need replacing.

  • Charge any rechargeable tools so a dead battery doesn’t hinder your progress.

  • Research the project and see if there are any tutorials or instructions you can follow that might also advise on common mistakes to avoid.

  • Have some spare materials to save delays caused by running out.

  • With painting projects, look for paints that include an undercoat or primer and have excellent coverage.

Now that we've established how to work quickly, we need to decide exactly which project to tackle. I'll admit some of these projects will take a bit longer than an hour unless you have a tiny space or room. Don't shout at me! I thought it would be more useful to include a wider variety of home DIY project inspo and be a bit cheeky with the timeframe than stick strictly to the 1-hour deadline!

Easy DIY Flooring - Carpet

If you have a carpet with underlay and gripper rods already in place, then replacing the carpet will take very little time.

Removing Carpet

Removing the old carpet can be done in minutes; here's how... - Grab a corner of the carpet with pliers and pull up without risking injury to your fingers on the gripper rods.

- Take a utility knife and carefully cut the old carpet into strips while still on the floor.

- Roll up the strips from one end to the other and secure with string or strong tape to create a roll. Top Tip: Cutting into thin strips will make the removal process much easier, as the resulting bundles will be small and easy to handle.

Fitting new carpet

Man fitting some cream carpet

If you attempt this DIY for the first time, starting with a small space will make the process quicker as the carpet roll will be easier to handle. Get help from a second pair of hands if you can, as this will save time and effort.

You’ll need to follow these steps - measure up & purchase the carpet in advance Top Tip: It’s worth investing in a carpet fitting kit comprising a knee kicker, a bolster and a cutting tool to ensure the best quality finish.

- Lay the carpet out on the floor roughly in position and start with the longest side.

- Before cutting the new carpet, make sure it’s properly stretched out to avoid wrinkles

- Cut just beyond the line of the gripper rods so you have some excess before taking your time to make the final neat cuts.

- Use the carpet bolster to tuck the newly cut carpet edges under the skirting boards and tightly on the dripper rods to prevent sagging.

Easy DIY flooring - Vinyl flooring DIYs

Vinyl flooring (on the roll)

Vinyl flooring is another quick and simple way to make a big impact quickly. There are so many options available in DIY and flooring stores and you can get designs that imitate natural materials such as wooden flooring, marble, stone and tiles that look so realistic. Vinyl is no longer the naff old 'lino' that some of us grew up with! ; )

It pays to consider the sub-floor with vinyl flooring as it can be quite soft or thin meaning that any imperfections underneath can show through. Underlay is a good option for extra warmth and comfort underfoot, or sheets of ply-board can be a cost-effective way of leveling the base layer.

Similarly to carpet fitting, the most time-consuming part is cutting the vinyl to fit into any corners and around any obstacles like radiator pipes. Leave the roll of vinyl flooring for approx 48 hours in the room it's intended for before fitting to allow it to acclimatise to the room temperature.

To speed up the cutting process, use a contour gauge to create a template to go around door frames, toilet basins, baths and pipes etc.

Then, to ensure the vinyl stays in place, glue it to the subfloor and use a soft broom to smooth it out flat to avoid bubbles and sagging.

In a bathroom, seal around the edges with clear silicon sealant to prevent moisture penetration. You would ideally remove skirting boards before you install vinyl flooring and then replace them over the top of the vinyl. This DIY could be completed in an hour if you had all the tools and materials ready, the subfloor was prepared and ready and the space was small or had few awkward cuts. Top Tip: You can always cut more off, but you can't put it back on, so err on the side of caution when cutting around the edges and go back to cut more off a little at a time to ensure you don't get any unsightly gaps (they'll bug you every time you see them otherwise!).

Peel and stick tiles aka Floor Pops

Floor Pops aka stick-on/self-adhesive floor tiles are effective for speedy makeovers. Stick-on floor tiles come in a huge array of designs and styles and again, it’s the cutting out that takes the most time, so you definitely want to invest in a profile gauge or make a DIY contour gauge for convenience and precision. This DIY could be completed in under an hour in a very small space, like perhaps a porch or small hallway or a bathroom like I did below.

Easy DIY flooring - Floor paint

Paint roller and tray

Transform with floor paint.

Painting a floor is one of the quickest transformations, as can be done with a large roller most of the time. Check the manufacturer's guidelines for application advice and be sure to choose a paint suitable for the material you are painting. You can paint over tiles, concrete, and even floorboards.

Prep is important as with all painting projects; make sure the surface is clean, dry and sound.

For a perfect finish, you’ll likely need two coats unless you use paint designed to cover with a single coat and you might need to apply a topcoat/sealant/varnish depending on the product you use.

You could use a stencil to create a patterned tile effect. I did this on our garden path and it looks very realistic. People often comment on the 'tiles'.

Thanks so much for reading; if you found it useful, I'd love you to subscribe to my mailing list for fortnightly newsletters (one day I'll be organised enough to send them weekly but I'm averaging monthly at the time of writing this post!).

Where next?


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